My son was born on Thanksgiving morning 2012. I began having severe pain
during breastfeeding within the first week, but knew it was “normal”
to have some soreness the first few weeks, so I kept pushing through the
pain since I did not know any better & the pain continued to get worse.
By the second. week I started to notice my nipples starting to split open
and this obviously was alarming, but didn’t know if it was part
of the “normal process." I asked my midwife to look at them
at our 2 week appoinmnett. She said it definitely was not supposed to
look like that, so she referred me to Lori Isenstadt, IBCLC.
When he was about 3-4 weeks old, I finally made an appt with Lori (should’ve
done it right away!). The first thing she did was check his mouth and
noticed he had a possible posterior tongue tie. She also examined me &
basically said that where I was split open were exposed nerve endings
(which explains why it was so so painful!). We worked on a couple things,
like latch, first but after a week of TERRIBLE pain & more tears,
she said it was time to see a doctor about it.
She referred me to Dr. Agarwal. Of course the time I was trying to get
in was the week of Christmas, so I was worried about not being able to
get in for a while (pumping was just splitting me open more & even
with all the pain I still wanted to nurse my baby!). I shouldn’t
have worried - they got me in that week and even was able to fit me in
for the procedure that week as well since they knew I wanted to get back
to nursing ASAP. T
he NP was kind and was able to diagnose his Posterior Tie right away. Dr.
Agarwal was amazing & made me feel very comfortable with how the procedure
was goings to be performed - it was over before I knew it! I nursed him
right after (this was with around 5 days of only pumping) and had I felt
a decrease in pain right away. He had no bleeding at all, had no issues
after, and healed great.
I, unfortunately, had so much damage prior that the huge splits were not
showing any signs of healing. I went & saw an OB to make sure there
wasn’t an underlying infection preventing healing….nope,
no infection & he told me he really had no experience with damage
with breastfeeding so the only advice he offered was, “you nursed
him for 8 weeks, he got enough.” And suggested I may have to quit
breastfeeding! I started using a shield in the meantime while along the
way hearing about how you can “lose” your nipples or they
can “fall” off!
I ended up eventually getting referred to Laurie Jones, MD IBCLC. She was
very helpful and took a big weight off my shoulders and told me that I
WILL heal! It was still going to take time, but I WILL and I will be able
to KEEP BREASTFEEDING! Yay! She did notice he had an upper lip tie as
well which was causing his latch to be off so she suggested that it would
help to go back to Dr. Agarwal again to have that done as well.
So, about a month later, I was back in his office. Dr. Agarwal was very
comforting each time we went to see him - he was very kind and encouraging.
He knew how important it was for us to keep breastfeeding. I’m very
happy to say that after a long road (close to 6 months!) I finally healed!
And my little boy is now 7 months and I am fully weaned from the shield!
I want moms out there to know it is OK to get some help in the beginning
of breastfeeding, please see a lactation consultant! Even if it’s
just to make sure your latch is looking good, it can make all the difference!
There were lactation consultants in the hospital I went to, but they can’t
always spend a lot of time with you & tongue/lip ties are not talked
about often, and he was never checked for that by the LCs in the hospital.
Had I gone to see someone earlier I could’ve prevented so much pain
& suffering. This is something so simple to be fixed, and who knows
how many mommas give up nursing because of THIS when they don’t
have to! I am very thankful to Dr. Agarwal and his office for his help
& that he is able to help other mommas like me! Thank you!