The night my nipple fell off and I turned into an ice block

Ok, it didn’t actually fall off but it was touch and go for a while there. I’m pretty sure I turned into an ice block though.

Background: My daughter is 9 days old. She’s not even double digits yet! How strange and wonderful to be so new. Anyway, I digress. I went into this baby situation determined to breastfeed but willing to compromise for my sanity. To say I didn’t love it the first time around would be a huge understatement. This time I read up as much as I could, got all the gadgets and felt more mentally and emotionally prepared. 

She was born on Wednesday morning and latched on really well within the first hour. Success! However, by the evening she was clearly needing more than I was providing. I know the rule is that your body provides exactly what baby needs but I think I can safely say that after two hours of sucking me dry and still crying that she was not satisfied with the menu on offer. I promised myself and my husband that should I be in this position (husbands aren’t allowed to stay so I was alone) that I would ask for help. So I did. The nurse provided me with 50ml of formula and the little tiny tot drank half then passed out into a contented sleep. And the world didn’t end. I ended up giving her one formula feed a day until my milk came in. She was full. I was sane. We were all happy.

Now she is exclusively breastfed. The doc suggested I give her 5ml of water a day to get her used to the taste of water. I have decided not to for now though because she is drinking plenty of milk. (she gained 500g in a week. The expected minimum is 150g. I joke that I make full cream milk. Lol! ) I may start to introduce water soon though as we are headed towards summer which can get really crazy humid. 

Latching has been pretty good with her usually drinking until she falls asleep. Lately though she’s been drinking a bit strangely from my right side. She starts with a great latch then slides down until just the nipple is in her mouth. This hurts like CRAZY! It’s like there are blades in my nipple that saw back and forth as she drinks. Not fun at all. I now keep unlatching and relatching her when this happens with reasonable success. I also realised that I wasnt holding her with her tummy turned towards me which was probably uncomfortable. 

I don’t know what happened this morning but from 1:30-5:40am she drank, then burped then cried for more milk and drank again. Con-tin-u-ously!!!! I lost track of all sense of time until I heard the rooster crowing outside. It was very strange. She was literally stuck to my boobs but she was so unhappy. She was gulping the milk and I could hear how much air was going in at the same time. Then she would choke and cry but still fight for more even though she needed to be winded. It wasn’t a fun time. She eventually fell asleep from sheer exhaustion. At that point my nipples were swollen and so tender that it hurt to even have the breastpad touching it. I was surprised my right nipple was still attached at that point. Then as if we (my husband was up with me the whole time helping to burp her or console her. I love that man) hadn’t had a rough enough night…an hour after we fell asleep the shivers hit. I was wondering when it would happen but had forgotten how terrible it felt. I woke in a shock feeling as if I had been doused in iced water. I was FREEZING. My whole body was clenched and I couldn’t move. I called out to my husband between chattering teeth to please wrap me in the blanket. He was so exhausted I don’t think it registered what was going on because it was so hot last night. I had to ask a few times for him to realise something was wrong. He managed to wrap me up and slip some warm pajama pants over my shorts. This was followed by my winter flannel gown, fleece blanket, duvet and him. What a terrible feeling. I couldn’t stop shaking. It felt as though I was continuously being doused in freezing cold water. It must-have only lasted half an hour but it felt like forever.I eventually fell asleep and woke up with my clothes sweat soaked and boiling hot. But alive. 

Aaaaaaaaand that was my morning. Fingers crossed for a less eventful time tonight 

Any and all tips or tricks on breastfeeding or latching are most welcome 


14 thoughts on “The night my nipple fell off and I turned into an ice block

  1. I have no tips and tricks, except a reminder that sometimes, babies nurse for comfort as well – not just for food. Both my babies have had intense periods where they feel latched on 24/7 – it usually coincides with a growth spurt (not uncommon for 10 days – or, 4 months), or mastering a new skill.

    Keep an eye on the shivers (fever?) – you could develop mastitis, which requires antibiotics if I remember correctly! Clogged ducts also make me feel poorly, but thankfully I’ve only had a couple. I nurse exclusively on demand – it’s a major commitment, but as I warned my husband, formula would be a major financial commitment!

    I wish you luck, and don’t be afraid to reach out to La Leche League, or a local lactation consultant – they are there to help with latch and feeding, and to empower your decision!

    It’s an adjustment, for sure…


  2. Take moringa capsules and there’s the special tea that can help you produce more milk. Also try to relax and put a pillow on your back for support ๐Ÿ™‚ Usually babies do this unli-latch. My baby went for hours and her pedia and my OB said that it is fine. Also, use some nipple cream to alleviate the soreness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, I experienced something similar when I had my first. She would latch on and not let go, it was exhausting not being able to move. It happened every night for about two weeks. My nipples were also so sore. I think it was a mixture of comfort and the need for more milk for a growth spurt.

    Suggestions: try Lucas Paw Paw for tender nipples… it seriously helps to take the sting off.
    As for milk supply, the only real way to ensure good supply is to eat a LOT of protein. A steak with full fat? Yes. Pork belly in the oven? Yes. You will see the difference if you pump and express. You are making full fat milk but you need the fat to do it… I also had a flask of hot chicken broth beside me at night, I usually drank this at 3-4am to keep supply up until morning.

    If you have a crock pot, it’s the best way to make the soup.. let me know if you need a recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Thanks! I will definitely take you up on that recipe. I’m starving by 3am but too tired to get up and eat something. I have cut out dairy from today to see if that helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it’s good to cut out dairy for the first two to three months for the avoidance of allergies. If wind is an issue, avoid foods that give you gas such as cabbage or legumes. Go easy on anything raw, try to select only cooked food.
        Are you able to buy dried goji berries and dried red dates?
        Recipe: chicken any part but preferably a whole breast or a whole leg (thigh plus drumstick), 1 carrot, half an onion, handful of goji berries and two red dates. Chicken should be washed in a bit of salt water, everything else should be rinsed. Carrot can be cut up into chunks with skin off. Throw into your stew pot, pressure cooker or crockpot. Add 2-3 bowls of water (just less than half a litre) . Cook on a simmer for 3 to 4 hours.

        If your crockpot is very large then you can make a bit more or go for a richer broth. Increase the amount of chicken, you can cut up a whole one into parts and use the whole thing with a liter and a half of water. Two carrots cut up and onion cut in half. Handful of goji berries and two dried red dates.

        Once broth is ready, pour it out hot into a flask and put it by your bed. The flask cools over several hours so usually by 3am it’s the perfect temperature to drink ๐Ÿ˜‰

        If you’ve made more of the broth you can reserve it for the next night but put it in the fridge and reheat before you put it in the flask.
        Keep the chicken from the broth. You can eat this as a snack the next day. I have it for breakfast or lunch. Eat it with noodles or rice with a bit of soya sauce. The key is to ensure you never feel hungry when breastfeeding.
        If you can, add more food for your dinner so that you can pack away more in the fridge in case you are peckish. It’s way better than snacking on chocolate or reaching for cereal bars, you don’t get the sugar crash…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahhhhhh those crazy early times. I don’t have time to write a long comment but hopefully peeps will mention cluster feeding which is likely what she was doing for those 4 hours. What are the shivers all about? Sounds like you’ve had this before? Interesting. Also interesting about the water. Here in AUS they say no water to babies until 6 months old when they are having food. Breast milk keeps them hydrated same as water would but it is packed full of nutrients. The concern being that they will fill up on water and not get enough lovely nutritious milk although sounds like baby is getting plenty with that sort of weight gain. Go mama!!! Anyway you sound like you are doing an amazing job. I think my next baby I might opt for a formula top up in hospital as this time I lost my shit by day 3. I remember crying in the bathroom at 3am. Enjoy those baby cuddles. They are intense but they grow out of them so quickly. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is exactly what I read about water as well which is why I am so hesitant to give her any. I feel like she has been drinking a bit more often in the last few days as well out of thirst because it’s been quite hot.

      I thought the shivering thing was normal?? My doc warned me about it the first time around as well. He said it happens especially with a c-section when the body suddenly realises that there is no baby anymore and your hormone levels fluctuate rapidly. It’s a short but intense episode that kinda feels like a fever breaking I guess.

      That formula top-up was the best decision. Sometimes you have to sacrifice ‘whats best’ for ‘whats best for your sanity’. It made my hospital stay that much more manageable. Its already exhausting with nurses coming into the room every few hours with meds or to check blood pressure or to bring the baby or to change the linen etc etc etc.

      I need to read up on cluster feeding and growth spurts. How are the kiddies on your side?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The kiddies are keeping me on my toes. Baby H isn’t a great sleeper so even now at almost 6months PP I am so tried. We are getting there and will be through it eventually but dang it is tiring right now. I’m questioning a third out of pure exhaustion! My 5 year old is a little star. There are so many blessings to this sized gap.

        Liked by 1 person

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