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Talk to me about initial breastfeeding pain - Page 2

post #21 of 43

I also had excruciating pain for a long time. I cried through many feedings, too. My son had troube latching in the beginning and I used a nipple sheild to help that for a bit. With and without the sheild I had pain for at least a month, maybe longer, I cant remember. I remember the good things about nursing much more clearly orngbiggrin.gif. Just stick it out, use ice if needed (I did after every feeding for a while). The pain is worth it.

post #22 of 43

I, too am in the initial pain camp.  For about two and a half weeks I experienced terrible nipple pain for the first ten or so seconds after my son's initial latch.  I would scrunch up my face and wince while my husband looked on with total concern.  And then, like so many others here, the pain just went away.  Seven and half months later and we're still going strong!

 

Hang in there!  :)  (And sorry the going's been so tough.)

post #23 of 43

The first 2 weeks of BFing, my nipples hurt very badly, they cracked and peeled but never bled.  Then after 2 weeks it just stopped.  Then came back for a few days at 1 month, then gone for good.  I exclusively BF for 6 months, and now DD is 16 months and we are just starting to wean.

Those first 2 weeks, I had to pull DDs bottom lip down every time she would latch on.  It felt a little better that way, and eventually that became her normal latch.  The bottom lip should be pointed down, and you should be able to see the whole bottom lip at the bottom of your nipple.  Lactation consultants and Drs said to me that everything looked fine and when I told them it hurt, they said that was NOT normal and something MUST be wrong.  BFing should NEVER hurt they said.  That is BS!!!  It hurts in the beginning til your nipples get used to it!  Dont let anyone discourage you.  I was even told that maybe I just shouldnt BF and just switch to formula if it hurt to BF.  That was the dumbest advice I ever got, especially since it went away after 2 weeks.  Just think if I would have listened!  All the beautiful and wonderful bonding I had with my DD I would have missed.

Anyway, Dont give up, it will get better. 

BTW, I switched off between Motherlove nipple cream and Lansinoh every other feeding, and I have always only fed off of one breast at a time.  That gives one nipple the chance to rest at each feeding.  I was always told to feed from both boobs at each feeding but for 16 and a half months I never have.  I think that allows the baby to get the complete amount of hindmilk(the nutrient rich stuff), instead of mostly formilk(the watery stuff that comes out first when nursing from each breast)

 

Good luck!

post #24 of 43

The first 2 weeks of BFing, my nipples hurt very badly, they cracked and peeled but never bled.  Then after 2 weeks it just stopped.  Then came back for a few days at 1 month, then gone for good.  I exclusively BF for 6 months, and now DD is 16 months and we are just starting to wean.

Those first 2 weeks, I had to pull DDs bottom lip down every time she would latch on.  It felt a little better that way, and eventually that became her normal latch.  The bottom lip should be pointed down, and you should be able to see the whole bottom lip at the bottom of your nipple.  Lactation consultants and Drs said to me that everything looked fine and when I told them it hurt, they said that was NOT normal and something MUST be wrong.  BFing should NEVER hurt they said.  That is BS!!!  It hurts in the beginning til your nipples get used to it!  Dont let anyone discourage you.  I was even told that maybe I just shouldnt BF and just switch to formula if it hurt to BF.  That was the dumbest advice I ever got, especially since it went away after 2 weeks.  Just think if I would have listened!  All the beautiful and wonderful bonding I had with my DD I would have missed.

Anyway, Dont give up, it will get better. 

BTW, I switched off between Motherlove nipple cream and Lansinoh every other feeding, and I have always only fed off of one breast at a time.  That gives one nipple the chance to rest at each feeding.  I was always told to feed from both boobs at each feeding but for 16 and a half months I never have.  I think that allows the baby to get the complete amount of hindmilk(the nutrient rich stuff), instead of mostly formilk(the watery stuff that comes out first when nursing from each breast)

 

Good luck!

post #25 of 43

I just had my first baby, and he is now one month old. We have had pain since the beginning, but as time goes on it has hurt less and less. It could be that this is just the way it is for some of us, especially since you have had everything checked out. I still do sometimes feel the sharp pain when he latches that goes away as he continues to suck, but in the beginning, I was also crying through feedings. After checking that he was latching correctly with others, I just concluded that it can take some times for the nipple to adjust! I hope your pain is slowly (or quickly) going away as mine is! Good luck!

post #26 of 43

Count me in as another mom with unexplained lingering nipple pain.  It isn't excruciating anymore, but I expect it to stick around for another few weeks (DD is almost 7 weeks now) based on what happened with the previous two.  We did have small mouth and latch issues (misshapen nipples) from her (and her brothers before her) not opening up enough, but now that's taken care of and I'm still sore.  I know how frustrating it is to feel pain and have everyone saying "well, it looks fine".

 

My midwife this time said to me "You know what?  I think it's just going to hurt for you for a while, no matter what you do."  We turned over every stone and there's no answer, so I think she's right.  Thankfully, it's not unbearable and most feedings are enjoyable after the initial letdown.  But the painful feedings lasted a lot longer with my first.

 

Hang in there.  In my experience, the extra pains at the beginning make the eventual lovely, pain-free nursing sessions all the more wonderful.  I hope that pain-free day comes for you very, very soon *hug*

 

Oh and Jack Newman's nipple ointment has a wee bit of painkiller in it, it can be very soothing.  You need a prescription for it, and you could ask the doc to include the ibuprofen component (although I find it soothing without, too - there is a bit of steriod in it to help healing) http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12:candida-protocol&catid=5:information&Itemid=17

post #27 of 43

First, I feel your pain, mama!  You have my sympathy.

 

When my son was born 3 1/2 yrs ago, I went through 9 week (NINE WEEKS!) of pain.  It hurt more than labor and delivery.  He threw up blood (from my cracked and bleeding nipples) which freaked me out as a first-time mom.  I tried everything I could think of too - lactation consultants, breast shields, different creams, pumping, etc.  In the end, it just took time for him (and his little mouth) to get bigger.  I swore that if I could get through it, I would breastfeed him until college.  Ha!  I did breastfeed him until he was 2 1/2 and I was pregnant with his sister.  One of my reasons for wanting to continue breastfeeding was that I thought I could avoid the whole pain situation the second time around if I was still breastfeeding him.  Pop him off and pop on his little sister.  It didn't work because I had to stop breastfeeding because it hurt too bad.

 

When my daughter was born 7 months ago, I was super anxious about breastfeeding.  Luckily, she latched on much better than her brother.  However, the pain started ALL over again.  Only this time, it lasted for 2 weeks, not 9.  Again, I tried everything including nipple shields that hurt like hell.  I found a great breast cream online - Maternacare.  LOVED it.  Put that on, along with the Medela breast shells (different from nipple shields), which gave my nipples a chance to air dry and have cream on it without anything touching it.  I think Maternacare really helped.  In my opinion, lansinoh is horrible.

 

My lactation consultant thinks both of my children have bubble palettes (high arches in their mouths) which resulted in my nipples getting crushed more than normal.  As the weeks passed, their mouths got bigger and so it got better.  

 

I so wish someone had warned me that breastfeeding was not the idyllic picture I had in my mind.  Instead, I wish I had rubbed sand paper on my nipples during my pregnancy to prepare me for nursing.  

 

Take some hot showers.  Don't beat yourself up for cringing when you get ready to breastfeed your child.  Know that many other women are right there with you with this issue.  This too shall pass, even though it doesn't feel like it right  now.

 

 

 

 

post #28 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the lovely feedback. I am so so relieved to hear I am not alone.

 

I too, thought BFing would be this magical soft-focus experience, and it totally hasn't been. Plus, we had a long labour (right around 70 hours) before I had to have a homebirth transfer and a c-section. I wasn't prepared for a long labour, I wasn't prepared to recover from a major surgery, and I wasn't prepared to be in pain for all this time.

 

I guess for some of us, it's just a harder road. I identify with what a previous poster said about expectation. Nothing about this birth and babe went the way I envisioned or planned. And it's been really hard to regroup.

 

Love that someone on these boards called their babe their "little hoover." DS is exactly that. Every LC we've seen comments on what a strong suck he has!

 

I'll continue to hang in there. I'm kind of approaching this like I did quitting smoking years ago. It is too much to think of goals that are six months or a year out. So instead, I tell myself, make it through this day. And tomorrow, if you want to throw in the towel, you can. Then tomorrow arrives, and I end up saying the same thing to myself. Just finish today, then tomorrow, you can give it up. Helps me get through it all one day at a time.

 

I'm hoping by six weeks (he's four weeks and change now), his mouth will get bigger and we can finally be comfortable. He's nearly 12 lbs now...youd think he'd finally be big enough, but I guess not yet.

 

Anyway, I know I'll keep coming back to this thread for encouragement. Thank you for sharing your experiences, mamas!

post #29 of 43

Pumping for a few minutes intially  has always helped me get my nipples opened up and stretched out so it wasn't so difficult for my babies to latch on...plus it helped get my milk flowing a little and just loosened things up, especially with my first child...One of my nipples seemed to be harder to latch on the other so I occasionally had to pump that side for a minute to get it in the groove and make it easier to latch on! Lots of pain and almost gave up several times! ouch...hurts just talking about it:( good luck!

post #30 of 43

I too had excruciating pain with my 2nd and 3rd babies. Time was really the only cure, as so many others have said. Hang in there, you're doing great!

post #31 of 43

I had pain for about 6 weeks just like you are describing. I actually bled and now have scared nipples, but I didn't give up because I new I would never use formula. I'm glad I didn't and the pain eventually went away and I was able to nurse for 3 1/2 yrs. Now my daughter is almost 5 and we are expecting a new one in Oct and worried I will go through the same thing. I'm hoping my nipples are so callused that it won't be painful this time! LOL Hope it works out, just hang in there and keep telling yourself it is all worth it!

post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by radicaleel View Post

Stick it out--it WILL get better! I had the same experience as you--excruciating pain at the beginning, that was bad enough to make me scream, cry, and tense up. The pain was worse than labor & birth. After the first 6 weeks or so it just got better and better, and eventually there was no pain at all and nursing became a sweet and pleasant thing. I know how stressful it is to be going through it right now, but it will go by so quickly and everything will get better. You're doing everything right, just keep doing it!

 

all this, but my pain breastfeeding baby #1 lasted for TEN WEEKS. stick it out. it will pass. one day, you will just notice, "hey, it doesn't hurt so much anymore." and then the pain is gone.

ps: i nursed through it, and went on to nurse through my next pregnancy, and then tandem nurse. for baby #2, i had NO (nipple) PAIN whatsoever. and it was super duper easy.

post #33 of 43

You guys are making me feel better as I am in the awful pain camp. I still have called the LC to see what she says. I have weird nipples anyway so I think that has something to do with it.

 

 

Thanks :)

post #34 of 43
My daughter is now 11 days old, and breastfeeding is still a big, dramatic, excrutiating dread...

I got literally forced into a pitocin birth due to a "too slow" dilation progression, and after a complete disconnect of my mind, body and soul and the intuition that if I didn't get something to help ease the pain, I'd pass out and end up c-sectioned, I caved into the personal defeat/guilt and got an epidural. I've heard that epidural births make for lazy newborns who tend to have feeding issues, but for some reason I felt my baby would be "above" that :/ haha.

I nursed with a bad latch for quite a few days until my nipples bled, cracked, scabbed, oozed, got mastitis on BOTH breasts, had a fever of 101.4, went off next to zero sleep, the whole nine yards....I tried pumping exclusively, but all the guilt, talk of "nipple confusion" and stress of not being able to keep pace with baby's appetite (and the looming opinions of my worried, stressed out husband) led me to a night of exhausted delirium where I finally just beared down over my screaming baby, straddled over her, my engorged, chewed up breasts dangling over her face like sickly udders, and just shoved the nipple into her mouth...to my surprise, she got such a perfect latch that the LACK of pain actually made me cry.

And...it hasn't worked since.

Now I'm back to painful feedings, Lansinoh'd grease nipples, and hiding from the world so that I can stay bra-less and frumpy at home until we get the hang of this. Im determined to not give my baby formula, even though I came sooooo close to it on sickly udder night.

I'm so grateful to have found this forum, because being a woman who respects nature, being able to breastfeed my baby is an absolute necessity for me and my motherhood experience. There have been moments where I actually imagined throwing my baby across the room after gettIng that initial jolt of terrifying pain, angrily hearing the "it doesn't hurt if you're doing it right" record spinning repeatedly in my head. Now I don't feel like such a failure. Good luck and strength vibes to all women goin through this rough time...my nipples and I feel for you! I truly hope this subsides sooner than later!
post #35 of 43
I'm sorry, I disagree. Pain is normal...nipple trauma and excruciating pain is not.

I nursed DS1 for 4 years. It hurt for 6 months...I saw every specialist imaginable and everything wad "ok" - I called him a "little shark"

I nursed DS2 for 6 months (milk dried up) - he had a weak suck and it didn't hurt at all

I'm still nursing DD1 (7 months) but the first 7 weeks I had passion so bad I had to scream in a pillow when I latched her, she, too, wad checked for everything and all was "fine" luckily she kept losing more and more weight so it forced me to continue looking into options. I looked up posterior tongue ties and we had every single symptom. We clipped it at 7 weeks and within a free days my nipples were no longer cracked and bleeding, however, they were still flat, we got out clipped a seconds time by world expert Dr Kotlow (had to travel out of state) when she was 5 months (turned out the first doctor didn't get it all) and that gave us as much improvement in 5 days as we had had in 5 months...not kidding! Since we didn't get this taken care of early we are still working through done things, but, nursing is so much better and more enjoyable...and my nipples look normal. I've gone out of my way to learn about this topic, I can see now that my his are tongue and lip tied add well...perfectly explains both the severe pain and the weak suck.

I get so sad now when moms nurse in pain..it doesn't have to be that way...not to mention there are so many other lasting effects of untreated tongue tie, that it trekker needs to beer taken care of, in opinion.

i'm so glad I didn't take no for an answer this time. Its changed my life, my baby's life, and my while entire family's life....and hopefully others as well.

If you think something is wrong follow your gut. My only regret this time is that I didn't go straight to Dr Kotlow from the first instant I thought it *might* be a tongue tie.

Good luck with whatever you do mama!
post #36 of 43
Adding that coconut or olive oil worked best on my sore nipples..everything else caused more pain
post #37 of 43
I agree that posterior tongue tie is VERY underdiagnosed. You might ask in your tribal area for a knowledgeable ENT, dentist or ped that is willing to be aggressive enough with a posterior tongue tie and get their opinion on it. Find an IBCLC who is familiar with the Hazelbaker Tongue Tie Assessment and have the baby evaluated. Posterior tongue ties can be tricky to find.
post #38 of 43
Thread Starter 

The OP here checking in.

 

I have to say that the pain didn't subside for us for months. And now, my DS is a little over a year old. I don't think I would ever call our nursing relationship super-comfortable, though it doesn't actually HURT anymore.

 

We went to LCs and had the latch checked, I took him to a chiropractor, I took him for Craniosacral therapy, I got him checked for tongue-tie. None of it really helped with the nursing. It was simply time. Time time time. 

 

It took months for us to get to a point where I wasn't in pain anymore with every feeding. I think I just might have very sensitive nipples, and maybe they needed to adjust to DS. But I will say that it does get better. And we are still nursing, and I'm glad I stuck with it. He is in daycare and has never once had an ear infection, and I think BFing had a lot to do with that.

 

You might call me crazy, but honestly, I think a lot of this has to do with DS's personality too. I know, that sounds nuts. But, everything he does, he does 110% or not at all. My dad says he is a toggle switch, not a dimmer switch. He eats food with gusto until he's not hungry, then he screams and throws everything on the floor. He giggles and coos and flirts until suddenly he's tired and he starts wailing. There is very little grey area with him. He does not ease into things. I think nursing is the same way. When he nurses he nurses with all his might, and he does not give a thought to how rough or how 'hard' he's nursing. In that moment he wants milk and boy oh boy will he GET IT. :)

 

I really feel for the moms out there dealing with pain. I will say that going to chiropractors and IBLCs wasn't ultimately a silver bullet, but it was really important to me that I feel like I was doing something, anything, to find an end to the pain, and that going through the list of what-might-alleviate-this was good for me, psychologically. And who knows, one of those things might actually BE a silver bullet for a mama out there, so don't give up. Exhaust all your avenues for relief. And you might find that in the course of doing so, you either solve the problem, or the problem resolves itself over the time it took for you to seek out an answer.

post #39 of 43

BF hurt so much at first, I remember pouring sweat and my body shaking uncontrollably because of the pain. Every one said DD's latch was good, there were no problems that anyone could see. I was so unprepared for it, I don't know why but I just never thought bf would be a problem. I think part of what got us off on the wrong foot was that the night after she was born I fell asleep with her at my breast and she sucked without latching correctly for a few hours. After that it was just imposable to heal with her nursing again every 2 hours or more.  What helped a lot was that I began to pump gently and feed her with a supplemental feeder while she sucked on my finger. I would pump for 2 feedings and bf for one. That gave my nipples time to heal but still toughen up at the same time. After a week of that it was much, much better and I went back to bf with every feeding. It did stay uncomfortable for about a month and a half, though. Now she has been bf for 15 months and I am so glad I stuck with it. I do hate how people who didn't have a problem don't understand how much it can hurt. If you think about what your poor nipples are going through, I think it really makes sense that it can be so painful. I wish people would be more open/realistic about it, because I had no idea it would hurt.

post #40 of 43

I had toe-curling white-hot pain shoot through me for the first few weeks during let-down.  I also had an AWESOME nurse who noticed me clench, grit my teeth and curl my feet when I latched Little Miss, checked my latch, determined it to be good, and then told me the pain during let-down was normal and would go away with time.  And it did.  And it was so awesome that she was just so nonchalant about how miserable nursing was for me at first, because I was determined to nurse, and I'm odd that way - if I'd had some soft-hearted nurse that was determined to "solve" my pain, it would have been a big deterrent for me.  But my nurse just nodded and told me to suck it up.  And we are still nursing around the clock, and still happy with it.  Although she is the rudest nurser ever.  I second the motion that we give honest details about nursing.  For some people, it hurts.  Some women are willing to have that pain to nurse, provided we know it's normal, and will subside some.

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