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zebaby 01-07-2007 11:56 PM

I've been bf'ing for 5 weeks now. Since day one it's been uncomfortable: . I wouldn't say that I was crying out in pain, just wasn't a great feeling. I saw a LC at the hospital so she could check out his latch and positioning. She thought his latch was good . She taught me a couple of different positions (I alternate between 3 on a regular basis now).

I don't see a difference in his latch but the more I bf the more sore my nipples get . DH tries to caress them and I just flinch in pain (not good for our physical relationship! )! I've tried using some lanolin but I don't really see it helping (though I haven't been using it religiously). I've also checked to make sure his lips are "fished out" and not curled in. They seem fine.

DS does like to linger though. He normally nurses for no less than 20 minutes but usually more like 30-45 minutes . I don't change breasts, he just nurses on one per sitting unless I'm in major pain and have to switch or unless he stops sucking, I unlatch him, then he begins to root again.

I really do want to continue but it is getting challenging (I fully intended to nurse for a minimum of 1 year! Hopefully I can do it.: ) Could it be that I just have sensitive nipples? Does everyone have painless nursing if everything is done right or do some women always feel a little discomfort no matter what? If so, is there anything I can do to make it more comfortable?

Any help would be appreciated!
Kathy: : :

_betsy_ 01-08-2007 02:50 AM

I think painless nursing is a serious myth, especially for first timers in the first 6 weeks.

Magically, around 6 and a half weeks, everything seemed to get easier for me/us. I don't know if it was baby maturing or my body or hormones or what. But it really did get better at 6 weeks, just like everyone said it would.

I'm a first time mom with a 16-week-old baby, so I don't have a ton of experience, but it does get better, and it does get easier.

Are you using Lanolin? It helped me feel better, I think.

emnjjsmom 01-08-2007 11:29 AM

FIrst off, I want to put in that Flower of Essence cream worked a MILLION times better than lanolin to me. I can't tell you where to get it though because my LC gave it to me.

My first daughter, I was blistered and had painful nipples for about a week, then it started to get better.

With my second daughter though, I had blistered bleeding nipples for 3 weeks and just generally "sore" nipples for another 3 weeks. After that her latch matured a little bit and I started healing up nicely. Even now though, at 12 months old, she changes her latch once in a while because of teething or being sick and then I hurt all over again!!

I was also told that if you're a redhead it makes it worse...but I'm guessing that's just a myth.

So I would recomend flower of essence cream and just hang in there!! I promise, it does get better!

Catherine12 01-08-2007 12:48 PM

I remember having a similar experience with dd. If you're like me the pain will end soon! Also, it was much, much easier the second time around - I only had a week or two of mild discomfort (instead of two weeks of pain and 6 weeks of mild discomfort). Now it is actually funny for me to remember how difficult it was at first, I am so comfortable now.

SabbathD 01-08-2007 01:50 PM

I hate to be the oddball here, but I am nursing a 6 month old and pain is sort of a relative term around here. I think that some women will always have discomfort when nursing. I think that it's tragic that some women are told that nursing shouldn't hurt or you are doing something wrong. Everyone is different, and it's not always about you doing something wrong. At 5 weeks I was still crying through most feedings. I had SEVERE cracking and bleeding and we tried everything to remedy it. I still have some sensitivity. But, I would say, that if you are just uncomfortable at 5 weeks, you are doing wonderfully and it's all COMPLETELY normal. I assure you, in a few more weeks, nursing will seem totally different. Your supply will level completely, a lot of the tenderness with be gone. You will have gotten through a few growth spurts and baby will be a bit bigger, making it easier to nurse. I wouldn't fret, you're doing great!!

saraann 01-08-2007 01:54 PM

I think it just depends. I think some women's nipples are just more sensitive then others. I think that I might be in the minority, I had no pain whatsoever nursing, not even the first time.
I worked in a prenatal clinic while I was pregnant and most (not all) of the women I spoke to who were nursing had pain in the begining, this is also true for most people I know who have nursed.

peekaboom 01-08-2007 02:10 PM

and while it has gotten WAY better than it was in the first few months i still have major issues with one side bc of a tear froma bad latch at the beginning. other side, completely fine. anyway, get your md to prescribe dr jack newman's all purpose nipple cream. i use it STILL, only on the bad side and it works wonders. if i go without it i suffer. do'nt need it on the other side . the crack just never totally healed on the one side and the crevice is so deep that my milk just shoots from there. when dd nurses i'm sure she's like " whohoooo...the good side!" lol. it just gushes from that spot. you will get used to the sensitivity, ( i hardly notice it anymore and after a few seconds it's gone anyway, ) but at the beginning it took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes every time she nursed on that side. i stopped nursing her on that side for a week and just pumped it to give it a break to heal . that helped too. good luck.

treqi 01-08-2007 04:13 PM

i used a nipple shield for a day to give them a rest and at 6 weeks i don't think that will cause nipple confusion but my DD is milk crazy and doesn't care how she gets it

Amris 01-08-2007 04:29 PM

I think that might be the case. But I'm hoping not, because I really hope that one day I'll see nursing as bonding instead of as bondage. That's pretty much how it feels right now, try though I do try not to dread it, I can't help it.

tropicalmom 01-08-2007 04:37 PM

I did have extreme pain at the very beginning, despite a good latch and then lesser pain for the first couple of months. It did get better and I'm so glad I stuck with it.

zebaby 01-14-2007 01:27 AM

Thanks for all the hugs ladies! Though I believe I have more sensitive nipples than most, I will stick with it and I think it will get better.

You will have gotten through a few growth spurts and baby will be a bit bigger, making it easier to nurse.

Why is it easier to nurse a bigger baby?

Also, what does that nipple cream do anyway? I've read many other posts raving about it.

Amris 01-14-2007 01:53 AM

Originally Posted by zebaby View Post
Why is it easier to nurse a bigger baby?
Two reasons I can think off right off the bat:

1. Their latch improves with practice, just as your ability to know when to take him or her off improves with time, too. You both simply get better at it.

2. Their mouth gets bigger, so they are able to take in more areola (sp?), and the more areola the baby takes in, the less likely they are to rub their tongue on it painfully or to compress it improperly.

Linzie2 01-14-2007 02:41 AM

I had SEVERE pain in the beginning that wouldn't go away...we were confident the latch was good. Anyway, it turned out to be thrush....I didn't know the symptoms of it on myself, but ended up finding white patches in DD's mouth. For me, the symptoms were that my nipples were red (which I thought was normal) and the pain. After treatment, the pain decreased and just went away. It probably was a combo of no more thrush, DD getting bigger/better, and time. Good luck to you! You'll do great at keeping it up....thinking about the beginning now makes me seems so easy in hindsight!

eurobin 01-14-2007 01:28 PM

No one ever believes me, but I only had pain for the first two days (other than if she yanks away or something odd... or when she gets her claws on me!). It certainly wasn't skill because we had some latch issues at the beginning... I was just very lucky. So it can happen, but I hear it's more common for nursing to get easier and less painful around 6-8 weeks. Hang in there!

artemis80 01-14-2007 01:37 PM

I always experience a kind of pinchy sensation when ds nurses. It was much worse when he was a newborn, especially for the first several sucks of a feeding. I think that's normal.

moondiapers 01-14-2007 01:49 PM

I did both times. It was from chapping. My cheeks also get chapped easily in the wind so there ya go. My nipples got used to the extra moisture and quit hurting within 10-14 days. They did crack and bleed a little even with liberal use of lanolin. But the lanolin sure did make it feel better when I applied it.

gwynthfair 01-14-2007 05:29 PM

I have Raynaud's Phenomenon. So yeah, it hurts. A little sometimes, a lot other times.

Klynne 01-14-2007 05:51 PM

I'm nursing a 7m/o and my nipples still get a bit sore. Mostly because DD likes to have a certain tension, meaning she pulls as far away from my breast as she can while still being able to suck. If I move her closer she just pulls back again. She also thinks it's fun to pull off my nipple with out breaking the latch... Does any one else have this problem? It's the worst when I nurse while laying.
Having said that, I would rather BF with pain than fiddle around with bottles and warm water and having to deal with a child who gets "plugged".

VickyB 01-14-2007 06:06 PM

My nipples are extremely sensitive too!! My son was 5 weeks old yesterday. I have one side though that I know has a plugged duct. Ouch!! I need him to nurse, but he is sleeping now.
I also believe i just have sensitive nipples because they hurt like this with my dd as well. The pain did get better over time with her, and it is probably because she got bigger and had more of my areola. She was not a very good nurser though and she also liked to have tension as well, meaning she would pull far back and nurse.
My son also likes to detach himself before breaking the suction. Ouch, very painful. Sometimes I can tell when he is going to do it because he goes kind of slow. Other times, he just yanks right off. Probably doesnt help in the sensitivity part!!
With my dd I used lanolin, but I also kept nursing pads on all the time. This time I got the "permission" of my LC to not use pads, but just let myself leak when I am at home in a comfy shirt. I think this helps too, to let yourself air out when you are home. I only use pads now when I go out, and sometimes even then I wont, but I will still leak. I dont really care though now what people think.
Anyway, I have gotten off topic, but I am sure it will get better. It may not completly be painless, but it should subside.


LolaK 01-14-2007 06:20 PM

Hmm, I had zero pain nursing. : Most people I know did have a bit of pain or other problems though.

To the OP I just wanted you to know that nursing for 45 minutes each time can be totally normal. Just wanted to point that out because it sounds like you have read, or been given, info that would suggest otherwise! My daughter at times nursed for 45 -60 minutes on one side played for 30-60 minutes and then nursed for 45-60 minutes on the other side.

All babies are different, some go for 3 hours in between nursing sessions and some want to nurse constantly. Remember that if you follow your baby's cues and don't listen to "experts" who want to tell you everything you are doing wrong you will be just fine.

stacyann21 01-14-2007 07:23 PM

I think painless nursing is a serious myth, especially for first timers in the first 6 weeks.

I had pain for the first few weeks even with a good latch. It's better now but I still have sensitivity. Even if the latch is good, chances are your body is adjusting to being constantly stimulated and moist there. I can't imagine that not causing some discomfort.

LolaK 01-14-2007 07:54 PM

Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
I think painless nursing is a serious myth, especially for first timers in the first 6 weeks.
So I thought about this more and chatted with a friend and I realized that I know several moms who had no pain as first time nursers.

SO not a myth - just depends on your nipples and your baby's mouth I guess.

stacyann21 01-15-2007 01:24 AM

Lola: I think she meant it's a myth that BFing is painless for EVERYONE unless there is some underlying problem.

clavicula 01-15-2007 01:26 AM

i always had a bit painful letdown...but not big deal.

LolaK 01-15-2007 03:19 PM

Originally Posted by stacyann21 View Post
Lola: I think she meant it's a myth that BFing is painless for EVERYONE unless there is some underlying problem.
Oh, oops - that's not how I read it.

mom2katie 01-15-2007 03:26 PM

I still have a bit of pain, well more annoying irritation now at 13 months. I have learned to live with it.

quietserena 01-15-2007 07:23 PM

to those hurting

I never had pain nursing that didn't stem from DD chomping down on my nipple. I can't really feel letdown either, so I guess it's a double edged sword.

rebelbets 01-15-2007 11:24 PM

I absolutely hated breastfeeding in the beginning because of the pain. I remember nursing my son at 6 weeks and crying because it hurt, and I thought it would always hurt, and I wanted to quit. His latch was always decent, my nipples weren't cracked or bleeding or anything - it just hurt like a mutha.

I stuck with it, though, and it did get better. I think him getting bigger is what helped. Like another poster said, as his mouth grew, he was able to take more areola into his mouth, and the pain lessened. It took about eight weeks before I felt really confident and pain-free as far as nursing goes.

It was very frustrating. I felt like I was the only woman in the world to experience pain for so long. FWIW, I'm very fair-skinned. No idea if that means anything, but I've heard women with fair skin and lightly colored nipples tend to experience more pain while breastfeeding. Probably an old wives tale, but who knows.

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