How to get through painful breastfeeding? - Mothering Forums

How to get through painful breastfeeding?

Yin Yang's Avatar Yin Yang (TS)
08:45 PM Liked: 10
#1 of 15
08-30-2003 | Posts: 2,936
Joined: Jul 2003
My little Sebastian is now almost 7 days old, we had an amazing homebirth and he is so beautiful.........but the breastfeeding!! It's pure hell!!! How long does it take to get throught the rough beginnings? My nipples are bleeding, and when he breasfeeds it's like millions of needles in my WHOLE body.....I can even feel it in my gums!! Very rarely it is almost painless, but most the time, it's pure hell! I am crying the whole time of breastfeeding. I am so scare now everytime it's time for feeding! I will NOT give up, but need some support.........
lilirose's Avatar lilirose
09:09 PM Liked: 0
#2 of 15
08-30-2003 | Posts: 404
Joined: Feb 2003
If you are in THAT much pain, then something is not right and you need to get some outside help. A little tenderness at first is normal but bleeding and severe pain are not! If you have occasions when it doesn't hurt like you described, I would suspect that you son is having a little trouble with latching correctly, but it's impossible to diagnose something like that over the Net, of course.

You should contact a lactation consultant (your midwife might be able to recommend one). Also you might want to find your local La Leche League- they can be a huge support. You can llok up your local group on line here .

Don't suffer- get help!
emmaline's Avatar emmaline
09:46 PM Liked: 5
#3 of 15
08-30-2003 | Posts: 1,914
Joined: Dec 2001
ITA with lilirose - get help right now, LLL or an LC, some skin tenderness might be OK but not heaps of pain and bleeding, never OK, and you will not get thru it without finding out why it' s happening and fixing the problem
goodcents's Avatar goodcents
10:12 PM Liked: 5
#4 of 15
08-30-2003 | Posts: 3,373
Joined: Dec 2002
I too had extreme pain when I first began to breastfeed. Everyone said "Breastfeeding does'nt or should'nt hurt." so I thought I was doing something wrong.

In truth it does take some women's nipples to adjust. As it did mine. I say for the first 2 weeks or so it was really hard. When my daughter first latched on I would have to count down back from 10 to get through the pain. I would clench my teeth and just breath.

Once I got over the initial latch, and her creating the suction, the pain would subside and she would feed. I would be slightly uncomfortable while she fed, but it was really that first minute of latching that was the toughest. I also had a blood blister on the second day after her birth that lasted 3 or 4 days, making the feeeding/latching extra tough.

With that said, if you are experiencing pain throughout the duration of the feeding you should make sure that your baby is latching correctly. If such is the case, as lilirose said, it may be time to call in the lactation consultant.

Don't give up - I really felt like throwing in the towel there on a couple of occasions. I am so glad I didnt. The bonding experience, the lovely look in baby's eyes, and the best mama milk for her made it worth all the pain in the tears in the beginning. Good luck and keep going!

**edited to add Have you tried using lasinoh on your nipples., maybe you are bleeding because your nipples are chapped. this helped me. also apply before you go in the shower - the hot/cold water can make the chapping worse!
Willow Tree's Avatar Willow Tree
11:44 PM Liked: 0
#5 of 15
08-30-2003 | Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2001
Pavlina, I am so sorry your going through this!

It sounds like his latch is not correct. Make sure his mouth is wide open and he's taking in as much nipple as possible, also make sure his lips are not tucked in. If it is painful make sure you break suction with your finger and then tease him a bit with the breast and get him to open WIDE!. Also make sure you are tummy to tummy with him and he doesnt have to turn his head to nurse!
Picking up a copy of the womanly art of breastfeeding is worth its weight in gold, because it will help you self diagnose and fix many issues yourself!
For pain you can definatly use the lanishoh and they also make these gel packs that are very soothing! I have seen both products at walmart, target and kmart!
Just remeber what a strong mama you are and that with a few corrections you can end the pain fast!!!
Many blessings,
MaggiesMom's Avatar MaggiesMom
11:59 PM Liked: 0
#6 of 15
08-30-2003 | Posts: 1,100
Joined: May 2003
First of all, I agree with everyone who says to see a LC and get in touch with a LLL leader.

That said, I was in tremendous pain for the first two weeks even when DD was positioned/latched correctly. I told my husband it hurt worse than giving birth (yes, unmedicated.) I don't think he believed me, but it really did hurt that much.

The good news is that for me, it stopped after about two weeks. DD was NOT positioned right the first couple times she nursed, and that caused blood blisters and cracked nipples. That is probably why it hurt so badly once I got her latched right.

Latch is SO important. It might not even be anything you personally have control over- the baby may possibly have tongue-tie or something else that can be corrected.

I personally think it is vital that you get help so you can continue to breastfeed, and until you can see someone, go here for some really good info on positioning.

Breastfeeding, for me, was so much harder than I thought it was going to be. Maggie is now 4 months old and I wouldn't give up even a second of it, even the most painful ones. You can do it!

Edited to add
Quirky's Avatar Quirky
12:26 AM Liked: 27
#7 of 15
08-31-2003 | Posts: 11,770
Joined: Jun 2002
Ditto the above! Go to and look in the lefthand column for a link to a registry of board certified lactation consultants. Really, it's so worth it to get professional help!

Hang in there, with help and time it will get better.
Yin Yang's Avatar Yin Yang (TS)
10:44 AM Liked: 10
#8 of 15
08-31-2003 | Posts: 2,936
Joined: Jul 2003
Thank you all for your help and support. I did call LLL consultant yesterday, but she only gave me an advice over the phone,which I found useless, since I need someone to take a look at me while I am breasfeeding.
Today is better - but I've said that many times before and next time it was hurting again.
I print out all the info you suggested and will study it and I am sure it will get better.
I am using wonderfull cream for my nipples,plus homeopathics for sore nipples, and it is helping. I notised I am having much more pain in my right breast for some reason. Left breast is pretty much fine now. That pain is almost unrelated to nipples though! Everytime he makes a suctiong is hurts inside of my breast and shoots into my needles. Could it be pinched nerve or something I wonder? I have problems with my neck on my right side....
Anyways, thanks again, hope things will go better from now on.....

Island Mommy's Avatar Island Mommy
02:07 PM Liked: 11
#9 of 15
08-31-2003 | Posts: 531
Joined: Mar 2003
Just wanted to chime in and say my first 2 weeks of breastfeeding were H***. My milk didn't come in for 6 days and dd sucked like the dickens. The result was bleeding and scabs on both nipples.

In order to get dd to open her mouth, my dh would gently hold down her chin while she was latching. When I couldn't stand the pain anymore, dh would let her suck his finger.

You can rub breastmilk on your nipples. This helps the healing process.

Eventually, the scabs healed and the pain subsided. It took awhile and I seriously wanted to throw in the towel, but we made it and now I shake my head as I watch dd open her mouth as wide as she can, grab my breast in both hands and suck out all the milk in 5 minutes!
Jish's Avatar Jish
03:25 PM Liked: 11
#10 of 15
08-31-2003 | Posts: 5,233
Joined: Dec 2001
Find a certified lactation consultant who can take a look at your latch, check you both for thrush, and in general get you a fresh start so to speak. It shouldn't hurt that much. Many hospitals offer breastfeeding support groups, delivering there isn't a requirement, and the LC there should be able to give you a once over.

In the meantime, I am going to move this to the breastfeeding forum. There are some LLL leaders there and very knowledgable moms who will be able to give you more wonderful advice.
Momtwice's Avatar Momtwice
04:08 PM Liked: 33
#11 of 15
08-31-2003 | Posts: 10,142
Joined: Nov 2001
did call LLL consultant yesterday, but she only gave me an advice over the phone,which I found useless
A Leche League leader is not the same thing as a lactation consultant. A lactation consultant will see you in person. While they may do home visits, you might have to go to an office. The initials IBCLC mean the most training. It may be covered by insurance or you may have to pay a fee.

If the leader did not help you, you can call back and be persisitent. You can try a different leader, maybe one in another town. (Some LLL leaders do home visits, some do not.) You can call and say "I appreciate your time, but can you help me find someone to help me whom I can see in PERSON?????"

ITA you need to have your latch evaluated IN PERSON!!!

Good luck!
Quirky's Avatar Quirky
06:54 PM Liked: 27
#12 of 15
08-31-2003 | Posts: 11,770
Joined: Jun 2002
OK, here's where your dh gets to earn his keep. Have him go to this website: and start calling to find out which of these lactation consultants is in your area, who's in town, and who will make house calls, and what their rates are. You need to get an LC over to see you ASAP (and if you have to leave the house to get to one then go, just do it!).

I'm also wondering whether you have yeast in your breast. Especially if your skin has been broken or traumatized, the serum that is secreted by your body turns the yeast that live on your body normally into the nasty colonizing kind. If you had antibiotics during your labor that would make you even more prone to yeast, but it can happen even without antibiotics. The shooting pains you describe when he nurses sound exactly like yeast to me.

I would start by not using the Lansinoh. If your skin is broken, it provides a moist environment that promotes yeast growth. Use olive oil intead; you will get the same moisturizing effect but olive oil works to kill yeast.

Here are some more yeast resources. Even if you don't get any prescription meds or go to the gentian violet right away, you can take steps to combat yeast that won't hurt if you don't have it (i.e. take probiotics, cut down or eliminate sugars/refined carbs in your diet, use vinegar rinses on your nipples, etc.)

famousmockngbrd's Avatar famousmockngbrd
12:31 AM Liked: 13
#13 of 15
09-01-2003 | Posts: 6,671
Joined: Feb 2003
If you feel pain inside your breast, you may have a blocked duct. I had these often. It can feel like a tingling ache or it can be a bolt of lightning. : Can you feel a lump or thickness where the pain is? Try putting a warm compress over the sore area, then massage it when it's warm. Massage it in the shower, too, and when your baby is nursing, rub in long, slow strokes over the sore area towards the nipple. Also, if possible try to position your baby so that his nose is pointing toward the sore spot. This will all help break up the clog. Have you tried nipple shields? These allow the nipple to heal while your baby can still latch on to your breast and hopefully you will both get better at nursing. Sometimes nipple shields can make a bad latch worse, though, so use with caution.

Good luck, and hang in there - I didn't, and I can tell you that I wish I had. I started pumping exclusively and after 4 months I quit and went to formula. I really wish I hadn't.

Also, I want to second all the people who said to find a good lactaion consultant.
MysticHealerMom's Avatar MysticHealerMom
02:17 AM Liked: 5
#14 of 15
09-01-2003 | Posts: 1,994
Joined: Oct 2002
one thing that helped me was to make sure the baby had his tongue over his bottom gums while sucking. when he pulled his tongue into his mouth he was able to bite the nipple and that hurt like hell. one way to tell how he's sucking or thrusting is to have him suck on your finger and see if he has his tongue in the right place. chances are if he's doing it right with your finger, he's doing it right with your breast. when he was doing it wrong with my finger, i moved my finger around in his mouth until he put his tongue in the right place.

also, do use your finger to spread breastmilk around your nipple after the baby is done and let your breast air dry after feeding.

best wishes.
Mahaylea's Avatar Mahaylea
12:33 AM Liked: 0
#15 of 15
09-03-2003 | Posts: 32
Joined: May 2003
Ouch you poor thing..It sounds like you may not have him latched properly..It is really important to make sure his mouth is open wide and you get as much of your aeola in as he can fit..Initially alot of women do get a little sore until the breast adjust, I remember feeding Charna (My first b/fed child) and it was all about OUCH until we worked it out...And be in a comfy postion too..Also I had one side where the latch must have been different to the other and that used to hurt occassionally so I would have to relatch......The other thing, is your breast tender to touch, or do you have any lumps..I have had blocked ducts, OUCH and mastitus OUCH and they felt like needles or stabbing pains through my breast..I made sure I massaged my breast every time I was in the shower, I gently did it and worked any lumps out so I never had it this time..Well a little blocked duct which nearly went bad..

Good luck and hang in there, I hope you get the hang of it soon..
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