does breastfeeding set off nerve ends in other parts of your body? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 04-06-2005, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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hi there experienced momas!

i'm new on the message boards here. i'm hoping that someone can relate to this experience and tell me i'm ok.

my dd will be two next week. we still breastfeed alot day and night. what i find troublesome are the nerve endings in and around my vulva that feel like they are burning out when we breastfeed in bed at night. painful! like a dry fizz. painful and numbing at the same time. last night it was so bad i could hardly walk to use the toilet. this situation happens mostly at night in bed or i feel it most when all other stimulus is turned off.

i feel shy about talking about this, like i'm making it up. i worry that its all in my head. i am a sexual abuse survivor, which makes this more complicated for me.

thank you for any advise or suggestions,
ma-t
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#2 of 17 Old 04-06-2005, 08:35 PM
 
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Well, to answer your question, yes, breastfeeding sets off nevre ends in other parts of my body, but I have never experienced anything painful.
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#3 of 17 Old 04-07-2005, 09:09 AM
 
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hi. i'm also nursing a 2 yr. old (and a 3 mo. old). when the 2 y.o. nurses, i sometimes get sensations in the vulvar region. not painful, but sometimes uncomfortably sexual. i hate it!!!!! but don't want to wean her abruptly. it started when i lost my milk when i became pregnant. you're right, it's worse at night. i just try to ignore it. (which is very hard to do- it makes my skin crawl!) i'm sorry to hear it's painful for you. by the way, i'm a sexual abuse survivor also, i often wonder if that has anything to do with it?
take care!

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#4 of 17 Old 04-07-2005, 02:51 PM
 
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BF tends to make me feel like I have to pee at night, its a strong urge right after let-down. I figure its a parasympathetic nervous system thing.
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#5 of 17 Old 04-09-2005, 05:37 PM
 
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Sometimes I get a little bit aroused by breastfeeding. : It is kind of a gross feeling. But, it's not painful like what you're feeling. It's my understanding that it's not uncommon to feel somewhat aroused during breastfeeding (because of the hormones released, I assume), so maybe that's what happening with you, but the psychological aspect of you being a survivor may be turning it in to pain?

Don't know if this helps or not. Maybe you should mention it to your doc next time you see her/him to get some reassurance.
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#6 of 17 Old 04-09-2005, 07:12 PM
 
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I haven't had any painful sensations like you describe, but I do think it is probably both hormonal and psychological. I know from bouts of severe nipple soreness that in the dark, pain feels much worse. Can you perhaps turn on some soft music to focus on so that your mind doesn't amplify the unpleasant sensations? Distraction can really help take the edge off pain and make the feeling less acute.
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#7 of 17 Old 04-09-2005, 09:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarahsolazy
BF tends to make me feel like I have to pee at night, its a strong urge right after let-down. I figure its a parasympathetic nervous system thing.
Me too! I thought I was the only one. It makes me need to pee worse than washing dishes does.
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#8 of 17 Old 04-10-2005, 03:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Sometimes I get a little bit aroused by breastfeeding. It is kind of a gross feeling. But, it's not painful like what you're feeling. It's my understanding that it's not uncommon to feel somewhat aroused during breastfeeding (because of the hormones released, I assume), so maybe that's what happening with you, but the psychological aspect of you being a survivor may be turning it in to pain?
I had the same experience as Kristi, the first few months of bf. I agree that you psychologically may be turning it into pain. I'd mention it to your dr. also, including the sexual abuse aspect. Would soft music and maybe some pleasant floral scents in the room help? Maybe if you can concentrate on some of your other senses being aroused, the pain may subside. Hugs to you.
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#9 of 17 Old 04-11-2005, 01:22 AM
 
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I found out about this site from a friend and she recommended I specifically check out this thread. I posted a similar problem on another board and felt like a pervert.
I am 4 months pregnant and BFing my 2.5 year old son. Since about 4 weeks pregnant, I have had the same sort of feelings. At first I called them sexual (which really had people thinking I was creepy) now I just say that I feel overstimulated, like after spending all day with your toddler and your husband starts stroking your arm like he wants to have sex. Just like "uggg... it gives me the heeby jeebies."
I've tried to explain to my friends that the nerves in my vulva area feel weird when I'm excited, scared, nervous, uncomfortable, or have to pee. They all look at me like I'm crazy again.
I have never been sexually abused, but I really started thinking about it a lot, after I talked this over with my friends and no one could relate. I started thinking maybe I'm a deviant or something.
I don't know if anyone has given it all this much thought. I've now had 3 months of very very uncomfortable bfing to contemplate it.
SInce this has been going on, I have been a lot less forthcoming with the milk. I encouraged my son to night wean and I don't ever offer him milk anymore. If he asks, I will usually try to distract him, but I will give in if he is persistent.
It makes me feel terrible, 4 months ago I was all about Child led weaning, but every time he latches on I want to climb the walls, I'm so uncomfortable.
I type pretty fast -- almost as fast as I talk, so I should stop blabbering and sign off. Just wanted to express my appreciation for all of your experiences!
Heather
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#10 of 17 Old 04-11-2005, 12:09 PM
 
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I had this problem toward the end of out nursing relationship when I would be dry. First thing in the am was ok because there was milk there, but at night the night before..... I think it happens when they are suckling at empty or dry breasts. I feel it in my belly button and my vulva, a sharp kind of feeling that makes me feel like I have an internal almost painful itch. It's NOT pleasant at all. I get the same feeling in my vulva if I stick my finger in my bellybutton too far or too firmly. I really think it's a nerve ending thing.


-Heather

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#11 of 17 Old 02-27-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
I had this problem toward the end of out nursing relationship when I would be dry. First thing in the am was ok because there was milk there, but at night the night before..... I think it happens when they are suckling at empty or dry breasts. I feel it in my belly button and my vulva, a sharp kind of feeling that makes me feel like I have an internal almost painful itch. It's NOT pleasant at all. I get the same feeling in my vulva if I stick my finger in my bellybutton too far or too firmly. I really think it's a nerve ending thing.


-Heather
I know this is an ancient thread but I'm having a very tough time with this and wanted to ressurect it and see if anyone has further insight or some kind of solution.

I'm a new mom (3wks) and after the first week of BF which was excrutiatingly painful, I am now "pain" free but am having this wildly uncomfortable nerve jangling feeling whenever my baby is latched on - overstimulation of my nipples. Every single suck from the baby tweaks this weird nerve which seems to go deep in my bellybutton (baby kicking me there while nursing doesn't help!) and in my vaginal/clitoral/perineum area. At times I can even feel it behind my eyeballs when it gets bad. The feeling is tortuous, akin to being tickled all day long until you are screaming for mercy. And my babe is nursing 12 - 14 x /day, sometimes hanging out there tweaking on me for 45 minutes straight. It puts me in an awful awful mood and I feel so guilty not being happy for my baby.

My nipples have always been a very erogenous zone for me during sex and during intercourse this type of stimulation leads to orgasm. During BF it leads to frustrating tension and emotional overload.

The persistence of this nerve tweaking gets so frustrating that I have thrown things across the room and punched or pinched myself in the leg during nursing to distract myself, leaving a bruise mark. Part of it is probably new mom lack of sleep and general frustrations over how my life is changing at the moment. If I didn't have other stressors maybe I could deal with this physical problem better?

Anyway, would appreciate some fresh ideas if anyone's got any. I've had a hard time finding help on this rather taboo issue as so many people flat out deny having any conflicting feelings involving their sex organs when it comes to birth and BF.

TIA
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#12 of 17 Old 02-27-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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I'm going to cross-post my above post in Breastfeeding Challenges since I'm BFing an infant and may not get responses here. Hope that's okay, I am new to these forums and found this old thread on a Google search for my problem.
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#13 of 17 Old 02-27-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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oh sweetie, i couldn't read and not respond. hugs, mama!!! i've never had the bad feeling nursing a newborn, only my older children. is the baby's latch ok? i agree with you that maybe it's also sleep deprivation. is the baby sleeping with you? that way, you don't have to get up many times in the night, just roll over and nurse, then roll back over and go to sleep. i feel so bad for you, i hope someone comes on and can give some advice. oh, i heard once that being dehydrated gives the icky feelings, as does lack of vitamin B12. try the hydration thing first, then the B12. Good luck! also, you've only been nursing for 3 weeks. maybe it'll get better as time goes on. i know that most bfing problems my frends and i have had have resolved themselves within the first 6 weeks.

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#14 of 17 Old 02-28-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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I was just emailed this post because I posted originally on the topic almost three years ago!
Ironically, I was just talking to someone about this yesterday who had the same experience.
I hope that it helps that you are not alone. It was a creepy, eerie, and very lonely experience when I had these feelings. I think for me it was a matter of losing my milk during my pregnancy, but my 2yo was still a very active breastfeeder.
Luckily, but the time my DD was born, he had self -weaned and I have not had any problems since (a little twingy here and there, but nothing like before).
I think what someone else posted today about B12 and hydration are really good points. Maybe baby's suck is really good but he's not getting enough milk with each suck, so it is affecting the surrounding nerves. This is all just guesswork, but hydrating yourself should help your milk supply and maybe that will do it.
If your nipples were already really sensitive, hmmm... somewhere I read that you should feel really lucky if this happens. I don't think so. It's just not a great feeling to have your nipples stimulated by your baby. My daughter is a 'twiddler' and that's about the only thing that creeps me out. That's easy to solve with my hand clamped firmly over my unused breast.
Have you talked to a lactation consultant? I'm sure a very experienced one has heard of this before and might be able to help figure it out with you. Other than that, let's hope that it's a hormonal thing and will even itself out over the next few weeks as your body rebalances itself.
Hang in there -- I found the best strategy was to be busy while my son was nursing -- reading, talking on the phone, watching tv, or listening to music. Sometimes those things would distract me enough to take care of nursing without pulling my hair out.
Good luck! I wish I could be of more help.
Heather
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#15 of 17 Old 02-28-2008, 03:01 AM
 
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I just reread your post and realized that you are a new mommy. Congratulations! Breastfeeding your baby is the best thing you can be doing for both of you. You are doing more for your child than most other women in this country. So, please stick with it.
The more I think about it, the more I think maybe there's something hormonal going on. If you can eke out this post partum part, I'm guessing it will go away.
In the meantime, I wanted to remind you to empty your bladder when at all possible before nursing. This might help a little. Maybe a meditation or hypnosis cd might help (esp at night), once you've got baby latched on, you can pop in a cd to meditate to, and try falling back to sleep.
New moms (well, moms in general) tend to get overtouched, esp when breastfeeding -- I think this can set this nerve response off as well.
I know when I have my 5 yo and my 2 yo in bed with me, and my 2 yo is nursing, my 5 yo can't get anywhere near me, or the same horrible insects crawling all over me, get me the hell out of here creepy thing happens again.
So, I guess I'm just adding, try to relax, don't get overtouched. When the baby is done nursing, unlatch him (esp if he is gaining a healthy amount of weight, you don't want to compromise your breastfeeding relationship by letting him hang out there just grazing if it makes you uncomfortable).
And, again, you are doing such a great thing for your baby.
Heathr
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#16 of 17 Old 02-28-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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Thanks Keri and Heather,

That is helpful advice and kind words. I'm so glad I'm not the only one out there with that weird nerve sensitivity. Insects crawling on your skin is another good way to describe it. It does seem to help to stay busy, with the laptop or some kind of project... or after getting zero nap time or sleep time in yesterday, sheer exhaustion has allowed me to pass out with baby on boob this morning.

I have had some stress incontinence since the delivery and it is a similar creepy, stressed out, tweaky feeling when I'm afraid I'm going to leak, but feel like there's no muscle control - I am really hoping all of these symptoms will lessen over the next few weeks. I am drinking water like crazy now (maybe I was drinking less because I was afraid to pee my pants!) and getting some extra supplements from my doctor - the calcium, the B12 and extra omega3's in addition to my prenatal.

Thanks again! I was just bawling my eyes out writing that post yesterday. I really appreciate the help.
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#17 of 17 Old 02-28-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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you know what i use to do? i'd get a really good book, or movie, puzzle , whatever, and allow myself to do it only while nursing. as soon as baby popped off, i stopped reading (or whatever). it was awesome, b/c it made me want to nurse just a couple mnutes longer than i would have!!!
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