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What does "normal" breastfeeding feel like?

15954 Views 13 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  LoveMyLil'B
DS is 4 weeks old, and we havehad a rough time with breastfeeding, starting with bleeding and cracked nipples form an incorrect latch, then thrush. We are just now getting on track, but still trying to get a "proper" latch most of the time.

He clicks most of the time, which I know is supposed to mean a bad latch... but sometimes it feels like a darn good latch despite the clicking, so I don't want to relatch.

Most of the time, I feel a bruising sensation where his chin is... almost like it's bumping into my breast too deep. Is that normal? I also feel pain at first when he initially latches, but then it goes away in like 5 seconds and I feel no pain.

So what does normal sucking feel like? I know it should be pain free, but surealy it doesn't feel like nothing!
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IIRC, the clicking is his tongue on the roof of his mouth. It means he hasn't taken in enough of your breast. If it doesn't hurt you, I wouldn't relatch him, but next time try to get him to take a little more in. He might not be nursing as effectively as he could be and it could impact your supply.

No advice on the chin bumping thing, I have never experienced it.

I do think it's normal (especially in the first few months) to feel pain when they initially latch on, but it should go away fairly quickly and it sounds like yours does. It won't hurt at all after a while.

Hang in there, mama - you are doing a great job!
Have you had him checked for tongue tie? It can cause a super crappy latch but, it's very easy to get fixed. Our ND did it in her office at 6 weeks and his latch improved instantly!
After a while it doesn't really feel like anything... maybe pressure because your areola is being squeezed but you don't feel anything on the nipple. Unless they yank off and pull the nipple with them. (Ouch!) Honestly, I get more irritation from the baby scratching me with his nails (and reminding me I need to trim them) when he kneads the breast to make the milk come faster.
Then you get a release of hormones and it makes you sleepy.

The only advice I give is to get as much of the surrounding area in his mouth as you can, and when you de-latch (which you shouldn't unless he's been asleep for a long time!) to put your finger in the side to break the suction and then his mouth will just fall open (if he's truly asleep), rather than pulling him off and stretching the nipple. I know it sounds obvious, but I didn't know that with my first and soon had some serious trauma going on. Much easier with each child!
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My ds is also 4 weeks old, I'm so sorry you've had these problems!! Good for you for keeping it up, though, a lot of mamas in your shoes have given up.

If the clicking means he's not got enough nipple in his mouth, remember to hold your breast behind the areola when getting him to latch. When I took a bf class before my oldest was born, she kept saying that the babe should take in most if not all of the areola. Well, mine are very large, and that's just not possible, but I think I may be of a minority, because every LC I've seen has commented on that
I actually squeeze/compress the areola a bit to help get as much as possible in the mouth. Now, with this baby, I've been very lucky and the only time I ever felt latch pain was when my milk first came in and I got pretty engorged. But with ds's #1 and 2, I had sore, cracked nipples at the very beginning also. I kept lansinoh on them and let them air out a LOT.

Really, it's hard to give advice without watching you nurse, kwim? Have you seen an LC or a LLL leader? If so, I'd keep up with them

Other than that, bf now isn't uncomfortable at all. Just can feel the tissue compress when he sucks. It's actually pretty relaxing to me, but that's my experience.
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Originally Posted by BurgundyElephant
After a while it doesn't really feel like anything... maybe pressure because your areola is being squeezed but you don't feel anything on the nipple. Unless they yank off and pull the nipple with them. (Ouch!) Honestly, I get more irritation from the baby scratching me with his nails (and reminding me I need to trim them) when he kneads the breast to make the milk come faster.
Then you get a release of hormones and it makes you sleepy.

Isn't that the truth?! Add that with the kicking feet. LOL
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Hang in there mama

Nursing was HARD in the beginning- I got to the point where i understood how women give up. But it was important to me and I wasn't about to. Things i found that helped: a hair dryer (not warm compresses, 'cause they just get cold when youtake them off- i had 'raynauds' your nips tighten and the tips get white-ouch! but vit. B6 is supposed to help too), and the first and foremost thing that helped....not the usual advice that "breast feeding shouldn't hurt" but "it's going to hurt!" That made me stop waiting for a miracle feed and just deal with the pain one feeding at a time. Things got a little better by week 4, but the 6th week was magical!!

As for thrush, when i was in the BF'g clinic there was a mom with a 5 mo old who was STILL having problems....everyone i know with that problem regrets not attacking it aggressively right from the start- accidophillus and pro-biotics, no sugar or bread....there are other things that help-find them and use them!

Good luck mama, hang in there!
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i had a rough start too. i was bleeding and had blisters, ouch! my lactation specialist gave me nipple shield to use, which saved my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter. i hated using them, and wanted off as soon as possible, but i couldn't seem to get her on my nipples. at 4 weeks, the lactation sp. said "don't rush it! it will happen!!" and it did! at 6 weeks she and i just got the hang of it. the difference between 4 weeks and where i am now at 7 weeks is remarkable...i still have pain at the very beginning after latching, too, which is normal i am told. and sometimes it takes her ten or more tries to latch on right! hey, i don't care as long as she gets it eventually. i was really afraid before to delatch once she latched if it was uncomfortable because it took so long just to get that latch! BUT, it is worth delatching and retrying to get it comfortable and to save you nipple pain. my nipples are only sore from time to time and strangely enough feel sun burned.

anyway, keep really is a learning experience for both of you...i watched her learn right along with me! how wonderful!!!!!

good luck

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Once you get established, and all problems resolved, it doesn't feel like much
For the first few months you may feel twinges during let down. Sometimes it even resembles a sharp twitching pain like you described.
When your babe starts sucking and then the milk"comes in"
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Thanks everyone! I have been to a LLL meeting, and we had a lactation consultant come out. She showed us how to get a better latch, etc. Both the LLL leader and the Lactation Consultant checked his sucking and saw him have a good latch, so I know it's possible! Sometimes I do have completely pain free nursing, and I definately can tell when he's mostly sucking on the nipple as opposed to the areola.

It's just this strange tugging feeling that reminds me of bruising. Sometimes I just feel like my boobs have been through a boxing match, just sore, and usually in the areola/breast area facing his chin. It does seem to be getting better. Like the PP, I'm at 4 weeks now and it's bearable. Actually more than bearable. By 6 weeks hopefully it will be magical! I have glimpses of the magical moments, I can see that it's all worth it!
Good for you for sticking it out though. I am on my 4th and she is 3 1/2 weeks old now. The first two weeks were horrid. She was the first one that had any latching issues and if she had been my first, I may not have stuck it out. I had a nipple split pretty deep on the second day, a blocked duct, and a blister all on one side. It was sooo painful for two weeks. After everything healed and we "retrained" the latch on that side, she has been fine ever since. I say all this just to say, I'm glad you are seeking assistance and still going strong. As they get a little older, they really do figure it out and your body figures it out too.

What if nursing is tickly? Like it feels like the baby is licking the nipple? It's not painful, but irritating, almost itchy.
I think it depends on how sensitive your nipples are to begin with. I've barely felt anything this whole time. If I think about it, I can feel the tickling. Otherwise the only feeling I get is a brief "full" feeling of the breast dd is not latched onto.
Good for you for sticking with it! One thing I have noticed is that nipples can take a while to heal. They never get a break, so if you get injured from a bad latch or something, it can take a while to heal b/c they are in constant use. Try nursing in different positions too so that baby is not hitting the same sore spot over and over again. I'm fond of the football hold when I need a change. Even now if I'm really sleepy and not paying attention, DD will get a bad latch, and I don't notice until the next time I feed her on that side. Ouch!
And no, it doesn't feel like "nothing", it feels like someone is nursing, but it doesn't feel painful, just the same if baby was sucking on my finger or something.
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