Does it really not hurt?

(25 Posts)
MrsReiver Sat 02-Mar-13 16:46:31

DS is 8 days old, and exclusively breastfed. All the signs are that he's feeding really well, he's started to regain weight and he's having loads of wet and dirty nappies. Over the last week his latch has been looked at by the HV, MW and Infant Feeding Consultant at the hospital and they are all happy with it.

The thing is, it hurts a bit. It's not excruciating, just when he first latches on it nips, then when he settles into the long slow sucks it eases. The only time they really hurt in between feeds was last night when he just wanted fed constantly. My nipples aren't red or sore looking and they're not cracked. Right now they're a little tender but not enough to put me off feeding him again if you see what I mean.

Is this normal for the early days of BFing? I've let him sook on my pinky and he's got a suck to rival a dyson, is this just my nipples getting used to it? I keep hearing/reading "if it hurts you're doing it wrong" and I'm starting to worry.

Wommer Sat 02-Mar-13 16:52:47

First off congratulations!!

My DS is 9m and I'm still BFing (so would consider it a success for us).
For the first 6 weeks I had definite pain. In the nipple to start with and then deeper - sort of inside the breast - later.
With me, as with you, it hurt at the start of each feed and then went. Unpleasant but not excruciating.
By 6 weeks, and still now sometimes, I could feel the let down but it didn't hurt anymore.
I also heard "if it hurts your doing it wrong" alot but trusted my instincts - yours sound spot on too.

You're doing a great job - keep at it! grin

DD was like this, her latch was fine but her position wasn't. We started feeding in rugby ball hold and that seemed to help loads. Also my nipples getting used to feeding helped.

ChompieMum Sat 02-Mar-13 16:55:13

I have long term bf 3 children and am still feeding one. I had exactly the same sort of pain as you for the first month or so. My babies always grew fast and put on weight well. I have no doubt that I was doing it properly. Both my sisters have had the same. I think it can be entirely normal though does not happen to everyone. I suspect it has something to do with nipple sensitivity in some people. I was lucky in that my Nct teacher who had 4 told me beforehand that she always had this pain too so I was not surprised by it. If baby is growing well, pain is not unmanageable then all is well. It does pass after three or four weeks.

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 02-Mar-13 16:55:40

Gosh yes. It might disappear as your nipples get used to the suck. It's surprisingly strong. Put ur finger in and u will see! It might not. Just take it one feed at a time is my best advice. My dd2 has great suck during the day but I dread the 3am one as she's tired and gets sloppy and it hurts.

Everyone acts as if bf is soft cuddly wonderousness but I've had some of the worst pain EVER from nipple issues. Proper toe curling. Good luck, sounds like ur doing fab.

nickelbabe Sat 02-Mar-13 16:58:40

it does depend what you mean by "hurts"

does it feel like you're being stabbed with a knife, or like it's being bitten, like it's being trodden on or being bashed?
that kind of pain is not right.

does it feel like you're having milk extracted by a needle, or a very hard pulling, tingly feeling that makes your toes curl? that's normal, but will also subside when you get used to it.

If it's the former, then try some different positions.

from your description, it sounds like the normal pain, though, but obviously i can't tell.

It's more sort of the difference between going "start sucking quickly!" and going "i can't feed you because it really hurts"

phantomhairpuller Sat 02-Mar-13 16:59:49

Congratulations and lucky you! I can honestly say, when I had DS 2yrs ago I really couldn't understand why anyone would ever want to bf! It hurt so much it brought tears to my eyes in the first few days. But I stuck at it and it did ease, a lot! Good luck wink

EauRouge Sat 02-Mar-13 17:09:27

A bit of soreness and the odd pain while you both figure things out is normal. If it hurts every time and/or the pain is putting you off feeding then do ask for help (LLL, NCT etc). Once you both know what you are doing then it won't hurt, but like any skill it can take a bit of time to work out.

How often is he feeding?

PurplePidjin Sat 02-Mar-13 17:09:52

Ime (of one, so not exactly an expert!) it aches for the first minute or so then fades - ongoing pain is not normal. Bfing for me improved at about 3 weeks and is now (at 14) becoming a snuggly bonding thing like the propaganda midwives said.

Lansinoh after every feed, bm if you can sit with your nips out to let it dry for a few minutes. Get to a bf group so you can talk to other people about their experiences. And remember that every feed is a huge achievement, if you need to give a bottle to save either your mental or physical health then do smile

RatPants Sat 02-Mar-13 17:11:23

It hurts while you are getting established.

ScillyCow Sat 02-Mar-13 17:12:25

I had pain for 8 weeks of bf twins. BUT I had mastitis, and then, when that was treated with antibiotics, thrush. Thrush was the killer. I did get through it, but I wish I had spotted the thrush earlier. If your nipples go red or dry /flaky, you can get Daktarin gel from the chemist, or regular Canasten worked really well for us but you will need to wash it off before feeds.

Best of luck and congratulations!

PoppyWearer Sat 02-Mar-13 17:13:58

It could be pain due to a nipple inversion? I had that on one side and it got better but never really went away, even with nipple shields.

With DC2 I didn't feed from the problem side at all, the pain was too much! I just fed from one side.

GrandPoohBah Sat 02-Mar-13 23:21:52

I had sharp, toe curling pain when dd latched on for the first 10 seconds, for the first 4 weeks ago. It passed, and now it feels fine. It can hurt when you're getting used to it but bear in mind that your body is adapting to a completely new sensation! We're now 14.5 weeks and I barely feel it when she latches on.

WickWackThurso Sat 02-Mar-13 23:29:13

I found it generally sore for a while, but not thrpughout a feed, just at the beginning.

It kind of makes sense that a sensitive bit of your body is a bit sore after being sucked on repeatedly, but i got worried due to the, "if it hurts you're doing it wrong" line. Both dds have fed for 18 months plus with no further pain. Well done, you're doing brilliantly.

noblegiraffe Sun 03-Mar-13 05:56:24

Pain on let down is normal. In fact if my DD is due a feed and I think about it, I get that tingly painful feeling in my boobs even though she's not feeding. It does go away after a few weeks and becomes completely painless.

ChunkyChicken Sun 03-Mar-13 06:04:55

If its that electric shock/sharp tingly pain on let-down, you can tell because a) baby usually switches from shallow, quick sucks to a longer, deeper 'draw' on your boob and b) if baby comes off, your milk is flowing. I found it really VERY painful this time (with my DS) which after bfing my DD for 9mths (she's now nearly 3yo) was a shock. It doesn't hurt now he's 16wks (today!! smile ) but I can still feel it at times.

I haven't read all the other posts but this is how it was for me. In fact in hurt for the first 60 seconds each time (I uses to count through the pain!). I can't remember when it stopped but he's 13 weeks now and it's completely painless smile congratulations

MrsReiver Mon 04-Mar-13 08:51:47

Two pain free nights and no more nippy nips!

I spoke to a friend who is a LLL counsellor and got some tips on positioning. The key thing she asked me was I supporting my boob when he was feeding. I wasn't as a MW had told me there was no need. However I'm rather blessed in the boobage department and the weight was pulling the nipple from DS' mouth. As soon as I propped it up we were both more comfortable!

I still get the sharp needley type pain you describe Nickel, but that passes once DS starts sucking deeply.

Sorry it took a while to get back to reply, I did read every response, and was greatly reassured. Thank you!

megandraper Mon 04-Mar-13 08:55:41

Well done! The sharp needly pain sounds like latching-on pain - that will stop happening after a while.

I found bf excruciating agony for the first 6-8 weeks with DC1, but after 8 weeks it was totally pain-free, and have now bf for nearly 4 years in total (and still going with DC3....)

Yes it hurt like hell to begin with! I couldn't understand why, when everyone said if we were doing it right it wouldn't. My nipples obviously just had to get used to it. Didn't take long for the pain to subside, definitely worth it. Does get better, we ended up breastfeeding for 3 years!

nickelbabe Mon 04-Mar-13 14:09:37

oh, yeah, that latch where they hang on for dear life!
i get that now, and it's awful - she's got teeth (lots of) so when she's hanging on, she really grips!

MrsMeeple Mon 04-Mar-13 14:17:05

Oh that good ol' cliche: if it hurts your positioning must be wrong. Argh! Of course correct positioning is really important, and a lot of problems can be solved through getting position and latch right. But not all!

IME, some people just have sensitive nipples, and it does hurt! It should get better after the first few weeks. If you think you've got the positioning right and it still hurts, get help! And keep asking different people for help until you find someone who makes you feel like they are helping!

Really glad it seems to be going better for you OP.

MrsReiver Wed 17-Apr-13 13:56:44

Just thought I'd pop in with an update to potentially encourage anyone else experiencing the same problem.

DS is 8 weeks now (how did that happen) and thriving! He's still exclusively breastfed and I've no intention of stopping anytime soon. The sensitivity stopped at around 10-14 days when I think my nips got used to the increased attention. We still occasionally get a twinge when his position is wrong or his latch is lazy, but I know how to correct it.

I'm so pleased I stuck with it! Thank you to all of you for your advice and support, it was a big help.

harverina Wed 17-Apr-13 21:32:03

Great news op, well done.

I found the my nipples sometimes got a bit tender again when my dd was having a growth spurt and feeding constantly but I found rubbing breast milk over them after a feed very soothing grin

MrsReiver Thu 18-Apr-13 11:53:07

Yup! We're right in the middle of a growth spurt and DS seems to want to nurse constantly from 5pm until 11pm. This means I can be a little tender but a bit of BM rubbed in and keeping the breast he isn't nursing from out to air dry definitely helps!

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