Is breastfeeding as painful second time?

(81 Posts)
PastaandCheese Tue 25-Feb-14 06:53:06

Due my second this week. I fed DD for a year and naively assumed this meant my nipples might have 'toughened up' a bit but they are so sore already before I've even fed the baby I think I might be a bit deluded.

What was your experience second time please? I'm assuming I'll feel a bit less clueless but other than that is the very sore start inevitable again?

No advice but shameless place marking as am due second DC in 4 months. Successfully fed DD for 15 months but can't understand how I will be able to dedicate as much time to bfing as I did last time!

It was painful for me second time round but not for as long. We got to grips with it all much more quickly and it helped to know what to expect & to work on a good latch from the very first feed. How exciting! Good luck x

Elivis were you on my August 2010 thread? Congrats at no 2!

No October 2012 but your name is familiar maketea grin <stalker undertones>

SwayingBranches Tue 25-Feb-14 07:00:15

Excruciating first time around, absolutely fine the second time.

mamij Tue 25-Feb-14 07:05:21

Same as Branches. Awful start first time but easy second time (think I was more relaxed and "in charge").

What the bloody hell do u do with the toddler when you're feeding for hours and hours?!

georgesdino Tue 25-Feb-14 07:07:04

Breastfeeding has never hurt for me. I thought if it hurt it meant your doing it wrong?

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 07:21:22

elvislives- get a sling and learn how to breastfeed hands free. Can be a lifesaver, so you can stand, walk around, play with a toddler, do a puzzle, fix a snack I have even hung laundry out on the line while breastfeeding!

lanbro Tue 25-Feb-14 07:25:27

Painful but not for as long. Dd2 got the hang of it much quicker. I'm probably in the minority but never used a sling and I'm still feeding her at nearly 6 months with an almost 2yo.

PastaandCheese Tue 25-Feb-14 07:34:22

Ooo! This is encouraging. Mind you I am still clinging to the fact 'they' all say second labours are easier and quicker too.

elvis I obviously have no experience of what to do with a toddler whilst feeding but I have ebayed the hated Baby Bjorn and got a stretchy Moby wrap instead and I've made an effort to teach my two year old to do some trickier jigsaws, play snap and dominoes etc. I've bought a little table and chairs from Ikea which is right by the sofa so I can help her colour and stick etc whilst feeding and invested in a number of Disney DVDs

I expect I'm going to look really naive to everyone on this thread who has already made the jump from one child but hey ho.

I don't know grorgesdino but I know all my friends and I experienced pain from the friction and the nipple being pulled on rather than a bad latch per say? Perhaps pain is the wrong word.... Sore would describe it better I guess.

Tried feeding in a sling last time but I think I was a bit scared and PFB about it. Good idea about the little table and chairs though. Think I'll get a little bag of extra special play things for my DD to have when I'm feeding so it's special for her too.
I didn't have pain as such but soreness from the letdown which went by about10 seconds

georgesdino Tue 25-Feb-14 07:42:49


georgesdino Tue 25-Feb-14 07:42:55


georgesdino Tue 25-Feb-14 07:43:47

my phones gone crazy sorry. It isnt suppoded to feel of anything if the latch is right, and shouldnt be sore.

Ah elvis yes Oct 12. Quite likely we're in the same FB group too then har har. Anyway pasta DD was 2 when DS was born and we read a bit while feeding but mostly reverted to cbeebies blush Or we went to toddler groups so DD could rampage around and I could feed DS at leisure

Lazytoad Tue 25-Feb-14 07:48:32

Hi. I bf my first for about 13 months, to begin with it was agony - bleeding nipples, mastitis and just generally painful. I had my second just before my youngest turned two and not a hint of pain or problems at all.

As for birth, I was in labour for 5 days with my first (no problems, just long and exhausting) but my second popped out in just four hours.

I know we're all different but it's worth hanging on to the positives! Good luck.

LeonieDeSainteVire Tue 25-Feb-14 07:59:49

Very painful feeding my first, didn't have a clue, bleeding nipples the lot. Second time round I knew what I was doing, he cooperated, it was fine, bit sore in the early weeks whilst you get used to it (and that is normal btw!) but no pain at all, easy! Third time around it was excruciating, like sticking my nipples in broken glass at every feed! No idea why as I know latch was fine but oh it hurt! However, it settled down quickly (by about ten days) and was fine after, I fed him for 14 months.

So no help really, I think all babies are different and vary in their innate 'skill' at bf, but your experience and confidence will go a long way.

Good luck!

Eletheomel Tue 25-Feb-14 08:20:25

Painful with both for different reasons - but in both cases by 4 weeks it was absolutely fine, and I'd say the level of pain was much less second time around (they say if its sore you're not doing it right - however, in my experience that's bollocks, DS1 had a perfect latch, but I had a vicious let down which led to sudden onset tourettes for the first few weeks).

Remember though whilst this might be second time round for you, it's still first time round for your baby, so you both need to learn the ropes.

ZenNudist Tue 25-Feb-14 08:25:32

Ds1 took 6 weeks before I was pain free, no cracks, just red and sore.

Ds2 now 4wo bf v.sore for 2weeks cracks & bleeding due to tongue tie so bad latch. He's getting better but its not hurting me as much.

Monkeyandanimal Tue 25-Feb-14 08:28:22

My first baby never caused me one moment of pain when bf, while the second and third resulted in bleeding nipples for about a week, and then got a bit better, but then had a tendency to nibble rather than suck, not good as they had teeth early!

So i think it depends on the baby! BUT, second time round i was more relaxed about it, and more confident in my own abilities and less stressed about baby feeding too little, or parking on the breast for days on end! So my state of mind was easier and better, which makes a big difference to how 'easy' feeding was.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Tue 25-Feb-14 08:35:13

Second was less painful for me, you have the knowledge and skills to not allow a bad latch
Good luck :-)

PastaandCheese Tue 25-Feb-14 09:14:57

Yes, I think there is definitely something in the fact there are two people involved and the little person is less predictable and can't read the book.

Last time I had some issues with tiny baby who was exhausted after a hard labour requiring resuscitation, massive norks with flat nipples, PPH and lots of stitches for me etc. We got there but it was so hard to begin with and we had to start with expressing for a couple of days using a hospital pump I now know was much more forceful on brand new mum nipples than my own pump with variable suction!

I didn't even have the good sense to sit on a pillow for the benefit of my tapestry when leaning forward on the edge of the bed to catch the few drips. What an idiot!

You live and learn I guess!

sheeplikessleep Tue 25-Feb-14 09:18:47

Agony first time.
Pain free second time.
Painful third time (but due to tongue tie).

Timpani Tue 25-Feb-14 09:25:37

Agony for months first time! Pretty much pain free second time (slight slight sting for a day getting used to new baby's latch).

Second labour much faster and easier though just as painful!

likeit Tue 25-Feb-14 12:03:15

It really shouldn't hurt at all if the positioning and attachment is correct!

zoemaguire Tue 25-Feb-14 12:11:19

Likeit, not so in early weeks. I find thr initial latch toe-curlingly excruciating, but then it settles. I'm currently bfeeding newborn dc3 and there is a definite difference between poor latch pain and first few weeks nipples-getting-used-to-it agony!

Bumpsadaisie Tue 25-Feb-14 13:07:24

I'm afraid I found it worse second time.

First time I did have the "ouch ouch count to 20" thing when she first got latched on, but then it was OK.

With my son though it was painful enough that I was sobbing onto his head for the first three minutes!

However with both of them it was very much a newborn thing that went away after a few weeks.

IssyBe Tue 25-Feb-14 17:06:55

Hello All,

I work for a breastfeeding support team and from what I have learnt, breastfeeding shouldn't hurt and it if is then support and advice is needed.

Have a look on for instance, there are online advice available.

PastaandCheese Tue 25-Feb-14 17:44:28

zoemaguire's experiences were the same as mine first time. I had help and support but in the end there was just a period where I learnt to count to 20 and if it was still painful then break the latch and reattach.

That went away in time so I'm convinced it was friction. I also felt pain during let down and then there are the lovely contraction pains in your womb for the first weeks. At least I can fool myself into thinking that's me snapping back into shape.

bumps that sounds miserable but good that it went away in a few weeks.

I guess I'm just thinking about it because I'm all sore at the moment from what I imagine are the pre birth hormones. Wearing one of my larger size nursing bras today which is helping.

Jeezimacasalinga Tue 25-Feb-14 18:04:00

I wish people wouldn't say that it shouldn't hurt if you are doing it right. I think it makes a lot of people give up unnecessarily, and look for problems where there are none.

FWIW, I fed 3 babies with no problems - no mastitis, no tongue tie, and it DID hurt to begin with. If you have sensitive skin (I've very pale Celtic skin) and a baby with a vigorous suck/strong latch, then it does hurt at the beginning, especially when they latch on! My granny (who bf 10!) told me that it was like wearing in a new pair of shoes, ouch to start off but soon as comfy as your old slippers grin.

If however it continues, you should of course investigate.

PeanutPatty Tue 25-Feb-14 18:06:05

The first time DC2 latched on BOY did my toes curl and the memories rushed back in! After the initial shock to the system we found our feet and it was pretty straightforward, compared to the first time around it was. We had thrush and allsorts. Horrific.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 18:13:18

Jeez- I do think it can hurt some women for a short time ( and I have worked in breastfeeding support for 13 years), but they are in the minority. the flip side of your argument is though telling women that it does hurt may prevent them seeking help and trying to struggle through a painful problem.

However there is no evidence that fair skin means more painful breastfeeding- it's a very old urban myth a type sort of racist assumption that the whiter the skin, the more feminine ( and therefore the more delicate and sensitive ) a woman is.

zoemaguire Tue 25-Feb-14 18:15:11

Issy, through 3 kids and so far 3 years of bf and counting, I've been through a fair amount of well-intentioned advice! The 'it shouldn't hurt' is well and good once baby is a few weeks old, but most of the women I know who breastfed describe an initial shooting pain when newborns first latch on that passes within 10 seconds or so and is distinct from the pain of poor latch (which I also know well!). To suggest that breastfeeding 'should' be totally painless in the very early days is unrealistic for the most part, and may make women think they are doing things wrong when they are not. Besides which etablishing bf even in ideal circumstances is often hard work and a learning curve to start with. It is totally worth it, but if women go into it thinking it is supposed to be a bed of roses from day 1, they are more likely to give up when it does not turn out that way. Some breastfeeding support tends to gloss over these issues, and if your training suggested that transient painful nipples in week 1 of breastfeeding are abnormal, that is quite concerning IMO.

Jeezimacasalinga Tue 25-Feb-14 18:24:48

atthestroke - yes I completely agree with you, I would hate to see anyone struggling on with a problem because they are trying to ignore the pain. Anyone who has pain throughout the feed, or latch-on pain for more than a week or so needs to seek help (if they've managed to struggle on that long)! As for the whites skin thing, yes perhaps that is an urban myth, albeit one that was peddled to me by all the midwives for both bf and my nasty childbirth tears!

However I would disagree with you that bf doesn't hurt to begin with for the majority. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that I've met very few people who don't experience that initial toe-curling pain when a new born latches on. I just believe that forewarned if forearmed - too many people hope for a blissful bf experience from the beginning, when in fact this is usually the most difficult time. I feel sad for many of my friends and family who gave up in this period, as I know how easy and convenient bf becomes after the first couple of months.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 18:26:28

Are you a breastfeeding counsellor Jeez?

ogredownstairs Tue 25-Feb-14 18:26:32

Agony for me both times - took 6 weeks for it to become bearable, after which it was fine. But I bled, had blisters on the nipples, in agony if someone brushed past me etc. Still makes me shudder nearly a decade on. Slightly easier second time round but only because I knew what to expect. I know loads of people who barely had a twinge, and I was really shocked and annoyed that it hurt so much as I was very sure I wanted to BF and was totally unprepared for the pain. I think it's pretty individual.

Procrastinating Tue 25-Feb-14 18:30:15

I have done it three times. I found it equally painful for the first few weeks. Not the latch though, the let down (is that what you call it? It has been a while).

Agree, 'it shouldn't hurt' is not helpful. I'm quite sure I was doing it right.

For bf a baby while you have a toddler - cbeebies.

Jeezimacasalinga Tue 25-Feb-14 18:49:37

Erm no I'm not a bf counsellor - do you have to be one to give your opinion on here? Apologies if that comes across as oversensitive but I've just reread one of your posts to me and I hope you are not accusing me of making racist assumptions? shock

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 18:56:42

Apologies- no I am not accusing you of being racist at all, your midwives were wrong to give you this information which has been around since Victorian times- when the idea was formed in a racist culture.

The only reason I ask if you are a breastfeeding counsellor is that you say you have met "very few women" who don't find breastfeeding uncomfortable to begin with and suggest the "majority" do- it gives the impression you have met many woman who have breastfed.

I have met many breastfeeding women and that's not my experience.

I didn't mean to sound rude and I'm sorry if it came across that way- of course everyone's view is valid no matter what their experience.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 18:58:53

Just an aside- in Victorian times it was even thought that women of upper class would find breastfeeding much more painful than working class women as their skin was more delicate and refined!

LadyPersephonefernella Tue 25-Feb-14 19:05:10

Agony 1st time
Even more agony second time with non-stop thrush, mastitis & latch issues. I hated it & am very happy it is all over.

zoemaguire Tue 25-Feb-14 19:05:50

Atthestroke, you see a particular subset of women as a counsellor. I have no idea if it is a majority or a minority of women who experience this pain - all I can say is that most of my friends did, and many went nowhere near a bf counsellor. Whether jeez is a bf counsellor or not is neither here nor there, her experience is as valid as anybody's, as is that of the others on this thread. Training does not trump lived experience, and indeed ideally should learn from and integrate it.

tumbletumble Tue 25-Feb-14 19:09:16

I had no pain at all with DS1 or DD but DS2 was unexpectedly painful. I think he had a more ferocious suck than the other two!

zoemaguire Tue 25-Feb-14 19:11:00

As an aside, many mothers will know a lot of other women who breastfeed, whether or not they are bf counsellors! My sample as a third time mother in a v middle class nappy valley kind of area is quite large, for instance!

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 19:11:40

I agree training does not trump lived experience - that's why I suggest that most women don't experience this type of pain- I am talking from experience.

I don't know how many of your friends experienced this pain- but I guess the numbers are low. It's easy not to see a bigger picture when you look at a very small sample.

Both my grandfathers died of cancer-that doen't mean all grandfathers will die of cancer- it just means my sample size it too low to be meaningful.

beginnings Tue 25-Feb-14 19:18:14

First time got used to it pretty quickly. DD wasn't a very hungry feeder and I never got really engorged.

DD2 was a horse of a very different kettle. I used more Lansinoh (other brands are available! But don't bother with them IMHO) in the first two weeks than I did in 9 months with DD1. And she'd feed for hours! Once those couple of weeks were out of the way, it was fine. During that time either DH, my DM or DSis were around so did toddler entertaining. After that, cbeebies. Lots of. DD2 at five months LOVES that very annoying noisy little lion.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 19:20:57

zoe it is important that women get accurate information though. To suggest that most women will find breastfeeding painful is not true and unsupported by clinical evidence.
What's more it can be unhelpful to women to suggest that painful breastfeeding is the norm.

beginnings Tue 25-Feb-14 19:21:16

PS: I think I'd have found the first two weeks with DD1 tortuous if she'd been like DD2 but because DD2 I knew 'this too will pass'.

Would be nice if I could figure out how to make her sleep now....

zoemaguire Tue 25-Feb-14 19:23:15

As i said, you see women who by definition have problems breastfeeding, which is a rather particular sample, and one where painful latch is likely to be the overriding issue you deal with. Our experience is different but no less valid, and it is patronising and mistaken to suggest that we have a 'tiny sample size'. Over 6+ years of baby and toddler groups and school playgrounds, you end up talking to an awful lot of women, I can assure you. In any case, as I also said, I haven't done an exhaustive statistical analysis of the subject. All I know is that the early toe-curling agony stage is one that gets brought up pretty regularly in conversations about breastfeeding, and is evidenced here on this thread too. Women need to know both that prolonged agony is not normal, but that equally it can be hard going in the beginning. I'm a bit mystified that a breastfeeding counsellor could find anything controversial in that!

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 19:31:03

I am not here to antagonise I assure you.

I too have done the 6yrs+ of toddlers groups and playgrounds.

You make assumptions that painful latch is the overriding issue I deal with as a breastfeeding counsellor- even if that were true ( and it's not that's your assumption) don't you think I would be more likely to agree with you?

I do know that when threads like this are started on forums then women who have experienced the same problems are more likely to respond- so again not a representative sample.

Clinical evidence does not back up your claims- and it is misinforming women to suggest that "most" will find breastfeeding painful.
Women who find breastfeeding easy tend not to engage in discussions about problems.

zoemaguire Tue 25-Feb-14 19:45:15

I admit I'm at a sensitive stage, being 7 days postpartum and having spent most of them in extreme state of painful engorgement and very strong and uncomfortable letdown. And that's before dd has got anywhere near me! I do hope most women don't experience this. I know that if I persevere through this, the rewards are huge. But at this stage, it does get me pretty annoyed to be told 'it shouldn't hurt if you are doing it right'. Feeding on engorged nipples is never going to be a walk in the park, even when dd's latch is textbook. This bit is seriously hard and emotional work, and I've breastfed for years!

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 25-Feb-14 19:56:32

Congratulations on the birth of your little one.

I have to say though it wasn't me who suggested the notion that "it shouldn't hurt if you are doing it right". I must admit that when I did my training 15 years ago this was much banded about- but experience has shown me that for some women it does indeed hurt- even with good latch- even without tongue tie and the myriad of other potential problems have been ruled out.

Any nipple pain should ease after the start of a feed and if your nipples do become sore between feeds, the skin is not broken or the pain does not ease within a week or two then do seek help.

Cucumberscarecrow Tue 25-Feb-14 20:00:26

Lots of problems here first time. Sore nipples for the first couple of weeks followed by months of recurring mastitis and an unsettled and insatiable baby. I was so worried second time but it was a breeze. I honestly didn't have a moment's discomfort and baby no. 2 fed well and quickly and absolutely thrived on breastmilk. Still b'feeding at 18 months. Wish I'd given up sooner with my firstborn though as I really think we'd all have been happier if I had.

Good luck! Hope everything goes well for you.

BadPenny Tue 25-Feb-14 20:05:28

I'm one of the ones who was told pain was normal when in fact DC was badly latched. It was only the first few sucks that hurt so I carried on. Ended up having to supplement with formula for 12 months as baby just kept losing weight and no one would help me with the breastfeeding.

Same thing happened again with DC2 but despite my fears that we'd end up in the same awful situation (crying every day for first six months because I couldn't understand how it had all gone so spectacularly wrong when for the first four days the midwives had said everything was fine... And because no one would help me) but actually I knew what the issues were and how to deal with them so it was all fine by week 3!

If you're really anxious - there was a book I borrowed from my local LLL leader called 'Breastfeeding Take Two', which was pretty helpful. Good luck and keep the national bf helpline on the speed dial. If they don't answer try Kellymom or Dr Jack Newman on the web.

kalidasa Tue 25-Feb-14 20:42:48

I also found it very painful, and actually for me the pain at the beginning of a feed lasted quite a long time though certainly improved after a few weeks. My latch was checked repeatedly and was fine. DS had a super strong suck though and was a very sucky baby, he needed to feed a lot. I breastfed 'successfully' and for quite a long time (10 months) but I can't say I ever enjoyed it and I am not looking forward to doing it again. It made me feel hot and trapped and by god I HATED having even more giant than normal breasts that it is almost impossible to dress properly because they always have to be accessible. Ugh!

However I am encouraged that the overall consensus seems to be that it is usually a bit better the second time, for various reasons.

kalidasa Tue 25-Feb-14 20:45:36

Sorry to hear that badpenny. It was very brave of you to continue in those circumstances. What kept me going was that although I disliked it DS loved it so much and it was obviously working for him.

Zoe- sorry you're finding it tough hmm u sound like a pro so not sure if my reply of 'it gets better' will help much. Hope it DOES get better soon!!

When I talk about pain and bfing I guess I had more discomfort that passed after 10 seconds and I was always told if it carried on then THATS when to get it checked. Maybe clarification can be helpful and can avoid women missing important problems.

beginnings Tue 25-Feb-14 21:24:52

Zoe when I was where you are it was painful to put my bra on, to put in and out breast pads (which had to be changed about six times a day), honestly, it was painful if I was in the same room as DD2 and if she

When the midwife came to see me off on day 10, she looked and my breasts and winced (in the nicest and most supportive way!).

My DM was encouraging me to give myself a break by trying to express - didn't seem to get that the milk would come back almost as soon as I'd pumped and DH wanted me to give myself a break with formula confused. Wasn't going to help the milk that was there!

When she latched, I used to sit there for the first few minutes breathing as slowly as possible in order to make sure she didn't pick up on how tense I was.

Five months in, we're at the holding my nipple between her gums so that she can crane her neck and see what her sister is up to. Or who dropped a cup in a cafe. Or who she can coo at next. It WILL get better as you know. In the meantime, you have my sympathies- there's nothing quite like trying to get a newborn to get their little mouth onto an engorged breast - and I've had kidney stones!! Not to mention the delivery of the two chdren!

beginnings Tue 25-Feb-14 21:25:45


zoemaguire Tue 25-Feb-14 23:50:42

Thank you! I know it will improve, it's already better than a few days ago, but by god it's like trial by ordeal sometimes ! Midwife keeps suggesting I express a bit, but like your dm beginnings she doesn't seem to get that the relief would last about 4 minutes! In a very former life I was a 34b, now even a 34h is only just big enough shock!!!

Eletheomel Wed 26-Feb-14 08:18:50

Zoe - I'm sure you've already been told about this, but you can take ibuprofen to help relieve the pain of the engorgement. I've had to do this many times with DS2 over the months (he used to throw a spanner in the works every few weeks and go much longer between feeds and my boobs couldn't cope!)

I also used to express a bit (until I almost fainted using the pump - no idea why, but never did it again!) and found massaging the breasts from chest wall to nipple, although painful (I won't lie) did help, but I found the ibuprofen helped most of all!

zoemaguire Wed 26-Feb-14 10:02:55

Thanks for the tip elethomiel. As I had a c section I've been on 4x daily ibu and paracetamol all week, but I'll maybe keep going with it for a while longer! Couldn't even hug ds when he cuddled up in bed with us this morning because of the painsad

PastaandCheese Wed 26-Feb-14 12:44:12

Hey zoe it sounds rotten for you at the moment. Again, not sure I'm in any position to offer advice to a third time mum when I can't even get the second to come out but I did find taking my bra off and putting a vest on with a folded muslin each side helped a tiny bit. At least nothing was pressing on me then.

myrubberduck Wed 26-Feb-14 13:14:50

At the stroke - Let's see this 'clinical evidence ' then : in my experience most women find it very painful in the beginning- of all family and friends who have bf I cannot think of a single one who's experience of the first few weeks was anything like what we were led to expect ( I think the nhs advise that there 'can be some discomfort for the first few seconds after baby has latched' or something similar. Most women I know experienced rather more than 'discomfort' . For some it got better after a few weeks and for others it took longer to improve. My personal experience was that it was very painful both times for about a month . And yes I did go to the groups watch the videos etc ect.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 26-Feb-14 16:26:15

myrubberduck- the burden of proof is on you to substantiate your claims that most women find breastfeeding very painful.
I don't have any evidence to show the non- existence of pain.

I appreciate that you have seen family and friends who have experienced similar but with due respect it is a small sample.

I too have met a statistically insignificant number of breastfeeding women- perhaps several thousand- and these were often the ones seeking help for breastfeeding problems- where you would expect this pain to be most complained about- but it's not.
Certainly not in the numbers you suggest.
I am not saying it doesn't exist, but as I have said before it's not that common and certainly far from the norm.

myrubberduck Thu 27-Feb-14 13:15:49

Why on earth is the 'burden of proof' on anyone. Your posts are entirely contrary to common experience ; you have repeatedly referred to 'clinical evidence' in support of your assertion that pain when bf is not usual . Well let's see it!

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 27-Feb-14 13:59:01

rubberduck I have said clinical evidence does not back your claims, ie there is no evidence to support your view- yet you asking to see that "non-evidence".


myrubberduck Thu 27-Feb-14 14:04:08


If you post that clinical evidence does not indicate that bf caused pain ( which you did repeatedly) then that would lead most readers to conclude t that you are stating that you are aware of clinical evidence which does indeed show that most bf mother do not experience pain. I now see that in fact you are not aware of any 'clinical evidence' one way or the other. How unusual- a lactivist relying on non existent scientific evidence.

Glad that's cleared up

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 27-Feb-14 14:11:47

Oh please- there's no evidence to show that breastmilk is fluorecent during twilight hours- but I rely on the "non- evidence" to believe that it isn't.
Science doesn't work in the way you suggest.

If you are happy living in your little bubble believing on the very limited numbers of breastfeeding women you have known that breastfeeding usually hurts- despite no evidence to show that's true then be my guest.

I call that spreading misinformation- but hey- what does that matter- if you say so it must be true.

fluffandnonsense Thu 27-Feb-14 16:03:13

I only know of 2 mothers who had no pain when establishing breastfeeding whereas In comparison I know of around 20 other mothers who have had pain even if its just for a short time at the start.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 27-Feb-14 16:29:50

fluff that's unfortunate but statistically meaningless.

zoemaguire Thu 27-Feb-14 16:52:07

Atthestroke you're getting a hard time because it feels to me like you are belittling the experience of women who have found the start of bf tough going, by saying 'oh well it's only a tiny minority' who find it difficult. It clearly isn't, since many of us on this thread have found it to be a common experience amongst our circle of friends and acquaintances.

I don't really care about clinical evidence in this case - the point is that I wish somebody had told me that a difficult and painful start to bf does not preclude a long and happy later experience of breastfeeding. I know this now, but if I hadn't been insanely bloody-minded, choosing to breastfeed through hell and high water (and DC2 was born at 26 weeks, so I choose my words advisedly), there is no way that I'd have carried on.

Breastfeeding rates are abysmal in this country, suggesting that in pure statistical terms, most women do find it too tough to carry on. The support available is clearly not sufficient to get people through the early weeks. For me, the ease and convenience of feeding say an 8 month old is SUCH a no-brainer compared to the faff of formula. I wouldn't say that balance was so clear in the case of a 2 week old.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 27-Feb-14 17:18:42

"It clearly isn't, since many of us on this thread have found it to be a common experience amongst our circle of friends and acquaintances."

But the numbers of women you know is not statistically signigicant- a few on this thread and their circle of friends is not that meaningful.
In no way do I seek to undermine or play down the discomfort of women, and far from "belittling women who find bfing tough going" that's ludicrous- I have spend 13 years mostly as a volunteer helping women though pain and discomfort.

And I will repeat that even my experience of breastfeeding is not statistically significant- I have only known 1800 or so breastfeeding women ( of those possibly 200 had the initial pain you describe).

If we lead women to believe that breastfeeding will always be painful it will cause many not to seek help.

myrubberduck Thu 27-Feb-14 19:40:01

Sorry dear; I just don't believe you.

It's entirely contrary to the experience of most of the women I know who have bf. Most experienced quite a bit of pain in the early weeks. I suppose its possible that by sheer chance most of the people I know are in what according to you must me a small minority.

I doubt it though.

zoemaguire Thu 27-Feb-14 19:42:16

Well 200 out of 1800 is hardly insignificant. As I said, in any case I don't care about the precise statistics, it feels like meaningless nitpicking. It's a real enough issue for a lot of women, I don't think it is helpful to dismiss it because it only affects 1 in 10 or 1 in 5 or whatever you think the statistical norm might be. We get told that labour is hard, but any idea that breast feeding might take perseverance and some discomfort in the initial stages is somehow seen as unacceptable discouragement.

And why fixate on whether or not it 'should' be painless anyway? In practice latch issues are incredibly hard to fix sometimes - saying it should be painless is not that much help. I've spent hours and hours in bf clinics in my time. I've still had 3 kids who all latch more easily on one side, leaving the other frequently sore, cracked and prone to mastitis. I'll go to the clinic next week to see what they suggest, but if there were a magic solution I think we'd have worked it out by now!

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 27-Feb-14 20:52:38

Oh please Zoe- I have never suggested that unexplained early pain does not exist- I am simply arguing that it is not usual.

"Fixating" on pain is crucial in supporting breastfeeding women.
If we simply accept that breastfeeding will be painful and that's normal we will be brushing away problems which need addressing.

Gemdar Thu 27-Feb-14 21:05:11

Painful first time - used so much lansinoh, second time hardly used any so pretty pain free. Got a little vampire now at 9 months tho!

Cbeebies was my best friend during those first few weeks when bfing all the time. Dc1 didn't seem interested in any other activity I had in mind...

zoemaguire Thu 27-Feb-14 22:14:26

And I'm arguing it doesn't matter! I just wish there was less rose-tinted and more realistic promotion of breastfeeding. Most women give up, and often feel like failures as a result. So easy, cheap and convenient! Not to start with, no, and not for most women, or else we wouldn't have 95% of uk women not bf to 6 months.

LeonieDeSainteVire Thu 27-Feb-14 23:27:07

I'm just going to weigh in on the side of 'breastfeeding is generally sore until it is established', I believe that to be true from my own experience and from other bf mothers I have spoken to.

Frankly I don't care what any 'professionals' may say, it feels like those doctors who denied morning sickness existed because there was no medical evidence for it hmm. Also, surely, it makes sense, if you start breast feeding a baby your nipples (previously generally tucked peacefully away in your bra) are suddenly being vigorously sucked on throughout the day and night, why on earth wouldn't that produce some discomfort? Even if the baby is exactly perfectly positioned. And once the nipples get used to it, the discomfort goes. Which takes around 4 weeks ish. Longer for some if there were other problems.

Maybe someone should start a thread in chat 'Was breastfeeding entirely comfortable from the word go?'. There are enough people on here to start getting some statistically significant sample if they all responded.

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