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So uncomfortable when breastfeeding - help!

(14 Posts)
MissusCT Sun 17-Jul-11 19:56:27

Hello everyone,

I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl 10 days ago. So far I've managed to breastfeed her (I'm proud because I didn't get this far with my son). I've got through the sore nipple pain, and now when she feeds I get this horrible feeling. I can't really describe it other than I become very aware of the plumbing inside me, and it feels like she's trying to suck out my insides when she latches on. The only thing I can compare it to is that horrible feeling you get just before you get pins and needles. It makes my toes curl and it's actually worse than the pain.

I spoke to my midwife today and she said it sounds like the "let down"? I don't really know what this is - is this feeling permanent? I've been sitting in tears because I was feeding my baby earlier and when she latched on I cried out and then sat and cried through the feed. It's horrible.

Is there anything I can do to make this stop? Will paracetamol help? I don't know what else to do, and it's that bad I've already started eyeing up the emergency SMA I bought while I was pregnant. I know I sound pathetic when it's not actual pain.

Thanks in advance for any help.

nethunsreject Sun 17-Jul-11 20:01:24

Well done, Missus. smile

Painful letdown can be really unleasant BUT PASSES!

TRy one of the bfing helplines to see what they suggest - BFN are great as are NCT, LLL, etc.

I managed only a few weeks with dc1, but am now at 14mths with dc2 after a tough start, so it can be done. It really is miles easier and nicer too once you get the first bit past. Saves a fortune too.

Bun the SMA. Pick up the phone. Give yourself a big pat on the back too.

RitaMorgan Sun 17-Jul-11 20:19:35

Is it through the whole feed? I had quite a painful/pins and needles let down but it only lasted about 30 seconds - for me it was often worse in the other breast rather than the one I was feeding from for some reason! It lessened over time and by about 4 months I didn't feel it at all.

MissusCT Sun 17-Jul-11 20:40:36

Thanks for the replies.

nethuns - I didn't know about BFN so I'll check them out, they have a local meeting I can go to. I really don't want to give this up, I have to go back to work in 6 and a half weeks so I want to make the most of the bonding time I have with my baby.

Rita - It's through the entire feed, that's the problem sad I could deal with it if it was for a minute or so, but the baby likes to have quite a lazy feed and I'm there for at least 20 mins each feed if not longer. Her cluster feeds have lasted up to 4 hours at one point and I can't take this non-pain for that long.

nethunsreject Sun 17-Jul-11 21:19:55

You poor thing sad

Do go along to their meetings. I've found them to be fabulous, plus there is free cake wink

Call the supporterline too in the meantime.

Hope you can find something that helps soon.

nethunsreject Sun 17-Jul-11 21:21:23

forums.llli.org/showthread.php?17554-Painful-Letdown Good info here.

RitaMorgan Sun 17-Jul-11 21:26:28

I would give the helplines a try too, get another opinion on this. There is a National Breastfeeding Helpline - 0300 100 0212 or the NCT breastfeeding line - 0300 330 0771.

MissusCT Sun 17-Jul-11 21:30:53

Thanks very much nethuns , that link is really helpful.

MissusCT Sun 17-Jul-11 21:31:19

And thank you too Rita

imissbluesky Sun 17-Jul-11 22:36:02

Have a look at this site www.d-mer.org/. It may be an explanation and more common than thought. Hope it gets better soon.

Grumpygils Sun 17-Jul-11 22:56:48

Havr you tried eating something when this happens? Sounds bizarre, but for some women it can be a little like morning sickness and eating something takes the edge off. Might be worth a try?

ChutesTooNarrow Sun 17-Jul-11 23:17:55

I think I get what you are saying. It's not painful but so unpleasant that it's worse than being in pain? I had this. It wasn't letdown, I had the letdown for the first few weeks and that was excruciating pain - like glass ripping through my breasts. But on top of that I was so uncomfortable during feeds. I wasn't in pain though (after the letdown phase passed). Feeds made me anxious, I wanted to crawl out of my skin, I would tap my feet like crazy as a distraction, this natural thing I was doing felt so completely unnatural to me. It faded, I can't remember exactly but I know it was a good six months before I didn't hate bf.

It is really hard to explain, sorry if I have misinterpreted what you are saying. I have met plenty of people who found bf painful but none who found it as toe-curlingly uncomfortable as I did. Most people get a far-away look of bliss of how happy it made them feel and I just can't relate to that at all.

imissbluesky thank you for that link, I was nodding my head reading it. I had no idea, thought I was a complete failure really as I have never had the happy rush and relaxation you are supposed to get from bf.

btw I did overcome it though, still bf 22 month old DS smile

Woodlands Mon 18-Jul-11 22:39:21

I remember going through a stage of finding it hideously uncomfortable, it really set my teeth on edge. The good news is that it didn't last long - only a couple of weeks, I think (that was after several weeks of nipple pain...). You're doing great, try to keep going if you can!

LuckyMrsT Tue 19-Jul-11 17:21:13

I could feel it in my back at first! And then the left side was so painful I would dread every feed on that side. I remember feeling so jealous of a friend who'd been advised by her GP to give up BFing due to mastitus. I'd have given anything for a good excuse to pack in! But it did pass (about 5 weeks for me) and I'm so glad I stuck it out. DS is now 16 weeks and I really enjoy it. I can't imagine what a faff doing bottles must be.

I actually never intended to BF DS and had all the bottles and formula ready to go. I had a change of heart at 38 weeks - no idea why. DS would not latch on at hospital and had some formula along with expressed colostrum. He also had the odd bottle of formula when I got desperate in those early days at home. It's done him no harm so don't feel guilty about having the SMA. All I'd say is if you do want to continue BFing try not to fill him up with formula feeds too often as he might get used to big 'fattier' feeds and it could also affect your milk supply. I'm probably going to get flamed for even suggesting you can supplement with formula occasionally...

Best of luck.

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