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How much pain is normal?!

(18 Posts)
HopeS01 Tue 18-Feb-14 01:00:27

My little 10lbs 3oz boy was born on Friday night! He's absolutely perfect and I can't possibly be grateful enough for how everything has been so far ... but my milk has just come in (today) and I'm so sore sad
I knew breast feeding wouldn't be easy (FTM so it's all new!) but how sore should I expect to be?
The first few sucks are painful but I can cope with that because the pain subsides, but he has gone 3 hours without a feed now, for the first time in his little life, and I'm lying on my back with two throbbing rocks stuck to my chest blush. I can't lie on my side because they're too sensitive. The swelling is so painful I can sleep through it.
Is this normal? I'm sorry for the essay, and even more sorry if this is to be expect and you are all thinking I'm moaning about nothing while other people are dealing with much worse blush I just don't know quite what to expect

Thank you thanks

nirishma Tue 18-Feb-14 01:17:42

Bless you takes me back. My wee-un is six months now. you sound in a lot of discomfort. If you can, have a hot shower and massage your breasts to relieve some of the engorgement. Get your OH to install an ecocamel shower head. Saves water, gas bill AND doesn't hurt your nipples like normal spray from a shower as the water comes out much more slowly but miraculously gets you soaked faster.

Oh and marylin Monroe bras from TKmaxx are a godsend for nighttime. I actually wear them daytime too now af have ditched the overpriced ill fitting nursing bras.

Try a cold compress ie a muslin soaked in v cold water to relieve some of the swelling.

Odd tips but things I'd wish if known back then.

You can also take ibuprofen for pain swelling etc ie signs of inflammation.

ataglance Tue 18-Feb-14 01:29:03

I'm no expert, so hopefully someone will come along shortly who is, but I have had a similar experience with all three of my children (currently breastfeeding ds3 who is 17 days old). Absolute agony when my milk comes in! Breasts like rocks, horrendous! But it does pass quickly, about 24 hours this time I think.

The things I found that helped were: taking ibuprofen, which the midwife said would reduce inflammation as well as pain. Expressing a little before each feed so baby can latch on more easily. This one is a bit weird but really helped me: soaking a clean nappy with water then popping it in the freezer until frozen, then apply to breasts between feeds! Apparently you shouldn't do this shortly before a feed as it can disrupt the milk flow but I found it a godsend between feeds.

I've never found breastfeeding easy or pain free at first but it does get better and easier. Make sure someone checks baby's latch if it continues to be painful. Lots of good info on mumsnet and the kellymom website too.

Congratulations on your new baby.

HopeS01 Tue 18-Feb-14 01:34:23

Thank you so much for you reply!
I'm going to try the shower tip now, and a cold muslin when I get out. Even the slightest bit of relief will be a huge help!
I agree about nursing bras, the extremely overpriced one I bought from John Lewis is already too small and feels like I'm adding even more pressure. I'm going to send my mum on a bra shopping mission tomorrow and will definitely try the TKmaxx one you have suggested.

I bought some of those cooling gel pads which you freeze, but I didn't anticipate needing them so soon and I only came home from hospital today so I've just popped a couple in the freezer and will try them tomorrow

Thank you again!

HopeS01 Tue 18-Feb-14 01:36:46

ataglance, thank you! I really hope this doesn't last! And, as much as I don't wish this pain on anyone, it's comforting to know that I'm not alone!

The nappy sounds great!! I'll try that too grin!

geekaMaxima Tue 18-Feb-14 09:47:09

Ooh, my sympathies! Engorgement is completely normal and you'll get used to dealing with it until your supply settles down at 6-8 weeks.

Cabbage leaves are another classic tip - sounds weird but really seems to help. Take a couple of large leaves, chill in fridge, pop inside bra next to your skin, replace when wilted or remove when discomfort fades. And feed feed feed!

I also suggest you get a good bf book as the early weeks are full of surprises and questions. The Food of Love is fab, research-based, and easy to dip in and out of when you're too busy with a small baby for lengthy reading. The LLL bible The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is excellent and comprehensive.

And congrats on your baba grin

BadPenny Tue 18-Feb-14 10:19:09

Hope, I would also say, if there's help near you in the form of a breastfeeding group or café get down there because if the pain is an attachment problem your baby may not be getting the milk out and then engorgement will be the least of your worries! Don't assume your midwives know enough to say that the baby's latch is fine... they told me that right up until they told me it wasn't and I had to use formula as well for the next 12 months.

QuietNinjaTardis Tue 18-Feb-14 11:16:48

Will your baby feed? I never let ds or dd go longer than 3 hours in the early weeks. Your boobs will soften up soon and be more comfy.

comfyonesie2 Tue 18-Feb-14 13:03:35

Hope, I hear you! My dd is 7 days old and I had this on days 4 and 5! I expressed a little milk with a breast pump to take the edge off the engorgement so she could latch on. Its passed now at day 7 because she's feeding every 2 hours (or more) so it's just the sore, bleeding nipples to cope with now confused This is my third DC so I can assure you it does pass, but it's horribly painful when it's happening. I just keep thinking every feed is one feed closer towards it stopping hurting! Sending you lots of sympathy! BTW am also having ibuprofen when it gets really painful! takes the edge off.

Melonbreath Tue 18-Feb-14 16:21:48

Engorgement will settle over the next month and it slowly gets easier up until then.
I used to dunk my tits in warm water for relief.
If your pain gets worse and you feel ill go straight to the gp. When dd went from going 2 to 3 hours i got mastitis and didn't have too bad a time of it because i caught it early, still sodding painful though!

HopeS01 Wed 19-Feb-14 01:36:01

Thanks everyone for your advice! It's so reassuring to hear that you've all been here.

I started using my collection cups this morning (on the other side from the one he was feeding) and I've collected and frozen 8oz today!!! I'm a milk machine! blush grin at this rate Hugo will never get through it all.

Unfortunately we don't have a milk donating place at our hospital but I'm going to do some research tomorrow. Seems a waste to be throwing it away!

Thanks again for all of the tips, I'm going to try them all over the next few days and will report back!

QuietNinjaTardis Wed 19-Feb-14 07:57:51

Well done! Can you freeze it and keep for your little one in the future? I have no idea how long you can freeze breast milk for though.

Melonbreath Wed 19-Feb-14 10:58:13

You can freeze breast milk for ages. I used it for porridge when starting to wean dd. Can't remember for how long but it said so on the storage packets I got from boots.
OH had a paddy one morning at the lack of milk and me being snappy and sleep deprived, ahem, found an emergency source of milk.
I thought he would be horrified, he's usually really squeamish but he didn't bat an eyelid and said it was really nice!

HopeS01 Thu 20-Feb-14 07:23:53

Melon!! Haha, resourceful!

You can store frozen breast milk for 3 months! So when I introduce a bottle (apparently I should wait until 6-8 weeks...?) I can get some help with night feeds wink

Things have settled down so much! Thank you all for your advice and support!
I'm collecting 12-16oz in 24 hours and using the frozen gel breast pads.
They're still like rocks right now but that's because the baby has been asleep for 4 hours grin

I'm going to search online for a good breast feeding book. Looks like I'll need it if I'm in it for he long haul


Karen1226 Thu 20-Feb-14 07:34:22

Hi, I'd also suggest going in and getting fitted for a nursing bra rather than sending someone else. Only because I went in after my milk came in and needed a 34F, I was so shocked as was only an A pre-pregnancy. X

HopeS01 Thu 20-Feb-14 08:46:29

Thanks Karen, you're probably right.
When I eventually venture out of the house I'll make a trip to mothercare

Melonbreath Thu 20-Feb-14 15:17:20

Be aware your baby may kick up a paddy and refuse point blank at the introduction of a bottle.
Mine did.
It got to the point where she'd watch me get it out of the steriliser, go rigid and begin to scream in anger, at 5 months after 3 months of trying

HopeS01 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:08:58

Melon.... Uho! I stupidly hadn't even considered that a possibility

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