Advanced search

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?

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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...

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.

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!

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.

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.

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 16:29:50

fluff that's unfortunate but statistically meaningless.

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 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.

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 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 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 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 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.

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.

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

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 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!!!

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


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!

elvislives2012 Tue 25-Feb-14 20:55:36

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.

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.

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now