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For those who found breastfeeding painful... when did the pain stop?

(45 Posts)
Nickname1980 Wed 02-Nov-16 20:25:53

I've posted already about being ready to quit. I'm pretty much now taking every feed as it comes.

I had an EMCS 5 days ago and bf feels like the only thing I can do for my baby. But it hurts so much 😔 The latch is ok, I'm told. I just have to wait until he's bigger, they said, for it to be better.

I don't know how long to expect the pain for. Although I sort of do, it was weeks and weeks with my older child.

If i decide to bf in the day and bottle feed at night (formula) will my daytime supply suffer? And will my baby reject the boob? Should I use a special bottle?

LegoCaltrops Wed 02-Nov-16 20:34:44

For me, it started to ease at about 4 weeks, & completely stopped hurting at 6 weeks. I'd had horribly cracked nipples (the BFing nurse winced when she saw) & DD apparently had a vice grip, according to the midwife! I mix fed DD for weeks 1-4, lost & regained the milk on one side. If your supply does suffer (which it might not), expressing will help improve it. I found I was always produced more milk if I slept more & kept better hydrated.

AFAIK most babies can learn to adapt to mix feeding although it takes a bit of persistence.

OrianaBanana Wed 02-Nov-16 20:40:47

I think about 4-5 weeks and like the PP I had cracked and bleeding nipples. DS had a suspected tongue tie though so not sure if the release op helped (it didn't immediately anyway).

Interestingly I managed to feed painlessly even with cracked and bleeding nipples at one particular breastfeeding clinic so it might be worth trying diffferent ones if you do want to persevere. Or consider nipple shields.

5 days I think is quite early for a baby to take easily to combi feeding so if you do decide to combi feed then you might need to be prepared for boob rejection or supply issues - depends how upset you'd be about that I suppose. I may be wrong however, and your baby might have no issues with it. smile

BossWitch Wed 02-Nov-16 20:42:09

2 weeks here. Just suddenly was OK. Fingers crossed for you!

Heratnumber7 Wed 02-Nov-16 20:48:22

I jacked it in after about 4 weeks. I cried every time the baby cried because I couldn't bear the thought of feeding her. DH took matters into his own hands and went out and bought bottles, steraliser etc. I was so relieved someone else had made the decision for me, I cried again.

In my defence, when DD was about 8 weeks I found myself in hospital having an abscess in my breast drained under GA.

evilgiraffe Wed 02-Nov-16 20:50:22

DD1 (born by EMCS) was bad at feeding to start with, I had to express into a syringe for the first day or so. After that we were both learning so she chewed my nipples for the first week. The healing was incredibly painful (as was the let-down); I ended up taking painkillers for the boobs more than the caesarean healing. After three weeks it was all fine, though, and I breastfed her for a year.

DD2 I obviously had the advantage of experience, so it never really hurt that much. She's now seven months and I'm still feeding her.

If I remember correctly, the early-hours feeds are critical for establishing and maintaining supply, so perhaps bottle feed at another time if you want to. With DD1 I used "multi mam" compresses on my nipples which really helped ease the pain. And lansinoh. Lots and lots of lansinoh.

WhisperingLoudly Wed 02-Nov-16 20:51:27

Around the 6 week mark for the foot stamping, toe curling agony to end. Another couple of weeks to get to what I'd describe as comfortable. Was worth it and I fed for two years. Good luck

Kennington Wed 02-Nov-16 20:55:35

8 weeks
I had nipple thrush which was a sharp pain and cracked nipples too. But the actual breast feeding pain took 8 weeks to fully pass. It started to get easier around week 7.

Endlesslllove Wed 02-Nov-16 20:57:58

The first week can be tough!
From what I understand, milk supply is established in the first few weeks according to baby's needs, so adding formula to the mix could affect supply.
Is there a lactation consultant in the hospital/nearby that can help? I found the lactation consultants at my local baby cafe amazing, they had a lot more specialised training than the midwives. Good luck!

Lightattheend Wed 02-Nov-16 20:58:34

Good grief! I gave up the toe curling pain after 10 days, hadn't realised that it could go on for 4 or 6 weeks! Well done you ladies for preserving, I truly admire your grit!

Endlesslllove Wed 02-Nov-16 21:02:28

This might be useful

PoloZolo Wed 02-Nov-16 21:03:50

First time, 4/5 weeks - saw a BFing support person at the hospital & improved latch, got better.
Second time round, days 3-6 were painful again, I suspected the latch wasn't great (despite people saying t was) so got some support from midwife and the pain went by day 6.
I think it's worth seeing someone about the pain, there may be a simple adjustment you can make that would get rid of the pain.

Bravas Wed 02-Nov-16 21:04:08

Toe curling stopped after 2-3 weeks, then it all became pretty easy for us.

I used to count to 30 from the initial latch, after 30 the pain decreased, it helped to distract me by counting.

No one warns of the pain of breast feeding, so it can be a real shock at first. You do whatever is right for you and your baby.

SolemnlyFarts Wed 02-Nov-16 21:05:30

When the tongue-tie was cut.

I'd get someone (a lactation consultant or experienced midwife trained in bf) to look urgently - it's woefully under-diagnosed but can be very easily remedied once you know it's an issue.

Nipple shields are amazing (I fed one baby with what I suspect was an undiagnosed tongue-tie with them for a year) - they should reduce the pain.

Using a bottle now will be a problem if you want to breastfeed - get someone who knows what they're about to see if there is an issue (many HCP have no or little training on breastfeeding and don't know what to look for. That amount of pain does not sound normal, in my experience.

Hamsolo Wed 02-Nov-16 21:20:33

Also, some people frown on them but nipple shields saved me second time out. DD1 wasn't easy but I never had that intense pain that I had with DD2. DD2, I completely understand what a pp says about crying at every feed. I couldn't face it. Nipple shields used for about 2 weeks took the edge off, but it was probably a good 4 weeks before it was completely painfree. If you can find a way through it, it's so easy on the other side, but I do know how hard it is getting through it!

EggNChipsTw1ce Wed 02-Nov-16 21:22:07

It was OK for the first couple of days, then when my milk came in she started feeding constantly and it was horrible (toe-curling is about right). Breathing exercises helped a bit and paracetamol. Then I looked at videos on YouTube to try to get a better latch and cracked it, so feeding was much less painful. Then just had to wait for nipples to heal! A couple of weeks all in all. Does get better as their mouths get bigger!

justpeachy74 Wed 02-Nov-16 21:24:13

2-3 weeks. I didn't make it past that really with the first one. However the second one was much more successful. The two-week mark was really tough (mastitis) but with the help of lansinoh it got easier. Applying breast milk to the nipples and 'airing' them a bit helps too.
Congratulations and good luck.

EggNChipsTw1ce Wed 02-Nov-16 21:24:27

Plus I understood feeding at night is what keeps supply up

hatsandbagsandshoes Wed 02-Nov-16 21:28:35

What sort of pain? For me the cracked nipples etc was better after 4ish weeks. The pain from the let-down reflex faded gradually, probably totally gone at about 2 months. And the uterine contractions when feeding went after about 10 days, all of a sudden. It's hard and it's painful, but all of a sudden it gets easy and totally second nature (hopefully for you anyway).

CreamCrackerundertheSettee Wed 02-Nov-16 21:30:07

My dd2 was premature and tube fed so I expressed for about 2 weeks which was fine, no pain. I know all was well by 6 weeks because we moved house!

I think the feeling that I was doing the equivalent of putting my nipple in a door and slamming it lasted about a week. I did have cracked bleeding nipples though. Feeding with those was always going to hurt. After that it was toe curling. Eventually all was well.

EggNChipsTw1ce Wed 02-Nov-16 21:30:42

Even though they say the latch is OK, it might be a good idea to double check. I found Dr Jack Newman videos on YouTube very helpful. And congratulations! flowers

StMary Wed 02-Nov-16 21:31:03

Both times 3 weeks. Mostly the initial latch hurt then once the feed got going it was bearable. Cracked bleeding nipples are just so sore, specially when DC clip them with those razor sharp little finger nails shock

Are you fair-skinned op? Apparently that makes things worse.

My saving grace was to feed on one side at a time and know there would be 4-6 hours between doing that side again.

In terms of helping your poor nips, cold wet (not dripping) tea bags, cabbage leaves and lanisoh all helped me, as did letting air get to them. I think my boobs were pretty much constantly on display for the first 6 weeks with both DC.

I fed until 18 mths and 20 mths respectively though. Once that pain went, and I promise it will once your nipples have "toughened up", bf-ing can be truly marvelous. I still miss it actually.

StMary Wed 02-Nov-16 21:31:51

Ooh yes. Breast milk is great for healing all sorts of things!

Ohyesiam Wed 02-Nov-16 21:36:18

About 6 weeks I think. Really toe curling before that, you have all my sympathy.
I talked to a brilliant NCT bf councillor, Just a phone appointment, but it really helped.

Icapturethecast1e Wed 02-Nov-16 21:38:29

First 2 no pain whatsoever. Last one had really strong sucking power & that caused excruciating pain. Thanks God for that cream in purple tube ( lanisoh?). Used it religiously & within a few days pain was bearable. After 2 week didn't even remember the pain.

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