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When does the pain go away?

(24 Posts)
sundayblanket Wed 02-May-18 00:53:26

FTM here, my baby is one week old and I'm close to giving up on breastfeeding. I've seen numerous midwives and a lactation consultant, who all said the latch was good, but it still just hurts so much every time I feed.

I'm not even just talking about the initial 10 seconds of burning, but the nipples hurt for the entire duration of the feed.

A second issue is the engorgement. If I don't feed for even an hour, my breasts become hard and painful. I've tried cold cabbage, warm and cold compresses, massaging, but the pain comes back the minute I stop.

So the questions are: (1) when do the nipples eventually toughen up and stop hurting? And (2) when do the breasts stop being hard and sore between feeds?

Help me, mums sad

OP’s posts: |
vinegarqueen Wed 02-May-18 01:05:36

My first two weeks of breastfeeding were very painful. A few things helped:

1. Lanolin nipple cream (the purple one, available from boots). Apply before, during, and after. Totally safe for baby.
2. Paracetamol (but do check with GP)
3. Weirdly, breastfeeding on demand. Literally sat in front of telly with iplayer and fed baby. Helped with engorgement, too.

flowers don't be afraid to have a little break and give a formula feed once in a while to give your boobs a break if you need. It will get better, and you are already doing so much for your baby.

sundayblanket Wed 02-May-18 01:23:22

Thank you @vinegarqueen did it go away after two weeks then?

I'm expressing at the moment as well, so my husband can give her a mini feed by spoon at night as required. I'm reluctant to use a real bottle, for fear of nipple confusion. Or should I just go for it?

OP’s posts: |
vinegarqueen Wed 02-May-18 01:34:38

It did go at 2 weeks, (possibly a few days before).

I think with the possibility of nipple confusion it really has to be your choice: we gave the odd bottle feed of either formula or expressed milk and there was no problem. We started very early partially because my SIL had been frightened off bottles by the internet and then her baby wouldn't take a bottle at all when she tried them at 2 months.

However, it's for you to weigh up the risk. It might be that you could have a go once you feel bfeeding is well established and carry on with a small spoon or cup before that.

vinegarqueen Wed 02-May-18 01:39:15

Oh, and if you are expressing a lot you may want to gradually cut down if you can: your breasts will produce milk on demand, so if you are expressing more than you are feesing your baby then they "think" your baby needs loads of milk or you have twins or something. This will cause engorgement.

Plumsofwrath Wed 02-May-18 01:48:37

If you’re expressing, your breasts “think” the baby is feeding so produce more milk! That’s why you’re engorged. Unless there’s something else going on, there’s no need to express one week after birth. If you’re expressing so you don’t have to wake at night and DH can do night feeds......you’re storing up a whole load of trouble. I’m surprised you’re able to sleep through the pain of engorgement tbh - ouch!

There’s no short cuts other than cosleeping. The best way to sort out all your problems is to use lansinoh nipple cream immediately after each feed and liberally, and feed when your baby needs feeding. This means you will be tired. But it will settle down into a pattern if you stick with it - 6 weeks is normally when that happens. You’ll feel like shit until then, but after that you’ll be laughing all the way at just how much easier bf is than ff, especially if you cosleep.

Congrats on the baby!

Kirta Wed 02-May-18 01:54:34

My baby is 9 days old today.. just fed comfortably for the first time ever! Good luck!

booklover21 Wed 02-May-18 01:58:12

Congrats on your new baby!

I didn't find the Lanolin cream helped much but highly recommend breast milk for healing sore nipples! When your little one has finished, just squeeze out a few drops and rub into the nipple area. Seriously works wonders!!

Breastfeeding is painful at first but I think it started to settle down around a few weeks in. Honestly became one of my favourite things ever (until he started teething that is!)

Waitingonasmiley42 Wed 02-May-18 02:28:08

It should get better soon and the best advice I read was not to give up on a bad day. For me the pain was almost gone by 2 weeks and after 6 weeks was completely comfortable.

Hope it improves for you soon.

sundayblanket Wed 02-May-18 02:42:16

Thanks everyone - it sounds like another week and things will get better...! The end is in sight! 🙏🏼

OP’s posts: |
StepAwayFromGoogle Wed 02-May-18 20:12:01

OP, I feel your pain. I'm on day 6 of breastfeeding and it's really painful. I'm trying to persevere because this is when I gave in a supplemented with formula with DD1 - who then refused the boob. Have you tried hydrogel breast pads? I've got the medela ones and they've been great for protecting my poor nipples.

sundayblanket Wed 02-May-18 22:40:28

The pain got really bad today and the baby kept crying for the boob, so I tried giving her some expressed milk by bottle. She was on the bottle for about 10 seconds in total and then threw up, but truth be told the sight of her bottle feeding felt really upsetting for some reason and I vowed to keep going.

The nipple shields are keeping me sane right now...

I'm guessing the answer is no, but can I apply analgesic gel to the nipples???

OP’s posts: |
Thebookswereherfriends Wed 02-May-18 22:52:15

I don't want to be a negative belly, but I breastfed for 16 months and it never became comfortable. The first six weeks were the hardest and I did use lansinoh a lot, get fresh air to the breasts as much as poss and take paracetamol if it's really bad. After that it became something I could put up with - the reason I persisted was because I have a bunch of allergies and asthma and I just wanted to do what I could to prevent my dd having them. Also, even with the discomfort it is much easier to just not bother with bottles/expressing and the faff involved with them.
I did feed on demand, but learnt to distinguish between tired and hungry and used a dummy after 6 weeks for going to sleep as there was no way I could just have lazy, sleepy latching.
Good luck, remember it's important baby is fed, it doesn't have to be from you.

HeedMove Wed 02-May-18 22:56:57

After about two weeks been three for a couple of friends. I use to grit my teeth and say or think fuck fuck fuck repeatedly for first minute or so of latching on. If you can get passed these weeks its such a breeze. There was a gauze with really cool gel on it my midwife gave me with my second daughter that was amazing! Didnt need to wipe it off before feeding either.

I dont think you can use analgesic cream or gel sorry.

HeedMove Wed 02-May-18 22:59:04

Also having your boobs and nipples out to the air as much as possible helps too. Id shut the blinds and lock the door and let them out. Both my eldest girls and my husband were use to it with my third very quickly.

sundayblanket Wed 02-May-18 23:08:09

Yes the first ten seconds are definitely the worst and there's a lot of profaning when this happens. Why is that??

It's also topless city over here too. I don't even bother with the blinds - I have a ferociously gummy little baby to feed, I deserve some sunlight! angry

OP’s posts: |
mindutopia Thu 10-May-18 04:21:26

The initial pain is the letdown. I don’t know why it hurts to start but I suspect something to do with hormones regulating and your body getting used to producing milk. Painful letdown usually stops around 2-3 weeks. It can sometimes be uncomfortable after (like I feel when it happens when I am just walking around and not actually feeding my baby), but it wasn’t painful after 2 weeks. If anything it’s a relief.

Agree I would stop the expressing. It’s a faff and really it’s much easier to just get up and do a feed and nighttime feeding is essential for regulating your supply so you make the right amount of milk. My dh helped instead by taking ours for a good 4-6 hour shift every night for the first month or so, bringing them to me for feeds and then going back downstairs, so I could get as much extra sleep as possible before he went to bed. That helped a lot.

QueenJane Thu 10-May-18 04:51:10

Oh god...the initial latch was like having lit matches pressed against them. I used to curl my toes and swear into my hand. It is awful, but it will pass. My nipples were in a terrible state, bleeding and raw. Baby actually vomited my blood on one occasion. We were in hospital for a week post birth, and I had his latched checked constantly and had a lot of support, but time was the only thing that helped much. Lansinoh cream kept me sane. We breastfed to 8 months successfully, so this will pass flowers

Newbabyat47 Thu 10-May-18 04:54:42

Hi Sunday, I realise this thread is a week or so old now, how are you getting on? I had to sign up to be able to answer you and ask if you have tried the ‘rugby ball hold’. I failed in feeding my two daughters due to the nipple pain you describe, it was intolerable. When my son came along a few years later, a midwife asked if I had tried the rugby ball hold (I’m sure you’ll be able to google this). I hadn’t heard of it but immediately after his birth I tried it. It was a revelation - he fed successfully for 9 months (until he bit me twice!) and despite thinking each day in the early days that today would
be the day it started to hurt and all broke down, that day never came and I can honestly say I never felt pain once!

Fast forward 12 years and I have a new 8 week old daughter - I tried the same approach with her and again, no pain or problematic nipples whatsoever! I swear by it! In fact, I did feed her using the standard cuddle position once in the early weeks and had to take her off due to the tugging pain I was feeling (the discomfort from that feed lasted a good few hours).

I am convinced that this position is amazing and to further advocate it, my sister who was unsuccessful with her first, used my advice with her second and third and successfully fed them for many months.

Please at least give it a try, good luck and let us know how you get on x

sundayblanket Thu 10-May-18 14:40:52

@Newbabyat47 thank you so much for registering just to let me know that; that's really kind of you. Will definitely try!

Well, one boob is now absolutely fine (after a small blip yesterday when I got a bleb and the boob got engorged and extremely painful) but the other is still very sore, and has an open wound where the nipple is connected to the areola. I had a lactation consultant come round again, who said I needed to get more of the areola in... will keep persevering now that I know there is light at the end of the tunnel!

OP’s posts: |
conservativeuterus Thu 10-May-18 15:46:53

The first three weeks were agony for me. We used to call DD the boob shark. I ended up watching loads of youtube videos about getting the correct latch. I had to be hardline and unlatch her when she wasn't latched correctly (my nipple was coming out looking like a lipstick and she was effectively grating it on the roof of her mouth) and relatch her. We finally cracked it and it wasn't painful at all after that. When they are latched correctly the nipple elongates and sits in the roof of the mouth, if I recall correctly, and shouldn't be painful.

She is still breastfeeding at 4 years old! Its the twiddling that does my head in these days!

shallichangemyname Thu 10-May-18 15:54:57

Try soaked chamomile tea bags
Is the pain like a red hot poker? If so it could be thrush. My god I had that and thought I was going to die. I didn't have visible sores but one teeny tiny one that I could just about see. GP sceptical but I kept on and they gave me the cream and it was much better within 48 hours so I was definitely right.

sundayblanket Thu 10-May-18 17:15:20

@conservativeuterus thank you for this ray of hope! Did you ever get sores or bleeding? I'm wondering whether to wait till it's healed before I practise latching again...
@shallichangemyname I don't think it's thrush thankfully!

OP’s posts: |
NameChange30 Thu 10-May-18 17:22:44

I don’t think it’s normal for it to be this painful. Has baby had a proper assessment for tongue tie? I would get a second (or third) opinion if I were you. Look up breastfeeding clinics and groups near you. See if there are lactation consultants or tongue tie practitioners at the clinics/groups who can advise - and if not if the breastfeeding counsellors can recommend anyone.

Don’t believe a midwife, health visitor or doctor who tells you the baby doesn’t have tongue tie. They are not trained on it. Many tell parents their babies don’t have tongue tie (or it’s mild and doesn’t affect feeding) when they do (and it does).

It might not be tongue tie but it’s still important to rule it out and my advice still applies re getting further help.

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