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Is BF always painful at first?

(23 Posts)
RGPargy Fri 20-Jul-07 12:10:52

I pg with DC2 after a long gap (17 years) and as my DS was premature and very poorly, i couldn't BF him. However, i am willing to give it a go with this one, despite me feeling a little bit "funny" about the whole BF thing.

But one thing i keep hearing about is how women's boobs get really really sore, cracked, bleeding nipples and they are in absolute agony.

So what i want to know is whether it's always like this and then calms down or is just a bunch of unlucky women that this happens to??

Howdydoody Fri 20-Jul-07 12:15:45

Sorry not to be too helpful but all mine were bf and every single bloomin time for about the first 3 weeks it hurt like billy-oh. Even when there was only a year between ds1 and 2! Didnt really crack tho, just sore. After that though - it's great

My toes are curling just thinking about it!!

SpawnHorcrux Fri 20-Jul-07 12:18:12

I think it is pretty common, but I had no pain at all (apart from having norks like a pair of ballistic missiles for about 48 hours). Of the other BFers I know, I'd say about 30-50% had pain of some description at the beginning. And the others I'm not sure about (I suppose you generally don't here the 'easy' stories so much, and some people aren't comfortable talking about boob stuff).

RGPargy Fri 20-Jul-07 12:18:24

oh great

Does it help to put that £10 nipple cream stuff on them from the start before they even get sore?

DITDOT Fri 20-Jul-07 12:19:22

Both my DD's made my nipples cracked and bloody. But lasted for 2 weeks and with help of lansinoh, jelonet and nipple shields I soon forgot about it.

Positioning is so important but I could never get it right and my nipples toughened up after a while.

hellish Fri 20-Jul-07 12:19:46

sure lots of people will be along soon to give you excellent advice, but here's mine.

I have friends who didn't experience any pain at all and friends who had sore boobs for the first week or so while their milk was coming in.

I bf both my dds till they were around 1 yr.

I had terrible cracked nipples (they bled) and it was very very hard to carry on, but for me the 5 week point was magic, both times, nipples healed and feeding was painless from then on.

It was such a lovely thing to be able to do, I'm so glad I didn't give up, apart from the ease and convenience of bf, I loved the closeness it brought me and my babies and still look back to those days with great happiness.

Give it a go, get plenty of advice in the first few days (see other bf threads here), and don't be put off.

Berrie Fri 20-Jul-07 12:20:01

Didn't happen to me at all. I was always careful to get the positioning right because that's what they say makes it hurt but I'm not sure really. I'm not sure why positioning matters in the beginning when after a few weeks you can be feeding the baby with one arm and dressing the other child with your spare hand with no thought to positioning.Maybe someone else knows!

DITDOT Fri 20-Jul-07 12:20:49

Get the lansinoh on free prescription. The doctors will not refuse as they can not be seen not to promote BF. Saved me £100's pounds.

hellish Fri 20-Jul-07 12:21:25

Yes, definately put the cream on right from the beginning.

Extortionate I know, has anyone looked into getting it on NHS???

hellish Fri 20-Jul-07 12:21:44

sorry cross posts.

ruddynorah Fri 20-Jul-07 12:21:58

i didn't get sore, cracked or bleeding nipples. however i did find it toe curlingly painful for the first, probably 3 weeks, almost to the point where i would dread doing a feed.
i put the pain down to my let down, it only happened at the very start of a feed, wasn't painful at the nipple but more like inside, hard to explain really. it would only last a short few seconds, but enough for me to clench my eyes shut and literaly curl my toes. i was extremely determined to continue through this, i had read enough to know those first weeks can take some getting used to.
but then the pain just went and bf was the most simple and straightforward thing ever. i did 8 months with dd and plan to go for a year or even longer with my next one.

Haylstones Fri 20-Jul-07 12:23:06

I think it's pretty common and you can definitely get through it but it doesn't always happen. I bf dd from the very start and never ever had sore nipples or any kind of tenderness (achey boobs when redy for a feed but bearable!) Good luck

bigmouthstrikesagain Fri 20-Jul-07 12:26:25

I did find it painful at first - and the hv took great pleasure in saying I would get bleeding nips as I am red haired It turned out that I didn't get cracked or bleeding nips and I went on to bf ds for 22m and still feeding dd at 15m.

Mastitis is what you need to watch ou for - if you catch it early enough and get it treated it is not so bad.

Good luck.

RGPargy Fri 20-Jul-07 12:31:02

What's mastitis? i've heard of it, but dont actually know what it is.

ProfYaffle Fri 20-Jul-07 12:31:08

I felt a bit like you do before I started feeding dd1. I was dreading it, only heard horror stories and was convinced I probably wouldn't be able to do it. I decided to try bf for 2 weeks and if I was hating it I'd switch to formula.

Luckily dd1 took to it like a natural. My boobs felt hot and uncomfortable when my milk came in but not actually painful. Cold cabbage leaves were enough to relieve it. When she latched on i got a pain like stubbing a toe which faded quite quickly and that stopped altogether after a couple of weeks or so.

With dd2 I had a few more problems, blocked ducts and a small crack. I sorted those out with the help of The crack was fecking painful even though it was only a small one but I carried on because I'd enjoyed bf so much with dd1 and wanted to do the same with dd2. By about week 3 or 4 I was completely pain free again.

I've loved bf my dd's and would urge anyone to at least give it a go. dd2 is coming up to weaning age now and I'm so sad that I won't be exclusively bfing anymore and she's my last baby so I won't be doing it again. <sob> I'm just sooooo thankful I gave it a go with dd1.

kiskidee Fri 20-Jul-07 12:31:32

really sore, cracked, bleeding nipples are usually a sign that bf is not going right. usually, the problem here is poor latch.

so simple but yet so many health care profs do not know enough or care enough about bf to correct poor latch and therefore bypassing these problems all together.

your best bet at the moment is to find a bf group run by properly trained people. go along while you are pg to watch women who are feeding babies at different ages. they will also be your support network in the early days when you are feeling so vulnerable.

if you google the NCT, LLL, and babycafe they will more often than not have a group in your area. you don't have to be a member to go along,.

bigmouthstrikesagain Fri 20-Jul-07 12:52:30

Mastitis is an infection that can occur if you get a blocked duct in the breast - the first sign is hot red patches on your breast and fluey symptoms - the first time I had it I had a horrible night of shivers and fever and went to the docs weak as a kitten the next day (xmas eve). Antibiotics clear it up in 24 hrs no problem. If you notice painful areas on your breast try to make sure your baby drains the breast completely and express in a warm bath etc. that can help stop the infection developing.

I did have Mastitis a few times but got very good at naoticing the early signs and getting medication so it was never as bad as the first time again.

Cabbage leaves straight from the fridge are great if you have any soreness.

jj131 Fri 20-Jul-07 13:11:43

it was not at all painful for me - no cracks, sores, or blood -- but my db used to scream his head of as if I were trying to kill him when I breastfed him, but that's a different story.

tigger15 Fri 20-Jul-07 13:23:08

It wasn't painful for me for 2 reasons.

1. My cousin with many children told me that when I finish feeding I should let my nipples dry in the air with a bit of milk on. This helps toughen them up which is what a lot of the initial pain comes from and tends to peak at about the 20th feed. Even if you don't do this, all my friends who had this pain said it did calm down after a few weeks.

2. I didn't get cracked nipples. I followed the advice of my AN class which was latch off if it hurts and because of (1 above) it only hurt if he didn't latch on well (ie sucking on the nipple - it kills).

Also get a good bra and a sleep bra. I was in agony one day when I didn't put one on because I didn't get up.

Saying which despite this the beginning was absolutely horrendous because of nipple confusion, a baby who wanted to use me as a dummy and being in agony from c/sec.

tigger15 Fri 20-Jul-07 13:25:36

Also, LLL were great over the phone and in hospital.

We went to the babycafe when ds was 4 wks and when I asked for help got told that the baby knew what to do and that I was the one doing it wrong without showing me what to do. Since ds routinely turned his head the wrong way ie away from the bosom this was not encouraging or designed to make me feel great!!

devonsmummy Fri 20-Jul-07 13:32:13

Didn't have any pain when feeding - just aching when the milk came in after a few day and no cracked nipples.
I'd said I'd give it a go for a few weeks before DS came along and I'm still going 8 mths on.

RGPargy Fri 20-Jul-07 14:12:21

Sounding a bit more encouraging! Thanx ladies!

ratfly Fri 20-Jul-07 18:46:22

I can honestly say I had NO pain bfing. No nipple pain, cracked nipples etc, not even with a poor latch - if it started to hurt, I got him to relatch. No mastitis (yet - only stopped last week). even engorgement wasnt painful. So no, it doesn't always happen

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