We've spent weeks researching and testing breast pumps and bottles in real homes with real families. Read our baby feeding bottle and breast pump reviews to find out which ones were awarded Mumsnet Best.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Please tell me breastfeeding gets easier!(17 Posts)
I’m just looking for some reassurance that breastfeeding gets easier! I’m currently breastfeeding my 2 week old and struggling through badly cracked nipples, tender boobs from my milk regulating and leaking everywhere! I just can’t imagine ever being able to leave the house and spend time with my other child. The latch has been fixed by a lactation consultant but I think the damage gets worse at the beginning of each feed when the nipple is drawn out.
I had a much worse time with my first child so switched to formula but because it’s bearable this time I feel so much guilt at the thought of giving up.
Please tell me the nipple and engorgement pain goes away and I’ll one day also be able to feed when out the house! At the moment it involves having my whole boob out as getting a good latch takes a lot of effort!
It does. First 6 weeks is bloody awful. Hardest thing ever. If you can power through, feed by feed, you'll realise one day it's just easier. Then your supply regulates, your nipples get used to it and won't hurt anymore.
Having said that, do get a tongue tie assessment.
Bless you OP. I could have written this 6 months ago! I won’t lie I had about 4 weeks of pain (crying at each latch) due to flat nipples. She has definitely fixed this over time! I found nipple shields a huge help (medela) and we ditched them entirely by 6 weeks. I am now loving feeding at nearly 7 months. It does get easier I promise!
It is really really tough. I also switched to formula at 4 weeks with my first but was more determined this time. Good luck and remember, fed is best so if it really does get too much, you have already done a wonderful thing for your baby. X
Honestly I was the same then somewhere around week 5 or 6 it was better like overnight.
I agree, take it 1 feed at a time, don't focus on the hugeness of it, just one at a time. Get some nice e treats to eat each time you feed.
Thanks so much for the replies, I think I’ll try push through until 6 weeks then make a decision. I’ve been referred to the feeding specialists at the hospital so hopefully that will happen this week.
It’s hard because I’ve spoken to 3 of my friends that breastfed and none of them had much pain at all so it’s really reassuring to know if can get better!!
It does get easier, I promise you! It all just clicks in to place and becomes so so much easier. My 'click' was at around the 3/4 month mark. I can now happily feed in public which I never imagined I would be able to do.
I used nipple shields at the beginning for every other feed to give my nipples a break. Is this something you could consider?
Agree with the others. First six weeks were not great, but then almost overnight it changed. I'm pleased I stuck with it as it's now so easy to feed her wherever and whenever she needs.
Just do your best to look after yourself and be easy on yourself. Lots of snacks, and all the rubbish TV you need!
Lasinoh moist healing cream if you don't have it already. I found feeding very hard but had to persevere as my son was a bottle refuser until 9 months. You are in the worst bit. Especially just after birth when everything hurts. It's really tough. The only things that helped me was getting the correct positioning, moist healing cream and listening to music while I was feeding. I also used to ask people not to speak to me when he was latching on as that was the sore bit. At first I had to lie down to feed as I had hurt my coxyx during birth so it was absolutely not that thing about being able to feed anywhere, I hated it. It did get easier in time though. Well done for persevering. Try and get plenty of rest and good food and fluids as much as possible.
Also I think part of the reason everyone else I knew had a better time was that I am fair skinned so my skin is very thin/sensitive and just seemed to crack and bleed more easily. It did get better with time though.
I'd second getting your child checked for tongue tie. My DS's was missed by several health care professionals, but when it was eventually cut it made the world of difference.
Also you could try these to relieve these to relieve the engorgement pain.
It does get easier. At the moment, your milk supply is all over the place and your nipples hurt because a) they are not used to it and b) the baby's mouth is a bloody small area at this stage! As their mouths grow and cover more of the nipple, it gets more comfortable.
I second nipple shields, cream and as much relaxation as possible.I also found bathing with them helped too - I positioned mine on my chest and splashed water gently over them to stay warm whilst we sorted out the latch.
Yes! For me, with my first I think the pain probably peaked around 2-3 weeks, the sense that they just wanted to feed all the bloody time peaked around 4 weeks and then it noticeably felt much easier in general about 6 weeks.
That said, if it gets too much please don't feel like a failure if you stop. It's not the be all and end all.
100% promise it gets easier after they do that crazy cluster feed (every 15 minutes) at 5;weeks.
After this it becomes perfect for lazy arses like me. I did do mix feeding from day 10 (just one bottle a day) this meant I BF until over a year old as gave me time off and a chance to go out/work much easier
It gets easier. I used multimam patches. They were brilliant. They seem to draw out the soreness if that makes sense
My second has been a lot harder to feed that my first but I started feeling better week 3/4- pricey but honestly this eased and is still easing my boobs so much
I agree with the other poster - please check for tied tongue as it can make a massive difference. Even a small tied tongue.
Also whist it might get better, do not feel guilty about bottle feeding. I felt I had to breast feed and now looking back I wish I had just bottle fed and enjoyed my time with the two children and not felt so tied down.
Babies will still grow up health and happy with a bottle, but it's more important to have a happy, healthy mum and with the second child it's much harder to breastfeed
Are you using nipple cream? I managed to get a blister on my nipple on day 1 and while it was healing I was in agony!! The thing I did differently between DS 1 & DS2 was using nipple cream after every single feed. Also this might be obvious but it wasn't to me, unlatch and rematch every time the latch feels wrong even if that means several goes to get a good latch.
We are at almost 7 weeks and I still get occasional pain when he latches on but it's so much easier now than those early weeks. I've also only fed in public this week. Until now I've been timing going out (food shop, school run etc) in between feeds!
I have got some really nice reusable breast pads as well, I got them on Etsy and they help too, if my nipple is feeling sore now I will express a little milk onto the breast pad before putting it on which seems to help.
Please login first.