my son was born 3 1/2 weeks ago and i have been breastfeeding exclusively the entire time. the problem is that it STILL hurts. sometimes i'm holding my breath or gripping the couch real tight b/c of the pain. he eats A LOT and i'm dying here. plus i just started pumping too so i can get a supply built up for when i am not able to be around him for a bit. it would be so nice to be able to leave the house for a while to go grocery shopping or something. sometimes i feel bad b/c he starts crying b/c he's hungry again and i get all tense and kinda dread nursing him. some days it doesn't feel too bad at all and i'll get all encouraged but the very next day i'll have wrecked nipples and sharp pains in my breasts. sometimes i REALLY want to stop and just go to formula! my bf and i agreed long before he was born that it was best for our son that i breastfeed and i planned on doing it exclusively for 6 months then integrated into his diet until approx 1 year of age. i feel a good bit of pressure to continue. my bf is gently encouraging but i still feel pressure. almost like performance anxiety to be an out-of-this-world great mother. i REALLY want to quit! i feel so guilty and like i'm a quitter just for thinking about switching to formula. i just wish i could have a break from all of the physical pain that i've been having for so long. all of the aches and pains of pregnancy, the labor and delivery, and now the breastfeeding. i feel like i've been in pain for a year straight! not only that but now that i think about breastfeeding for so long i think, am i ever going to be able to go anywhere or do anything? i want what is best for my son but i feel like i'm ALWAYS feeding him and that there is no room in my life for anything else...
anyway, if anyone has any advice i would love to read it! i've tried different positions, lanolin, breast shields, cold packs, hot packs, etc. and i'm still having issues with pain. i thought i'd be used to it by now...
thanks for listening ladies! happy pregnancy to all of you!
Lotus- I'm sorry you're having such a tough time. Honestly, at 3 1/2 weeks, it should not hurt that bad anymore. My hunch is that he's not properly latched on, which is the usual cause of pain for mothers. My suggestion is to call a La Leche League representative, and have them come over and watch and help you. You can find a local rep on their website, which I can't give, but I'm sure you could figure it out . At this point, it should be smooth sailing, so please don't hesitate to try getting help. If I were in your shoes, I would want to quit too, being in pain that long for something that you have to do all day isn't fun. I exclusively breast fed ds, and it I'll be honest, it wasn't always easy, but never painful (after the first week or so).. Also, maybe try stopping the lanolin, you may be having an allergic reaction to it. Let me knwo what happens.......don't give up yet!
i completely agree with dizzygirl that happened to me with my daughter i would hurt so much i even saw some cuts but then the nurse told me the baby is not latching on and showed me ever since the tenderness went away so you see thats why its hurting you so much you have to make sure the baby latches to the whole think not just the sorry tmi nipple, there able to get milk but not the full access to it if you try and the baby finally does latch on correctly you would see that breast feeding is not painful at all
I agree -- the pain could be related to a poor latch. One clarification -- the baby does NOT need to have the entire areola in his mouth -- he just needs to have some areola in addition to nipple (even now at 7 months, my son can't get it all).
However, also keep in mind, some women are simply more sensitive than others. The fairer your skin, the more likely you are to experience pain. How sensitive is your skin generally? Are you spreading lanolin on your nipples between nursings and expressing some extra breastmilk onto them after? Also, if you are still experiencing pain from nursing, I would certainly hold off on the pumping for a while. If nursing hurts, you won't be able to tell how to adjust the suction properly.
As to the nursing all the time, that usually slows down after the 6 week growth spurt (but not always). My baby nursed round the clock for at least two months and then all of a sudden was able to wait a couple of hours. Could you figure out a way to nurse discreetly in public? I went back to school when my son was 10 days old, and wore him in a sling to classes. When I nursed him in the sling, no one could tell that was what I was doing -- people frequently asked to see the baby while he was nursing! You'll probably want to wait until you solve some of the pain issues first, though.
I know just how you feel. I remember with ds I would cry everytime I would nurse him. When I went to my 6 week appt. my dr couldn't believe what my breast looked like. Also, ds would spit up blood because my nipples were bleeding so bad. What finally helped me get over it was pumping. I started pumping and feeding him from a bottle until my nipples healed. Then I went back to nursing and everything was great.
I know it is hard not to feel like you have failed. I remember feeling like if I didn't nurse I wouldn't be a good mom. Even if you are unable to nurst you will still be a great mom.
I also agree with Dizzy, you should try to find someone to make sure he is latched on correctly. There may be a consultant at the hospital where you delivered. Good luck to you. I really do hope things work out for you.
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i do have pretty fair (and freckly) skin that is kinda sensitive. i have stopped the lanolin & have been rubbing a little milk on my nipples instead. when he latches on he is definately getting areola too. i've read all kinds of stuff about breastfeeding and i have a great book here at the house. sometimes i have to do what they call the lower lip flip if he's not latched on proplerly. when i pump i get roughly 2 oz per session which is not even enough for one serving for him. he eats double that or more in one sitting...the pumping is MUCH less painful than nursing him although i am kinda tired of anything touching my breasts. even my shirt! i'm not worried about nursing in public, i'm just ready for him to be old enough to take out of the house. my ob recommended that i wait until he's 6 weeks to start taking him out.
ugh! i'm so frustrated. the lack of sleep and crying isn't that bad by itself so i feel like if i eliminate one major stress that everything in general would be easier and smooth sailing. i can handle being tired a lot but that compounded with the pain and demanding schedule of nursing is getting to me...
I saw that you said you used a "breast shield", if you mean a "nipple shield" (silicone nipple that sits over your breast) and it still hurts, then you may have an infection. Maybe you have mastitis. You should see your doctor or OB and let them have a look. I had to use a nipple shield because DD wouldn't latch on my "natural" nipple for the first 10 weeks. I only started feeling feeding pain once she was off the shield (about 3 weeks).
My sister said feeding hurt for about 5-6 weeks before the pain got better and she had a good latch as well. All I can say is good on you for trying as long as you have. If you work through these issues though, you're going to find BF so convenient in the long run - no bottles, thermoses, hot water/cold water, formula to carry around. And honestly, a great sense of accomplishment that you were able to work through it.
That said, if you decide to switch to formula, at least know you've given your baby a headstart by giving him as much breastmilk as you have.