Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Okay, what does "not supposed to hurt" ACTUALLY mean?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    39

    Question Okay, what does "not supposed to hurt" ACTUALLY mean?

    I'm getting a little discouraged - at 4.5 weeks my nipples are still painful. A little background, I have had my latch evaluated by a wonderful LC, seen my OB for a prescription antibiotic cream, and taken my baby to a pediatric oral surgeon to make sure his upper and lower frenula are not problematic. The oral surgeon is breastfeeding-friendly and told me my baby does have a narrow gum ridge and is showing signs of early teething, which in effect means that he can "bite" me with his top gum. This is apparently what caused the deep and painful cracks on my nipples where the top part of the baby's mouth comes in contact with them. (I haven't been able to find info on this anywhere, though.) The doctors all mentioned we don't appear to have thrush.

    Anyway, after two weeks of mostly pumping, one breast is sufficiently healed that I am working on getting my baby back to full-time breastfeeding. I'm not experiencing any latch-on pain and the nipple is coming out of the baby's mouth rounded. But, he sometimes moves his head with the nipple in his mouth, which hurts me, and I can certainly feel it when he sucks, kind of a sandpapery feeling. Both nipples (the one I'm pumping and the one I'm feeding from) are still sensitive to the point where putting on a bra is an exercise in avoiding pain. The one I am feeding from gets more sensitive after a feeding.

    I'm determined to keep going, but am I doing something wrong?! Is it ever really painless to breastfeed? As in, no sensitivity or pain? When is it that babies don't need so much help with latching on to avoid pain for the mother? I know breastfeeding is supposed to be so easy and convenient when you get the hang of it, but right now it's a whole process to get my baby latched well and even when he's not starving he gets frustrated and starts crying a lot of times.

    Thank you for any help you can send my way!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Okay, what does "not supposed to hurt" ACTUALLY mean?

    Breastfeeding isn't sensation free by any means. I think the kind of pain you are trying to avoid (and that indicates a problem) is the toe curling type. At 4.5 weeks, you and your lo are still learning and bfing probably isn't going to be effortless. I have been bfing for 20 months and I can still feel it when he nurses. Sometimes I find it very irritating (around the time I ovulate), but most of the time it is more of a tugging sensation. And yes, it is going to hurt when your lo is moving his head with your nipple in his mouth.

    I too wore a bra all the time for several weeks, but eventually didn't have to. My nipples are still more sensitive, but it is nothing like it was in the beginning. What you are describing (other than the cracks that seem to have resolved) sounds normal to me.

    The fact that you have been bottle feeding for a while might be why your lo still needs quite a bit of help latching on. Around 3 months things really started to click for us (but he was tongue tied for 9 weeks, so that added some other factors).

    Hang in there! You can do this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,107

    Default Re: Okay, what does "not supposed to hurt" ACTUALLY mean?

    It does get painless eventually- though it always hurts when they decide to look around with their nipple still in your mouth!! I think somewhere between 2-3 months was about the time that my nipples were not as sensitive anymore and bfing became easier. Of course, then I started battling thrush, but it sounds like that is not your problem.

    It may be that the pumping hasn't toughened your nipples up like breastfeeding would, so maybe you just need a little more time to let that happen. It sounds like you are doing a great job, though. Don't get discouraged, it really does get better and you're nearly there!!!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Okay, what does "not supposed to hurt" ACTUALLY mean?

    I've been bfing my son for 6 weeks now and am by no means an expert, but here is what I have discovered. My nipples were very sore (but not anything like what you have gone through) and it was painful to feed my son for the first few weeks, but I discovered that if I changed positions it didn't hurt nearly as badly. The position that was least painful was when I would lie down next to my son to feed him or the football hold. I guess the variation on the angle he was sucking allowed my nipples to heal and now I can feed him in any position.

    Sometimes it still hurts, especially if he latches on really hard. But most of the time, I can take him off and putting him back on the second time isn't nearly as bad. My son also moves his head around with my nipple in his mouth and it feels anything but pleasant. Can't tell you why they do it, but can tell you you're not the only one dealing with it, so maybe it's common?

    Hope this helps!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Okay, what does "not supposed to hurt" ACTUALLY mean?

    I know the LLL party line is that BFing isn't supposed to hurt, but my experience was that it really did for the first little while, though the latch was fine, etc. However, I was also pumping 8X/day due to low supply, so I'm sure that contributed. The good news is, it DID stop hurting after a while. So as long as you've ruled out the possible problems, just stick with it, and I'm sure it will get easier.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    541

    Default Re: Okay, what does "not supposed to hurt" ACTUALLY mean?

    I went through basically the same thing. My nipples were close to bleeding they were so cracked but they didn't thankfully. What I was doing was after every shower and feeding express a drop or two and spread it over your nipple its supposed help it heal faster. Also, when the babies latch is correct your nipples will heal within the week. Before every feeding put on some lanolin cream on your nipples so the conctact at first isn't that harsh. About the bra, before I started leaking all over the place I would religiously wear gel pads, omg they are so soothing! Once you do start leaking just wear regular pads, they're pretty soft.

    I don't know if the sensitivity ever really goes away but I do know that it get less and less. I've been bf now for over 6 weeks and my nipples still are a little sensitive because when he first latches on I think its either he latches on hard or I have a painful letdown. That only lasts for a few seconds though. But he does the looking thing as well, and once he's no longer really hungry he'll keep my nipple in mouth but his latch slackens and he's just sucking it wrong which hurts. What I think helped a lot is that every time I felt the tiniest discomfort I'd relatch him. Smx's if they are latched on rights and they eating gently not trying to suck everything out right away the sucking feels like a gentle nipple massage.

    If he gets frustrated w/ all the relatching, like my lo did I always let him either latch on his way for about five seconds so that he could get some milk into his system and calm down -they said you shouldn't do this but ...its up to you - helped me. Or I'd try to express some milk into his mouth. Good luck. Oh and while I was going through it they told me that if the pain was getting in the way to take the ibprofen they had given me for the pain after labor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Okay, what does "not supposed to hurt" ACTUALLY mean?

    It really (crying) hurt for a while, but it did eventually go away for me. That's not to say I still don't have issues every now and again (blebs, clogged ducts) but it's sooooooooo much better than it was. A proper latch helped immensely, but it still took a little time for my daughter to get good at nursing and for me to toughen up. My daughter latches on herself and it's totally fine except for the side-lying position; I just have to be careful there.

    As another poster said, it's not sensation free but not painful (unless she does a yank, but now I'm good at catching her before she does it. Much more predictable).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Okay, what does "not supposed to hurt" ACTUALLY mean?

    Thank you SO MUCH, everyone. Seriously, just knowing that this is normal helped me enormously today. The sensitivity does seem to be lessening just a little as I add nursing sessions. Most importantly, no re-injury so far! This is my big fear, so as long as what I'm feeling is nothing out of the ordinary, I'm happy.

    Now to make sure he's getting enough from the one side I'm using...sometimes he seems completely satisfied and others he's ready to eat again after half an hour...

    Thanks again!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •