V.O. asks from Lakeland, FL on April 03, 2008
Help - Breastfeeding Is Excruciating!
I'm a first-time mom who desperately wants to breastfeed my baby girl. Birth ended in a cesarean section and I was on pain meds for the first week. At first feeding went pretty well - yes the nipples were painful and cracked but once she latched on it was wonderful. Then my milk came in, and then I was diagnosed with Mastitis two days ago in one breast and put on antibiotics. The cesarean pain meds ran out yesterday and so I've been taking Tylenol. Now every time I try to feed her it burns excruciatingly the whole time and in both breasts. (Not just the nipples, but through the whole breast.) It's much worse at night than during the day and is not always linked to a poor latch on. I'm about to give up - I can't take this much longer. I've been on the phone with a lactation consultant multiple times now and still it hurts. Any advice help would be greatly apprediated.
So What Happened?™
Thank you all so much for the advice and support. It turns out I also had a yeast infection (did NOT know you could get that in the breasts!) and that she has a small persistent frenulum that causes her to have to work extra hard to latch properly. I pumped exclusively for a week while I was healing and now we're back on track. She still tires easily and when she starts getting tired she starts pinching so I have to get the bottle, but she's thriving and I'm not in agony every time she latches on - so it's good enough for me to keep breastfeeding. The pediatricion and LC say the frenulum may loosen over time, I hope so. Anyway - thanks again for your advice and support.
S.F. answers from Lakeland on April 04, 2008
I am a Mom to two beautiful girls, the first I was not able to breastfeed, the second I was, and in your shoes. I was tired of the pain. Do not give up hang in there. I can not explain the pain, the nurse keep telling me that it was due to poor latching, I on the other hand did not think so. But, after a few weeks on gritting and barring the pain it stopped and I breastfeed her for almost 8 months till I was Dx with a thyroid issue. She is a healthy, happy baby and I am glad I did not give up. I also started pumping milk and that would help with the pain. I hope this info and words of incouragement helps in your decission. Good Luck
T.G. answers from Lakeland on April 04, 2008
I used Lanolin to help with the cracking and bleeding before and after breastfeeding and that helped me tremendously!! Good luck :)
L.C. answers from Lakeland on April 04, 2008
Hey there V.! First of all...DON'T get discouraged! As a first time mom of a now 8 month old baby girl who I am still breastfeeding for all but one feeding(now she gets a little solids at dinner w/ her breastfeeding!) but you are describing my story almost verbatim!!! I too had the c-section with the pain meds, and the baby stayed at the hospital for 1 week on an antibiotic for an mild upper respitory infection...so for that first week I was having to pump for the overnite feedings and go up to the hospital every 2-3 hours for her breastfeeding attempts!! The rented medela pump really helped me get through the first month of trying to get my milk to come in and through the blocked ducts, etc!! The pain does suck but i promise you, you will get through it!!! There were numerous times even after I had been nursind a good 4 months that I wanted to give up, but I stuck it out and I and going to really go as long as we both can, whether thats a year or a little shorter or longer depending on what works for BOTH of us! Keep in contact with friends, your lactation consultant,and this web group, whoever you might need to help emotionally support you during this time! It always helps to know your not alone and that many of us have gone through the exact same thing! You can do it!! Please feel free to contact me personally if you need any more advice or just support!
PS-You might try a heating pad on low on the breast with mastitis for the pain, that did help a little bit...good luck!
N.F. answers from Tampa on April 04, 2008
I don't know if they already told you to put a warm wash cloth on your breast to get some relife from the pain. After each feeding wipe off your breast.
J.W. answers from Lakeland on April 04, 2008
Try taking a hot shower right before. As hot as you can stand it and let the water hit your breasts as much as possible. I know when I was breastfeeding my 2nd child he would sometimes not empty the breast and then the next time around it seemed like it was clogged. When the milk finally did release it was terribly painful. Usually it would feel like sharp shooting pains, like needles almost. It never lasted the whole time he was eating though. I'd agree that you need to make an appointment with a LC though because maybe she isn't latching on right. Just remember, you both are new to this. Everyone thinks you should just KNOW how to do it but that's not true...you both need to learn how. Don't think it's your fault either because lots of women have trouble breastfeeding...especially first time moms.