Hello All,

I'm currently 27 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and would really love to breastfeed him. I know the many benefits of breastfeeding and I know that it would be best, however I haven't really had good experiences with it. I attempted to breastfeed my first son, but it was SO painful!!! I had sores on my areolas and it seemed that as soon as they would be feeling better my baby was hungry again! I also had intense cramping and was concerned that he was not getting enough milk. He seemed frustrated when I attempted to nurse him. I only lasted 4 days and I put him on formula.

I was very upset with myself for feeling like I was unable to breastfeed him. I felt tricked because no one told me that breastfeeding came with those kind of difficulties. I didn't even try to nurse my second son because of that experience. On top of that after I decided to stop trying to nurse my first son, my milk came in and I was SO engorged I had milk up to my armpits! I think it might have been more painful than his birth!

Anyway, I dedided that this time I would give it another try. And this time I'm kind of aware of what can happen. Was this anyone else's experience? Did anyone experience pain while breastfeeding? How long did it last and what did you to lessen it. Was it painful when it was time to wean? Thanks for any advice you can give!!

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Hi Dionne. 

I breastfed for one year.  I didnt have pain but we did have alot of trouble latching on in the beginning.  After a few weeks of practice it was easy and I really enjoyed it.  My daughter self weaned at 1 year and it didnt hurt, I think it was because she had kind of been weaning herself for a month and my milk supply was alot lower than it was when I started breast feeding. 

From what I understand it is usually not as hard the second time arround because you already know what to expect and how it works. 

I hope everything goes well for you. 

Hey Dionne,
I would recommend you find a local La Leche League meeting and start attending now. You can find where meetings are held online. I belong to my local group and we have many pregnant women attend regularly (myself included). The leaders are real moms with breastfeeding experience and I have been helped tremendously in the extended breastfeeding of my daughter and nursing her while pregnant. In your situation, I think it's really important to get real live help instead of just reading a book or website.
As a mom who has been breastfeeding fir 2 years now, I can say that a lot of what you've described is common, but there are things that can be done to help with the pain, engorgement, etc. I hope you find an LLL branch to guide you. You will love breastfeeding once you get past those initial obstacles.
Thanks so much, I'll look into that today. My doctor told me that a lactation specialist will visit my room once I have my baby to help me out with breastfeeding. But I want to already be prepared because who knows how long that will take. She might come the next day or before I go home!
And I might add, the lactation consultants in the hospital aren't always that great.  Some are, some are terrible.  With my first child, I had so many problems (it took 6 weeks to feel comfortable nursing! It was really a stuggle at first).  In the hospital, the lactation consultant pushed a nipple sheild (aweful), a breast pump, and left me feeling so helpless.  It was terrible.  But being a stuborn one, I pressed on and my daughter nursed until she was 14 months.  My second child was a breeze and nursed until he was 17 months (I was two months pregnant at that point and was totally done), and am now nursing my 7 month old.  He had come with some challenges - a lot of throwing up (oops, no no on cows milk for me), and was so big and grew so fast I had to drink more water then I thought was possible just to keep up! :)  Get good support lined up - through LLL (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a good read) and a good (independent) lactation consultant.  Also something that is different for moms who are used to bottle feeding, it does feel like you are nursing non-stop at first (I've had friends think they were doing something wrong).  Take the time to kick up your feet and relax (oh and learning how to nurse lying down is awesome - I didn't learn that until baby #2 and wow that made a difference in how rested I felt).  Good luck - you can do it!!
I have very sensitive skin, and had a bit of pain the first few days of nursing both my first and my second.  It can be hard when hormones are high, nursing brings on contractions (as it should to help us), and it doesn't always go smoothly.   It is not always easy in the beginning, but if you make it over the first few humps, it is well worth it.  I would absolutely recommend reaching out to a support group now, either LLL or friends who have breastfed their children with success.  Sometimes it is simply having the support of another woman sitting next to you reassuring you that it will all be fine.  It is a lot like birth in many ways; we need the support of other women, their experiences, their knowledge, their time, physical and emotional support to relearn what our bodies already know.
I always thought that breastfeeding was natural so that meant to me it would be "easy". I nursed all three of my children and experienced pain for about the first week to 10 days. After that, it became more natural, more easy, and certainly more enjoyable. There were the ocassions when I would become engorged and hot showers and warm compresses (in addition to letting my child nurse despite my not wanting to) that helped with the pain. My theory about breastfeeding is that the emotional factor is as important as the physical. By that I mean that your feelings about breastfeeding, your committment, your support system, and your confidence in yourself, have as much impact on your success with breastfeeding as anything else. I would echo getting involved with La Leche League and developing a support system. Will you have someone at home after the birth to encourage you? Mom, sister, partner? I give my Mother all the credit for encouraging me to get through the tough days with my first child. By the time I had my last child 4 years ago, I had decided I wanted to take a child-lead weaning approach and he nursed on his 3rd birthday!! I never would have thought I would breastfeed that long but it was something we both wanted to do. He eventually weaned but I can say I wouldn't trade those breastfeeding days for anything!! Good luck and hang in there!
I had a bit of a different experience because I had a preemie. I had to pump while he was in the nicu, but when he was 6 days old, he could finally latch on. He was so tiny, and it was always a challenge getting in a good position with my large breasts and this tiny baby, but I just kept trying. It took about 3 months until I really felt "natural" at breastfeeding him. Now he is 20 months old and still nursing and i value our breastfeeding relationship so much. Sometimes he just climbs on to my lap to nurse for a few minutes to say "hi mom! I need to be close to you."
You can do it! It can be difficult, and it does not feel natural at first. It feels like a jolt all the way down to your toes! But it is the best thing you can do for your baby, and the benefits come back to you tenfold.
Get a good breastfeeding resource book from dr sears or la leche league. I really liked the way they described the proper latch in the dr sears The Baby Book. I still use their latch technique with my toddler, especially when he is half asleep and lazy! :) the "lower-lip flip" :)
Good luck mama! You can do it.
Thanks so much for these wonderful responses!! My baby is 4 months now, and nursing him has been a trying but great experience. The first 2 days nursing him wasn't so bad, but that 3rd day is when my nipples began cracking and bleeding. It was SO painful, but I didn't want to give up this time. I ended up pumping exclusively for the next 3 or 4 weeks after he was born. It gave me much relief and time to heal. After all, him having the milk was most important to me. I began to try to nurse him again and that time it wasn't so painful, but I noticed that it seemed he wasn't getting very full. He would fall asleep at the breast and want to nurse every 45 mins to an hour. I started getting a little frustrated. I didn't know what to do. But I kept on anyway. Since then I have returned to work and am now unfortunately supplementing with formula. Even though I would pump on my lunch break, it seems that my milk supply diminished. I was not pumping enough to keep up with him. Now I only nurse him at night. It's bittersweet. I wish I could nurse him longer but it appears that my milk supply is dwindling. It's been so precious while it's lasted though!
Ya know, just a though; a good friend of mine found out on baby #3 (finally after many tears) that she was actually missing milk ducts!  Just thought of it because your story sounds ver similar to hers.  Her recent baby (#4) is now 4 months and she now knows that life for her is - nurse first followed by a bottle of formula.  It is what it is!  You sounds like a great mamma.  Congratulations.
You know what? After some thought I decided not to give up on nursing and decided to try some things to increase my milk supply. I rented and hospital pump and I'm now using that throughout the day. I've also been taking fenugreek which has been VERY helpful. It's like an herb or a seed that you can get in a capsule form. A nurse at my job told me about it and it really works. I already see a difference in doing these things. Slowly but surely it's coming back!

in the begining, it was hard and painful. but i hired a lactation consultant, and she showed me how to position my baby properly. she also told me to take fenugreek and there came a point where it became very pleasurable... (am i allowed to say sexually stimulating? well, some masturbate, but i nurse...)

there was this amazing cream that i used for cracked nipples called bepanthen- i don't know if it's available in the us- but that healed my nipples very fast. after that, i used lansinoh occasionally and that helped too.

 

Hi Dionne,

Did you follow through with breastfeeding?  I recommend using a natural ointment to assist prevention and onset of nipple soreness and torn skin.  Try Sweet Butterfly Mommy and Baby All-Purpose Aromatherapy Blend - see item at the end of this page, http://t.co/dOrWET5

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

 

My Best,

Nicole

Founder/Organic Mommy and Baby Healthcare Solutions

http://site.mawebcenters.com/wholecreations

 

 

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