Extreme agonizing torturous breastfeeding pain: any advice?

September 3, 2007 | Uncategorized | 61 comments

I interrupt this blog to talk about breastfeeding. For those of you without breasts or who couldn’t care less about the topic, I will return to my regularly scheduled rambling in a few days.

Simcha suggested in the comments to my last post that maybe I should put my blog to good use and detail these “breastfeeding woes” I keep referring to in case anyone can help. This is a great idea. Though I think I’ve heard it all and that the only thing anyone could say that I haven’t already heard that would actually help would be “I have access to morphine. What’s your address?”, I’m willing to try anything. So here’s the scoop:

THE PROBLEM

The first week or so of breastfeeding, for me, is extremely painful. Extremely. We’re talking up there with transition contractions during labor. On a scale of 1 – 10 it’s a “MAKE IT STOP!!!! AAAAAAH! KILL ME!!!!!!”. It’s tied for the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life, and I’ve done natural childbirth.

This is my third baby in three years, and it’s been like this with each one. The pain gets to the point of being sort of manageable after 7 – 10 days, and subsides entirely after a couple of weeks. It’s sad because it makes me dread nursing these first couple of weeks. I break out into cold sweats when I see the baby start sucking her fist because I know what’s coming. When she first latches on the explosion of pain literally makes my vision blurry. The pain gets a little better once she’s feeding but is still pretty bad for the whole time. Also, with my first pregnancy I think it made me depressed (I recently read somewhere that there’s a strong link between breastfeeding pain and depression). Luckily I discovered Vicodin when my last baby was born, and though it doesn’t do too much for the pain it takes the edge off enough that I’m at least not really depressed.

Over the past three years I’ve worked with three lactation consultants and two very experienced midwives to help me deal with it, and nothing has helped.

THE CAUSE (I THINK)

The first thing the lactation consultants always point out is that babies are supposed to feed areolas, not nipples. The baby’s latch should be well onto the areola, and slightly lower than center. You should tilt their head back to make sure they get the breast at the correct angle, and push them onto the breast (as opposed to bringing the breast to them). Some good resources on this here, and some good videos here.

I think I may have an issue with her not getting latched on far enough each time since her mouth is so tiny, but I’m doing the best I can. And I think that most of the time she does have the right latch, and it still hurts.

So what do I think the problem is? My dermatologist once told me I have a condition called S.I.S.: “Sh—y Irish Skin”. I have very fair, very sensitive skin. I bruise easily and seem to be extra sensitive to any kind of surface-level trauma (e.g. it really hurts if someone pokes me in the arm, or if I bump my leg into a table, etc.) When I see breastfeeding pictures or videos I realize that my skin is really different from other people’s. For me, I don’t think that there’s much that can be done to help in terms of improving latch or position or whatever. I think that the way I’m built means that breastfeeding is going to hurt until my skin toughens up.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Here are the options, as I see them:

  • Pump breastmilk, feed the baby with a bottle: It is no small source of frustration to me that my $300 breast pump got misplaced in our recent move. Assuming we can ever find it, I will probably pump some. But exclusively pumping is out because it’s logistically impossible with two little ones to keep up with (and I don’t get as much milk that way), so I’ll still need to breastfeed some anyway.
  • Supplement with formula: I’m not going to do this since the baby is actually getting plenty to eat, and since I’m prone to low milk supply issues I think that skipping feedings could cause more problems than it solves. Also, per the same point about pumping, it would only save me a couple of feedings per day, and I’d still have to deal with the pain for all the other feedings.
  • Offer it up and power through: I think this is really the only option. If the pain doesn’t subside by Thursday or Friday I’ll have to consider other alternatives to breastfeeding lest I become addicted to Vicodin, but I think my best bet is to just grit my teeth and try to hold out until then.

So, there you have it. These are the mysterious “breastfeeding issues” I keep alluding to. Though I’m pretty sure that there’s not much that can be done and this is something I just have to deal with, I’m very open to hearing any thoughts / advice / suggestions.

On the plus side, I’ve been offering up my suffering and I think that Purgatory should be pretty much cleared out by now.

61 Comments

  1. MY NAME IS SIMCHA.

    I have two ideas, both very unbrilliant, and both things you’ve probably already ruled out.

    One is that I recently learned that a yeast infection on the nipples can be monstrously painful, to the point where some mothers give up breastfeeding. I’ve never experienced this myself, but maybe it’s related to your very sensitive skin. A nurse told me that a yeast infection is “self-limiting,” which apparently means that, untreated, it will run its course in a matter of months. Possibly that would explain why you have worked through this pain in the past.

    The other thing that made breastfeeding easy instead of painful for me was making sure the baby’s top lip is flared open, instead of rolled or tucked under. I have no idea why it should make such a difference, but it does. Once the baby is latched on, you can stick your finger in and sort of flip our or untuck the lip without completely breaking the latch, at least some of the time.

    Probably you have already ruled these things out. I sure hope someone will come up with a better idea. I feel for you.

  2. Ouiz

    First of all, I know what kind of pain you are referring to. When I breastfed my oldest daughter, I literally had to scream into a pillow and/or kick my husband out of pure agony for SIX WEEKS. I called her my little torturer, which wasn’t the best way to bond with my sweet little girl, but there you have it.

    OUR problem (other than the fact that I was so raw I had open sores by the time it was all over, thank you very much) was that we were passing a yeast infection back and forth. It wasn’t showing up as thrush, so we missed it for awhile.

    She also kept thrusting her tongue funny, which didn’t help matters any.

    And, on top of it all, I got mastitis.

    I had to clear up the infection, make sure I pushed her tongue down before we started, and try to get her to latch on as best as possible.

    It was a mighty torturous time, but we survived.

    Offering up prayers for you this evening!!!!

  3. Nicole

    I wanted to tell you congrats on the birth of your baby! I don’t have any suggestions, it looks like you’ve searched in all the right places for info on solving this problem. I just wanted to let you know that I have had the same exact thing for each of my four boys. I just always thought it was a latching on issue that didn’t get taken care of right from the very beginning. I know it’s difficult, try to hang in there and remind yourself that it does get better. I am praying for you!

  4. SteveG

    The single best piece of advice we ever got from the lactation consultant……’Fish Lips’

    The best way to describe what I mean by that is to purse your lips like you are about to give a small kiss, then touch your thumb and forefinger together, then place the tips of your fingers to the tips of your pursed lips (bear with please..:-P), now…spread your fingers apart about 1 or 2 inches.

    That’s roughly what your baby’s lips should look like when she’s latched on (i.e. fish lips).

    If they don’t look like that, then just gently guide you finger to her bottom lip and pull it down, and do the same with her top lip (up of course). Afterwards, her lips should look something like the demo above.

    You probably know all this, and how to get a good latch, but you did say any advice would be appreciated. 😀

    Whenever my wife would be struggling to get a good latch (and feeling the pain), I would remember that advice, and how the lactation consultant actually demo’ed making it happen with those two quick finger movements. At the beginning, I actually intervened and did it myself. After a few times where this brought near instant relief, wife picked up the habit pretty quickly on her own. 🙂

  5. Jeannine

    When I was breastfeeding my first baby, a pediatrician at the hospital where I delivered recommended buying vitamin E for sore nipples. You open the capsule and put the liquid vitamin E (which is oily) right on the nipples; she said that the vitamin E was also safe for the baby. It worked well, and the “baby” is now grown up. This advice is 25 years old, so you might want to call your pediatrician about it, but it did help me.

  6. Abigail

    Oh my goodness, I completely understand your pain! I was also breastfeeding number three and dreading it! To great news is that we are now at 12 weeks and been doing fine since week three.

    For me, it’s all about the latch. The whole process just hurts and hurts until we get that part right. Once her latch is correct, it still hurts for at least 3 to 5 days because the skin on my breast is already been broken.

    I had a fee lactation consult over the phone this time- I had the number from my hospital stay- that helped me brainstorm solutions. We were ready to pay for a visit at the hospital if things didn’t get better quickly.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Each baby is totally different – and you could be looking at a different problem than with your older children.

    In the meantime, pump, pray and make your husband give you nice treats like footrubs!

    This too shall pass. Yes, you might end up with formula. But probably, this pain will pass and you’ll be happily breastfeeding like a champ in a few days.

    In the meantime, a huge thank you on behalf of your newborn for suffering in earnest to give her the best start in life.

  7. Catherine Shaffer

    I’ll bet you’re a redhead.

    Who told you you have to go off the Vicodin so soon? As long as you need it for pain, you are unlikely to become addicted. Vicodin acts differently on the brain in pain than it does on the brain not in pain. That’s why recreational use is addictive, but those who are suffering from pain rarely become addicted. You should not be worrying about this unless perchance you have a prior cocaine habit you haven’t shared or something.

    Sorry this is so tough. I wouldn’t presume to give you advice, as I only breastfed one, and had little pain that resolved quickly.

  8. Michelle

    I have the exact problem with all my kids. I think it’s my big nipples and their tiny mouths that make a good latch for a few weeks impossible. And I have very sensitive skin, too, that takes time to toughen up. Lansinoh (a thick nipple cream that is safe for the baby and recommended by La Leche people everywhere) helps a bit. I tend to just suffer until things work out. That’s not much consolation, eh?

    You can get Lansinoh at any drug store with the other baby products. Good luck.

  9. Courageous Grace

    Jen,

    Thanks for your great blog. I’m finding it a useful resource as I’m currently 21 weeks into my first pregnancy. While I’m obviously not experienced enough to offer advice, I am thinking I might benefit from your experiences and the advice of your commenters.

    I’m praying for you!

  10. Kate

    I had a midwife insist that unless you’re actually cracking, creams and lotions like Lansinoh should be avoided because they keep the skin sensitive. Instead she recommended rubbing breast milk into the nipple and making sure my nipples had time to air dry between feedings, to toughen the skin up, sort of like how you don’t use creams or bandage fingers you are trying to callous when playing guitar.

    I’ve got crazy sensitive skin myself (I can really relate to what you say about bruising easy and finding little bumps and pokes painful!) but I muscled through, as you say, when it comes to breastfeeding, and in a week or so it wasn’t so uncomfortable except for that first gasp when he latched. I think this time I might try to ‘toughen up’ ahead of time somehow so I can enjoy the first week more – anyone have any ideas how that could be done?

  11. Veronica Mitchell

    I know just what you mean.

    The first two weeks of breastfeeding is always horrible for me, without any other health problems. Lansinoh helped some with my second baby, but not the first or third. My second baby also had a really high palate, which made breastfeeding hurt more because it twists the nipple upwards. The difference between a “good latch” and a “bad latch” for me was only a difference in degree of pain, not in its absence or presence.

    I hate to say it, but my experience has been you just have to power through those first awful two weeks, as you say. The pain lessens after that, though my supply issues continue.

    You might enjoy what Suburban Turmoil wrote on the subject:
    http://suburbanturmoil.blogspot.com/2007/03/truth-is-now-out-there.html

  12. Jennifer F.

    Ouiz and Simcha – the yeast/thrush possibility is very interesting. I Googled it and I do have some of the symptoms. Ouiz – what did you do to treat it?

    Catherine – yup, I’m a redhead. 🙂

    Thank you, everyone!

    • Shea

      I’ve had thrush/yeast… You can get a script from your dr or babies peditrician. I’ve heard that gentian violet helps but is extremely messy. Also, rubbing coconut oil mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil can help with the yeast and will help heal sore nipples. Good Luck!

  13. Jessica

    I agree with the comments that if the latch is right, and there’s no infection – well, it just hurts for a bit. (So much! I remember pounding my free hand on the arm of my chair while my daughter nursed that first week, because I had to do SOMETHING it hurt so much.)

    But for the pumping, I do have a suggestion: have you tried hand-expressing? I’ve found that I can get more milk out that way than with a pump. And it can be easier on you.

    Anyway, I hope you feel better very, very soon, and I’m sorry it’s being so hard!

    peace of Christ to you,
    Jessica Snell

  14. Christine

    Hi Jen,
    I’m in the group of it hurts no matter what I do for the first several weeks, no matter how perfectly I get the latch.

    Also I found each kid nursing differently. #1 simply hurt, #2 destroyed my nipples the first couple of weeks b/c he was nursing so hard – they were bleeding and cracked no matter what I did. But after about a month it got better and didn’t hurt.

    I’m in the Irish/English fair skin category too. My little one is 9 months and if he decides to chomp or play with my nipples they still get sore while nursing, but not th agonizing pain of the first couple of weeks.

    Good luck, and I’m praying for you

  15. Ouiz

    It’s been awhile now, but I believe we had to use some purple stuff… someone help me out here… I think it was gentian violet. Either that or Nystatin.

    Either one works.

    Like I said, my daughter did NOT have thrush, but she did have a diaper rash from you-know-where. It just never clicked with me that the two were related.

    Once the yeast infection was on it’s way out the door, the excruciating pain was SO much less intense (for us it wasn’t just latch-on pain. It hurt like @#$@#$ the whole time she was nursing. I would just sit there and cry). It was a miracle.

    I truly hope that’s what it is, simply because it’s easily treatable and you can be on your way to a pain free nursing situation soon!

  16. Anne Kennedy

    I’m due to give birth in a few weeks and have been dreading this the whole pregnancy. I resign myself to At Least 6 Weeks of horrendous pain, no more, no less. Last time the pain was manageable just shy of 6 weeks which made me feel like it was a blessing (since I’d set my expectations at 6 weeks). I’ve tried all kinds of things, but basically, I desperately eat ice, drink tea, drink wine and cry for those six weeks, and have other people hold the baby as much as possible so that I can try to regain some love and affection for him/her in between feedings. This time I’m going to seriously try praying too.

  17. Realist Mommy

    Breastfeeding should not be painful – or have you proven that to not always be the case? If nothing else, I have found that breastfeeding advocates often leave out the very real difficulties that can come up during breastfeeding.

    But, I did want to chime in about the pumping consideration. As a working mom who is exclusively breastfeeding (for now), I can tell you that daily pumping has made my nipples more sore than my five-month old’s best breast efforts. In fact, I never experienced any kind of pain while breastfeeding until I started the daily routine of pumping. So, pumping may not solve the problem.

    Another idea – like I said I have never experieinced any pain while breastfeeding…I have been very lucky…but I have also been told that my baby is a “natural nurser”. I don’t know what that means but it probably has to do with the latch. You mentioned that you have met with LCs about this but the fact that the pain is alleviated after a few weeks makes me think that it is a latch issue. Maybe your babies just take a few weeks to figure it out.

    OH…I did have another suggestion. Have you considered the use of a nipple shield for the first few weeks? While you may have to watch your baby’s weight, it might help for those first few weeks. Cheers.

  18. Malia

    Jen,

    From one redhead to another, I can relate so well to the extreme pain you’re experiencing.

    After my fourth child was born, I had more pain than I had ever dealt with before– cracking, bleeding, going off to my room to rock back and forth and sob every time I nursed—the whole nine yards. At the baby’s two week checkup, the female nurse practitioner found out that I was having trouble and asked to look at the baby’s latch. When she saw how much pain it caused, she told me to break the baby’s latch, then proceeded to GRAB MY NIPPLE above and below the areola, squeeze firmly, and then shove the screaming baby onto my breast, cramming much more of the areola into the baby’s mouth than I had been able to.

    After the initial consternation I felt at being handled thusly by this woman, I realized that I was feeling NO PAIN WHATSOEVER. Every time I nursed her after that, I tried my very best to accomplish the same feat (knowing now that it was actually possible), and broke her latch and started over again (sometimes again and again), until I could do it as painlessly as possible.

    Not having extra hands available, getting her latched on successfully was easier said than done, but at least I had something to shoot for. That little example of success from the nurse practitioner gave me the jolt of encouragement I needed, and the severe pain began to abate.

    All that being said, with my fifth child, I just had to wait until my skin toughened up for the pain to stop (it wasn’t nearly as severe, though, but I do have that “Sh—y Irish Skin”, too). Even the lactation consultant couldn’t get her to latch on perfectly. She concluded that we would just have to wait for the baby’s mouth to get bigger, since my nipples weren’t going to get any smaller. It did improve quickly (thank goodness babies grow really fast), and I’m still nursing her at 19 months. (But I won’t be nursing her at 5 or 8, I promise!);)

    Anyway, try the yeast treatment and try to get as much of your nipple into her mouth as you can, even if it means soliciting someone’s help to do it the first few times. And even though it’s a royal pain, try to break her latch and reposition her until the pain is better, or even gone. You WILL get through this, and you’ll be nursing with ease soon.

    Praying for you here in scorpion-ridden South Carolina!

  19. Anna

    Hey! I think I have that SIS too. All three of my babies have made me very sore at first. No cracking or anything, just pain. It usually takes about a month before it stops being agony when they first latch on. I try adjusting their latch, try the “cram it in their mouth” method, but it still usually is painful. In the end, I generally go with “grin and bear it”.

    In addition to the theory that sometimes you just have to wait until the baby’s mouth gets bigger, I have my own theory about what causes this.

    Sometime during my pregnancies, I noticed my nipples getting tender. This was especially obvious when I was toweled myself dry after a shower and found myself trying to dry around the nipple without touching it because the towel was so rough it really hurt the nipple.

    So my theory is that pregnancy hormones make our nipples tender; after we give birth, we still have these hormones for awhile, so that even a good proper baby latch causes pain. Eventually, after a week or a month or however long it takes, our pregnancy hormones fade and our nipples return to their normal sensitivity (and nursing will build up a certain amount of callousness).

    Anyhow, someone was asking how to toughen up ahead of time. One lady told me to rub the nipples roughly with a towel during pregnancy to toughen them up. I guess I’m too much of a wimp to be willing to try that, but it’s an idea for you.

    Either way, good luck to everyone with this problem.

  20. Elizabeth

    I had a very similar problem with my babies (and I’m very fair-haired, sensitive skin, bruise easily–just like you). The first three weeks nursing my daughter were like torture. I remember crying and shaking, and trying to use my Lamaze techniques. A lactation consultant told me over the phone to try expressing a small amount of milk after each feeding and rubbing it on the nipple and areola, and then allowing it to dry. It’s a little time consuming but it did seem to help (or maybe my skin just toughened up, who knows?). She also suggested putting tea bags on my nipples; she said the tanins (hope I spelled that right) in the tea would help. I never tried it, I’m just throwing it out there.

    My son is now six months old, and my first week nursing him was also extrememly painful. But after the huge blisters went away I was fine! Good luck and remember you will get through this–it will get better!

    Oh, and I think Jeannine’s advice was tried on me. I’m her daughter! I only suffer from mild insanity, so the vitamin E couldn’t have been too bad!

  21. Radical Catholic Mom

    Ooohhhhh, does your post bring back memories!!!

    God bless lansinoh! It saved my breasts. Also, call a lactation consultant immediately and see what you can do!!!

  22. lyrl

    I don’t have any advice on the breastfeeding (other than some woman in my knitting group mentioned using nipple shields to reduce pain).

    But on the Vicodin – my sister was on it for over a year due to severe back pain. After her vertebrae fusion surgery, she did have some difficulty stopping the pills (for her, at least, it was not true that you can’t become addicted when you’re in pain) – but she was taking 4-12 pills a day for over a year. I don’t think a month or so on Vicodin is going to hurt you.

  23. T. Frances

    Jen,

    I have the very pale Irish skin too. Horrible, horrible pain, right after latch-on, well into the second month. With my first baby it was more like four months. I feel for you. Take the pain medicine if it helps, and know that this WILL end.

    Three suggestions that may help a little bit – since every little bit helps – on the off chance you haven’t got them yet:

    1) Lanolin. (I know there are two schools of thought on lanolin now, but it really helped with all of my babies. I get much less cracking and bleeding. Still do get some, but it’s reduced.)

    2) With my most recent baby, my wonderful midwife showed me a tip for latching on, to get my baby’s mouth to open wider. I thought I knew it all at that point, and as you know our problem is not really a latch problem, but it really did help some. I always used the cradle hold when sitting up – baby’s head resting on the crook of my arm. She had me hold the baby in that same position (across my front). But instead of resting his head in the crook of my arm (which subtly encourages him to bend his head forward a tiny bit), she had me hold his head in my other hand. (The hand opposite the side of me where his head was.) I had more control over his head that way, and I could use my wrist to tilt his head back a little if he tilted it forward.

    Oh dear, it would be so much easier just to show you. Anyway, this was very awkward and unnatural at first. I had to lean forward and tuck my same-side hand under us to tickle his lips and get him to open his mouth wide. But I got used to it after the first few times. And it did work to help keep him from tucking his head that tiny bit, so he opened his mouth wider. After he was latched on well, I would put him on the crook of my same-side arm and lean back.

    3) If you do have a yeast infection in your nipples, according to my wonderful midwife, garlic oil should take care of it. At one point with my daughter, I suspected early-stage thrush, and I dabbed garlic oil in her mouth and on my nipples for a couple of days. She was older then – a few months old – so you should check this with your midwife or doctor before trying it with a brand-new baby to make sure it’s OK.

    Oh, and of course prayer … prayer … prayer. Ask for help and strength and fortitude. I don’t know if this is true for you, but as a (formerly agnostic) adult convert, I find that it’s in times of stress that I forget to pray.

  24. The Right Side

    I FEEL YOUR PAIN!! I have a hideous time nursing for the first few weeks. have you tried LANSINOH?? It can help.
    1. Make sure the LATCH is 100% Correct!
    2. Lansinoh often!!
    3. Ice packs to help chill your chest out!
    4. Engorgemnt an issue at all?

    I would love to help more if I could! I will pray for you, hang in there, THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
    mmh6@cox.net
    🙂

  25. Tienne

    Jen – everyone has already given you such excellent advice so I won’t duplicate, but I did just want to say that if it IS yeast/thrush, DON’T rub your milk on your nipples because that will make things worse. I’m sure if you’ve googled thrush you’ll find lots of good things to do (washing nipples with water after a feeding, painting the inside of little L’s mouth with gentian violet, etc.)

    I’m praying for you!

  26. Carrie

    Try sitting braless in the sun..speeds up the toughening of the nipples. You are fair skinned? Ouch don’t sit out there too long :)!

  27. Kerry

    dang girl, you gots lots of advice! and confilicting advice at that!
    best of luck, I’m praying for you!

  28. Melanie B

    I so relate to this. I had cracked, bleeding nipples for the first three or four weeks after my daughter was born. I cried and cried when she was nursing. I saw perhaps four or five different lactation consultants in the hospital (I was in for four days after my c-section) and one at my pediatrician’s office. They were sometimes able to improve her latch and make for a more comfortable feeding, but none of their techniques were ever anything I was able to consistently reproduce on my own. Mostly what they accomplished was increasing my frustration levels by constantly telling me that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt and that if it did I was doing something wrong.

    From what I’ve read online here and in other discussions, it seems like that bit of advice is just not true for many women and thus unhelpful in the extreme. Maybe sometimes the latch can be right and it can still hurt. If someone had just told me to ignore that unhelpful accusation, that it was just going to take a while for us to sort it out and in the meantime it was really going to hurt, I think it would have reduced my frustration and guilt immensely. Instead I felt worse because in addition to the pain, I was sure I was messing it up and felt incredibly stupid for not being able to do it right.

    Anyway, I’ll offer up some prayers to Our Lady of La Leche. I found when my daughter started teething and was having problems with biting me, if I started a nursing session with a brief invocation like “Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us.” things tended to go much more smoothly. If nothing else, it helped me be more patient, but the biting behavior did seem to rapidly taper off after I started praying.

  29. Literacy-chic

    I don’t have too much to add, except that trying an acidophilus supplement in case there is yeast involved wouldn’t hurt. It’s safe during pregnancy, so I would assume it’s O.K. while breastfeeding, too.

    And Earth Mama Angel Baby has “Nipple Butter” that’s supposed to be more natural than lanolin.

    http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/organic_nipple_butter.html

    Hope it gets better soon!!

  30. Kimberly

    Hi there…
    I don’t know how I got to your blog (oh yes, Toddled Dredge). Anyway, I feel your pain and I second whoever suggested Thrush. The docs (mine and the babies) could never say it was, but since all my invisible symptoms suggested it, I stood by my diagnosis! 🙂

    My OB prescribed some diflucan (make sure you take it for a month, not the usual 2 weeks). Also, Jack Newman’s website has a formula for “triple nipple cream” or some such name. You have to go to a compounding pharmacy to have it made, but it worked wonders for me. It contains a painkiller (ibuprophen) and an antifungal, and an antibacterial, and something else I don’t remember. My doc said, very condescendingly, “well, this is like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly” and I hollered that he didn’t understand the pain.

    Anyhoo…the cream is fabulous. I still use it a year later if I get itchy breasts.

    Best wishes….prayer does work wonders as well!!

  31. Kristen Laurence

    Dear Jen, I have no experience with breastfeeding. I just wanted to say “Congratulations!” So, so happy for you and for your new addition. Many blessings to your growing family! I am praying for you.

  32. Michelle

    Last suggestion: if you are feeling overly full or engorged, try to hand-express some milk to soften the breasts and make it easier for the baby to latch on.

    I totally believe the pregnancy hormone theory as related by Anna. I’ve got a month and a half to go, and my nipples are already tender. It wouldn’t surprise me if the cause of this soreness contributed to those first few agonizing weeks.

    Definitely pray to Our Lady of La Leche often!

  33. Jennifer F.

    Thank you everyone! This has been so helpful!! A couple of specific things:

    But for the pumping, I do have a suggestion: have you tried hand-expressing? I’ve found that I can get more milk out that way than with a pump.

    Oh my gosh, Jessica, I am so jealous. I always have just barely enough milk and am never engorged or anything, so the only kind of pumps that work for me are the super industrial strength kind, and even then it’s a lot of work to get more than a couple of ounces of milk. Unfortunately hand expressing just yields a few drops, even at my most full. 🙁

    Malia – THANK YOU!!!!!! Your advice saved my life. Your story about the nurse practitioner reminded me that I once had a midwife do the same thing: she grabbed my breast and grabbed the baby’s head and shoved him on the breast really forcefully. It startled me, but it did get him further down on the areola.

    So last night I got mastitis and was sitting there with a 102 degree fever, and the pain passed the point that I could really handle it, even after taking 2 Vicodin. Recalling your advice, I latched the baby on really forcefully and it took the pain back down to just “utterly agonizing” and I was able to make it through. Otherwise I just don’t know what I would have done.

    Also, thank you to those of you who recommended asking Our Lady of La Leche for her intercession. Other than the megalatch technique, it’s been the most effective thing.

    Anyway, all of your comments have been so helpful. I didn’t realize how common this was! After Googling around I found countless stories of women who experienced the same thing. It’s so nice to know you’re not alone.

    My research on the subject has led me to propose a new Law of the Internet: if a person is going to leave comments on message boards saying “if it hurts you’re doing it wrong,” they must also post a picture of themselves. I’d like to see how many blue-eyed redheads with paper white skin there would be making that statement. 🙂

    THANK YOU!!!

  34. Ouiz

    I’m still hoping it’s a yeast infection that can be cleared up quickly!!

    If you are engorged, have you tried (refrigerated) cabbage leaves inside your bra? Sounds crazy, but it really works!

    [I feel silly even posting this where everyone can see, but seriously… the cabbage works]

  35. FourSure

    I was just at this place with ds #4 who is now 2 months. I’d never experienced this kind of pain (and bleeding, etc). The hospital gave me something called “Curagel” which is a hydrogel wound dressing primarily used for burn patients to speed healing. It seemed to work well. They were kept in the refrigerator, and the coolness provided immediate relief. When not nursing, you just keep them on under your bra. Apparently they can be purchased OTC under the name “Soothies”. You might ask your doc or nurse for a sample… or just call Babies R Us and see if they have any of the commercial brand.

    Having just been there, you’re in my prayers. Best wishes! And remember it WILL pass.

  36. Maria

    I had constant yeast infections (called thrush) with my first for about 4-5 months and it was horribly painful. The pain was so tramatic my breasts hurt to this day when I just think about bfing! My first thought when my second was born was “Oh no, she wants to breastfeed!” Bfing pain is very real and can be very intense. Take the pain meds!

    You should see a LC or your OBGYN to see if you really have yeast because if you do some of the advice for reagular bfing pain (soothies, lansinoh, etc) actually make the yeast worse.

    Yeast likes warm, wet, dark places. Nursing breasts are a perfect fit! Creams and soothies just make it darker, wetter, and warmer. To kill yeast, you need to keep your breasts and nursing bras as dry as possible. Get sunlight on your breasts if possible (I know this can be very difficult – I think I may have scandalized some nieghbors accidently at one point with my first!).

    You should get a prescription for both yourself and the baby – they usually give Nystatin first. If that doesn’t work, Diflucan is much stronger and will usually do the trick.

    Also, gentium violet (not sure of spelling) is an over-the-counter remedy that is pretty strong, but safe. It is a dark purple stuff that you put on your breast and in the baby’s mouth. It STAINS! Also, your baby usually looks like a goth-crazed teen with purple lips (that match your purple breast) for a few days. It often works on tough cases, though.

    I hope this info helps if you have thrush – and I hope your pain lets up very soon!

  37. Mojo

    I have only wandered onto (into?) your blog today and cannot tear myself away from reading about your centipedes, scorpions, mother-in-law and now…your breast feeding woes. I am already addicted and I cannot recall how I landed here in the first place! I also have Irish/French fair skin and blue eyes and a mortal fear of insects, especially those in my house. (Could there be a connection?!) And while I am a cradle Catholic, we share exactly the same love for Mother Church. You are such a blessing to the blog world. What with all the crazies out there who blog about their angst-ridden lives, you are a breath of fresh air! I thought I may just lurk for a few days before actually commenting, but your breast feeding post has already drawn me out!

    I am sure you are grateful for each of your 37 comments. I have three children: 13,8,6. And with each, I had my fair share of nursing issues. Each of the suggestions offered here have merit. Believe me, I’ve tried all of them! And, for the varying hurdles I encountered, there always seemed to be a solution. The trick was finding which one worked for the “nursing problem du jour.” Baby #1 took SEVEN weeks to latch-on properly. He had poor sucking strength, which I am told is typical of children born prematurely, those who have cleft palates or those w/ Downs. My child didn’t fit any of those three categories, yet he had this issue. It was compounded by a high bilirubin at birth and his subsequent lethargy. I actually had an angel of a lactation consultant whose last name was…are you ready for this?…Udder. No kidding! Anyway, I digress, but she saved my life, and his. (Now he is taller than me!) I always wondered WHY must I teach my son how to nurse? Isn’t it supposed to be a natural instinct? Do cows have to TEACH calves? Do dogs have to TEACH puppies? Why must we TEACH a baby how to latch on so as not to cause mom extreme, agonizing, torturous breastfeeding pain?! (I do think yeast could be currently playing a part in the problem for you, though.) I had to teach #2 and #3 to some degree, but we didn’t repeat the poor sucking strength issue, thank goodness. Nevertheless, in the “having babies” category, I will tell you there was never anything as fulfilling as breastfeeding, and I bet you agree. For me it was the natural next step: NFP (conceiving in God’s time)…pregnancy…delivery…nursing. The perfect fulfillment of being a wife and mother. Nothin’ like it!

    Still, I suppose we have Eve to thank for all of this, after all! Yeah…right…thanks a LOT, Eve! Thanks for that whole pain of child birth and NURSING thing! 🙂

  38. Bekah

    Do look into the yeast possibility, most especially if you had any sort of antibiotics in labor! Prayers that these issues resolve quickly for you. I’ve been dealing with my own breast issues the last few weeks. Ended up with several clogged ducts in one breast that I had a heck of a time releasing. The nipple blistered badly and it’s still healing and very sensitive many weeks later, now.

  39. LilyBug

    Speaking of breastfeeding, please check out my latest blog post about outsourcing breastmilk. Thanks. I’m a new blogger and am hoping to ride your coattails.

  40. alicia

    My 3 suggestions:
    Dr Newman’s nipple cream (has to be compounded by a pharmacist). It really does help, it is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiinflammatory. The exact recipe is on Dr. Newman’s web site, but I think it has clotrimazole, triamcinoline, and bactroban in it.

    Nursing position – the dancer hand/dancer hold position. Ideal for moms with larger breasts and babies with small mouths. Not good for nursing in public, though!

    When showering in the last weeks of pregnancy and while breastfeeding, DO NOT USE SOAP on your nipples! Rinse them with water if you must, or cleanse them by massaging olive oil in and wiping off the excess. Our antibacterial soap loving culture causes many of us to strip the natural protective oils that are secreted by the tubercles of Montgomery in the breasts.

  41. Leticia

    I have tough Italian skin, but I still needed a sip of wine, and the Hail Mary said through gritted teeth for about the first three weeks of EACH child.
    Offer it up, and remember this will be something to throw in her face when she’s an ungrateful teen!

  42. SuburbanCorrespondent

    I am amazed to have read through this whole comments section and not have found any mention of a too-short frenulum. I would think your lactation consultants would have brought it up, but apparently they didn’t. Google it. I had the problem with my fourth one. I knew that with that sort of pain, something was awry.

    Fixing the frenulum (cutting it, actually) on a newborn is essentially painless. Don’t hesitate. If he can’t get his tongue to protrude past his lips, that is definitely the problem.

    Also, if none of those lactation consultants mentioned thrush, you need to get better lactation consultants. That’s appalling!

    Gentian violet – that’s what works on thrush. Order some now so you have it.

  43. Sarah Mosley

    I agree 100% with the need to have gentian violet on hand. That stuff is amazing. It gets rid of my thrush problems every time I get them in a flash.

    Also, if you are looking to up your supply and are having trouble thus far, have you tried fenugreek and blessed thistle supplements? They work really, really well.

  44. Elizabeth Bennet

    Jen,

    I’ve been reading you for a while and this is the first time I have ever posted. I really enjoy your site and find it quite inspiring in its spiritual and family aspects. Having been raised as an apathetic cradle cafeteria Catholic I can often relate to your athiest background as I try to better understand my faith.

    About the breastfeeding – I have the same problem, except that I get cracked nipples and luckily you don’t although your pain my be more severe. I too get to the point of dreading nursing and latch on being so painful that I lose vision for a few seconds.I’ve had six kids now and I tried just about everything. On my fourth kid I decided to try my own method. I call it the suck-it-up method (although calling it the offer-it-up method would probably be more spiritually satisfying). Which is basically your third option so I am really just offering some comraderie. With the cracked nipples I found that everything I tried (nipple shield, 2nd skin burn pads, even lansinoh oil) just prolonged the healing process and therefore the pain – it would last about a month. With the offer-it-up method I did absolutely nothing (except cringe) and it would only last about 2 weeks.

    I am also of Irish descent and may also have SIS. I am a bit of a whole foods nut and I am convinced that alot of people’s health problems are due to poor diet so I would be curious to know if your breastfeeding woes are at all alleviated with your saint diet.

    I am currently still nursing my youngest and so in the spirit of comraderie I will say a prayer for you everytime I nurse my baby over the next few weeks. I will also think of you especially on Monday. Good luck and God bless.

  45. Lenetta

    Full disclosure – I have only had one baby, who is still nursing at 23 months.

    Much of what I have to say has been said above:

    Yeast. My baby and I were both on nystatin/diflucan pretty much until she was 3 or 4 months old. I tried gentian violet (which may be available at pharmacies or big box stores) 3x/day for a few days. I gave baby acidophilus powder. I tried grapefruit seed extract from here http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/bf/
    thrush.asp (I put in a hard return – copy/paste). Our chiropractor gave me some anti-yeast supplements. I left my nursing bra flaps down, changed pads frequently, used a weak vinegar solution on my nipples. Finally I read the book The Yeast Connection http://www.yeastconnection.com/ and tried my best to stick to an elimination diet for a couple of weeks, which seemed to get us over the hump. It is probably pretty similar to your Saint Diet – meat, fresh veggies, go easy on the fruit, no white flour or sugar. I googled to find one where I could get enough to eat, though.

    Latch. My LC showed me a move that really helped, and I hope I can put it into words. With baby in left arm cradle position, take your right hand and use it to flip your left nipple up, pointing at about baby’s nose. Pulling down with your right hand, use the underside of your breast to push baby’s bottom lip down. As your nipple moves down to the area of your mouth, pop it in. This was the biggest help to me in getting my baby to OPEN UP, though I still cranked down on her chin sometimes to get a good wide latch.

    Position. In the hospital, I created my own hold so I could see what I was doing. With the bed cranked up comfortably, I would hold her under my arm, facing up with her feet in the bed, and latch her on that way. I also used the football hold to start and then just slid her over to the other breast, then switched and started with the football hold on the other side the next time to get a good drain from various angles.

    Birth trauma. My baby ended up with torticollis (crooked neck) which may or may not be from her (sigh) forceps delivery. I finally took her to a chiropractor when she was 3 months, as my LC advised when she was a few days old. (Why don’t I LISTEN?) Her torticollis disappeared, her latch improved, and I no longer had to have the boppy pillow everywhere I went.

    I poked around Dr. Jack Neuman’s site http://www.drjacknewman.com/ quite a bit and I second the use of his “all purpose nipple ointment” which I also applied with a q-tip on my daughter’s diaper rash in addition to putting it on my nipples.

    I also really loved http://www.KellyMom.com for all her links and info. She rocks!

    At the beginning, I used Soothies (available at pharmacies, Walgreen’s, etc.) but they certainly would trap yeast if that’s the problem.

    Pumping – you might try hitting it at the beginning to help build a supply? I waited until we felt comfortable with nursing (plus freezing milk does NOT kill yeast in it) and at 3 months, my body had adjusted the supply down quite a bit. Though it’s likely the last thing you want to do with a newborn and three other littles.

    And God bless you for hanging in there – I’m not sure I’d be able to do it were I in your shoes (nursing bra – but that sounds weird). I’ll leave you with one last link: http://www.missionandshrine.org/la_leche.htm Many blessings to you as you begin this new chapter in your life!

  46. Herb of Grace

    I’m so glad to have a place to post this link/info where more moms will have access to it! My son and I had major issues to overcome during our first few months of breastfeeding. After weeks of severe pain and numerous consults with lactation consultants and midwives, I finally discovered through my own research that we had a serious systemic yeast infection. This is a link to the post where i have recorded the email I sent to all my family and friends with our discoveries.

    I think you very well may be dealing with yeast. I, too, have SIS and that makes me more prone to Yeast as well. If the pain you’re talking about extends deep into the breast tissue and even into your back/shoulder muscles, I’d put good money on it being yeast.

    We were also dealing with a “tight lip” and a “triangle mouth” as two other commenters mentioned (short frenulum and high roof to his mouth), but once the yeast was cleared up, the pain was manageable– the difference was literally night and day. As radical as I am about breastfeeding, I was at the point of seriously considering switching to a bottle (actually did for a few days), it was just mind-searingly painful. And I, too had natural childbirth. 35 hours of it, in one case.

    My prayers will be with you in the next few weeks. I sure hope you can find some answers.

    Here’s the link:

    http://theforsheyfour.blogspot.com/2009/02/yeast-infections-info-for-nursing-moms.html

  47. Larissa Smith

    I also had severe pain the first couple of weeks breastfeeding my daughter, as in kicking the chair to keep from flailing. Here are a few things I learned from my lactation consultant and figured out on my own. (I hope something is new to you!)

    1. DO NOT have your baby latch on while crying! The tongue is in the wrong place and will bruise the heck out of your nipples.

    2. If the latch isn’t quite right, don’t take your baby off and start again. Adjust from there. Smoosh and shove a little more breast in there. Gently straighten baby’s lips by pressing lightly on the outer edge of the lip, then barely slide up from your skin, almost like you’re pressing the lip up to the nose or down to the chinf. The latch shouldn’t break, but your baby’s lips will loosen and reset further open. You’ll be able to tell the difference. This saved some major crying time since my daughter was quiet and calm while I worked, plus I got really good at fixing it within a few seconds.

    3. It only takes 2 days of bad latch to buy you two weeks of pain due to the bruising. I was still in the hospital when my consultant told me the part about not letting baby start while crying, but it took weeks to heal.

    4. Lanolin during the day (every. single. time), gel pads at night (one of the best things ever!). Also, the washable cloth pads are a little gentler, if you don’t have a major leaking problem. They’re not completely waterproof like disposables.

    5. To give your nipples a break from anything but air, you can use milk cups (aka breast cups), which are hard plastic contraptions (bear with me : ) !) that don’t touch your nipples at all and don’t let your clothes touch them either. I’m at a loss for how to describe them, so ask at the hospital. Just don’t wear them for the first day or two when your milk comes in, ‘cuz that will be uncomfortable.

    5. Oddly enough, your own milk is very good for said tender skin. After your baby finishes, instead of wiping any drips away, gently massage a few drops onto the area, then proceed with lanolin.

    Hope this time around is just great!

  48. Ursa

    I don’t know anything about breastfeeding because I have no kids, but I was wondering if you knew about the discussion board at the website of Mothering magazine? It’s pretty much THE natural-child-raising magazine and it has a very active online breastfeeding support forum, with tons of helpful breastfeeding women. If anything you could get sympathy and support there. The website is http://www.mothering.com/discussions. Good luck!
    You have a great blog, by the way. I am not Christian but your posts are very insightful and inspiring to me anyway 🙂 Thank you!
    Ursa

  49. eulogos

    It is too late for this one for your current (fourth) child, but La Leche League used to advise cutting holes in your bras during pregnancy, so your nipple was exposed and would be ruibbed by clothes. This was supposed to toughen it.

    During my first pregnancy at age 23I hadn’t even worn bras for 5 years since I was 17-I didn’t even own one. At that point my breasts were small and upright enough that this was not uncomfortable. I had no pain at all with nursing a very energetic nursing baby. After that, I had to wear bras for support, and I would have a few days of tenderness when I started nursing. So I tried the cut a hole in the bra trick and it worked. Maybe that would help if you tried it in your next pregnancy. Also, if you go on having them as close together as you kids are now, if you go on nursing as far as possible into pregnancy, maybe some of the “toughening up” will last.
    However that is the only time I did feel pain while nursing, after about the 5th or 6th month of pregnancy. So maybe it is pregnancy hormones, and yours just last a long time.
    Good luck with this and god bless.
    Susan Peterson

  50. Melissa

    I can SO relate to the extreme breastfeeding pain. I would have completely given up breastfeeding with baby number one if we weren’t both students with absolutely no money at all to buy formula. I had toe-curling pain from the time she latched on to the time she finished for the first three months. Two weeks into the trial we found out that we were passing a yeast infection back and forth, and once that cleared up (gentian violet and diflucan) things were a bit better, but still extremely painful. The nurse who was working with me was trying her best, but I did hear the refrain “If you are doing it right, it shouldn’t hurt” enough times that I wanted to scream.

    Here’s a bit of advice that helped me a whole lot: Try running your finger down your baby’s face from her nose to her chin. There is a newborn reflex that should open her mouth wide like she is yawning. You want her mouth in that position when she starts to latch on. I would hold my breast in one hand, her head in the other hand, tickle her mouth with my nipple, and when her mouth was open really wide I would jam her head onto my breast so that she would take as much of the breast as possible into her mouth. That took the pain level from toe-curling, screaming pain, to mild sobbing pain.

    Good luck, and God bless both you and your new baby.

  51. Anonymous

    I'm sitting here in tears with my 3rd asleep on my chest,desperately tryingt o find a solution to the UNBEARABLE PAIN I am having with each feeding. I had trouble with my 1st that took several weeks to disappear, I don't remember having this much trouble with the 2nd —- but I am DESPERATE here 3 weeks into the 3rd. I have cut & pasted several of these posts and I will be calling the LC and my OB in the morning.

    One solution that I haven't seen here in any of the other posts is the diagnosis of Reynaud's syndrome. With my 1st, we never showed any symptoms of thrush (and don't this time around either) – but it felt like my nipple was full of broken shards of glass every time he nursed. No latch, no lanolin, no cold or hot packs would work. Finally (this was before chat rooms, blogs, and google) the LC pulled a paragraph out of one of her books describing pain like thrush, but with blanched nipples. The treatment was high doses of Vitamin D and a perscription of Nifedipene. worked like a miracle….(not so much this time around!!), But if you are at your wit's end, Google Reynaud's — lots of websites out there now for it.

  52. Shalene

    Have you tried a nipple sheild? Their inconvenient for sure, but they help the baby learn how to open up wide enough and they aren't directly on your nipple. (I had to use them for both my preterm babies…it was the only way I could breastfeed at all, at first.) As the baby gets used to suckling from the nipple shield, she/ he learns that there is more that needs to go in their mouth than just the nipple. The shield won't allow for just getting the nipple, strangely enough. It will also help clear up a yeast infection, if indeed, you are passing one back and forth. Also, try leaving your breast exposed with and rubbing some of the milk onto your areola/ nipple after feeding (this will help toughen and protect your breast; and it only need be exposed for about 5 minutes.) Obviously this option will only work at home, but it does work. I will be praying for you and your breastfeeding woes. (I have to admit that I didn't look to see when this post was written, so this could all be useless info, now. If so, I apologize.) 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  53. sarahjane

    I nod my head in agreement to your description of extreme agonizing torturous breastfeeding pain. I felt that way about it, too when I was starting out six months ago. The first 2 weeks were terribly agonizing! I had even wondered if the meds (pain killer and anti-inflamatory) were for the pain of breastfeeding rather than the pain from the vaginal delivery. It hurt SO BADLY that I contemplated biting down on a stick, like they must have done in the olden days. I was relieved to know that my baby's vision could not see my face as I writhed in pain. I also found "let-down" to burn terribly. Thankfully, within a few weeks, I didn't notice the pain at all; unless he was latched on poorly or until we had a case of thrush. Most recently, had a blocked gland – leading to a blister (bleb) on my nipple, which rated in pain just like the beginning breastfeeding experiences. Am now trying the Triple Nipple Cream and feels much better after only one day of treatment. Baby had problems early-on and we worked through them. I have LOVED the bonding experience with my baby. I hope to have another healthy child someday and hope to breastfeed again; however, would prefer to skip the pain again. Ultimately, I remind myself that IT IS TOTALLY WORTH THE PAIN because I love my child beyond belief. Thanks for sharing your story.

  54. Kara

    I realize this is an older post, but I am new to this whole blogging community. Wow! I've been missing out! I have been reading your blog for 3 days now when my little ones permit me the time. You have had such an awesome journey. My husband converted Easter 2006, and as a cradle Catholic with a less than devout childhood, I too converted at that time.

    I also have SIS which leads to a challenging nursing experience. At a recent postpartum appointment, my pious midwife told me to be joyful in my nursing torture! Not everyone gets to experience the excruciating pain of feeding another from your own body as Christ did and does. I can't believe I never thought of it that way before.

    God bless you, Jen. Your work here is fruitful.

  55. evangoor

    I know this is old but I just wanted to say, "Thank you!" I truly felt all alone (as I bit a pillow, popped my ibuprofen & vicodin, not for the c/section pain but for breastfeeding). Finding your post was the best thing that happened to me. I made it through the 14-21 days of torture and then all was right in the world. Now I have nipples of steel or something and am going into my 13th week. Thanks again!

  56. samantha

    i am so glad i’m not the only one with such pain! i know this is really late, but i soooo know the pain ya’ll are describing. i had pain so beyond severe with my daughter – there were blood blisters, water blisters, and cracks, not to mention the pain of engorgement in going from an a cup to a double d in a matter of days, plus i had let-down so bad i would squirt several inches. i folded a cloth diaper up and stuck it under the breast that wasn’t being nursed on or my daughter and i would both end up soaked.

    my pain lasted 8 months of the year i spent breastfeeding. i didn’t leave the house for 3 months because i couldnt bear to wear a shirt – i went topless during that time. i rocked and cried and couldn’t sleep for the first month or two knowing in a couple of hours i’d have to feed her again. i would break into a cold sweat and dang nearly hyperventilate as i prepared myself for the sheer agaony of her latching on. i put up with the pain because i could not afford formula. i did not have a yeast infection either and forget pumping. i know it wasn’t a latch issue because i used to run my fingers along my sides to induce chills so my nipples would shrink up, then id put the whole thing in her mouth, insuring she had plenty of it in there.

    with my second baby i tried again in the hosp. and experienced the same pain except by then i could afford formula. with my thrid baby i didn’t dare try breastfeeding again. but i felt so guilty wasting all that breastmilk because i had more than enough. so here i am pregnant with my 4th baby desperate to find a way to relieve the pain (i even tried to get a pain specialist to cut some nerves the pain is so so miserable). i’m irish/english with blue eyes and dark blonde hair. i have s-i-s for sure, if my skin was any whiter i’d be clear and if you look at me funny i’ll bruise 🙂 i have always had sensitive nipples, nursing or not. i take baths because the water from the shower is uncomfortable. my husband doesn’t get to play with them because they bring me no pleasure.

    i noticed my nipples do blanch when i break the baby’s sucktion and then they turn purple then red (thought everyones did while breastfeeding – no?). but the pain is during feeding not afterwards as seems to be the case w/ reynaud’s, and cold does not trigger any vasospasms either. so i’m not sure tha’s what my issue is, but i’m still gonna try the nifedipene just in case. dear jesus i really hope it works!

  57. Kristy

    Hi I have this same issue. Now again with nursing my second. You’re right it is the worst pain in the world!!! I also delivered naturally both times sat home so I know pain! With me it lasts longer then the first week. 3 months actually 🙁 terrific!! And it shoots into my shoulder and behind at my shoulder blade! I also wonder if its something to so with the latch that just can’t be fixed because of how my nipples are. But I don’t know. What are your thoughts?

  58. sharon

    I know this was posted a while ago, but I was wondering if your sensitive skin condition actually had a medical name? I have very sensitive skin like what you’re describing. If I am poked or even lightly smacked on my bare skin (like when someone claps you on the back/shoulder), it hurts a LOT. And both breastfeeding & pumping are extremely painful for me, even 2 months in. I’m just wondering if your dermatologist actually referred to it by some name. Thanks!

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      I never did get a name for it, but I found that when I cut out gluten and most other grains, 90% of the sensitivity went away! The difference was really amazing.

  59. Sylvie

    Can’t describe the pain indeed!
    I chose the pump, helped a bit, but still wondering what to do for the next one, expected in just a few month! I’m so scared about new breastfeeding period…

Connect With Me On Social Media or Explore My Site

Categories

Archives

Podcast Highlights

Each week I post highlights from my SiriusXM Radio Show.  Listen here or subscribe on your favorite podcasting app.
Apple | SoundCloud | Feed
Player.fm | PodBean | Acast