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I Want To BreastFeed But It Hurts So Badly

Dear Sugar,
I have a six day old beautiful baby boy named Nate. I've been trying to breastfeed since day one but I am finding it very difficult. He falls asleep in the middle of the feeding, he'll attach himself to my nipple for a minute or two and then stop sucking, and he can hardly ever seem to find a comfortable position to stay in. My breasts are now raw and sensitive to the touch; it's hard to even wear a bra at times.

This is upsetting on so many levels. Physically I am in pain and emotionally I so badly want this connection with my boy. I've heard that feeding can be such a wonderful and peaceful time of bonding between you and your new baby and I don't want to miss out on that. Also, there are many health benefits for my child if he drinks my breast milk. Do you have any tips for me? Moping Mommy

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Moping Mommy
You are not alone. Millions of women in are in your position right now. For some breast-feeding is super easy, while others have an extremely difficult time and ultimately give up. My advice to you is have as much patience and tolerance as possible. Since this is a new experience for you, try different techniques and positions. But in time, if it's not something that is naturally happening for you and Nate; then it's alright to stop trying.

Nipple soreness happens to be the #1 reason why new Mom's give up breastfeeding. If you can endure this pain, it will pass in a short period of time; usually within two weeks. Try applying warm compresses to your breasts in between feedings to help soothe the pain and see if that provides you with any relief. Also, try applying a modified anhydrous lanolin cream after nursing. The two most recommended brands are Lansinoh or Purelan. There is also a new product out called Soothies which are pads that gently cling to the breast to moisturize and cool the area.

I definitely recommend speaking with your doctor or midwife about your breastfeeding troubles. They may be able to provide you with new ideas and the personal attention and support that you need. You could also attend La Leche League meetings and/or find out if there are any IBCLC's - International Board Certified Lactation Consultants in your area for additional support and advice.

Join The Conversation
Isadora Isadora 10 years
and also try pumping the breast so that milk production won't stop. *Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise*
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years
I had the same problem when I breastfed my son, and eventually had to switch him to formula 'cuz I couldn't take the pain. There's a brand of creams out there that are sold at Bath & Body Works called "Belli" that is specially meant for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. I wish I had known about it when I breastfed, but it's worth a shot!
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Aww hun, Ive been there. Sometimes it just doesnt work, an if you have any anxiety over it, it can make it worse sense babies can feel that. Def take DS and Jen and even try Fac's advice. Dont worry though if it doesnt work bottle feeding can be just as bonding and jsut as good as formula.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
Jennifer76, You are so right about the feet thing. My sister did that and it worked great!
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
It will hurt for a little while. But it will end. If you can suffer through labor and recovery, you can suffer through some nipple soreness. It won't go on forever. Undress baby down to his diaper before you feed him. That will help him stay awake. Also, no soothing singing or rocking. That'll knock him right out. Tickle his little feet. If you need support, find your local La Leche League. Those ladies get a bad rap, but on a personal level, you won't find people more supportive to all your issues and choices in regard to feeding your child. Good luck to you! You're doing the best thing you can do for your child.
facin8me facin8me 10 years
This may seem counterintuitive, but you could try feeding him more often. That's because the hungrier the baby is, the harder he'll suck. If you feed him often, he won't suck as hard and you will decrease some of the problems you're having. Sugar's advice on checking out the LaLeche league is great. They have a ton of information on their website regarding positions to try and how to handle problems. Also, they don't just have meetings- they also have lactation consultants that can come to your house and help you with your specific problems. Also, what you're describing is perfectly normal. Your son is still quite young. If he falls asleep, gently nudge him back and let him reattach. And if it doesn't work out- don't beat yourself up. There are many, many ways to bond with your baby. What's important is that you feel good about yourself and that will help you be a better mother.
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