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Painful Labor or Breastfeeding

Which Was Easier, Labor or Breastfeeding?

Some mamas were made to have babies and just pop them out. Others suffer rough deliveries and deal with C–sections, episiotomies and tearing.

Similar to labor, mothers who breastfeed have varying experiences. There are women who love nursing from the get–go. And, those like myself who had an uphill battle beginning with mastitis and other complications. While time eased me into it, initially it was agony.

What was less painful for you?

Join The Conversation
Nevrin Nevrin 9 years
Why is this question formed so negatively? Torture, pain, excruciating? Seems a bit leading to me. Birth is painful, but in that pain hormones are released that bond us to our babies and we get this amazing sense of accomplishment because there is that wall that feels insurrmountable and yet you overcome and the joy and relief of the baby in your arms is such a reward. Nursing was easy for me, she nursed as her first act in this world. We had some engorgement in the begining, but the sense of accomplishment, that I was sustaining the life and health of this gorgeous creature was amazing. My boobs had purpose, and being Betty Bop with the huge knockers for a year was great fun ;) Plus buring that extra 500 cals a day was pretty darn cool too. I weighed less one month after her birth than before I got pregnant and I was definitely eating :D Pain, Schpain. If men were responsible for giving birth we would have died out thousands of years ago. But then again,if I were responsibile for hunting rather than gathering my blood line might have died off to :P <3
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
Oh wow my labor was way easier than BF, sadly. And that's physically and emotionally speaking.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Thanks macgirl! I was wondering why I read it that way. :) You know, to be honest, I find the LLL reps to be the aboslute least effective when it comes to support and advice. I never even recommend people call them if they need breastfeeding advice. This third time, our hospital got so proactive that I saw a lactation consultant a week before my c-section was scheduled. I thought that was pretty awesome.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
I was in labor for 45 hours and only had an epidural the last several hours (they forced it on me cuz they thought they would have to do a C-section). But I answered breastfeeding, not from the physical pain, but from the emotional pain - it was so hard, my milk didn't come in, he wouldn't latch on, etc... It was gut-wrenching to try to get it to work - I went through THREE lactation consultants, including one from La Leche League. NO ONE could help me. I finally had to give only formula. :-(
lovelipgloss lovelipgloss 9 years
I'm hoping to get pregnant within the next 2 years and you guys are freaking me out!
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
My first labor and delivery were awful, scary, and painful to say the least. I didn't BF so I can't compare, but I am guessing it would have been easier!!
Coldplayer Coldplayer 9 years
I was extremely lucky in that breastfeeding was not an issue for me at all. It went smoothly from day one. The hospital where I delivered is very pro-active about breastfeeding, so there was a lactation consultant in my room within 24 hours. The labor and delivery was another story altogether! Two hours of pushing only got me a one-way ticket to the OR!
macgirl macgirl 9 years
Greggie- I thought the same as you I just read it again and realized that it ended with "What was less painful for you?"
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I'm sorry, the question is worded as which is easier. For some reason I read it as "Which was more painful, labor or breastfeeding?" So my last paragraph makes no sense as a suggestion. :)
lovelipgloss lovelipgloss 9 years
I want to see the poll results, but I haven't had a baby and don't want to throw things off by giving a fake answer!
macgirl macgirl 9 years
I said breastfeeding was more painful as I am factoring in the emotional pain as well. First son we did it for 6 weeks and I wanted to cry each time I knew he was getting hungry as it hurt so bad (not to mention the giant chunks of nipple I was losing towards the end). This time I had books, I had consultants, I knew how to fix it and yet I still did not get to breastfeed my baby. Pumping and bottle feeding is just not the same. I was smart enough this time to realize that his tiny little mouth plus my ginormous boobs were not going to play well together and quickly switched to pumping. I think this time it was the emotional pain that killed me as I was so confident that I would be doing it. Labor wasn't a breeze but it was a short term pain.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Breastfeeding came with its difficulties with the first, but labor was by far worse. I had back labor that went from my neck to my calves, full body contractions, and went into respiratory arrest. Not surprisingly, I had an emergency c-section. Breastfeeding brought pain for a longer amount of time (4-6 weeks with each, and that's with a good latch and everything going right), but it was nowhere near the intensity of labor. Now if we're talking subsequent births and breastfeeding, breezy. *lol* I can't even tell I was cut open and stapled back up. I think a better way to word the question is which is more difficult, though. Because while labor will most likely have the most intense pain, breastfeeding can be more difficult overall due to ongoing pain or problems. Having a huge pain for a day or two can often pale in comparison to having ongoing pain that's less intense.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
Breastfeeding pain continues for about 2 weeks for me. First there is just the rawness of my nipples to deal with and then the horrible engorgement that lasts a week.
katedavis katedavis 9 years
jennifer76- I was not drugged from the start of my labor, in fact I was so overstimulated from what they gave me to induce me there was no break between my contractions. And yet, the constant pain from nursing was way worse. You expect pain with labor, but I did not expect what I went through with nursing. I was ill-prepared (I should have had soothies and shells from the start) and I kept trying to meet with a lactation consultant out of the hospital but I couldn't for about a week. The pain from nursing was unbearable and you have to go through it every 3 hours. Definitely worse than labor.
jaberwalkie jaberwalkie 9 years
I worked out the majority of my pregnancy which helped tremedously when my water broke and I went into labor. I went into labor at 10:30pm and had my daughter by 6:02am the next morning but it went so fast and I did have an epidural which was a heaven send! Labor was quick, I wouldn't call it painful I'm 5ft and normally 112 pounds and I do not handle pain very well. It was the pressure my body was putting on me to push when I hit 6cm and had no time between contractions to breath that was hard. My body wanted to push from the contractions but to be told don't push was hell but I'd do it all over again because it was a beautiful experience and my first child. Now breast feeding has been a chore just because I was so engorged by like the 3rd day I was home that I had to pump just to get relief. Lanolin cream is your best friend! My nipples were so chapped, raw and bloody for about 2 weeks and even though it was so painful my sister who has already went through it twice told me to press on. I did and got through it and now even though they still get soar I've kept the cream on and it only hurts when she doesn't latch on properly.
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
My labor honestly was pretty easy. It hurt fairly badly for a few hours until I got the epi, but then I felt nothing (although I can't imagine doing it without drugs). The rest of labor and delivery was cake, and the recovery wasn't all that bad (probably pretty typical). BFing was quite painful for the entire time I attempted it, even though I tried lactation consultants and all of their tricks.
meandtheo meandtheo 9 years
The labor question always throws me for a loop. My labor was normal I suppose for a first time mom and it hurt until I got the epi, then I couldn't feel it. BUT the recovery was a whole different story. I had a third degree tear (that again I did not feel at the time) but I certainly felt it for the next two weeks. I couldn't sit up without tears brimming on my eyes and the bathroom was just a scary place that I tried to stay away from. If recovery is included in labor then labor for sure. Breastfeeding for me was easy peasy, thankfully!
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
If anybody answers that breastfeeding was more painful than labor, they really need to see a lactation consultant. I mean, seriously. Unless you were drugged from the very start of labor, I think pretty much anyone has to admit that labor is some of the most intense pain they have ever felt in their life.
LaPerla2 LaPerla2 9 years
I was in labor for over 72 hours and it ended in a c-section - i vomited, i was just awful. It took like 2 weeks for my milk to come in with enough quantity to feed my 10 pound munchkin, so that was quite distressing - but nothing like laboring in a hospital from Wednesday until Saturday! Once the milk came in, my hungry hippo was calm and so was I.
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
I do have to say that I was only in labor for four hours and it happened so fast I couldn't believe it. Nursing was a bit uncomfortable but not to the point where it was painful.
SweetnLow SweetnLow 9 years
Once I got the Epi life was good! But BF, and the issues I had with it, sent me spiraling into depression. It was awful.
sarahm73 sarahm73 9 years
My labor was really traumatic. It took them half an hour to stitch me up after. Obviously, it was worth it but I'm certainly scared about going through it again.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
I had some discomfort with nursing, but nothing compared to the pain of labor--especially induced labor!
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