“I’ve just had my first baby and I’m breastfeeding, but it hurts like hell. I pictured breastfeeding to be this special, tender, bonding time with my baby, but I’m finding it really uncomfortable. Is this normal? Will it get better over time?”
Perfectly normal. Both you and Bub are learning what to do and how to do it. I would suggest seeing a lactation consultant who will be able to check that Bub is latching correctly and can maybe give some other pointers to help ease the discomfort/prevent and damage.
If you get really sore I suggest hydrogel disks. These feel so good after a feed.
Define hurt, because it technically shouldn’t without a reason for eg i have Raynauds, so it actually was excruciating at times and for something like that, while it can be medicated there is not much else that can be done. but without an underlying condition like that, pain tends to be the sign of a bad latch or possibly something like tongue tie.
I would recommend speaking with a lactation consultant. while there are some doctors/nurses/midwives that have specialised training (i was lucky, my child nurse was a consultant in the past, though she didn’t know what my problem was. i only learned about it from another specialist) most general medical professionals don’t have enough knowledge about breastfeeding to accurately diagnose these things. many lactation consultants also offer appointments via the phone or skype because it is SO HARD to get out with a newborn, or you’re simply too far away. but please look into it. i might be a bit uncomfortable and even a little hurty, but it shouldn’t be an agonising pain.
When my first had to be on scheduled feeds due to jaundice, it was every three hours, and yep that meant from the start of the feed. But we went to demand feeds once she was better and put on weight 🙂
Is the pain inside the breast? Or is it nipple pain? (I used to get a short lived but intense sensation inside as the breasts let down / starting making more milk. This stopped after a few weeks.) Definitely schedule a clinic appointment to get some advice and reassurance, as other have suggested. In the meantime you could ring the Australian breastfeeding Association hotline 1800 686 268.
As a mum of 3 (youngest 9 months still breastfed) it hurt for about 2-3 weeks after they were born and only while my babies latched on. Like a really hurtful pitch then once they start it’s fine. It’s takes time for your boobs to adjust but it shouldn’t take long. Makes sure your baby’s top lip is up and you can do this by running your finger under and flipping it up. Like the post before hydrogel discs are the best and also nipple cream from lanolin brand.