Forum home Babies Breast & bottle feeding

does it get easier?

my baby is 8 days old now and i thought we were turning a corner after some initial latch and demand problems after our 35 hour labour and emcs.

However it still seems to hurt sometimes and now my breasts are engorged and i have severe backache not to mention incision pain and less mobility.

Is this still normal for it to hurt when breasts are engorged? It does ease after a bit but i think sometimes the latch isn't quite right, probably when i'm tired and not as firm with him or don't take time to get properly comfy.

Does this improve? Worriee i'll end up hating him because feeding is so painful at times and it makes me feel so trapped.



  • Hey, My delivery was pretty straight forward so I was mobile straight after. I had problems with Alex latching and feeding as he would just fall asleep if and when he latched on and my brests got sore and engorged and very painful. The midwife suggested that I expressed as I wasnt keen on giving him a formula and I was getting angry at myself for not being able to feed him. Alex is now 20days old and im expressing 6-7times a day for 30min+ at a time I should probally should be doing it longer and more often as I have to give him 1bottle feed at night.

    Experssing the milk realy helped as I my brests are not sore and my nipples arnt cracked and I no im giving him the majority of my milk and my OH can feed him at night if im too tired which really helps. Im using the tommie tippie electric pump its the easiest assembled and not too noisy and not too pricy. I had the manual avent one and it didnt really work with me but I think it trial and error with pumps.

    Hope I helped slightly and hope things get better

    Flump xx
  • I had two awful sections and felt like you after - more with my first baby. Breast feeding is hard work and you need to make sure you are looking after yourself first before you tackle feeding. If you are in pain from your scar make sure you get your midwife or doctor to check to make sure its okay and not infected and then ask for some decent painkillers for your wound and back pain. Makes a huge difference if you are comfortable before you tackle feeding.

    Expressing may help. You can even hand express if you dont have a pump. Try running the warm shower on your breasts to ease the pain or a warm flannel. Boots and Mothercare sell gel pads that you put in your bra. They are about ten or tweleve pound. They can either be heated up in water or cooled in the fridge. I loved mine cool as they are great after a feed for soothing and cooling down your breasts.

    Check with your midwife or health visitor you are getting the latch right and if you need more support ask them about the local breast feeding group or peer supporter. There should be someone who can visit or at least for you to go to a group and get some help.

    Once everything settles down and you arent sore and get in a routine you will be fine. The first few weeks are hard especially when you are sleep deprived and sore yourself. Make sure all you do is rest. Let other people help with house work etc and you concentrate on you and the baby and getting plenty rest xx
  • Thanks. I'm just finding it all so hard. The feeds require so much efforg to correctly position and then i have to do his nappy which is stressfull as he screams then geg comfy again and get him back on the other side. Sometimes feel i can't be bothered or am too tired.

    I dread every feed and yet they are getting better. Trying to remember my max time atrempting a feed is 1 hour but still feel trapped. Think i'm in a cycle from where it hurt so much and he wasn't getting enough. Now when he's down i just worry about the next feed or him waking up sooner.

    When i'm tired i tend to get cross and give up when he first settles but i know that isn't enough to fill him and he'll just wake sooner.
  • It will all gt easier, I promise, in a few weeks time you will be thanking everything that you kept going and don't have to go downstairs to make formula in the middle of night!
  • we found the 6 week mark a real turning point, now she pops herself on wonderfly! your doing fab! have you though about attending a breastfeeding group?
  • Mia is 3wks today and I feel like we have just got into our stride now. I had problems when my milk came in I got so engorged she couldn't latch on at all and when I finally got her on the pain was horrific and on day 4 my nipples cracked and bled. Cue me ringing the mw in tears as it never happened with my other two!

    She advised me to get nipple shields which I used for 5 days until I healed and loads of lanisoh inbetween feeds.

    You're doing brilliantly hun
  • hi hun, i feel so sorry for you - nipple soreness is awful image i started to dislike the staff for asking me to feed henry in hospital - he only fed 5 hourly which as he was jaundiced wasnt enough, but hated the feeds as they hurt and spent the 5 hours dreading doing it again and wanting him to sleep image its sad as he's so beautiful and a good baby really, but the feeding can become all consuming and i can see how people get depressed over it. henry latched beautifully, my nipples didnt change shape after a feed or bleed or get cracked, but they hurt!! and i couldnt last nearly as long as you, by 48 hours i told them i very much wanted henry to have my milk but letting him suck on me was not an option.

    They helped me start with a nipple shield and have never looked back. Its like a plastic little mexican hat that fits over the nipple and the baby draws the milk through. They're designed for short term use while your nipples recover. It felt so much better. The worry is nipple shields can halt milk supply further down the line but after speaking to people in my life and on here - no one reports this. I know of several people who exclusively breasy fed with them, never needing formula. Henry gained weight on day 5 (where they normally loose) and has continued to gain. The health visitor told me his feeds would never shorten with time like normal breast fed babies, he's four weeks old and his feed time has halved. he has gained 3 pounds since birth and its lovely to know ive done that - and im not in pain or feeling negative about it all. I can't praise them enough and short term use definately causes no problems. I tried to wean henry off them for 24 hours - i became very sore again and tearful - henry was fine though! I went back to them but i know i can still wean off in the future, and at the moment i figure why fix what isnt broken.

    I may well have ended up formula feeding without this fantastic invention! You should definately give them a go, you can get them in most chemists. I feel so sad for you as i know how you're feeling - you're doing an absolutely amazing job and you're a great mummy for trying so hard. I so know what you're saying about feeling negative about feeding and feeling trapped. If it all gets too much hun there are other choices for how to feed your baby and you shouldnt feel bad about doing whats right to make you a happy mummy, but i would say if you feel that way try the nipple shield first. Also, if you're very engorged make sure you massage your breast all the way round to the nipple before every feed - especially in your armpit, to get the milk moving. You don't need mastitis right now!! I know it sounds obvious but in terms of back pain its so important you're in a good supportive chair while doing it, you spend hours doing it and you dont want anymore pain than you already have. My best friend had a pricey breast feeding chair but she said it was rubbish, i have my grandma's orthopaedic chair - not the most attractive piece of furniture but its amazing support for my back! I had a ventouse and was very bruised and swollen post delivery so i had a microfoam pillow to sit on and a very helpful breast feeding pillow at just the right height horse shoed around me - this good positioning made things so much better. image
  • Thanks so much ladies. I tried to reply so many times but my phone is playing up and won't post the messages I spend ages writing.

    Things are getting easier day by day and the bf counsellor at a drop in really helped us. The more I rest the better we are as I'm not frazzled and I'm strong enough not to fall back into the emotional pattern of assuming it will all go wrong/hurt/be a nightmare. So I'm prioritising my afternoon nap whenever little boy decides to go down. Sometimes this is only 30 minutes and sometimes I get an hour or so which is good.

    I've also learnt that when he has a bad tummy he looks like he wants feeding but he's more frantic and red so I now know to wind him when he's like this rather than try to feed him which was causing him a lot of stress before. I'm being much calmer in general which rubs off on him and taking my time no matter how stressed he is. Rushing just causes me stress and its painful and he doesn't latch properly so he gets more frustrated and the cycle continues.

    I think I'm starting to believe that its really a learnt skill and that each day we are understanding each other a bit more and with each positive feed I can look forward to our time together rather than being terrified of him being near me.

    I still have to watch him grabbing me with his nails and latching on randomly and tbh it still hurts me for the first few seconds especially if he's had his growth spurt day/I've expressed or been engorged but if I've slept then I'm strong enough to bare with it knowing it will ease to pain free soon.

    Apparently this is because I am so fair skinned which means its thinner and more delicate...the midwife said that statistically redheads really don't last long bf as a result so I should feel really proud of myself. I'm looking forward to it improving bit by bit and trying to forget those one off bad feeds as one offs and not feel like its all a failure. We're only at 18 days so still only 1/2 way to the 'magic 6 week point' when lots of people say you start to really click with it.

    I hope anyone else who is struggling will read this and see how devastated and distressed I was to start but then how some support, practice and visits to the drop in have really helped. I wish I'd known how common it is to feel like this at first! xx
Sign In or Register to comment.

Featured Discussions