Breast pain when breastfeeding

Breastfeeding comes with its multiple advantages, and some disadvantages, some latter are pains. In this post I’ll tell you all about some ugly side of my journey, about breast pain when breastfeeding. I hope it won’t deter you from giving your own milk to your little one, but it’s good to be aware of it so you know what is normal and how you can tackle it.

Engorgement

As you know, hormones plays so much havoc going up and down during pregnancy, and it stays like that if you decide breastfeeding. Engorgement occurs when your breasts swell and become painfully large as the milk production went overdrive (thanks to the crazy hormones).

They become like balloons and feel hard, and it often happens when the breasts are producing more milk than your baby normally takes.

Please be aware that as it’s very full, as soon as your baby sucks, it’ll come out shooting like a fountain and your baby might choke a bit and cough, but she’ll be fine. Also, you’ll spill milk if that happens so make sure baby is wearing a bib or have a flannel or little towel wipe at hand.

Mastitis

It looks a bit similar to engorgement and actually it can happen if engorgement is not dealt with, but the difference is that it’s a swelling caused by inflammation of the breast tissues, and it can easily lead to infection.

Your breast will feel hard, hot, painful, red and swollen, also you could experience some symptoms similar to flu like high temperature, headaches, chills and tiredness.
I suffered it a couple of times (yes, unfortunately you can get it more than once), once because baby slept all through one night after having cluster feeding for many nights, I woke up with a sore breast and found a lump in it. I tried massaging it and felt horribly painful that I got scared to touch it. I was so worried to feed the baby with the affected breast (yes it can affect one at a time!), as it was so painful when I tried him latching on it.

After reading some advice on websites I tried again and put up with the pain, believe me it hurts like hell, but when my baby had emptied the breast I felt much better and with a huge relief! The second time was when I used a very tight bra, after few days the tightness created a lump which became had and the surrounding skin became red.

 

Breast Lumps

As mentioned above in Mastitis, you might notice breast lumps now and then. They are blocked milk ducts, that happens for many reasons like:

  • Baby didn’t latch properly.
  • Tight bras that put too much pressure on the side of the breast, for this reason I recommend using a comfortable bra that won’t put too much pressure on your breasts, and avoid wired ones. I only use breastfeeding tops because they are not tight at all, but that’s you choice and choose whatever you feel comfortable with.
  • Mastitis
  • Engorgement
  • breast injury or bruise (like a baby biting)
  • In very rare cases it could be breast cancer (yes, breastfeeding doesn’t totally prevent getting breast cancer!)

How to treat the breast lumps? Feed, keep feeding baby! Warm baths or showers can help, also massage your breasts every day by shaking them for 2 minutes each twice a day. Use a breast pump if you want, I’ve used a manual one sometimes when a breast was too full but baby was asleep and I didn’t want to wake him up. I stored the milk in the freezer for another time when I would need it.

Baby teeth bites

Yes, OUCH. My baby had his first teeth around 4 months, his daddy had his at 3 months, yikes!

Teething hurts, we all know that but most adults seem to have forgotten how painful they really are, unless you are like me and kept your wisdom teeth intact and feel them once or twice a year! I’m seriously considering removing them soon (but I’m too scared of it), some day…

My boy would sometimes bite or press hard when he would feel pain, he doesn’t do it because he wants to hurt me, it’s an instinct reaction, when we feel pain we tend to press/clench our teeth.

My first reaction was to let a scream (and swear, I know I shouldn’t but I’m not perfect), it scared my baby at first but then he seemed to like it, so he bit me now and then to have a reaction. I read about it on the internet and followed the advice of not giving it too much attention (which was really hard). After a while he stopped doing it for fun, he still did now and then involuntarily.

I started giving him some Teething Granules or drops (homeopathic granules to treat teething pain) and it helped. Also, I give him some Calpol when he really is miserable and it is evening, so it would let him sleep at night without pain.

 

Conclusion

I don’t know if I left out anything important, so far all the above is what I can come up with right now. If you are concerned about anything please consult your Doctor or midwife, tell them if there’s a lump that worries you so they can check it out. Visit them if your Mastitis hasn’t gone away after few days, it might require a medicine to tackle an infection in your breast.

If you want to stop breastfeeding, you’ll probably have to deal with engorgement and Mastitis. What helped me stop milk production right after my first delivery (I lost my first dear baby before the due date, it’s still a bit painful to talk about it here, but one day I will) was taking a tea from a great brand called Earth Mama Angel Baby. The tea helped to reduce the milk production faster, it took me about four days for milk to fully stop producing any.

 

For the pain I would put on Lansinoh There-Pearl cold from the fridge, to relieve the pain. Some people use cold leaf cabbages, but I would rather eat the cabbages and reuse the Lansinoh pads! Also, stock on Paracetamol or Ibuprofen (the second one is better as it reduces swelling/inflammation, but refrain from taking it if you are pregnant), you will need it!

With joy and light,

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Breast pain when breastfeeding”

  • WOW, this is really useful post and I agree with each and every point you have mentioned about breast pain while feeding. One of the most commonest reason is when breast is not properly latched and not fully fed the baby and full of milk. I really like your post and will share it with all the mummies who breast fed their babies and who are pregnant. This post will be really useful for all of them.

    • Thanks so much Sarah for the kind words. I’m trying to send awareness of breastfeeding for mummies out there, to let know that is a good choice as well although it’s not an easy one. It doesn’t work for everybody but I want a fair ground for a mum to decide weather to breastfeed or bottle feed. And if they choose to do so, to know what problems may encounter and how to solve them. Parenthood is already hard enough so any good advice is a little less baggage to carry on our shoulders!

  • I’ve also gotten mastitis after my daughter bit me once. My breast turned red and all of a sudden, the veins changed color and became a darkish green, blue color. My doctor had to put me on antibiotics to get rid of the infection and it wasn’t pretty! I didn’t know any better but, I was pumping in that one breast and dumping, I didn’t know that baby could still be able to drink from it. A day after I had started taking the medication, I called and asked how long I should keep dumping before I could feed again and the doc told me I should have never dumped, baby was safe to drink from the breast, I wish I had known earlier than to listen to advice from those around me! Heads up to other moms in the future! Great information for new moms!

    • Thanks so much for your review and for sharing your experience. It’s sad that sometimes we are not given more information or beforehand about matters like these. Breastmilk is really precious, is milk that was produced by you with your effort, love and energies, it’s a pity it’s been thrown away but you didn’t even knew it. I hope with my post to give awareness how important it is and that mastitis is an infection that only affects the breast tissue of the mother, it doesn’t go to the child. Again thank you and have a great day 🙂

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