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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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,