Past Problems With Breastfeeding But Want to Try Again

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
The reason we found out that I was pregnant is because my breasts were hurting, prompting me to take a HPT. But still, 3 months later my breasts still hurt, my nipples and the armpit sides are very sore and my husband says that they feel full or firm and they taste like metal making sexual enjoyment less fun.

This is my second pregnancy. My first child is 6. I tried to breastfeed my son but he only lasted 10 days and my breasts were sore. I packed them with ice until there was no production and gave my son formula thereafter. Could it be how I originally packed them 6 years ago? I would like to try breastfeeding again with this child, but if they are still going to be sore, it might be painful to BF, and I really do want to BF. Please help!

ANSWER

It is not uncommon to have sore breasts for the whole pregnancy, though it's certainly no fun. A good support bra can help, but it doesn't completely solve the problem for some women.

As for the breastfeeding, it should NOT hurt. That is a myth. If it hurts, you're not doing it right and you need the help of your midwife or a lactation specialist. You can start now going to your local La Leche League meetings, and there are lots of good books on breastfeeding that you might read. You might also consider buying or borrowing a pillow; I have one I lend out that seems to make all the difference for the first week, and then no one needs it any more. If the baby is latched properly, there really isn't any pain -- in fact, most women love the feeling of breastfeeding. Please get the help you need if there is any problem this time. I often find that just a tiny adjustment makes all the difference in the world, and then the woman does just fine. It would be a shame for you and your baby to miss out.

-- Cynthia, CNM