Breast pain during breastfeeding - how to deal with it effectively?

pain when breastfeeding

Breast pain while breastfeeding was one of the most common inconveniences my friends told me about when I was preparing to breastfeed. I've heard that breastfeeding isn't that easy, it can hurt at first. But I never imagined it could hurt SO.


With the first baby, I had breast pain during feeding from the very beginning, despite the huge dose of painkillers that I was given intravenously after cesarean section. Contrary to my expectations, the pain did not decrease with each subsequent attempt, it was quite the opposite. At the first child, the neonatologist, seeing my pain and problems with attaching the toddler, recommended feeding pads. Indeed, they did reduce the pain, but most likely they are behind the two breast inflammations and each 39'C fever and antibiotics. Unfortunately, it is very easy to inadvertently clog a duct with each feeding, leading to a stagnation, from which inflammation is only a step away. It is also very difficult to give up the covers, not so much for us as for the Baby, who - fed like this since forever - may not cope with the breast without the covers for many weeks or months, even with the help of an experienced lactating midwife.


Breast pain while feeding


But let's get back to pain. With my second child, before giving birth, I wrote myself a list of certified lactating midwives from my area. I guessed I would need support.


This time I intentionally did not take the feeding caps to the hospital. I wanted to focus on nature and professional help. I thought that without them, midwives would immediately focus on targeted help, not emergency. Feeding in the hospital was, as I expected, difficult again, and there were also problems with lactation due to caesarean section and the emerging lack of food. Unfortunately, in our hospitals, there is still an incentive to feed in a place where every mother, if she so wishes, should receive professional lactation support. We still encounter feeding a newborn baby in the first day with artificial milk, "because the Lady has no food", instead of with the help of the Young Mother, who is driven into complexes and remorse.


I did not receive any advice other than timing for breast pain while feeding in the hospital. It was supposed to pass over time.


Initially, I used a breast pump to stimulate lactation. You can read my advice on this subject in the material "There is a child, no milk". However, when the milk appeared, I still used the breast pump ... feeding was so painful that in order to relieve myself, at least once a day I was expressing milk and giving the baby a bottle to give myself a rest. I explained to myself that it is not so bad, because the toddler will at least be able to eat from the bottle. Unfortunately, the intervals between feeding in this way I began to shorten, just in pain. I couldn't function anymore. A few days after delivery, feeding hurt me much more than the surgery, and at the sound of the crying baby I began to feel the fear of another feeding and more pain.


A week passed and the situation only worsened. I had bows of milk, but due to the pain in the breasts during the feeding, I was almost unable to continue to feed the child like that.


Instincts told me that it couldn't be like that, that there had to be some way, that my mother couldn't suffer like this. First, I reached for remedies, such as gel cooling caps. The relief was felt, but it was short-lived, and most importantly, it didn't solve the problem, it had no effect on the cause, only the healing effect. I knew, especially considering the price of these overlays, that no one had come up with them as a target solution to my problem. I also used pure lanolin, of course from the very beginning, after each feeding ...


I reached for a list of lactating midwives, but it turned out that the first two have just taken a vacation, and the third will not get there, because it is too far ... the fourth one is just opening a lactation clinic and there is actually no free date, so we have to wait. It was Friday, and I had to wait until Tuesday - forever! And the pain in my breasts during the feeding that I faced, that I was afraid that I would not wait, that I would not endure, would break down and stop feeding. Worse, pumping with the breast pump also hurt more and more. I thought then that in all my breastfeeding layette (which you will meet in the post How to prepare for breastfeeding), I forgot about the most important thing - a stick that I could stick between my teeth and bite!


This time was a sinusoid - joy in a new role, wonderful first days, but from feeding to feeding when tears, fear and helplessness appeared.


It was then that I found a community midwife who said she was also "lactating". We made an appointment for Monday. I promised myself that I would hold out for two more days. On Saturday at 2 am I had a crisis in which, crying, I remembered that I had bought a book about breastfeeding while pregnant, which ... I didn't even look at. I ran for her ... "Just Breastfeeding" Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett.


"If it hurts, then something is wrong"


I searched for a chapter about painful breastfeeding and learned that:


"Painful breastfeeding - even in the first few weeks - shows that something is wrong"


"The most common cause of pain during feeding is ineffective attachment of the baby, which means that the baby does not get as much milk as it should"


"You need to fix it quickly, so if you can't do it yourself, ask for help"


I knew! I knew something was wrong! That it doesn't have to, it can't hurt so much while breastfeeding!


I read hopefully about the correct latching on of the baby, about the fact that a correctly placed child cannot bite us to the blood, because the breast is so deep in its mouth that it cannot hurt us. Only HOW DO THIS Kurdebalans DO?


I read into the feeding position that promotes proper attachment.


“One of the positions in which the baby learns to suck the breast most easily is when the baby is lying on the tummy and mom is placed in a reclining position with a pillow under her back. (...) The baby is on the breast, so gravity helps him latch on and stay close to the breast. (…) You can trust your child that it will arrange itself properly, instead of making sure that everything goes "as it should". (…) Feeding in this way gives the baby (…) a better chance to learn how to suck the breast effectively ”.


I lay down, as instructed, on the back, put the baby step by step as described, for the first time, for the second time, for the eighth time and… EUREKA !!! Managed to! Nothing hurt! At that point, 100% of the pain was gone! And I was feeding without him! I knew, I knew I could, we can !!!


It turned out that I was very lucky that I was able to do it the first time, because not every subsequent attempt was successful, but I already knew that I could, that it would be okay!


Now all that was left was to wait until Monday for the visit of the midwife and learn to put on correctly, not just lying on his back.


I spent two days feeding in this way, which was quite tiring with caring for a three-year-old… but it was Monday and a visit from the community midwife. I told her with joy and tears in my eyes to hear: "Please do not read any books, the Lady has me to show you how to feed". I did not enter into the discussion, but the Lady was so self-confident that I decided to focus on her professional, not interpersonal skills, or rather the lack of them. The lady criticized everything I was doing, did not want to see me feeding, but only left the position that she would show me how to do it and I would do what I wanted. The stone pillow went for the first shot: “Pillows, please, but not such! A child cannot be put on the feeding rack. " The position the midwife showed me was the same position I had been feeding in so far, the one where the pain was unbearable ... so she recommended me - beware - the covers, and left a soother when she left ...


Before I could close the door well behind her, I learned that I was not allowed to eat broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, chocolate, or accidentally drink coffee other than Inka with milk.


A moment later I called the lactating midwife who couldn't see me because she was opening her clinic. We made an appointment in her office for Wednesday (in two days).


In the meantime, like sinking razors, I gripped the covers. While with the first child they gave me a lot of relief, this time they did not help at all, I stayed the same while feeding on my back.


The long-awaited Wednesday came, we went to the clinic full of hope, we knew that somewhere there must be a solution.


The midwife began by examining me, then undressed, weighed and examined the whole baby, with special care his smiley, sucking reflex, frenulum, in the meantime praising my diet (with cauliflower, broccoli and coffee), refuted several myths about breastfeeding, calculated weight gain child. Then she sat me comfortably in the armchair (although I also had a couch) and gave me a feeding pillow. Well, I felt at home. She allowed me to show me how I latched on and fed and made adjustments.


It was then that my first feed was completely painless.


And so the breasts healed within 24 hours, and after 48 hours - the pain stopped.


Pain While Breastfeeding - What Was Attachment Correction?


In our case, of course, as I suspected, the little one was grasping the breast too shallow, which needed to be corrected. How? Every time when the Toddler wanted to suckle and grabbed the breast too shallow, he had to pull the chin down with his thumb down several times until he grasped the breast really deep. With each chin pull, the pain during breastfeeding decreased until it disappeared completely. I also learned that the breasts full of milk also prevent the baby from grasping the breast deeply, and the milk does not need to be expressed before feeding - just place your hand in a basket and press around the nipple several times until the milk drains and the breast is soft in this place. These two small adjustments sounded unbelievable. When I left, I couldn't believe that it was all that was enough. That this is the end of advice that it works. It works, and I feed it to this day, never crying because of it - I wish it to every mother.


Honey, remember, if breastfeeding hurts you, seek professional help. Here you will find a list of certified lactation midwives that you should contact first to avoid disappointment and receive effective, problem-oriented help.


CDL - Certified Lactating Midwives You will find here, not each has a telephone number, but knowing the name and surname, you will easily find this particular midwife on the Internet - just like mine Ania Bulczakwhich I owe to my happy breastfeeding. I admit, if it would hurt so much, I think I couldn't feed until today. Thank you, Anna.


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Leave a comment:

  • Izunia_kalisz

    after my first pregnancy I knew this pain, oh it wasn't pleasant ... but after my second pregnancy I got an electric breast pump from Neno and additional bottles from them too. I recommend it, it makes it much easier and the little one will get the best milk 🙂

  • Carolina

    Each time the Toddler sucked and pulled the chin down, he had to pull the chin down with his thumb.

    What does it mean?

    • Agnieszka Kudela

      Gee, Czech mistake! It was supposed to be:
      Each time the Toddler wanted to suck and catch his breast too shallow, he had to pull this chin down with his thumb.

      Already corrected 🙂

  • Katarzyna

    Hello, unfortunately I found your blog entry too late. 2 months have passed since delivery. My daughter couldn't catch the nipple and I was offered an overlay. After some time, pustules and pain in the right nipple appeared on the breasts. The pain during the feeding was amazing but the midwife made me grit my teeth and survive and said that the pain would pass. It passed on 2 weeks after which one of the milk tubules was not implemented and the doctor told me to massage. The pain was getting worse and my chest began to burn, I got a fever. Another doctor wrote the antibiotic, after a week the pain did not go away and another doctor wrote the same antibiotic for the next week. When the next one was over, the doctor prescribed another antibiotic. The bubble got bigger and my husband took me to the hospital on Friday afternoon. The doctor said I had to wait until Monday morning because there is no staff who can perform a tubular unblocking procedure. He also found that I had an abscess. After my adventure with breastfeeding, I want to wean the baby as soon as possible and at the next pregnancy I will immediately feed the bottle. I will warn every pregnant woman about breastfeeding so that she doesn't.

    • Gosia 39 years old

      There is 3: 50. I feed 7 weeks a Daughter. There is still a problem with attending despite the lessons from the counselor. I went through a collapse and stagnation (a quick reaction with a breast pump and there was no fever). Each time a sore nipple and at the end of feeding a burning sensation at the bottom of the breast. Fear of feeding. For this protein flaw. To sum up, it hurts like hell and the menu is limited = a lot, but all the time I become somehow, counting that something will improve. I looked through 2h about this beard and tried to apply it now. It was not ideal because there were still kinks and swallowing of air, which then corresponds to colic, but the pain was less. I will keep trying because I know feeding is the best I have for my daughter. And as her mother, I have a duty to give her the best so I'm still trying. I am sorry that you met such a story but I think that you should not advise others because it is a very intimate matter. A lot of health for the baby and the lady.

  • Kinga

    Great article 🙂 I started reading your posts and I am grateful to you for very useful advice. In 4 months, our Leoś will appear and he feels more confident having these articles on hand. Regards King

    • Magdalena

      Agnieszka, thank you very much for this blog. I remember a few months ago he reassured me that I was not alone in this terrible pain. I think I could write a book about breast pain while feeding. I am a mother of 3 children, all natural and all breastfed despite huge problems and unbearable pain. I used a lactation clinic, a lactation clinic, a breast pump, millions of tips - it helped for a while, but in the gray reality the pain always returned, even though I fed my first daughter a year and a half. Maybe someday I will find time to detail each baby's feeding and the types of pain I have gone through and the advice. And now, briefly, for those moms who are currently experiencing a nightmare - it may sound banal, and I do not have scientific research for confirmation, but I think that I was "saved" by being locked at home at the turn of March and April due to the coronavirus (remember? Forests). Locked at home, I stopped wearing a bra and nursing pads, fact - my milk was soaking my clothes and I had to change often, but there was no stress, because neither I went anywhere, nor did anyone come to visit me, so I did not have to worry about my appearance . My youngest son is 7 months old at the moment and I can say that from about 2-3 months of age I have been feeding without pain, no lumps, no stagnation, no recurring inflammation of the breast, no antibiotics, unblocking the milk ducts, compresses and lubrication of the nipples, etc. and etc. Now I put on a bra and inserts only when I leave the house. I do not believe this theory myself, but as you can see, "letting go of my breasts" healed my breastfeeding. I wish it with all my heart to every suffering mother, to feed it without pain 🙂 I did not believe that such a state existed, and quite by accident and by a twist of fate I managed to get it 🙂

  • Ewelina

    It's four in the morning and I feel like taking my finger out to focus on something other than breast pain. My Piranha gets up again soon. He's as cute as he sleeps and when I think about feeding my brain burns me. I will try to pull my chin on. I am of good cheer. He must succeed.

  • Sandra

    I have the same (I think?). My nipples are healed, nothing really happened to them. I have suffered a long time ago. And feeding still hurts so much. I am writhing with pain during feeding, and the time between feeding runs too fast. I would like a consultant to visit me, I hope that my problem (which lasts 4 weeks) will be solved just like yours 🙂

  • 30.09.2018

    I am browsing the posts about feeding because I am looking for a feeding pillow, but I read these again with great admiration. And let me tell you that I prefer to give birth in the provinces. I gave birth in CZMP in Łódź and I met with such an approach as you describe. Now, in the district hospital, everyone focused on natural feeding. Ban on bringing teats, bottles, promoting any feeding products mm. And even though I was going to give birth with the thought that if we did not succeed in kp, I would not reproach myself and would simply feed mm, because the most important thing was that the baby would not be hungry. But the fact that the midwife in the delivery room put her to my breast, I could count on the midwife in the room at every step to help me deliver it correctly, every doctor on the round asked if we were feeding if there were any problems - all this made kp for me, the most natural situation in the world.

    It's just what I wanted to share, but there are hospitals where you can get help in the Labor Code. I'm going to buy a pillow!

  • ZumbaLove

    I am glad that in the hospital where I gave birth (state) the day after the birth a lactation consultant came to me and told me how to feed properly. Thanks to this, for over 2 months, my son eats them nicely from the breast 🙂 of course, one midwife also proposed to feed the baby with modified milk, but I did not do it and the baby did not cry of hunger. I don't know what midwives believe that a nursing mother's diet exists. I am glad that you also succeeded. Regards 🙂

  • Anna Warlikowska

    Feeding my first child was amazing for me - nothing hurt, my little daughter ate beautiful - just a miracle, honey, raspberry. On the other hand, with the second child, the first three weeks were a nightmare - I cried in pain when I was feeding because my wound was hurt. Just like you, I had to change the feeding positions and after a few days the wound healed and we have been feeding for 4 months without any problems 🙂

  • Agnieszka Łuczak

    Agnieszka, my daughter has 2,5 month. The beginning was a nightmare I would never believe that such pain can be endured, I managed it myself, because I also thought that there was something wrong with my breasts, the pain was unbearable as Lila was crying because she was hungry, I was crying in pain. But I do not know how it happened that in different positions I noticed that feeding on the lying better grips the breast and so step by step we came to that feeding was a miracle for me and my daughter. You must not give up looking to read and ask. This is my advice. A wonderful blog, congratulations 🙂

  • 22.11.2017

    I send my sister-in-law, thanks for the extensive article 🙂

    • 22.11.2017

      I am very pleased 🙂 It's wonderful that you support Bratowa - if I did not have the support of relatives -
      Sisters, Friends, Husband - I couldn't make it 🙁

    • 24.11.2017

      Well, there was no one to help me ...

    • 24.11.2017

      At my first son, I also felt very lonely about this topic 🙁 that's why this time I decided to write to cheer other mothers <3

  • Karolina Ma

    As if I had read about myself from 9 years ago 🙁 Unfortunately I didn't get to a good midwife, although I went to a special private lactation clinic several times. After 1,5 month, I gave up 🙁
    In two months a second child is born and I will try again 🙁

    • 22.11.2017

      Karolinka, I wish you everything to succeed, I wish you so much, feeding without pain is another dimension of motherhood. Someone who has not experienced it (as well as someone who has not experienced this pain) cannot even imagine it.

    • Karolina Ma

      All in all it's good to know that you are not alone with this problem. At the time I thought that it was only me who was so underdone, it was very depressing 🙁

    • 22.11.2017

      I had exactly the same. This loneliness and advice - give me a bottle, they did not help ...

    • Karolina Ma

      I guess I'll try with this position on my back.
      I also heard that lying on its side is worth a try.
      And what is the position recommended by the midwife?

    • Aneta Copija

      For me, these are the two most comfortable items, especially after cc. Just be careful that the toddler doesn't kick his feet in the stomach 🙂

    • ZumbaLove

      From the very beginning I was feeding lying on my side (my stomach to the small tummy) and so far I like this position the most. You can even read a book 🙂 and after the birth I lay on my back and gave me a small one to my breast, so I can also 🙂 good luck!

  • Magdalena Kościuk Madzińska

    As I regret that this entry did not appear 3 weeks ago, I would probably still enjoy breastfeeding now. Reading your lactation adventures I felt like I was reading about myself. It was exactly the same with me, but unfortunately I didn't come across such a fantastic midwife, and at the next stagnation and temperature reaching 39,5, I gave up, unfortunately.

    • A.

      Nothing lost if you still want to feed. Lactation can be rebuilt, contact a certified lactation adviser and that person will help you.

    • 22.11.2017

      I remember that awful feeling. Fever breaking into millions of pieces, every inch of our body sore and the prospect of feeding… I'm not surprised that you've given up, it's just sometimes so hard that we feel like there's no choice anymore. If it hadn't been for the fact that I finally got it right, I probably wouldn't have been breastfeeding today. That's why I'm talking about it aloud and everywhere now - feeding must not hurt, pain means we need help. With my first child, I was even in hospital for a consultation with a lactation consultant, she couldn't help. So, one thing is to look for it, and the other is to find it 🙁 I've even thought that my breasts are so sensitive that I just can't feed it, since no one can help. But it wasn't true ...

    • Karolina Ma

      I was also stuck and stagnated. And blood: /

    • 22.11.2017

      I had it all 🙁

  • 22.11.2017

    At birth school there is a whole lecture about breast stone.

    • 22.11.2017

      I know, but I couldn't get it right after this class 🙁 hence the pain 🙁

    • 22.11.2017

      I know, but I couldn't get it right after this class 🙁 hence the pain 🙁

  • Paolina Paolina

    It's good that I just came across this post now. I have two months to give birth and I really want to breastfeed, which I could not do with my first son. It was because of the pain that I was constantly crying and I gave up ...

    • 21.11.2017

      I am not surprised ... when it hurts so much, it is difficult to enjoy life, the joy of being a mother. Fortunately, this can be remedied, and even necessary - for yourself, for the child, for the family <3

    • 22.11.2017

      Enroll in childbirth school. Hi, I learned a lot from her