Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Okay I've been breast feeding for about three weeks now. My baby girl was a preemie so she kinda needed help learning to eat, well when I put her on the boob she latched on right away like a pro but the problem is that there are some days where It freaking hurts and burn and feels like she's ripping off my nipple and there are days when she's doing great and is feeding just fine. Idk why this is happening. I remember reading somewhere that breast feeding is not supposed to hurt and that if it hurts the baby is most likely not latched on right but whenever I check on her she is stll sucking and milk is coming out. I just wanna know like what to do to make it stop hurting this much and has anyone else experienced this?? I try to keep my cool and eat the pain when this happens but I'm almost losing it and keep thinking about just pumping the milk and taking her off the boob but I really wanna breast feed. Any thoughts?? Btw I bought the lanolin I use it often.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM
Replies (21-30):
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 11:48 PM

Quoting mrs.noska11:

I haven't given up on breast feeding just yet yesterday since my nipples and literally the whole breast was hurting and felt numb I had decided to bottle feed her the breast milk and let my nipples heal a little but I will try again cause I don't wanna just quit I wanna be proud that I breastfed her but now my fear is nipple confusion and everytime I hear her to that little sucking sound she does with the bottle it always reminds me of when she's on the nipple and does it because it hurts like a &^%$#*&^ anyways yeah I do wanna ask you a couple questions: why shouldn't I go the pumping route?
Know the differences before you decide to go that route:

From the breast or from the bottle, fresh or frozen, your milk provides all of the nutrition your baby needs for normal growth and development and much more. The nutritive and health-supportive properties of breastmilk can be bottled, making it thenext best alternative when breastfeeding is not possible or feasible. Mothers may need or choose to offer their milk by bottle for a variety of reasons as individual as each mother and baby pair, and as a result of this need, there are many solutions for expressing milk. It is easier than ever before to provide a baby with breastmilk long-term, even when a mother cannot or chooses not to breastfeed directly. Exclusive expressing and breastmilk-feeding can be necessary and even life-saving, especially for fragile premature babies. In most societies, the value of breastmilk is well-known, but the value of breastfeeding is not. Breastmilk is a wondrous living fluid that cannot be replicated, and breastfeeding is the normal and optimal way to deliver it.

Antibodies are blood proteins produced in response to substances that the body recognizes as alien, such as bacteria and viruses. Close physical contact with your baby helps your body create antibodies to germs in his environment. When you breastfeed directly, your body creates antibodies in response to cues from your baby’s saliva and other secretions. After exposure to new germs, your body can make targeted antibodies available to your baby within the next several hours (Chirco 2008) (Cantini 2008). While a bottle of milk from a previous date will provide your baby with immune factors, it will not contain antibodies to germs he was exposed to today.

Breastfeeding supports the normal development of a baby’s jaw, teeth, facial structure, and speech. The activity of breastfeeding helps exercise the facial muscles and promotes the development of a strong jaw and symmetric facial structure. Breastfeeding also promotes normal speech development and speech clarity. An increased duration of breastfeeding is associated with a decreased risk of the later need for braces or other orthodontic treatment. One study showed that the rate of misaligned teeth (malocclusion) requiring orthodontics could be cut in half if infants were breastfed for one year (Palmer 2008). Bottle-feeding requires a different tongue action than breastfeeding does, and over time may affect the growth and development of oral and facial tissue. Sucking on bottle nipples, pacifiers, and even thumbs and fingers can eventually affect the shape of a baby’s palate, jaw, teeth, and facial structure. In this presentation, Position and action of the tongue during breastfeeding, dental expert Dr. Brian Palmer shows how breastfeeding promotes normal facial development and provides illustrations showing what happens inside the mouth during bottle- and breast feeding (Warning: Slide 2 of the presentation shows a picture of a cross section of the mouth of a human cadaver for illustrative purposes).

When breastfeeding on cue (as your baby shows signs of hunger), you produce milk in response to your baby's demand: your body makes milk to replace the milk your baby removes from the breast. When exclusively expressing, you produce milk according to how much milk you are able to remove with the pump and/or your hands. Some mothers find it is more difficult to maintain milk production long term with a pump for a variety of reasons including difficulty scheduling time to express (frequency of milk removal) and the overall effectiveness of the pump at removing milk. Understanding how long term milk production works can help mothers who are dependent on their pumps for milk-removal maximize both the amount of milk they are able to remove and the length of time they are able to continue producing milk.

Bottle-feeding expressed breastmilk is more time-consuming than breastfeeding directly because you have to spend additional time expressing milk, washing pump and bottle parts, and shopping for necessary equipment: this time might have been spent enjoying your baby or taking care of yourself. When your breastfed baby is hungry or needs to be comforted, you simply put him to the breast. When bottle-feeding breastmilk, you must first attend to preparing a bottle before you are able to meet your baby's needs.

Skin-to-skin contact (also known as “kangaroo care”) is important to your baby’s development (Bigelow 2010). Babies held skin-to-skin stay warmer, cry less, and have better-coordinated sucking and swallowing patterns. Mothers who hold their babies skin-to-skin enjoy increased milk production, increased oxytocin release, improved mother-baby bonding, and more confidence in their mothering abilities (Moore, Anderson & Bergman 2009). When you are breastfeeding, you will naturally be in a position to offer skin-to-skin contact to your baby. When you are bottle-feeding, it is important to find additional time each day to hold your baby this way. 

Research has shown that breastfeeding directly correlates with a positive mood in mothers. One study examined the effects of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding on maternal mood and stress. After breastfeeding, the mothers in the study were found to have both a reduction in perceived stress and a more positive mood. In contrast, after bottle-feeding, mothers were found to have an increase in negative feelings. The researchers suggested that the higher levels of oxytocin released by breastfeeding may contribute to both reduction in stress and better mood (Mezzacappa & Katkin 2002).

Bottle-feeding gives your baby less control over his milk intake. Milk flows easily from a bottle nipple even when the baby is not actively sucking, and the faster flow can cause a baby to continue feeding after he is full. When bottle-fed, babies may drink more than they need because the care-provider may encourage the baby to finish the bottle rather than waste the milk inside. While breastfeeding, your baby can control the flow of milk by the way he feeds. You are not able to see how much milk your baby consumed, but you can watch for signs that your baby is satisfied, and you will be less likely to coax your baby to continue eating after he is full. Research suggests that infants who are breastfed, rather than bottle-fed breastmilk, are better able to self-determine fullness as children and may have a lower risk of overeating and obesity later in life (Isslemann 2011). Recent research suggests that it is the act of breastfeeding that helps prevent rapid weight gain (Li and Magadia et al 2012).

There are some variations between milk that is obtained directly from the breast (or that has been freshly expressed) and milk that has been stored. For example, freezing has been found to decrease the effectiveness of some of the antibodies and kill some of the living cells in milk (Orlando 2006) (Buckley & Charles 2006). In order for your baby to get the most anti-infective properties from your milk, it is best to offer it fresh whenever possible.

Getting the most out of breastmilk-feeding
  • Spend time in skin-to-skin contact with your baby to help your baby grow, improve milk production, and promote breastfeeding behaviors. 
  • Build and maintain milk production by expressing milk at least as often as your baby would breastfeed and draining your breasts well with “hands on” pumping
  • Use a paced bottle-feeding technique that promotes breastfeeding behaviors and respects your baby’s natural suck, swallow, and breathe patterns 
  • Beware of marketing claims. There is no such thing as a bottle or nipple that is “just like” the breast. Choose a bottle and nipple that fits your goals and your baby’s individual feeding style. 
  • Always hold your baby to feed. Bottle-propping is a choking and aspiration hazard. Eating is a naturally social experience; propping is isolating. 
  • Feed your baby when he shows hunger cues rather than on a schedule and let your baby determine when he is full (applies to healthy, full-term babies that are feeding well) 
  • Store breastmilk in smaller quantities to reduce waste 
  • Offer freshly-expressed milk whenever possible. 
  • If your baby is hospitalized, and you are unable to nurse or hold him, spending time in his environment (including touching equipment and even shaking hands with staff) will help you produce antibodies to germs to which he has been exposed. 
  • Baby-wearing and co-sleeping (room sharing) promote bonding, attentiveness to your baby’s hunger cues, and production of antibodies to germs in his environment 
  • If you are bottle-feeding due to low milk production, consider the option of using an at-breast supplementer so that your baby can receive supplemental feedings while nursing at the breast.
If you are bottle-feeding your baby exclusively or partly, and you would like to increase his feedings from the breast, or if you need more information about exclusively expressing your milk, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, WIC Peer Counselor, or volunteer breastfeeding support counselor would be able to offer information and support. The same holds true if you are feeling pressured to provide your milk by bottle even when it is not absolutely necessary; the often-suggested solutions for daddy- or grandparent- bonding time or feeding in public is “just pump.” Remember, whether by breast or by bottle, every ounce of breastmilk matters! You are doing something very special for your baby, your family, and your community.

More information:

It’s Not Just About Breastfeeding

Weaning from formula supplements

Help-My baby won't nurse!

It's Not Really About the Milk

Bottle Vs Breast, A Mother's Story

Milk Sharing, Good or Bad?

Buckley, K. Charles, G. (2006) Benefits and challenges of transitioning preterm infants to at-breast feedings International Breastfeeding Journal 1:13

Cantini, A. (2008) Pediatric Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Heidelburg, N.Y. Springer.

Chirico, G. et al (2008) Antiinfective Properties of Human Milk Journal of Nutrition 138, 1801S–1806

Isselmann Disantis, K. (2011) Do infants fed directly from the breast have improved appetite regulation and slower growth during early childhood compared with infants fed from a bottle? The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity 17;8 (1):89

Li R, Magadia J et al (2012) Risk of bottle-feeding for rapid weight gain in the first year of life Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 166(5):431

Moore ER, Anderson GC, Bergman N. (2009) Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infantsCochrane Summaries

Mezzacappa, E. Katkin. E (2002) Breastfeeding is associated with reduced perceived stress and negative mood in mothersHealth Psychology 21(2), 187-193

Orlando, S (2006) The immunologic significance of breast milk. J Obstet Gynecol

Neonatal Nurs 24(7), 678-83

Palmer, B. (2008) The Influence of Breastfeeding on the Development of the Oral Cavity: A Commentary Journal of Human Lactation, 14(2), 93-98

St. Francis Xavier University: Dr. Anne Bigelow. Enhancing Baby’s First Relationship: A Parents’ Guide for Skin-to-Skin Contact with Their Infants
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 11:49 PM

Latch help for you:

No matter what latch and positioning look like, the true measure is in the answers to these two questions:

  1. Is it effective?
  2. Is it comfortable?

Even if latch and positioning look perfect (and, yes, even if a lactation consultant told you they were fine), pain and/or ineffective milk transfer indicate that there is a problem somewhere, and the first suspect is ineffective latch/positioning.

If baby is transferring milk and gaining weight well, and mom is not hurting, then latch and positioning are – by definition – good, even if it’s nothing like the “textbook” latch and positioning that you’ve seen in books.

“Rules and regulations have no place in the mother-baby relationship. Each mother and baby dyad is different and what works well for one mother and baby may not work well for another mother and baby. The important thing to do is to look at the mother and baby as individuals.”– Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC in The Mother-Baby Dance

Following are some of my favorite resources on latch and positioning:

Biological Nurturing: Laid-Back Breastfeeding from Dr. Suzanne Colson. Breastfeeding in a semi-reclined position can be very helpful for both mom and baby.

Newborn Hands: Why are they always in the way while breastfeeding? from the San Diego Breastfeeding Center

Latching handouts by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC

Breastfeeding: Off to the best start from the UK Department of Health
(Lovely latching pictures here, with simple directions.)

Deep Latch Technique from The Pump Station.
(Good latching pictures and directions.)

When Latching by Anne J. Barnes, has instructions with drawings
(The drawings and tips here are helpful.)

Latching videos by Dr. Jack Newman

Animation illustrating assymetrical latch technique by Victoria Nesterova
(Nice animation — text is in Russian.)

The Mother-Baby Dance: Positioning and Latch-On by Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC
(This is a longish article written for breastfeeding counselors that has some nice descriptions of latching and positioning, along with info on why some things tend to work better than others.)

Is baby latching on and sucking efficiently? How to tell from
(A useful list.)

L-A-T-C-H-E-S * Breastfeeding Assessment Tool (for the first 4 weeks) and Scoring Key by Marie Davis, RN, IBCLC
(A tool for professionals that could also be useful for moms who are wondering if breastfeeding is going fine and whether additional help is needed.)

Help for various nursing positions

Lactation yoga, or side-lying nursing without getting up to switch sides by Eva Lyford, @ 

Nursing Laying Down (step-by-step description with photos) from

Some tips on the football & cross cradle nursing positions by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

Some tips on nursing while lying down by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

More useful information

Latching: Thoughts on pushing baby’s chin down when latching @ 

Taking baby off the breast by Marie Davis, IBCLC

PDF Baby-led Latching: An “Intuitive” Approach to Learning How to Breastfeed by Mari Douma, DO, from the Michigan Breastfeeding Network Newsletter, December 2003, Volume 1, Issue 3.

PDF When the Back of the Baby’s Head is Held to Attach the Baby to the Breast by Robyn Noble DMLT, BAppSc(MedSc), IBCLC and Anne Bovey, BspThy

Breast Compression by Jack Newman, MD. The purpose of breast compression is to continue the flow of milk to the baby once the baby no longer drinks on his own, and thus keep him drinking milk. Breast compression simulates a letdown reflex and often stimulates a natural let-down reflex to occur. The technique may be useful for poor weight gain in the baby, colic in the breastfed baby, frequent feedings and/or long feedings, sore nipples in the mother, recurrent blocked ducts and/or mastitis, encouraging the baby who falls asleep quickly to continue drinking.

by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 12:07 AM
What I've never heard about that. At the hospital, at NICU they said that similac and enfamil were the best formula out there. But of course there absolutely nothing out there better than formula I do believe that . What's wrong pumping though? The doctors told that there's was nothing wrong with and to do whatever I feel comfortable with

Quoting PolishMamma2:

 If it hurts sometimes and not others then its prob the latch. You have to adjust it. Try a diff position, or a boppy pillow. And try to go talk to a Lactation consultant. As for getting frustrated i think all of us have at one point but you say you really want to breast feed then just do it. dont make formula or even the pump a option. Breastfeeding is a learning experience for both you and the baby. Try to remind yourself why you are choosing to breastfeed. For me it was knowing how bad formula is, The illnesses it contributes to, diabeties, stomache problems, childhood obesity, childhood cancers and so on....      

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Nannerz on Jan. 22, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Quoting mrs.noska11:

Breast milk is a million times better than ANY formula, even Similac and Enfamil. They are man made concoctions using COW breast milk made for a baby cow. Human breast milk was made for a human baby. The nutrients in it are perfectly made to be digested correctly and in the exact amounts that a baby needs. Breast milk also changes its composition each time that the baby nurses. Formula composition never changes and you have to keep giving bigger bottles of milk to give the same amount of nutrients. Breast milk has antibodies in it to help protect baby from illness and formula does not.
by Nannerz on Jan. 22, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Quoting Junebaby18:

Also, breast milk has never been recalled and you never have to worry about if your milk has little pieces of cockroach body parts, hair, gum, etc in it to contaminate it.
It is always the correct temperature and you never have to carry bottles, nipples, water, formula, etc around. All you need is what is already on your body, your breasts!
by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 2:06 AM
I can't do it. I just can't. She latches on really well and then she fall asleep mid feeding and then starts sucking it feels horrible I can't and refuse to be angry with her. And its really just frustrating me a lot. I'm not as strong as any of you that breastfeed. I'm gonna breast pump. Cause I want her to have my milk but I don't want the frustrations and pain that comes with it. I've got a hyperactive three year old and I just can't do it. I'm sorry if this makes me selfish but I'm really trying here.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 2:07 AM
I can't do it. I just can't. She latches on really well and then she fall asleep mid feeding and then starts sucking it feels horrible I can't and refuse to be angry with her. And its really just frustrating me a lot. I'm not as strong as any of you that breastfeed. I'm gonna breast pump. Cause I want her to have my milk but I don't want the frustrations and pain that comes with it. I've got a hyperactive three year old and I just can't do it. I'm sorry if this makes me selfish but I'm really trying here.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 2:22 AM
I feel like a horrible mother every time it hurts and u get angry i dint wanna have anger around my newborn and i feelthat i shouldn't confine doing something that's just guns make me anger all the time I'm literally in tears it's 2:20am and i feel Si guilty and horrible but i decided I'm gonna pump every two to three hours i want her to have my milk. Im not as strong as any of you again i really try but i just can't
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Group Admin - Amy on Jan. 22, 2013 at 3:15 AM
Has she been checked for a tongue tie? There's a reason why the latch is hurting so much.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 6:16 AM
No because when I was nursing her at the hospital she did so good, they said she was doing good.

Quoting aehanrahan:

Has she been checked for a tongue tie? There's a reason why the latch is hurting so much.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)