When does breastfeeding get easier?

I’m 5 days post c-section and seriously struggling. My baby is a great eater and my milk came in on day 2 so I should feel incredibly lucky, however, she has a very painful latch so I need to use a nipple shield, which is annoying, I struggle to find comfortable breastfeeding positions that don’t hurt my incision and I’m just. So. Tired. I am lucky enough to have help from my husband and family such that I haven’t even changed a single diaper/just need to feed her, so I feel guilty even feeling this way but I just feel like my entire day revolves around feeding her and it’s really freakin hard. Does it get better? Any words of wisdom? Wanted to at least BF until I go back to work in 5 months, but tempted to just give up now and move to formula...

  • Anonymous
    Apr 22

    Hey there! I was in your exact same position!! Have you tried talking to a lactation consultant? I did and she helped me so much!! With positioning, knowing how to help my daughter latch and a few other things as well. My daughter had the hardest latch and it made me bleed and my nipples crack. I used lanolin and breast pads to help with that and after a day or two when my daughter tried to latch again it went great!! (we supplemented with formula, my daughter luckily never had nipple confusion.) My mom honestly just told me i needed to ‘toughen up my nips’ which was true in my case. Maybe try talking to a lactation consultant, or supplement with formula for a small bit.

  • Kate
    Apr 22

    I completely agree with you, it is so tough. And exhausting. For me, the first week was the worst, then it turned a corner, almost suddenly, and got better. My OB informed me that our hormones are partly to blame for the sensitivity, and those hormones wear off with time. Like the poster above, I also had to just get my nipples adjusted to it. And babies have a growth spurt around Day 3 - just another reason why the first week of breastfeeding can be awful. Not sure if you’re pumping yet, but if she has a painful latch, you may want to try it. It may provide a little break for you - just keep an eye on your supply since it’s still early. Drink a ridiculous amount of water and rest whenever you can.

  • Jackie
    Apr 22

    I also had an extremely painful “latch” and my nipples would bleed and crack as well. It was so bad I ended up stopping, partly because of pain but mainly due to not getting a proper latch if at all. I had a lactation specialist come every day if not multiple times some days to help. We decided to give my nipples a rest, pump and bottle feed. I was hardly producing any milk and one of my breast I had a clogged duct. I ended up giving donor milk while in the hospital and only a half day of formula when I got home. My milk had finally came in the day I left the hospital. I decided to exclusively pump and feed which was really hard but also allowed my husband to fed her. I returned back to work after 6 weeks and finally switched to formula only by 3.5mo. For some it doesn’t get easier. I did try to breastfed while I was home but had no success. I wish you the best and do what works for you and your family!!

  • Kristen
    Apr 22

    Nipple shields are annoying, yes, but they protect your nipples and eventually your baby will get better at breastfeeding and you can ditch the shields. I used them for 2.5 months with my daughter, which felt like forever, but looking back now it was a short time and totally worth it. Breastfeeding is no picnic for us mamas but hang in there!!

  • Jaclyn
    Apr 22

    I highly highly highly recommended getting those nipple gel pads if your nipples are sore until baby gets a good latch. Ask pediatrician if they have free samples because they are like $10.

  • Erika
    Apr 22

    I was in your place too. 2 c sections. Breastfeeding was awful for me, as everyone above said you can continue to try. But if you don’t, that is okay too. Both of my boys were on formula by week 2 and they are healthy smart and happy. There is a huge amount of pressure to breastfeed. Do not forget about you during this time, take care of yourself as well. As long as your babe is fed, that’s what matters. When my baby took that first bottle of formula, I wasn’t crying from pain and exhaustion. We bonded more over a bottle than any time breastfeeding. Do what is best for you 💜

  • Anonymous
    Apr 24

    Lactation Consultant - a lot of insurances will cover a couple sessions! I had the same exact issue with my little one and she helped so much. She discovered that my little one had a pretty bad tongue AND lip tie which is why his latch was so bad and my nipples were raw/bleeding. She also helped me find a comfortable position since I was also recovering from a c section and trying to maneuver an almost 10lb newborn - not easy! Took a few weeks to practice her suggestions and allow my little one to adjust to a full range of motion for his mouth and tongue, but he did end up breastfeeding till around 13 months!

  • Yanis
    Apr 25

    This is really how it is at the beginning. Baby is still learning and so are you, your body is adjusting. You just have to go with it and push through the pain (if what you really want is to breastfeed. ) Just remember fed is best! If it’s something that you are really struggling with you can always give formula. Just know that it does get better. Eventually your nipples adjust and they stop hurting and you’ll find comfortable positions and it will become as natural as it was supposed to be from the beginning.

  • Jennie
    Apr 25

    Find a breastfeeding support group near you. They are usually free and hanging out with other breastfeeding moms is so needed in those early days. Find an IBCLC (not all lactation consultants are equal...) and get checked for lip and tongue tie (by someone who specializes in that, I have had pediatricians who couldn't see them)

  • Jenn
    Apr 25

    It's miserable at first but it really does get better! I'd recommend seeing a lactation consultant for support & assistance.

  • Myrtle
    Apr 25

    Everything is so hard at the beginning especially because of the exhaustion! Also keep in mind your hormones just took a huge dump after you had the baby which makes everything more depressing and frustrating. It absolutely does get easier!!!! Definitely try A lactation consultant and/or a breast-feeding support group if you’re up to getting out of the house. I have two friends who almost exclusively pumped their milk and gave it to baby and bottle. This might be a good option for you as well. Hang in there mama you can do it!

  • Loris
    Apr 27

    Breastfeeding is incredibly time consuming and it probably will be until baby starts on solids and starts eating less milk. And you’re definitely making a sacrifice for your LO. You’re nipple will get used to it, definitely use a salve after - it helps! And there’s these things by Lansinoh called Therapearl 3 in 1 that you can use to warm up your breasts and make the milk come out easier. It will get easier!!!

  • Lily
    May 09

    Get some of this, Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream for Breastfeeding, 1.41 Ounce Tube also, they have classes you can go to where other mom and a lactation consultant will help you get your baby on there right! Breastfeeding is hard, but don't give up just yet. Also put your own breast milk on your helps! But definitely get some tips from a lactation consultant. Don't give up yet:) you got this!

  • Amanda
    Oct 10

    It took a couple of months to get comfortable for me. And now that my son is getting teeth that transition has been a little painful. But not as bad as it was in the beginning.