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HELP!!Longtime nursers please help! 3year old causing pain and discomfort

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  • HELP!!Longtime nursers please help! 3year old causing pain and discomfort

    DD 15 mo, DS 3y old. I tandem nurse. I am upset, disappointed and SAD. When I nurse my son I feel discomfort from his teeth and sucking. I have been dealing with this issue for a year. I am so disappointed because I never thought I would be the one who would have issues like this. I LOVE nursing my children and was ready to let them wean themselves. When I read other stories similar to what I am describing, I use to judge and say they didn't really want to nurse. I want to nurse my son, my son wants to nurse but the physical issues are so great that I have cut back on the amount and duration of his nursings. I need help, I need my prayers answered. I am sooooo sad, I am crying right now. I feel his teeth 99% of the time, his tongue causes a tickle sensation that is uncomfortable. I have tried everything I could think of, I reattach sometimes several times a session, I put my nipple deep, shallow, cup it, flatten it, etc., I have tried different positions. I have talked to him about being gentle, slowing down, opening his mouth. When my daughter (and use to be my son) nurses I don't feel any discomfort and love it. I can only nurse him on my right breast because it is much larger and fattier (word?) so it seems I don't feel his teeth as much. My left breast feelings like a deflated balloon in his mouth. The left breast is my DD's. The only time I feel some relief is in the early morning when we first wake up (family bedders) and my breast is the fullest and his suck is lighter and more relaxed. Every once in a while I will fall back asleep nursing him which is heaven to me.
    What has gotten me through the discomfort is my mind and heart. I will imagine he is my daughter and try to feel nothing, I positive think through every session, I pray through every session. I imagine that the body is nothing and a creation of the mind so I can create anything. So I have made it through a year of this. I can say I am better. When this first started I was so angry that my son was picking up on my anger and thank god I have adjusted my attitude. I was so taken back that I would feel anger of all things, it was such a shock considering that breastfeeding is my lifestyle along with everything that comes with. I go to monthly LLL, talk with my leader, try to talk with family who don't understand considering "I made this choice so I need to live with it". If there are no golden solutions I am okay with that, although I still have hope. Maybe all I need is to hear how others have dealt with similar situations without forcing their child to wean. That is not an option for me or my son who still would double up on his nursings if I let him.
    Last edited by SGarlock; 01-22-2010, 11:21 AM.

  • #2
    Hi Shannon,

    I don't have any advice, but I have also noticed a change in my 3 year old's latch. I attributed it to the fact that I am pregnant and my breasts have grown. I now notice teeth marks on my areola very often after she nurses. I talk to her about it hurting and ask her to open more, which she does, and which helps. It is very hard when it hurts--I too love the breastfeeding relationship we have had.

    I am planning to read Adventures in Tandem Nursing soon, thinking it may have some useful info in it...

    Hoping you get some helpful responses!


    • #3
      I should reread Adventures in Tandem Nursing. I didn't have many issues when I was pregnant other then feeling contractions for the last 4 months of the pregnancy when he would nurse. I remember reading the stories in the book that now sound like me, but I never believed "I" would have those issues. Eating humble pie.
      Adrienne, thanks for your response.


      • #4
        Hi, I don't know if this is considered AP, hope I'm not bending any rules but I have a similar problem with my 12 month old. This has been ongoing for the last 3 months and what has helped (not cured) the problem is some medication a doctor at the breastfeeding clinic prescribed for vasospasm. My symptoms aren't "classic" vasospasm but we had tried everything else and it worked.

        I was actually amazed how well it worked at first, unfortunately I had an unrelated health problem that made me have to stop the medication for a while and the next time I took it, it improved the pain but didn't completely eliminate it like at first. There are also other remedies for vasospasm that do not require a prescription and that appear to have helped some people, sadly they didn't work for me.

        I don't recommend going the medication route but I just wasn't prepared to stop nursing my son. I feel very sad also that I may have to soon because of the pain but the pain is a reality and you shouldn't feel bad if you are forced to stop. You sound like such a good Mama and you LO has had 3 yrs of nursing which is an achievement in itself, especially if you've been in pain the last year. It can be really frustrating and depressing when others don't understand how deeply torn you are between the physical pain (which is really torture, even psychologically) and the emotional pain of weaning. Good luck, I hope you find a solution.


        • #5
          I would love to hear what you ended up doing I just noticed that this post was made almost a year ago. My daughter is 2 and I'm pregnant and the pain is making me very grumpy, but she isn't ready to fully wean. It is heartbreaking when the relationship isn't mutually wonderful anymore. I just don't get how her latch has changes so much she has never stopped nursing she's nursed 20 times a day for 2 years and only recently cut down when I started to introduce new comfort measures to protect my sanity from the pain.


          • #6
            My heart aches over my encouraging DD to wean, too. She still nurses tiny bits but not really much anymore. She would love to nurse more, I can't stand it. Nursing the baby doesn't bother me at all, but nursing her does. It really does hurt, and she leaves teeth marks even though she tries so hard not to and never did before I got pregnant.

            I've just had to trust my body telling me it's time to stop, but done my best to do so in as respectful way as possible. And we still haven't totally stopped (baby is already 6 months old) but are definitely nursing a lot less.