Weary breastfeeding mum’s nipple-twisting dilemma – “I cannot stand it!”

Posted in Breastfeeding.

A weary mum is at the end of her tether, finding that breastfeeding is far from the serene experience many hope for.

Twisted nipples!

Writing on the parenting forum Mumsnet, the woman revealed her 19-month-old son is going through a bit of a painful phase and she sought the support of other mums, relishing the chance to have a vent in a safe space.

“Am I being unreasonable to be pissed off at breastfeeding?” she asked. “I keep on getting my nipples twisted. I cannot stand it!”

“I end the feed there and then but it doesn’t seem to teach him. It’s been going on for weeks,” this mum continued wondering if she was the only one to feel this way.

We think it’s fair to say that this mum is NOT the only one. In fact, almost any woman who has breastfed has probably gone through something like this. Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier to endure, but somehow knowing that there’s an end in sight can be the bolstering intel beleaguered mums need.

“My daughter was a bloody nipple twiddler and it made me want to rip my hair out!” one mum commented. “She did grow out of it though, thank god!”


Another mum confirmed this woman was doing everything she should be.

“As someone who breastfed to my daughter to 3, I can assure you it is ok to set limits at that age. Stopping any session where he hurts you is a good start.”

Some mums detailed their children’s advanced twiddling methods and preferences.

“My daughter likes to put her finger in my belly button and poke. I hate that feeling! What with all the biting, scratching and twiddling I am surprised she gets any milk at all!”

“I have a slightly raised mole on my cleavage. All 3 of mine found it at some point, youngest at 10months did last week and it is now his favourite thing to play with whilst feeding. Bloody hurts!”

Twiddle necklaces for the win!

There was also some great advice, suggesting an entertaining bead ‘twiddle necklace’ could help keep this little boy busy – and keep little fingers away from those sensitive nipples.

“Can you get one of those big beaded necklaces? I don’t know if they have a branded name but lots online  … My daughter loved playing with hers.”

Several other commenters suggested the very same distraction technique, so if you’re struggling with a nipple twister, perhaps that’s something to consider?

If you’re having issues breastfeeding your child – for whatever reason – remember that breastfeeding challenges are totally normal and seeking support and advice is the best way forward. Perhaps it’s chatting in a forum like this, but you could also talk to your maternal child health nurse, GP, a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding helpline like the one the Australian Breastfeeding Association has set up.


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