Why have my breasts changed?

We had a reader write in and ask the following question:  ” I am wondering if other women have experienced a decrease in breast sensation following the nursing of their children… When my hubby and I first got married, my boobs were very sensitive…. Then the kids came and I nursed them all.   My boobs took a real beating during those times (bad latching, etc) … It has been years since I nursed but my boobs have never returned to the way they were. While I still enjoy having my boobs sucked and played with, the sensation is not nearly as intense as it once was. Is this normal?”

I can only write from my own experience, and I am hoping others who have had similar difficulties or maybe no difficulties at all, will chime in as well.

Before my first pregnancy,  I like to think that I had pretty sensitive breasts.  I don’t think I ever got orgasmic with breast play, but I really enjoyed my husband’s mouth on my breasts during foreplay.  Five months after we got married, I got pregnant with my firstborn.  With the newness of all the pregnancy changes and things going on with my body, I remember still being okay with breast play.

The thing that is different that this reader is that I had major problems breastfeeding once the baby was born.   He was hungry all the time, and my breasts were not producing much milk at all.  Come to find out later that my Mom was the same way.  Thinking there was something wrong with me and I HAD to be doing something wrong, I went to breast pumps.   Trying to pump in between was SUPPOSED to help stimulate more milk.   Even my baby’s cries didn’t ever cause any of the things I had read about in all the books.   I squeezed my breasts trying to get every little bit I could out.  I was frustrated.  I pumped and I pumped and I pumped….after a month, I gave up.  I had no support and I was in tears.

Seven years later with my second, I decided I was going to try again.   Again, I didn’t produce much, but I had a better support group of friends to encourage me along and try to get me to relax more.  I still pumped in between feedings, but I still wasn’t producing.   I *should* have tried Fenugreek, I see that now to try to help, but at the time, I didn’t know much about it and didn’t want to take something I wasn’t sure about being safe and all.   Again, I pumped and I pumped and I pumped.   I really think I did some damage to the nerves in my breasts and nipples from trying so hard.  This time, I lasted 4 months before I gave up.

I have to say now that I really abused my breasts.   I don’t have nearly the sensation in my nipples anymore that I used to have.   I much rather prefer to have caresses around my entire breast than nipple stimulation at times.   My nipples just aren’t the same.   There is only so much suckling on my nipples that I can tolerate anymore.   Like I said, I really think I did nerve damage trying to breastfeed my children.

I know that this isn’t typical and probably isn’t the norm, but in my situation, breastfeeding did change the sensations in my nipples.   It is my hopes that some of you can offer your stories and maybe even could offer suggestions that would help myself and this reader as well.

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  • February 2011
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