Courtesy of Phaea Crede

23 Breastfeeding Injuries That Every Nursing Mom Recognizes

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There is nothing as elemental as holding your sweet baby in your arms while they gaze trustingly up at you. Then there are the moments when they bite your nipple, pinch your arm, and attempt to pry open your mouth with their hands, before barrel-rolling out of your arms like a little tornado. Remembering the quiet moments spent rocking and nursing my babes to sleep still warms my heart. I can honestly say that it has been my favorite thing about parenthood. On the flip side, breastfeeding has been perhaps the most painful.

Why do babies feel the need to make breastfeeding a MMA match when all you are trying to do is feed and nurture them? The world may never know. Mastitis and clogged milk ducts have nothing on some of the freakish injuries you can get from attempting to nourish your baby on breastmilk. Let me take you through the top 23 breastfeeding injuries no one told you about (tag yourself: I'm all of them).

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1Nipple Burn

Cause: Your newborn baby nursing for 12 hours straight on her first day of life. Additional symptoms include bleeding and severe side-eye from lactation consultants.

2Bit Nip


Cause: Baby clamping down hard on the boob that feeds them, leaving behind four perfect teeth marks.

3Bit Nip, Stage Two

Cause: Baby clamping down and pulling on your nipple like they’re eating melted mozzarella. Has anyone lost a nipple this way?

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4Tweaked Nip

Cause: A two-finger hard pull on the nipple that baby is not currently using.

Courtesy of Phaea Crede

5Twisted Nip

Cause: A tweak with an aggressive turn, like baby is tuning a radio and can only find a cappella stations.

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6Rolled Nip

Cause: Baby rolls your tender nipple skin between his fingers like a pencil —musing on life perhaps?

7Chafed Nip

Cause: Aggressive rubbing on your nipple that you are probably too tired to fight off.

8Shirt Nip


Cause: Baby latches on before you’ve taken your shirt off. Experts still don’t know why this hurts as much as it does.

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9Nipple Sandwich

Cause: Baby attempts to nurse with her finger in her mouth, causing a horrible suction sensation, as if two vacuums are dueling for control of your areola.

10Boob Sandwich

Cause: Baby squashes both of your boobs together to try and nurse two at once. Ambitious and painful.

11Pink Face

Cause: You’re peacefully nursing your baby. Then he slaps you in the face, trying out those cool hands he recently discovered on the ends of his arms.

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Courtesy of Phaea Crede

12Pink Face, Stage Two

Cause: The open hand becomes a fist.

Upside: impressive fine motor control!

13Hand-In-Mouth Disease


Cause: A filthy baby hand is thrust in your mouth before you can stop it. Hello, cold sores!

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14Hair Scare

Cause: Baby discovers ponytails are perfect for yanking and now rips teeny-tiny handfuls of hair out.

15Searing Earring

Cause: Those look like monkey bars!

Courtesy of Phaea Crede
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16Eyes Wide Shut

Cause: Baby learns to focus. Baby finds her fingers. Baby learns to use her fingers. Baby pokes fingers into your cornea.

17Eyes Wide Shut, Stage Two

Cause: You forgot to clip baby’s nails.

18Lacerated Boob


Cause: Long fingernails + soft boob skin = looks like your décolletage was attacked by a cat.

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19Bruised Boob

Cause: Baby misses the nipple and tries to nurse off the side of your boob instead leaving a hickey, which is not embarrassing at all.

20Dead Arm

Cause: You fell asleep on your side nursing your baby and woke up hours later, now without the use of your pinned arm.

21Nipple Jug-Hold


Cause: Pre-walker uses your nipple as a handle to hoist herself up while nursing.

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22Pulled Boob

Cause: Boobs can also be handles. Feels like a sprain!

23Scarred Neighbor


Cause: Toddler pulls your boob out by himself as you sing out to Karen from next door while unloading the car. Hi, Karen!

~Bonus injury for breastfeeding kids~

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1Cellphone Face

Cause: Your mom accidentally drops her iPhone on your face after making a particularly aggressive move in Candy Crush. Sorry, baby! Moms aren’t perfect either.

I love my kids with every ounce of my soul, so I have to forgive them both for the hair-ripping, the nipple tweaks, the boob scratches, and the vagina kicks. And that’s because one day they’ll be teenagers and I’ll be able to embarrass them in front of their friends whenever I want to.

And I will, kids. At least 23 different ways.

Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

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