Breastfeeding problems... HELP!

Richain - posted on 05/14/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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My son is 9 days old and we have been exclusively breastfeeding since he came out of NICU 2 days after delivery. I am not having any problems producing milk at all. The problem is he doesnt stay latched on like he is supposed to. He also bites down when he does feed. I have been prying him off when he bites and readjusting him every time but it isnt getting any better.



Any advice?? We have been going to a lactation support group and of course he does exactly what he is supposed to when help is around but as soon as we get home he is back to his old tricks again. I dont want to give up on breastfeeding, but am close to just pumping and bottle feeding him because it hurts so bad and he fights me so much to stay latched on to the breast.

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Cynthia - posted on 05/15/2009

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When your baby goes to latch just make sure you have as much of your breast in hand to stuff in their mouths. if biting does occur make sure you stop the feed. Use an appropriate voice and say no biting. They will get it after a few times of food being withheld. Both my boys went through this stage when we were breast feeding. When they are this young, wait until they start looking for booby again and then in a soothing tone remind baby no biting and start again. if this happens again (say at 6 months) say no biting and stop feeding altogether. they are older and are probably teething at this stage and will try to use booby as a teething ring. They will want to feed again in five minutes or so and you can try again at that time and remind them again in a soothing tone no biting. Hope this helps. Good luck.

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Amanda - posted on 05/17/2009

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Sorry you are having trouble!! My husband and I were amazed at how something so natural could end up being so hard. Like you, my son had a hard time latching on and I was SOOOOOO ready to give up. One trick they taught me was to pump a TINY bit or roll the nipple between my fingers to make it stick out more. Also make sure his head has enough support-Boppy pillows are great for that. It will get better-at about 3 weeks I felt like a pro! Now at 8 months, I wouldn't have given up that time with him for the world! Hang in there and good luck!

Danielle - posted on 05/17/2009

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My son is 3 months old and I still use the nipple shield every once in awhile. We both bottle and breast feed and if he has trouble latching on I then place the nipple shield on. But usually when i take him to the other side he latches fine. It also helps with sore nipples for sure.

Shawna - posted on 05/16/2009

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I have experienced the same problem-my flow is strong and fast, and I have been told that the baby bites down because it is coming at her too quickly. She often chokes and gags when I feed her. It has gotten better because I think she has learned to keep up with the flow. (a month later) I was SO ready to give up and would scream every time she would latch on. But I hung in there and even now I feel that the latch is incorrect, but it doesn't hurt anymore when I feed her. I would keep going if I were you-it got better for me and I never thought it would!

Leah - posted on 05/16/2009

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All I can say is that I wanted to quit EVERY DAY when I first started. I would tell my husband- I think today is the last day I'll do it. He encouraged me to just do it for one more day. It was painful, exhausting, but I'm SO glad I stuck with it. Your baby is not tricking you- he's too young to even know what that means- just hang in there. You are doing the best thing for him. My daughter is now 61/2 months old and is healthy and happy- and so am I. I treasure the time I spend breastfeeding her. You are a great mom and you are totally capable.

Samantha - posted on 05/16/2009

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I know how rough that is...my daughter used to be really bad as well (except at support group). Have you tried using a nipple shield? It will help with the pain, and should make it easier for your son to latch. Eventually, he can be weaned from it if you get tired of cleaning it/making sure to take it everywhere. Good luck, and hang in there, it is so worth it!

Rochelle - posted on 05/16/2009

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my son did that at first then about 2 weeks after that he started laching on no problem so for that problem it takes a little time oh and if using lanion i forget how its spelled but its harder for my son to lach on when i put that stuff on my boobs

Alia - posted on 05/16/2009

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Quoting Jenna:

We also had a problem with fast milk production. Lactation consultant suggested I pump a little bit first to make the breast less full. This worked.


Ditto.  Sounds to me like he's trying to slow down the milk flow- mine's fast too, and my baby did this.  Eventually as he got bigger he could keep up with it but in the meantime I was advised to hand express or pump a little before feeding to slow it down.

Jennifer - posted on 05/16/2009

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All I can say is don't give up! Hang in there! It hurts, but he will eventually get the hang of it, and you won't feel any pain at all. Good luck!

Sonia - posted on 05/16/2009

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Hi When I had my bub she would not latch on as my nipples are a little inverted or flat if you want to call them, I was given a nipple shield while I was in the hospital and. I was a little worried first about using them as some people said that it was only temporary. However I spoke with a lactation consultant and she advised me that she knew mothers that breast fed till a year. Don't give up!!! I nearly did but now am loving it. She is 2 months old now and I still use the shield, and no cracked nipples or sore breasts. However if you are in doubt speak to lactation consultant. The shields I am using are Medela brand Large shields. I do take the sheild sometimes but she only latches on for a few seconds but it doesn't hurt!!!

User - posted on 05/15/2009

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Don't give up!!! Don't be afraid to squeeze his cheek just a little when he does bite. My little girl started bitting when she started teething. Correct it now. You are prob. sore from prying him off your nipple too. Don't let him do that. I started putting my finger in her mouth to pry her mouth open before stopping. I'm a little confused b/c he is bitting but not latching on for long periods of time. Is he getting too much or not enough in his mouth? KEEP ON BREASTFEEDING!!!!!!! Sometimes it just takes two people to do it if you have someone there to help. Try different positions too.

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We also had a problem with fast milk production. Lactation consultant suggested I pump a little bit first to make the breast less full. This worked.

Amie - posted on 05/15/2009

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Try different positions. Football hold is a good one. Also, try lay down and nursing. If he is biting down, he may not feel like he has enough support under his head. Try using one hand to hold him more firmly to the breast. Also make sure you really get as much breast as possible in his mouth. Hope it gets better. Hang in there. The first few weeks are the hardest.

Katie - posted on 05/15/2009

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Babies take 4 to 6 weeks to really start getting use to the whole nursing thing. The both of you are learning this stuff together right now. My 3 month old really didn't nurse a whole lot in the first week or two. A lot of it was because she was in the NICU her first day and had to have a tube put down into her stomach and they said that a bad experience like that can make them less likely to allow you to put something in their mount. She would either lock her lips shut or gag herself. We kept at it and are now doing great! Just give him some time to get use to things.

Periwinkle0204 - posted on 05/15/2009

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Your story sounds very similar to how it went down with my son and me. He wouldn't stay latched on (if he latched on at all) and he would do it perfectly when the lactation consultant was around. I did end up pumping and bottling for a few weeks, but it got really time-consuming. Out of the blue I decided to try nursing again. It was like he had been nursing from the start. He knew exactly what to do and latched on perfectly. I suppose this won't work for everybody, but maybe a break is what he needs. Keep trying though.

Erica - posted on 05/15/2009

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Quoting Richain:

Breastfeeding problems... HELP!

My son is 9 days old and we have been exclusively breastfeeding since he came out of NICU 2 days after delivery. I am not having any problems producing milk at all. The problem is he doesnt stay latched on like he is supposed to. He also bites down when he does feed. I have been prying him off when he bites and readjusting him every time but it isnt getting any better.

Any advice?? We have been going to a lactation support group and of course he does exactly what he is supposed to when help is around but as soon as we get home he is back to his old tricks again. I dont want to give up on breastfeeding, but am close to just pumping and bottle feeding him because it hurts so bad and he fights me so much to stay latched on to the breast.



I remember with my second child that they told me to never rip him off the nipple.  They said to stick my finger in the side of his mouth and he comes right off.  That should help too and not hurt you as much as trying to take a sucking baby off you nipples that are already sore.

Ronnie - posted on 05/14/2009

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Hang in there. I had a lot of problems with my daughter. It got so bad that my nipples were cracked and bleeding because both she & I had a hard time figuring out how the whole thing works. She is now almost five months old, and we havent had a problem in over 2 months. Its really great once you get the hang of it. I have a great support group in my community that does home calls. And it was free. It seemed like every time they came over, my daughter did fine, looking back, Im sure I just needed direction. Good Luck!

Catherine - posted on 05/14/2009

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well i was sore for a couple weeks but i kept going, and it got better my girl is almost 6 months and she still doesnt' have the ideal latch all im focuse on is that she is getting enough and that i dont get too sore keep putting him on, it will take a while for u two to get hang of things but good luck.

Kate - posted on 05/14/2009

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Its great that your not giving up. My daughter is 4 months and only breast feed and we had lots of problems at the start with her not attaching properly but we finally got there. Mine also bites and still does and what i have been told is not to pull them off as this can damage your nipples but to push their face in just for a second so they let go and hopefully they will learn that biting leads to not breathing and they will stop. Hope this helps and good luck.

Richain - posted on 05/14/2009

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Whats funny is that he is hit or miss... sometimes he latches on with no problems and sometimes I am crying because I am feeding a piranha. We arent giving up. We have met with the lactation consultants from the hospital several times and they lead a support group that meets once a week as well. I think our problem may also be that now that my milk has come in, the flow is very fast. My husband said I remind him of the fem-bot from Austin Powers except I am shooting out milk (like a water gun). At lesat we can still laugh about it. Our little one may be trying to adjust to that as well. We will keep on trying... and hopefully keep laughing at this until the baby gets it right.

Rachael - posted on 05/14/2009

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Don't give up!! Before I had my daughter I was told by a friend the first 2 weeks are usually the worst and to work through it. I did and I cried the whole time and said I couldn't do it because it hurt so bad but everything finally worked itself out. My problem now is she's 6-1/2 months and has a tooth and bites me with that now.

Judith - posted on 05/14/2009

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Don't stop! Even at 3 months, she'd still have trouble (mostly because she was having expressed milk in bottles during the day) but now (she's 8 months) we're pros! But for most people, things are smooth by week 3 or so, hang in there!!

Melanie - posted on 05/14/2009

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I had a daughter with tongue-tie, and now a 6wk old son who liked to bite at first. I kinda just took it, and eventually on his own he stopped. I did tell him each time though that I wouldn't feed him if he was gonna bite and would remove him just as you do. I guess they really do understand you. My sister's son is strictly bottle fed her breast milk. Do what is the most comfortable for you, as long as he is getting the breast milk it doesn't matter if you are pumping it. I made a personal decision and thought that it hurt more to pump and let him feed. I think you are making the best decision by giving him the breast milk. Whether it comes from the bottle or by latching to your breast doesn't matter as long as he is getting it.

Kerry - posted on 05/14/2009

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I know how frustrated you must feel,that happened w my first child and i cried and cried,your bub will soon learn to latch on without biting,its not you ok! Bub has been getting every thing he wants from a tube inside you and like all of us,its adjusting to a diff way. I think there is little nipple covers out there like the ones they use for inverted nipples,ask your local health nurse or visit a baby specialist shop,they should have them,it might atleast stop it hurting so much, i think why he bites down is cos he isn't getting your nipple in far enough,thus only a dribble of milk coming out. Hold his head up and in as well,his head weight might be contributing to sliding off, i hope iv been of some help,let us know if we have or haven't.

Kelly - posted on 05/14/2009

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Hang in there! It took my little girl a month to get it! Every day I thought I was going to have to stop. It really hurt!!!! Most insurance companies will pay for a consultant to come to your house. Then they can spend exclusive time with you and your baby. It was definately worth the time. Good luck!

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