Breastfeeding Trouble

Evan - posted on 06/24/2012 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My son is a week old and had trouble latching on properly. I didn't know anything about a proper latch and he nursed from the nipple alone for the first three days. I have been experiencing a lot of pain while nursing and have started using a nipple shield and taking antibiotics for mastitis. Im expressing the milk he doesn't take by hand to empty by breasts and pumping when I can but Im still experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort. I really want to breastfeed my son and don't want to give up and switch to formula but I don't know what else to do, he's always hungry and its so painful most of the time. I didn't get much help calling the hospital and I dont think there is a lactation consultant anywhere close to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

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Sally - posted on 06/25/2012

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Go to http://www.lllusa.org/groups.php. This will help you find the closest La Leche League group. They are a group of moms who help each other nurse their babies (and offer parenting advice and can become new "mommy" friends). Every local group is different, but some of the leaders are available 24/7 by phone and will come to your house to help you as well.
Good luck

Krista - posted on 06/25/2012

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I had this issue too. I found that if I pushed gently on his chin to pull his lip down, which forces his mouth open even further, that it didn't hurt so bad. The more wide open his mouth is, the better the latch and less pain for you. Don't be afraid to adjust baby's mouth as he feeds. Eventually it will stop hurting and you will enjoy bf-ing. We had an excellent latch and it still took about 2-3 weeks before it stopped hurting. Hang in there! It's the best thing I did for my son. He never got sick, not even little colds, until I weaned him just before he turned 2. Good luck!!

Stephanie - posted on 06/25/2012

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I didn't think of this before, but it is possible your baby has a short frenulum. Check out this site: http://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/to...

You will also find more info on breastfeeding help here.

Also, use lanolin on your nipples after every feeding for the first few weeks, or until the pain goes away.

Stephanie - posted on 06/24/2012

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I got advise from my midwife on how to breastfeed. You squish your areola (area around nipple) into a "pancake", then when the baby opens his mouth as wide as he can, pull his head toward your nipple. You flatten out the nipple and areola so that it matches the shape of the baby's mouth. You can try holding the area around your areola while he is nursing so that more of the nipple is in his mouth.
Make sure he opens his mouth as wide as he can every time he latches on. It is frustrating sometimes, I know. If it is painful at all, stop, and unlatch him. Use your finger and stick in the side of his mouth to break the suction. Never just pull the nipple out. Then try to get him latched on again. If you allow him to suck improperly, he will always want to do it that way.
You could contact La Leche League also, they may have a group in your area that you could attend and get some personal help.
Good luck, don't give up!!!

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Elizabeth - posted on 07/08/2012

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Hang in there, Mommy! I had that EXACT SAME problem when I had my son. It was very painful the first month, and my nipples even bled because I have larger breasts and it was very difficult to get it right. In those moments of pain I just thought about how my suffering is good for my son. Breast milk, especially in the young age, is soooo important for immunity and brain development. Just make sure you push the WHOLE nipple AND areola into his mouth. It will lessen the pain significantly!! In about a month, maybe two, you will find that your nipples are healing and you won't even feel anything. Try to relax when he feeds and meditate on something else to calm your mind which will calm your body and him. I know the temptation to just give him formula is strong, but the more you bottle feed him the longer it will take for the breastfeeding pain to go away. If you would like to talk about anything or have any question, PLEASE feel free to message me about it! Oh, P.S. using lanolin helped too, and it's non toxic to baby.

Allmondeemomma - posted on 07/08/2012

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You sound like me when I started nursing! Don't give up! I would visit the lalache league web site. Next if you want get a medela breast pump. This way you can still breast feed and freeze and store the rest of your milk. Using the pump will help pull the nipple out so the baby can latch on easily. Happy Nursing!

Chelsea - posted on 07/03/2012

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I had the exact same issue when I first started breastfeeding my son. I had horrible blood blisters on the ends of my nipples, because he had a hoover vacuum for a mouth but didn't latch properly at first. (When they tell you it's going to be difficult, they fail to include specific advice.) Honestly, I looked up information on getting the right latch. I wish someone had told me that it shouldn't hurt for more than 20 seconds. It's normal for it to be uncomfortable at first, but your nipples will toughen up if you keep at it. My advice is to count it out. If it hurts for more than 20 seconds, break the latch and try again. Once the blisters healed (after about 2 weeks) it was old news.
Also, if you can't find a lactation consultant, try talking to any women you know who have breastfed. My network is kinda small, but I wouldn't have been able to keep it up if it weren't for my "boobie buddies." It's a shame, but a lot of women give up on it, simply because they don't have access to the information they need. I'm proud of you for asking for help, and I hope you stick with it!!

Becky - posted on 07/02/2012

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You could try a Breast Shield, it's the only way i can my baby to latch on. I have been to Breast Feeding Consultants and still have to feed with one. Xavier is 8 months and still on the shields;)

Karen - posted on 07/02/2012

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I had many issues BFing at first. The most important thing for my son was to open wide. As soon as he opened wide I would quickly pull his head toward the breast and he would close his mounth and latch on properly. It has to be so quick and if that doesn't happen then he's pulling only on the nipple and that was extremely painful for me. The purple cream as mentioned by Alicia, was my life saver because it healed and relieved the pain. By the 6th week and after a long growth spurt, it became easier. Good luck!

Alicia - posted on 06/26/2012

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A lactation consultant gave me a trick for clogged ducts. take a clean newborn diaper and add a bit of water to it. Then microwave it for 10 second or so. Put it in your bra around your breast and when it starts to cool down (about 10 minutes or so) wash off your breast with a warm wash cloth and then feed baby or pump. Works so well and kept me from getting anything more than just an occasional clogged duct. The first few weeks are the hardest. Your little one may also be going through a growth spurt so they are wanting to be constantly nursed as well. Lanolin cream was my best friend and took the hurt away. Continuing to nurse will be the best to get the pain to stop. It took about 5 weeks to get it going right. This is something new for you and for your baby and together you will learn and get your rhythm. When you do it will be easy and be like second nature. Sending you big hugs.

Kristin - posted on 06/26/2012

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Also I very highly recommend you get some probiotics and/or a bunch of yogurt to eat so as to avoid the repercussions of taking antibiotics...I got the worst thrush and yeast infections following anti-biotics...

Kristin - posted on 06/26/2012

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Earliest weeks of breastfeeding are the hardest...once your body learns how much milk to produce it should just produce that and have less swelling...if baby isn't opening his mouth enough you can kind of tease his chin with the nipple and then stick it in when it is big while telling him "big mouth...say ahh" and he'll eventually learn what that means too..good luck!!

Jessica - posted on 06/26/2012

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I don't have time to scroll through the responses, but wanted to give you done encouraging words. Hang in there. I has to use a breast shield because my nipples kept inverting (pumping helped solve that, eventually). I found that olive oil helps with sore nipples and non-toxic for your little one. When I had a duct start to get clogged, I would massage it and then feed/pimp while massaging. For stubborn clogs, I added heat to that routine.

Cc - posted on 06/26/2012

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It is normal for breastfeeding to be uncomfortable for the first few weeks. It's a new feeling and some babies suck harder than others. My first son was a very violent sucker! He would suck so hard that my nipple would bleed. I actually didn't know I was bleeding until my son spit up blood when he was about 5 days old. I panicked and called the pediatrician who immediately diagnosed chapped nipple. I knew a nurse at the time and she looked at my nipple while I was pumping and could see the splits in my nipple and confirmed for me that that was the problem. It was due to him sucking hard and not always latching on properly. It was frustrating at first because he would just look so hungry at every feeding that I didn't want to take my breast out once he got it in his mouth but I realized I had to keep taking it out and putting it back in until he got the latch right. I would do what Melissa parker suggested, squeezing the nipple and that helped. I would also rub my nipple back and forth inside his open mouth until he opened it wide enough One nurse at the hospital saw how he was eating and took my nipple and (somewhat gently) shoved my nipple in my son's mouth. Sometimes you have to force it in and don't let baby eat if baby is not latched on properly. It should get easier soon, but if it continues to be very painful for another 2 weeks I would definitely contact a lactation consultant or pediatrician. Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 06/25/2012

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I am a consultant and available by phone to help. He needs to latch deeper and then you will have less pain and begin to heal. Let me know if you want my number. Make sure the baby is taking most of the areola from near their chin and wait for a really wide mouth before latching. You can apply a tiny bit of pressure on the area under the babies lower lip and chin while nursing and that will help keep the babies mouth open wide too. Hang in there it can take a few weeks for a baby and mom to get it figured out. It will stop hurting.

Caitlin - posted on 06/24/2012

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Ok I just saw where you said you were using one lol. Sorry, guess I got in a hurry and didn't real everything. My next suggestion is to give it time. I LITERALLY hated it because the first couple of weeks because it was so hard and I was so tired and I had previously been so excited about breaastfeeding! I read like 2 400 pages books on it and then my daughter got here and it was like a totally foreign concept to me!

Caitlin - posted on 06/24/2012

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Nursing was extremely hard for me in the beginning. My daughter didn't want to latch. The lactation consultant at the hospital had me use a nipple shield. Medela makes them and they are cheap. It helped TREMENDOUSLY! She was able to latch onto it soooo much better! Try it before you give up!

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