My 2 week old is still having trouble latching on. And Im in pain.

Kinsey - posted on 10/30/2009 ( 222 moms have responded )

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I have a 2 week old and she still doesnt get latched on correctly and I cant hardly stand the pain anymore. Do I keep trying or just start using formula?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

User - posted on 11/10/2009

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Keep trying, my daughter had a difficult time as well. I used a nipple shield to help her learn to latch on better

[deleted account]

To comment on an earlier post. Please DO NOT put honey on your breast to encourage breast feeding. Honey can cause botchulism and is not recommended any child have it until the age of 1. This is standard advice from paediatricians.

Dani - posted on 07/10/2011

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Hang in there, keep pumping, it will get better. The little ones grow so fast and get easier to hold and position. I had to exclusively pump and finger feed (using a syringe and feeding tube), he wasn't premie either, that lasted a few days and I had to pump constantly, I kept trying to get him to latch using a nipple shield for weeks, then gradually his mouth changed and he latched on. He is 7 months old and has no problem, sometimes latches over the bra- impatient baby!

[deleted account]

Kinsey; I had this problem and I kept going until I bled! Only to find out that at the end of it all, he was simply not intereste. It was so depressing to me because i thought breastfeeding was a must! I really wanted to do it. I stopped and we were both much happier. My second child latched right on! Don't blame yourself, its frustrating and the baby feels that. Just so you know my son who was only breastfed a short time, is BRILLIANT so don't think his brain won't develop as much as that one which is breast fed. He is 12 and a straight a student. He knew his alphabet by 1! What it boils down to is the time you spend with them, not weather they are breastfed. I am guessing from your profile pic that this is not your first? I just wanted to encourage you that you are not alone, and don't blame your self. It happens.

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222 Comments

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Krista - posted on 07/17/2011

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Seeing as this thread is over a year and a half old, I would assume that the OP has resolved her problem, one way or the other.

Thanks for all of your contributions, ladies.

Krista
WTCOM Moderator

Kelly - posted on 07/17/2011

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see a lactation consultant about the latch and get her and/or your midwife to check your baby's mouth... It may be tongue tied like my son was. His latch looked good but he was unable to lift his tongue and get the correct technique so i ended up with (literally) chewed off nipples - one looked like mince meat until he was diagnosed - It was agony.... but after it was diagnosed and treated his latch was much better.

Stacy - posted on 11/10/2009

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I would definitely suggest a lactation consultant, they are more than happy to help. But in the meantime I can try to pass down info that was given to me, hope its of use. It seemed almost barbaric at the time but worked. Stroke the babies cheek with your finger until she opens her mouth really wide and literally shove the baby on to your nipple before she can close her mouth. It worked wonders. I actually just weened my son a couple days ago, he is 18 months. Good luck and keep trying. But if it makes you miserable then try pumping and there are great formulas out there. Get one with DHA in it, they are the closest to breastmilk expect for the antibodies.

Shelley - posted on 11/10/2009

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keep trying my son had trouble latching on and i found i really painful, turned out he was tongue tied and had to have a bit of skin snipped under his tongue. it does not hurt them as there is no nerves there thankfully. This was stopping him from being able to stick his tongue out - they need to be able to do this to latch properly. i also used lansinoh it was the best for soothing my nipples. go and see a lactation specialist for some help and support. Hang in there it does get better :-)

Jen - posted on 11/10/2009

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Don't give up just yet. I had scabs and bleed and continued through it until my daughter was 18mos. First see a lactition consultant to ensure there is no issues with her being tongue tied or palate issues.. etc. I rented a professional breast pump through a medical supply place and would pump the sorest side until it healed and offer her the other side. Southers were essential since I was being used as one, so when they are done their feed offer them that. I was able to heal enough and get past the newborn stage where it became so much easier because then she could latch on herself. I feel your pain. No body told me how horrible breastfeeding would be and I was completely unprepared for that level of pain. But you CAN do it! Hang in there!

Barbara - posted on 11/10/2009

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Quoting Kinsey:

My 2 week old is still having trouble latching on. And Im in pain.

I have a 2 week old and she still doesnt get latched on correctly and I cant hardly stand the pain anymore. Do I keep trying or just start using formula?


Put water around your nipple before you have the baby latche on, the nipple is too dry and a little water will work.

Barbara - posted on 11/10/2009

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Put a little water around your nipple with your finger before you have the baby lache on and it works. I had that problem and believe it or not my husband suggested the water and it was amazing. I think the nipple is just too dry for the baby to latch on. Let me know if it works for you.

Tammy - posted on 11/09/2009

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I hope you've gotten some help by now. I just saw your post. I had trouble with my son. It took a week to get him to latch on. Just take your bra and shirt off and lay down with your baby. Lay on your side and lay your baby beside you near your breast and he/she will latch on. It worked for me. I hope it works for you. Good luck!

Amy - posted on 11/09/2009

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I feel your pain!! My baby is almost 3 weeks old now. And we are still using a nipple shield. I was in tears at first from the pain and the nipple shield really helped. I've read using a nipple shield all the time isn't good but I got so spoiled using it. You should really try using a nipple shield to start nursing and then take it off. I work on it during the day and use the shield at night. It's just so much easier esp when you're half asleep.



Oh and try soaking your breasts in hot saltwater. I soak the nursing pads with hot saltwater and then put them in my sports bra so I can still walk around the house. And I use lots of lanolin. Don't give up!! I know exactly how you feel! It DOES get better! :)

Karen - posted on 11/08/2009

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I had trouble for the first six weeks with a painful latch. It just took my son a while to learn how to breast feed. He is 20 weeks now and I don't have any pain breast feeding.

Ask La leche or a consultant to come to your house and sit with you. Doing it alone is hard work. Try nipple shields and try expressing a bit off first before putting your baby to the breast. Hang in there and good luck.

Angela - posted on 11/07/2009

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I nursed all my three children and the first and third were a challenge to get latched on. Fontact la leche league befroe you give up it is a group whom supports breastfeeding and attachment parenting families. When you call it is moms like us whom have busy families so keep calling if you get a call back and be specific with your message. My children did not open wide enough and nor did I move fast enough to get their open mouth over my entire areola( brown area of the breast) that is why you have pain. My first took three weeks. She was always sleepy. So I would undress her with only her diaper and tickle her checks with my niple and they should open up but the trick is to have a good hold on your child's head to quicklyget the baby's open mouth. My last child I had to use the football hold instead of hold them across the chest they are under your arm restomg on a pillow and the same hand cradling the babies head.this way you can quickly move the head when the baby opens his mouth wide to latch on. It works and later I went back to the standard way as my last took two weeks but he nursed great. It is all in that latch. I am sure if you go to La Leche website it will show you the footballpostion for nursing. Now with the internet alot of good info should be possible. I wouldn't give up especially with all these virus' you are giving your baby the best antibotics there are natures best. Lastly is if you like the regular nursing postion ask someone to assist you as they will have their hand on the baby's head and push the baby's mouth quickly when his mouth is open as this is also what a lactation consultant taughtme too with the help of my 10 year old. It worked as her quicker reacation was better with the postion. Persevere it's all about timing of the sweet little one's opening up wide enough to latch without pain for you. You can do it.

Whittney - posted on 11/07/2009

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Keep trying Momma....the pain subsides to almost not feeling them on there at all......just give it some more time. It is WELL worth it in the end. Try holding ur baby's chin to open the mouth wider...sometimes when they latch with their mouth not open all the way, it pinches the nipple.....makes them very tender. Try Lansinoh nipple cream too, it's perfectly safe to use after every feeding, or before. It doesn't hurt the baby and it is very comforting on sore/dry/cracked nipples.

Carla - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hang in there honey, it's better for baby and better for you. It helps all your innards LOL get back into the shape they were in pre-baby. Try rubbing vitamin E oil, available at drug store on your nipples after nursing, wipe it off before nursing, it will not harm baby, but will toughen up your nipples and make it easier for you. Good luck honey.

Kara - posted on 11/06/2009

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Oh Kinsey, I feel for ya! I injured my nipples with a manual breast pump (using too much pressure). It hurt everytime my son latched on - cracking, bleeding. I spoke with a lactation consultant and other moms and I ended up hand expressing milk until I could heal (funny enough I could get more milk that way). I also tried a nipple shield, but my son didn't like it, but its worth a try. DON'T GIVE UP! I know it's discouraging, but it's worth it. :-)

Donna - posted on 11/06/2009

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If you are having pain try a different position. You can even search the Internet for proper latch techniques. Consult your Dr. if all else fails. Keep trying its so much better for you and baby. Congrats on the new baby.

Melissa - posted on 11/06/2009

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I had trouble getting my daughter to latch so I started using the nipple shields. They worked great. I used them for about 2 1/2 months and then she was strong enough to latch without them. You can get them at babies r us for a few dollars. Keep trying, its so much better for your baby.. you'll get through the pain stage and then it'll be.. relaxing.

Koreen - posted on 11/06/2009

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u need some nipple shields. a lot of lactation consultants don't recomend them but i thought my nipple was going to fall off. they saved me and i'm still breast feeding.(my daughter is 16 months now) lol hang in there

Michelle - posted on 11/06/2009

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I know they say breast is best but it is only best if you and the baby are happy. Both my children had such strong suction when they latched on that the pain was unbearable so after two weeks of trying with my first we switched to formula which ended up being a good thing as we found out I was not producing enough milk for him, with my daughter who is 8 years younger then my son I had the exact same issues except I switched to pumping as soon as the colastrum turned to milk both my kids are extremely healthy and there are formulas out there that are so close to mothers milk that it isn't worth the pain and frustration it is causing you and your baby. Yes breast milk is the best thing for your child as long as it is not making them sick mine made my son ill so not the best choice do not feel bad if you switch 1. using a bottle allows you freedom my daughter is 6 mo old and feeds herself most of the time and has held her own bottle for about 2 mo now I still hold her lots but am not glued to her 24/7

2. daddy can help out which will help you get some rest which is very important for healing

3. I had an amazing electric breast pump that allowed me to give breast milk to my daughter for the first month until I found the carnation good start formula which works wonders for my child.....

4. doctors wouldn't certify or suggest formula if it wasn't safe for your child

[deleted account]

I breastfeed two kids (on my second now). The first three weeks are the hardest. Using nipple shields really helped me. Also, hand extract your milk, coat your nipples and let them air dry. The milk is the best thing to keep on them, it has natural healing proporties and you can use the 100% Landion creams. A cool compress will also help. With the one I'm currently feeding my nipples were cracked and even bleeding a little. I pushed through it using those tools and called my local breast feeding support person. Your baby may not be taking in enough of your nipple in their mouth or in the wrong position. Never feed a baby Honey. Keep trying. I am so glad that I choose to breastfeed, it's a wonderful experience when you get past those first few difficult weeks. I also have a two year old, breast feeding my second kids has forced us some much needing bonding time. Its great to know that its my speical time with the baby!

Aurora - posted on 11/05/2009

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I had the same problem with my son. It hurt sooooo bad the first 2 weeks or so because he just wasn't getting on right. It was so bad that I would scream sometimes at the pain but I kept going. I suggest you keep going-the pain won't last much longer. I used some nipple ointment and took ibuprofen to help the pain in my nipples and it took the edge off a lot.

One thing that helped me a lot with this problem was to hold my breast like a sandwhich (I know, I know) and feed it to my son that way, when his mouth was open REALLY wide. Once I started thinking of it that way it got one hundred times easier.

Do you have a breast pump? I suggest using one and pumping some milk to give your baby in a bottle if you absolutely need a break. Whatever you do, please keep nursing-it's so much easier than formula after you get past these tough weeks and so great for your baby!! Good luck!

Brandi - posted on 11/05/2009

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hand excrete enough for your baby to latch on. sometinmes they get so full that the baby cant get a good latch. you may have to squeese just right above your aerola while your baby latches on to make it smaller for baby to get it n mouth. good luck and keep trying.

Danielle - posted on 11/05/2009

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as much as babies know to breast feed after they are born it is still allearned skill on how to do it the pain free and correct way. some babies get it right away and others take time. as well as everyone else is saying do NOT give up. it has only been 2 weeks. so many give up to early when the solution is about to present it self.

find a lactioan nurse to help you figure it out. Breast sheilds can most deffinitly help. Target carries them. I had to use one to pump as that was the painful part for me.

but your breast have to get used to it as well.

Doreen - posted on 11/05/2009

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Also, by the way, I tried the pump for the inverted nipple, and all sorts of position and she still couldn't do it.

Doreen - posted on 11/05/2009

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I kept trying for 3 weeks before giving up completely because by then, I wasn't even lactating enough ( I even pumped, most was 1/2 oz!).She just couldnt latch on from day 1 even when I had a nurse to help me and it all must have added to the stress and frustration. My advise is.. just go straight to the bottle = baby happy, mummy is happy and all is well!

Doreen - posted on 11/05/2009

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I kept trying for 3 weeks before giving up completely because by then, I wasn't even lactating enough ( I even pumped, most was 1/2 oz!).She just couldnt latch on from day 1 even when I had a nurse to help me and it all must have added to the stress and frustration. My advise is.. just go straight to the bottle = baby happy, mummy is happy and all is well!

[deleted account]

Quoting jamie:

this might sound funny but I had the same prob and I put just a little grape jelly or honey and she started getting better and better at latching on, and the pain got better as she started getting used to doing it, good luck!.....Jamie

oh yeah try diff holds like the football hold or a bimbo pillow.


This is helpful advice but just wanted to warn that a baby under 12 months old should never be given honey as it can contain traces of botulism (Clostridium Botulinum), which is a bug that lives in soil.  It is used in anti wrinkle treatment botox.  But if contracted via wounds or food it can be lethal if untreated, with the infection attacking the nervous system.  Traces in honey are not a problem for adults but babies under one can't kill the bug in their gut.  It then releases a toxin! 

Robin - posted on 11/05/2009

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Keep trying it takes a while for them to learn how to properly latch on. If your infant is having problems due to an inverted nipple, Medela makes nipple sheilds to help. Everytime you notice an incorrect latch delatch your baby until he/she has a proper latch. ( This advice was given to me by a lactacion consultant) You can do it! One other thing try putting refrigerated icepacks on your breast to help with the pain it worked for me! Good luck!

KERI - posted on 11/04/2009

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please do not give up...i breast fed my child for 10 months..it was very hard 4 me but all worth it in the end!! please keep trying

Katrina - posted on 11/04/2009

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I had problems in the first 2 weeks also. I went and saw my local lactation consultant and now we a doing fine. I suggest for your nipples get some hydrogel silicone discs. You can get a brand called mothers mates from a good pharmacy which jast about a week or Big W and woolies sell the Rite aid brand which are disposable. These will help ypu nipples to heal so they don't get infected which can lead to mastitis. My nipples healed in a week. Good luck

Sveta - posted on 11/04/2009

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You know, i had excatly the same problem, i would recommend to get one of those cilicone nipple shields i think you can buy them at target $5 or so, they seriously saved my nipples from turning into hamburgers. At least try it and see if it works for you, it did for me, i hope this helps:)

Meaghan - posted on 11/04/2009

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keep trying! i had the same problem and i found a great lactation consulton who gave me some good tips. i breast fed for a while and feel it was an awesome bonding experience!! good luck and keep trying!

Fiona - posted on 11/04/2009

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I had that problem too...my midwife got me to try a nipple cup. Hope they have them in australia....I only needed it for a few days and we were both happy....

Sami - posted on 11/04/2009

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nipple shields. the greatest invention for a breatfeeding mom! I had a very hard time getting my bubba to latch but after using those he was on there no problem. did you give him a bottle or a suther? we did and he got used to the hard plastic, so I used nipple shields and it worked. he got his hard plastic and I got to breastfeed.

Alisa - posted on 11/04/2009

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Remember this a first for both of you, this is what my husband said to me when I was about to give up with frustration. So, I gave it one more try, and it just seemed to fall into place. Do talk to lactation consultant, just to make sure you have some professional advice to go along with the other advice you find on here. I will tell you that I finally had to go to the football hold, that seemed to be the way that worked for us, and maybe just trying a different position might help.

Rebecca - posted on 11/04/2009

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Please contact a certified lactation consultant or a La Leche League leader. Nursing shouldn't hurt that badly, but it may take more time for your baby to learn to latch correctly. BFing my son wasn't "easy" until he was about 7 weeks old, but I had flat-ish nipples so he had to work hard to learn how to latch. I found that the Boppy pillow or bed pillows made it much harder to position him correctly -- a My Brest Friend pillow helped A LOT, as did learning to nurse lying down.



IMO nipple shields are a BAD idea. They will make your supply go down since your nipples won't be stimulated as much. Plus the baby will develop a preference for them, and after a while it will be a huge hassle to use them every time, trying to nurse in public, etc. They may be okay for a couple days if your nipples are cracked or bleeding, but please see an LC for advice on using them and on how to wean off them ASAP. (I'm speaking from experience -- they almost ruined my BFing experience!)



It's definitely worth it to persevere and keep nursing! Artificial baby milk has a lot of health risks, including asthma, allergies, cancer, and gastrointestinal problems -- not to mention it affects brain development (cow's milk is meant to grow large, dumb cows, not sleek, smart babies!).



Good luck!

[deleted account]

I agree with so many others that a lactation consultant is the way to go. My daughter wasn't latching and I was pumping almost exclusively for a month. We discovered my baby's problem was a tied tongue which was easily corrected and the same day she got her tongue snipped she was finally nursing. Definitely hang in there. It is worth all the trouble and will get easier!

Jessica - posted on 11/04/2009

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Quoting Kinsey:

My 2 week old is still having trouble latching on. And Im in pain.

I have a 2 week old and she still doesnt get latched on correctly and I cant hardly stand the pain anymore. Do I keep trying or just start using formula?



I had the same problem with both of my children. If you are engorged the baby might have a little trouble becasue of the hardness of the breast try pumping or letting down some milk before you have her latch on some times this helps if you are sitll having trouble cunsolt the lactation nurse at the hospital you gave birth at or your dr. I hope this helps. and dont forget to use niple cream the first couple of weeks are always hell but just hang in there it will always get better.

Melanie - posted on 11/04/2009

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I am having the same problem and the baby's doctor suggested letting the Breast rest on the side that was hurting the most. He suggested to pump from that side and continue to put on the lanolin. After a day and a half that side didnt hurt any more and she was able to latch on with little pain. So i did it with the other side and the little rest was good for them. But i am still going to attend a LLL meeting and hopefully speak with a lactation consultant to ensure proper latching... But keep trying breastmilk is the best for you baby. As long as the baby is successfully gaining and growing as they should, you will be ok. But good luck...

Lenka - posted on 11/04/2009

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hi Kinsey i been breastfeed my baby for over one year just breastfeed not bottle until one year and not any other milk or formula and i manage i am sure you can ...do not give up on yourselve please!!! ASK YOUR MIDWIFE SHE CAN COME AROUND HELP YOU AND ASSIST FIND WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU BOTH..and my son been latched propelly but my breast still hurt so i try Camomaila cream for sore nipples and it very helped best use after feeding and use breast pads as well... BY BREASTFEEDING YOU GIVING BEST TO YOUR BABY and you helping build up good relationship with your baby it is very important for your baby future social contacts are more brave and feel securer.. any other troble i am here for you o.k. but until 3months do not offer bottle if possible this will resure your baby in feeding... best wishes Lenka and 14months Sammy..

Ann - posted on 11/04/2009

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Hi Kinsey,

First I must say I have 5 children an only one I breast feed !But I have friends who did an they seem to have had occurrences which just would have never happened if bottled feed.I did breast feed my 1st born he was a preemi an he could not latch on either an I could not get used to it as a natural way,it just felt odd an I had guilt about it for the longest time.Now they have so much interesting types of formulas an I liked Platex I frankly dont see why not try it???No one will think any less of you if so then they were way too judgmental to be friends with to begin with,right?Do what works an makes the baby an you happy is what I say ! Good luck sincerely :) Ann

Bev - posted on 11/04/2009

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at the end of the day, if it s hurting you that badly, don t feel you HAVE to breastfeed, formula is good too, maybe not as good, but i tried with all five of mine and was unsuccessful. don t give yourself a hard time over, do what YOU think is best, happy mum will result in a happy baby.

Krista - posted on 11/03/2009

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KEEP TRYING!!! Call you pediatrician's office or wherever you gave birth, they should have a lactation consultant available to either help over the phone or in person. It is SO worth it to keep with it. I wish i would have nursed both of my kids longer, we made it to 5 months with one and 4 with the other, but at least get through a couple of months, that first few are so good for both of you!



Use lanolin! and talk to people, everyone has an opinion, get lots of ideas before you make a final decision!

Tiffany - posted on 11/03/2009

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Don't give up, I promise it will get better! Just keep trying. Some of my babies took a while to figure out nursing. My last baby took about a month to figure it out. After 9 babies, you would think I could teach him better, but some really need time for it to become natural. Keep up the good work, in the end you will never regret it!!

Blessings, Tiffany

Heather - posted on 11/03/2009

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yes keep trying I spoke to my dr when I nursed my daughter who had the same issue but once she was on, she had such a hard suck that I was in so much pain, my Dr. said that I should try using a breast sheild and it really did help and also it helps to train them when ur ready to switch to the bottle too cuz its like a nibble cover it really works...hope that I could have helped..good luck,

Moriah - posted on 11/03/2009

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ok so I had this very same problem... My advice is to visit a lactation specialist in your area and/or to buy a nipple shield. you can buy them at target.. they're easy to use. Just make sure you keep it clean or your baby could get colicky.

Tammy - posted on 11/03/2009

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My little guy wouldn't latch for 4 weeks I had to use the nipple shield and then one day he just decided to do it... In hindsight it might have been a blessing because not only did the nipple shield work well when I was too engorged or when I wanted a little bit of relief but now he'll take a bottle or the breast no problem. Just keep trying but don't force him.. eventually he'll get the hang of it. :) Good luck!

Aubrey - posted on 11/03/2009

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Definately Keep Trying. My little one had hard time latching on too so we used a nipple shield, it makes it easier for them to latch and at 3 months she just quit using it on her own one day and has been latching on like a pro ever since. There are many ways of fixing your problem, but going to formula is going to deprive your baby and you both of the benefits of breast feeding. Make sure you aren't getting frustrated when they don't latch on right away because they can sense that and in turn will also get frustrated and give up, keep trying, you will figure it out. :)

Jena - posted on 11/03/2009

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keep trying darling and call a lactation specialist the La Leche legue generally offers free consultations. Make sure your positioning is correct place baby belly to belly with you and make sure her head is straight You can use lanolin on the nipples if they are hurting just be sure to wipe it off before feeding. I had a friend whose baby couldn't latch and the doctors realized she was tonque tied! all that means is that the little skin flap under her tongue was too tight and she couldn't get her tongue up far enough to latch on. One little snip and she was nursing right away. Check with the lactation specialist first then talk to your doctor

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