Shallow latch issue

[deleted account] ( 6 moms have responded )

Well, since my last post we have been successful with breastfeeding without supplementation but now my new issue is latch. She has a very small mouth and even when she is open wide she still cannot get a deep latch. It seems to be worse on my left and the pain is excruciating. I have resorted to a shield until my nipples heals. Any suggestions? I have tried re-latching, pulling her lower lip down, and getting her to open wide. When she finally pulls in she often times backs off to the tip of the nipple. I would love to not have to rely on the shield but I cannot deal with the searing pain.

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[deleted account]

Have you tried different positions? How old is baby? When you're done nursing is your nipple normal shaped or squished? Laid back nursing has been helpful for nipple pain. Put baby skin to skin on your chest and lay back just enough so that gravity holds her to you. Let her bob around and search out your nipple. Many babies will latch on themselves and are able to get a good latch. With gravity helping she may not back off in this position. You can help her latch too if she needs it. Do you have access to a lactation consultant at your local hospital? Or try http://www.llli.org. You can look there for a local La Leche league group. Even if you don't have one near you you can call the closest leader for free.

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[deleted account]

Have you tried the football hold? It might depend on the shape and size of your breasts, but for us this worked well because I have large breasts with downward pointing nipples. Sheer gravity kept a comfortable amount of breast in my son's mouth.

[deleted account]

Thanks ladies!!! I guess I should stop beating myself up for not having it go perfectly. The shield is working and I also tried the laid back method and seemed to help as long as she wasn't super hungry. I will take your advice on the LC. I found out that my hospital has an open meeting once a week that I will definitely take advantage of.

[deleted account]

Chrissy, I had the same issue. We used the shield for 3 months. So it is possible to stop using them if you need to continue a while longer.

Chrissy - posted on 02/08/2012

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I like what Sara said... a free consult with LLL might be helpful. I'd also like to encourage you to do what works... If the nipple sheilds are working right now, maybe it wouldn't hurt to keep them going until she gets a bit bigger? And then maybe when her mouth is bigger, she'll be able to latch a bit better. My son is 18 months old now (still BF) & I went through all sorts of issues & self-evaluating... and coming home from the hospital, I didn't want to use my breast shields (inverted nipples was my issue) because I REALLY wanted him to latch on his own.. but within a week or so, he totally worked it out & I could stop using them. :) It may take your little one a bit longer, or she may do it faster, but you two will work this out. :)

[deleted account]

She is 3 weeks and 4 days but she was 5 weeks preterm. When she was born she had to be put on formula for the first week because she didn't have the strength to latch, the 2nd week we started breast feeding with a shield, and then the last week we worked on the bare breast. At first it seemed to be going great and then every time we would nurse she will latch and then pull her head back, OUCH! My nipple is flat with a white line running down the middle when she comes off. I had a LC when I was in the hospital and they were helpful but things seem to be changing.

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