Should I keep trying to breastfeed?

User - posted on 10/04/2011 ( 61 moms have responded )

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My son is 12 days old. He fusses when I breast feed and latches on only for a couple minutes at a time. I had to start pumping and giving him bottles because he lost too much weight. Help!

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Celeste - posted on 10/04/2011

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Keep trying!!
Couple of questions:
-What was his birthweight?
-What's his birthweight now? It's totally normal for some weight loss.

To get him back on the breast:
-Skin to skin. You with no shirt and no bra, baby with just a diaper. Put him on your chest.
-Pump to get letdown going and then try to latch
-breast compressions
-Put some milk on your nipples

And, importantly, try to latch at the FIRST signs of hunger.Crying is a late sign of hunger and that can make it harder to latch.

You can do it!

Kkrjrpleggett - posted on 10/05/2011

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Keep trying is the most important thing. Use a dropper or syringe if you have to instead of a bottle nipple. It could be some nipple confusion since the way they suckle from a breast is different from how they suckle a bottle. Also get rid of any pacifiers for now for the same reason. If you have a slow let down, try expressing some before latch on to get your milk flowing. Also warm compresses on your breast for a few minutes will help get things flowing before a feeding. There are also supplement equipment you can get. It's essentially a long thin straw in a bottle that goes into the corner of baby's mouth right after latching. That way, if you have a slow let down, baby will get milk right away and learn to nurse better at the same time. Does your baby arch her back and scream/squeal when she lets go? How about spitting up a lot, maybe also with a squeal? If so, it could be reflux (my son has it). Baby Can take meds for it after you see her pedi. Also try cutting out ALL dairy, (no milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc). It sucks (I havent had milk for 4 months now!) and it's hard, but it can help. The cow's milk protein gets into your milk which is hard for baby to digest, and can make reflux worse. Remember Nursing is a Learned Skill, though it Is Natural, you Both have to Learn how it's done. Good luck.

Meaghan - posted on 10/07/2011

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Don't give up! Find the right support - either LLL, a good LC or both. Some babies just need a little help getting going. The right help can turn things around pretty quickly. Putting in a few weeks of work now can make your life a lot easier down the road.
My daughter was a preemie and we struggled a lot the first few weeks. By 8 weeks, I was really glad that we hadn't given up and soon after that I was not even thinking about weight, supplements, etc. We had turned a corner and life was so different - and so much easier. In fact, a formula feeding friend commented that she was jealous because she could see how much easier breastfeeding was!

Megan - posted on 10/06/2011

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Yes, as all these ladies have said: Keep trying!! I would recommend trying to get someone in to help you and your baby. That was the key for me. Check to see if there is a LLL in your area. Also, many hospitals have lactation consultants on staff or at least have resources to find someone with some breastfeeding knowledge that could help. I also wanted to give a different view point on the nipple shield idea I saw suggested a couple times. I'm sure it can work for some, but for me, it was what kept my first baby from latching on at all. Nipple shields can help with them getting milk, which is important, of course. But it doesn't help with latching, which at this stage is just as important. They are not intended for long-term use, if you intend to breastfeed long term. For me, it became a crutch and I did end up using it too often and he never got used to my nipple, just the shield. It interferes with let-down and eventually you may not make enough milk. So, if you decide to use one, use it cautiously and perhaps only to get things started. Though, I think pumping first is probably a better way to get your milk flowing.. I wish you all the luck in the world with this. It is worth all the hard work in the beginning to have such a wonderful connection with your baby. Find someone you can talk to and who can give you some suggestions. It's worth it! :)

Dora - posted on 10/14/2011

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I would also look into your diet. My son is now 4 months old and we just found out that he has a milk protein allergy. As soon as I stopped all dairy he became a pro at breast feeding. It's almost as if he knew he had the allergy so was hesitant to nurse. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.

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Dana - posted on 11/12/2011

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Good for you that you pursued the tongue tie issue. That is often missed and is very easy to fix!

User - posted on 11/12/2011

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YES...if you want the best! This is the hardest time for you and him...but it gets easier! I promise! If I had a nickel for everytime I wanted to quit I would have a million. My baby is 7 months and it hurts still...he has DS. He was born at 7-4 and lost down to 6-4...his doc never asked me to do anything else other than encourge me to do my best and keep nursing all the time. If I were you and you wanted to continue to nurse...contact a lactation consultant...she can work wonders with you and your son...and you will feel so much better. I promise!

MOMMBY Mom - posted on 11/10/2011

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Please refer to http://mommby.com/Breastfeeding_and_Bott... for more information. If you were hoping to breastfeed, I hope you keep trying. With my first baby he never breastfed well but I managed to breastfeed for 6 months in addition to bottle feeding with formula and with my second baby breastfeeding worked out great! She is now over a year and still breastfeeds great! Good luck! It takes a lot of work to get it established but once you do it is worth it.

Summer - posted on 11/09/2011

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Do'nt give up NEVER GIVE UP !!! its new for both of you.... check to see if he is tounge tied ( which will make it harder for him to latch. also when my daughter was that young what I found out was she was WAITING TOO LONG TO NURSE and was starving and was unable to latch properly, so I would give her a bottle for a few minutes to get her over the frantic starvation hump then put her back on the boobie, and it worked GREAT !!!! now shes a full fledged boobie baby and has been for 29 months. ( she nurses now before bed and nap time) ... but chances are he is TOO HUNGERY to take the time to latch properly, so give him a few tugs on a bottle ( OF BREASTMILK) and then put him back to the boob

Elise - posted on 11/08/2011

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Yes, just yes. It's hard but keep at it. 12 days is way too early to give up. Obviously if he's not thriving supplement with formula but don't let your milk dry up, keep at it, if not feeding, then expressing. I think it's pretty normal to take some time (maybe not till 3 months even) to get yourself, your body and your baby used to your supply etc. It's something you have never done before and yes it is natural but it's not something we go around doing every day of our whole lives! You do need to learn how to do it correctly and then it will be easy. Just remember you are both learning, not just you but bub too :) See your doctor, nurse, lactation consultant, go to a free la leache league meeting, go hang out with other breastfeeding mothers, ask questions, ask women who are breastfeeding to take a look at your latch and ask if they have any suggestions (most won't care and if they do pffft whatever, they're just boobs) most women give up so early just because they don't have enough support, if someone says oh just put him on formula, seek another opinion, find someone who is going to put the effort in to see to it that your baby is latching correctly and that there is nothing preventing him from latching, like a tongue tie or whatever. Failing being able to find someone to help you, (expense or whatever) have a look at some vids on youtube (you obviously have access to the internet). there are some really reputable and tasteful videos on youtube teaching women how to get baby to latch etc. I found it really helpful with engorgement etc. Just keep at it, you are awesome for even bothering to try it in the first place, you are doing great, YOU CAN DO IT. keep it up!

Daniela - posted on 11/06/2011

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my daughter breastfed perfectly in the hospital and then the minute we got home, she wouldn't do it. i tried everything i could, went to a few support group meetings, read everything i could online and saw a lactation consultant more times than i could count. it really made me depressed that she wasnt doing it cuz i had my heart set on it. i pumped what i could and kept telling myself just keep trying till shes 8 weeks. and i did and it wasnt easy, mentally or physically. im glad i stuck it out that long because at least i know i tried the best i could. what the doctors dont tell you is some kids just dont breastfeed and you might never know why. it was the most frusterating thing about being a mom. she never did learn to do it and after some time i learned to accept it. honestly you have to do whats right for you and your son. the most important thing is feed the baby. i wish you luck :)

Dana - posted on 11/03/2011

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You need a lactation consultant STAT! Go to www.ilca.org for someone in your area

Linda - posted on 10/26/2011

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First off, congratulations on your new son. It sounds like your son is not getting a good latch, so he is not getting past the foremilk:
Foremilk
When first starting a breastfeeding session, the first milk the baby receives is called foremilk. It is thin and watery with a light blue color. Foremilk is largely water needed to satisfy your baby’s thirst.

Hind-milk
Hind-milk is released after several minutes of nursing. It is similar in texture to cream and has the highest concentration of fat. The hind-milk has a relaxing effect on your baby. Hind-milk helps your baby feel satisfied and gain weight.

I would meet with a lactation consultant; they will work with you to make sure your baby is getting a proper latch. They will weigh the baby, and then have you nurse, then weigh the baby again to see how much milk they got.

Hang in there,
Linda

Vanessa - posted on 10/26/2011

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How many wet diapers is your baby producing because if there is a lot then I wouldnt worry. With breastfeeding you have to want to breastfeed and not let anything stop it. Doctors are always so eager to start the formula. I would do skin to skin contact. I would go and buy a Moby wrap and wear your baby. Try even co sleeping. I would co sleep on the couch. I never weighed my son often so I am unsure how his weight gain was. I only paid attention the diapers. You should contact La Leche league and have them help you. La Leche League helped me and its because of them I am still nursing my 2 year old son. You can drink fenugreek tea and thatll stimulate more milk production. You should stop the bottle and let the baby nurse directly from the boob. Your baby can get a lot more than you think. Good luck and dont give up. My breastfed son is the healthiest out of my 3 kids and has never had a drop of a antibiotic.

Stephanie - posted on 10/25/2011

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Both of my boys had trouble with latching on correctly. I finger fed both with an S n S feeding tube to teach them proper latch on,it is a lot of work, but soooo worth it in the long run...Don't give up...(You can get an S n S feeding tube from a lactation consultant or BF store or maybe LLL can tell you where to get one.

Annabutton - posted on 10/25/2011

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I have a few suggestions : Try a warm cloth on your breasts before nursing this might help your letdown come faster. Stress prolongs it so do some relaxing breathes while he latches on. And like another poster suggested express a enough to start your let down then nurse.



Maybe trying a nipple shield might help him stay on longer giving you more time to have your let down. This will also get him use to being there. Follow the nipple shields instructions and you will be back to bare breast in no time. This might help you gain some confidence and that will help your letdown come faster or at least he will gain trust it will happen and do his job :)



Good luck and it will work out! Positive thoughts! :)



Jamie

User - posted on 10/25/2011

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If you want to keep trying then do so! I've been told if a baby gets fussy about attaching and drinking try expressing a small amount of milk before you put your baby on to feed, that way your milk will flow easier straight away for your baby.
Also, my son won't attach for more than a minute if he has wind, I have to walk around with him tapping and rubbing his back for quite some time to get whatever wind up he has, giving wind drops can also help with this. The only other reason he doesn't stay on is if he's not really huingry, just tired. When he's overtired he'll go to drink then just cry at it! So I just put him to bed.

Susan - posted on 10/24/2011

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I'd say don't give up! Keep trying!!
But I would definitely contact his pediatrician. See what he/she says.
By the way... Way to go on wanting to breastfeed!!

Karen - posted on 10/24/2011

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I've just seen this post. Has your son done any better with the breastfeeding? Or have you given up all hope? Reply and let me know how it went or how it's going.

Karen

Ann - posted on 10/21/2011

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keep trying, my son and his partner just had a boy 2weeks ago and she;s breast feeding him, and my poor little man as got a condition called tongue tide, he cant latch on to his mum, next week he goes to have a little operation to nic under the tongue, so my love you keep trying and our james,has put 2ozs on and he's only taken what he can handle BEST OF LUCK..... keep all of us posted how your getting on x

Fleur - posted on 10/21/2011

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Make sure you hear the sucking when he is latched on. My son had trouble with latching and my 7 month now baby girl I started as soon as I got out of surgery for c-section and she is doing great at it. Also, massage the top of your breast. Be comfortable when you sit to nurse him so he is comfortable. Keep a light blanket on him while you breastfeed. If he is latching on too briefly he may also not be comfortable. A lactation specialist can check your positioning and really help with latch, but it will take time. 12 days old is basically only 2 weeks. I tried for 6 weeks and used a pump and he finally got it with help of my lactation specialist. Good luck.

Susan - posted on 10/18/2011

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Yes yes yes keep trying. My son and I had a horrible time getting this started, he got very sick at birth and it was what kept him going!! We got Thrush from his antibiotics and it was so painful, BUT I kept trying and eventually it worked out perfect!!! It was so good for both him and myself!!! it is something we both had to learn how to do, but I can tell you it was the best part of my day once we got it figured out!!!

Fleur - posted on 10/17/2011

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My son who is now 2 took 6 weeks to latch on properly. Keep trying. You can pump and put into a bottle just as long as he's getting the breastmilk then you are good. Keep watching for signals of hunger, he might just want frequent feeding or something is wrong. You might want to see a lactation specialist I did in California and it was free. See your hospital for help also. maybe your milk is coming out too fast for him and he is having trouble drinking.

Nicole - posted on 10/17/2011

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If breastfeeding is important to you, then I would recommend sticking with it. That's what I did and I am still nursing my baby girl at 14 weeks (3 months). In the beginning I had trouble with it -- she didn't latch on and I had to try different holding techniques. It took almost 3 weeks for both of us to become comfortable with it. Try using different holding techniques; making sure that she is latching to the areola and not just the nipple; making sure that you're calm/relax. Being in a quiet place with light music helped during the most stressful times with my girl and nursing. Also, take into account what you're eating...sometimes nursing babies react to our diet by fussing or refusing. And stay in contact with the pediatrician. I'm really glad I stuck with breastfeeding and now it's the best part and most relaxing part of my day for both of us....still hard to believe that I finally got to this point.

Nesa - posted on 10/17/2011

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Sometimes it just takes a little working with them my daughter latched on only to one side for a good while and thanks to that now my breast are literally two differant sizes but i just kept trying and always offered the side she didnt like first and eventually she just gave up and used both. Maybe try some differant posistions too..some babies are very picky on how you hold them while they nurse (football,laying down, ect) ..good luck

Deanna - posted on 10/16/2011

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That sounds like overactive let down. You can still breastfeed. Please go to Kellymom.com and read about overactive let down. You can still save your breastfeeding relationship with a few great tips.

Heather - posted on 10/16/2011

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did you yry thr fake nipple? it worked for my son, it was the only thing that worked!!!!

Sarah - posted on 10/16/2011

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My son had trouble latching on with one side more than the other - I rang the ABA and they suggested baby massage to loosen up muscles and relax bub - I only did it for 2 days and he started feeding much better - worth a try :-)

User - posted on 10/16/2011

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my son is now two months old i had a lot of problems getting him to latch but i was determined he get breast milk so now i am bottle feeding him breast milk whatever you do, do not give up i kinda did but am still getting him breast milk which ultimately is whats important. Good Luck and i would reach out to your hospitals lactation consult they usually have classes or can do some one on one help GOOD LUCK

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/16/2011

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Kelly's right, it's been almost 2 weeks, is your son doing better at breast feeding or at least gaining weight?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/14/2011

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That's crazy then. I was talking with a woman on another forum though and it was caught in the hospital. My girls haven't had it though.

Another thing I would like to tell the OP is that Breast feeding doesn't come easy to everyone. My now 7 year old never caught on to it either and I had to bottle feed as well (Avent and Born Free are the best for breast fed babies IMO and that's what I use for my 7 month old as well as Nuk) Sometimes you just have to realize you're doing the best you can.

Janice - posted on 10/13/2011

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Meggy tongue tie isn't always caught in the hospital. Unfortunately I have read many stories on COM of it not being caught till a parent seeks help weeks or months after the baby is born. So although it is unlikely, tongue tie could be an issue.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/13/2011

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If the baby was tongue tied they would've fixed it in the hospital. There are links on the title page to help you find a le leche league in your area or even lactation help. You could try calling your local WIC if you live in the States or contacting the lactation consultant in the hospital.

Your son could also just be one of those babies who doesn't do marathon feedings, this gets annoying sometimes. The best you can do is keep trying and try to get support.

Claire - posted on 10/13/2011

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I just had my baby 6 days ago, and another mother in the hospital that was sharing a room with me was having a really hard time breast feeding and the nurses were telling her that her baby had been loosing too much weight. They brought in a lactation consultant and referred her to support groups. I totally encourage that and say keep pumping until you have help. I'm glad you haven't given up, because breast feeding is amazing and breast milk is best! Good luck!

Innocentia - posted on 10/13/2011

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you must put the whole nipple in his mouth and try to do so a couple of times..before you know it he will start sucking more

Ania - posted on 10/12/2011

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Could h have a tongue tie? My friends baby reacted similar and they finally diagnosed him with tongue tie at 4 months. She neever had lactation consultant to help her out though, I feel that someone like that could help you out

Anna - posted on 10/11/2011

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YES, definitely keep trying. You and your son will become more experienced at breastfeeding and things will get much easier. It's so well worth it, just be patient. Try not to give him bottles. I know it seems easier now but, in the long run, you're much better off breastfeeding. Contact La Leche League for help on proper latching. http://www.llli.org/

Ali - posted on 10/10/2011

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Keep trying!!! Newborn weight loss is totally normal. And your baby is now gaining weight so you are doing everything right. It takes a little while for you both to get used to nursing, but it's worth it. Later on you will so happy that all you need to bring with you is a diaper and wipes and your bewbies.

Janice - posted on 10/10/2011

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Sounds just like my daughter in the beginning. The first 2 weeks were not fun, she would not latch well or stay latched. I just kept trying new things. I tried different holds and only gave her a pumped bottle on the worst days. I personally just had this overwhelming feeling that formula was not an option, even though I was fine with it before she was born. One thing that helped us was pumping an ounce before latching her on. Many babies cant latch on to overfull breasts. This evened out quickly so I didn't have to do that forever. By 14 days she was latching well on the left side, so I would always offer the right but she mostly ate off the left. Another week and she was BFing off both sides like a pro. It was great and worth the stress in the long run. It was great never having to worry about bottles.

She didn't lose any weight after the 1st week but it did take her much longer than her ped. would have liked to gain. By 8 weeks she was soooo chunky. Te difference in pictures is crazy!

Keep going momma! the first month is rough for most but it so worth it. You can do it. Get in touch with a lactation consultant if possible.

Mia - posted on 10/07/2011

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Don't give up, get in to see your paed & lactation consultant ASAP! Could be one of several reasons why your baby isn't latching/feeding well.

Nuriana - posted on 10/06/2011

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Start pumping and collecting your milk. Maybe your baby is tired by suckling so I recommend to give milk by using the bottle. If you don't have enough milk you can supplement with formula. I feed my son both and he is alright just make sure to make them burp after milk.

Stephanie - posted on 10/06/2011

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For me the problem has been over-production of milk which leads to a really forceful letdown as well as a lot of the front milk. The forceful letdown would make them not want to stay latched because the milk was pouring into their mouth and they swallowed more air. The abundant front milk made it so they would be full before they got to the fat-rich hind milk.

Fauclarinetqt - posted on 10/06/2011

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My son was not a good eater from birth. He would never just eat, he was a super busy body and had no patience. I used a nipple shield (that helped) and went to the Lactation Consultant at the hospital (she said I was doing everything correctly, he was just a "grazer"). Eventually I just couldn't take it and looked in to exclusively pumping, which is what I did for 10 months. So no matter what happens, don't give up. If for some reason breastfeeding through the breast doesn't work for you, exclusively pumping is always an option...same wonderful benefits, different delivery.

Melissa - posted on 10/06/2011

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newborn weight loss is normal. keeping trying and never give up on nursing your baby.. that's what I did with my first baby. he eventually learned the art of latching. every baby is different, some takes longer to latch, some shorter.

Leanne - posted on 10/06/2011

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Keep trying.. also its possible he may have reflux.. that will cause some pain and then they pull away or cry or arch their backs or scream.. all 3 of my kids have had it.. there are medications they can take for it and may help the problem if that is it.

Leia - posted on 10/06/2011

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skin on skin contact. also, try different positions. the "football hold" works well when they are really little. Do you use a boppy? That helps a lot too. Kepp with it mama! you can do it. Also, try laying down to nurse him It will help both of you relax and enjoy the nursing as lot more

Kelly - posted on 10/06/2011

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I agree with all other women here.. You should be able to find great local support from the lactation consultants at your local hospital. Don't give up!! There's a good reason mothers day is a very big day..we don't have it easy.
God Bless,

Kellz

Jodie - posted on 10/05/2011

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Nipple shield! Helped my daughter and I both in the beginning and eventually got rid of it. Good luck!

Gabriela - posted on 10/05/2011

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You can try using a nipple shield. My daughter was premmie and had quite a hard time latching on. The nipple shield made it a lot easier, and eventually she did not need it. And when they are little, it is normal for them to latch on and then let go, and then you get them to latch on again and again. It will get easier in time.

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