"Correct" Positioning? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-12-2011, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quick question for you more knowledgeable ladies. I'm currently in the middle of the breastfeeding learning curve, having had my first baby a month ago. I feel like we're doing well, and while we haven't worked out all the kinks, things are generally smooth. DS is gaining weight like a little monster. I'm still somewhat sore at latch-on, and one side is more painful than the other (I think it's due to a slightly inverted nipple).

 

Here's the thing: when I nurse DS in a cradle position, he's not belly-to-belly. He lays on his back with his head turned towards the breast. Having him belly to belly is awkward for me. I have large, squishy breasts, and when I put him belly to belly he's practically underneath the breast, getting smothered. And if I put a little distance between us I can't keep him on his side, he rolls to his back. My mom has noticed that I let him lay on his back and is concerned. She thinks it's causing my extra soreness (because of nipple positioning) and that he may be uncomfortable in that position (he does grunt and strain when he nurses, but in any position, and he tends to poop while nursing, soo...). My mom EBF 3 kids very successfully and was active in her LLL group for years. I trust her judgment and advice. But I don't see how this difference in position is a bad thing if it's what's working for us.

 

Am I wrong? Is it super important that he's belly to belly with me?


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Old 11-12-2011, 11:17 AM
 
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I'm not sure, but I also have large breasts and really like using a Boppy or My Breast Friend to position DB belly to belly with his mouth even with my nipple.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do have a Boppy pillow, and it definitely helps. I can have him belly to belly with it. It's just so big and awkward and half the time it's across the room... it's usually just easier to pop him on the boob and let him eat without going through that.


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Old 11-12-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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The usual reasoning is that it's hard to eat with your head turned to the side but it doesn't seem to be slowing down your LO! There seems to be a declining emphasis in the lactation field on latches or positions "looking right" in favor of things feeling right for mom and baby. So if it works for you, I wouldn't worry about it.
BUT if you're having nipple pain you could try some different positions to see if it improves. Football and laid back breastfeeding might work better for you.

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Old 11-12-2011, 07:45 PM
 
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trinket - sounds like we have the same thing going on. Dd seems to prefer to roll to her back & bf with her head turned so I only try to "correct" the position if it is uncomfortable for me or she is being unusually fussy.

 

Sometimes I think a fact sheet for large breasted women would be helpful - it just so often seems I need to modify things to adjust for my breast size.


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Old 11-12-2011, 08:26 PM
 
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I hear you about the pillow always being across the room...sigh. Sometimes I use a sling to help me support him in a sort of upright hold.

Because you do have nipple soreness and he does grunt/strain I would maybe make an effort to use the boppy or nurse in another position where his neck is straight for a day or so, consistently, and see if belly-to-belly improves things noticeably.

If your intuition tells you it's fine, then it's fine! I know I was told the same thing and it made me self-conscious but I don't think it's really a huge issue.
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:40 PM
 
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I am actually pretty small breasted and my DS still does that 2 months in. I also have OS and OALD and it seems he uses that positioning to help the flow of milk so he doesnt choke...the grunting and fussing was the first dign of OALD for me. This could be affecting your nipple soreness, but (and I'm going to break all BF society rules here) one month in it is not unusual to still be sore. Keep using lanolin, and see and IBCLC if you can to determine if you have some oversupply or letdown issues that may be affecting how well your baby can latch on.

 

Also, I've noticed that positioning when DS is pooping too (masticate to defacate...they use us to poop too!), in fact, he writhes around and tugs the nipple every which way, especially if I am nursing him in a side lying position.

 

Keep trying different positions, maybe look into biological nursing, I understand it can be difficult for larger breasted women, but as your LO grows and gets stronger you wont have to do SO much of the work on your own!

 

 

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Old 11-13-2011, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
Sometimes I think a fact sheet for large breasted women would be helpful - it just so often seems I need to modify things to adjust for my breast size.

ABSOLUTELY! Big boobies seems to make everything more difficult. :(
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by kathrineg View Post

I hear you about the pillow always being across the room...sigh. Sometimes I use a sling to help me support him in a sort of upright hold.
Because you do have nipple soreness and he does grunt/strain I would maybe make an effort to use the boppy or nurse in another position where his neck is straight for a day or so, consistently, and see if belly-to-belly improves things noticeably.
If your intuition tells you it's fine, then it's fine! I know I was told the same thing and it made me self-conscious but I don't think it's really a huge issue.

I should try that. Generally I can manage belly to belly in a side lying position. Tends to be a bit difficult to find time for during the day, but at night I can definitely do that... and just try harder during the day, I suppose. If he seems comfortable, though, I probably won't bother. The way he's growing I might need to try to make him LESS comfortable so he doesn't overeat... :P
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama2ChicknLil View Post

I am actually pretty small breasted and my DS still does that 2 months in. I also have OS and OALD and it seems he uses that positioning to help the flow of milk so he doesnt choke...the grunting and fussing was the first dign of OALD for me. This could be affecting your nipple soreness, but (and I'm going to break all BF society rules here) one month in it is not unusual to still be sore. Keep using lanolin, and see and IBCLC if you can to determine if you have some oversupply or letdown issues that may be affecting how well your baby can latch on.

 

Also, I've noticed that positioning when DS is pooping too (masticate to defacate...they use us to poop too!), in fact, he writhes around and tugs the nipple every which way, especially if I am nursing him in a side lying position.

 

Keep trying different positions, maybe look into biological nursing, I understand it can be difficult for larger breasted women, but as your LO grows and gets stronger you wont have to do SO much of the work on your own!

 

 

xoxo

good luck, and I PROMISE it gets better


THANK YOU. So far, I don't think I have an oversupply issue, but I suppose it's possible. I didn't know when I was letting down at all for the first couple weeks, till I started leaking (but not forcefully) from the other side when he was nursing, so I doubt that's overactive. My midwife is a lactation consultant, so I'll check with her when I see her at 6 weeks pp. 

 

DS does EXACTLY that with the tugging the nipple, especially side lying. It doesn't seem to always go along with pooping or passing gas, but maybe it's working its way down.

 

Biological nursing looks amazing--totally resonates with me as "the way it should be". I tried with him tonight and he didn't seem into it--the large breasts definitely contributed. But I want to keep trying, maybe with different angles, and I can see it improving as he gets more head control. Right now he "bobs" towards the breast but when he gets there the slope of the breast is too much, I guess, and he ends up throwing himself off the side. Kinda funny to watch (bad mama!) but not helpful for nursing. Really, though, thank you for mentioning it. Even if it's not working right now, it was encouraging hear the perspective that there's no "right" way as long as it's comfortable and effective for both of us.

 


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Old 11-13-2011, 09:53 PM
 
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Hope things get easier soon...keep us updated!

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Old 11-14-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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Another large breasted mama here - DD and DS both nursed like that sometimes.. slightly reclining helps alot, but I don't find that being a little turned out really affects my level of soreness. (in fact the LC at the hospital suggested a slight angle out just to make it easier for DD to breathe).

 

the football hold doesn't reallly work for us at all. I do use a half size throw pillow which  does help some with positioning, and sometimes allows me to nurse hands-free (especially as baby gets bigger) I am plus size also and don't find the boppy works really well for me. But I've never really tried to make it work either.

 

I find I have the most soreness when she hasn't taken enough of the nipple/areola in her mouth - then I have to pop her off and start again. That can happen in any position.


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Old 11-15-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

Sometimes I think a fact sheet for large breasted women would be helpful - it just so often seems I need to modify things to adjust for my breast size.

 

I agree. Laid-back nursing didn't work well for us until she was at least 3 1/2 months old because baby needs good neck control to deal with large breasts IME, and I've noticed the same thing about her body facing upwards instead of towards mine, and I think it's because my boob dangles down enough to make that position work for her.

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