Shallow latch/gags on left nipple only? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 12-03-2012, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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My LO is 6 days old and we're having a pretty rocky start to breast feeding. It started with a shallow latch in the hospital that I wasn't able to correct until my nipples were in pretty bad shape. I've been nursing through the pain and everything is fine on my right breast, it's healing and doesn't hurt anymore, but for some reason he still has a shallow latch on the left side. It's excruciatingly painful for me to nurse him on the left, he will only latch onto my nipple not any more of the areola. I've tried the nipple sandwich and I'm able to get a good amount of breast tissue in his mouth, but when I do he gags and spits it back out!

I'm worried he's not getting enough milk since we are only effectively nursing on one side, I don't let him linger on the left because it hurts so badly. He has enough diapers, but I am concerned about how much fore vs hind milk he's getting. My left side is always engorged and I've tried expressing before feeding him and it didn't seem to improve the latch problem.

Why would he only gag on one breast? Is it possible that I have an over active let down/ over supply on just one side? How can I fix his latch/get him to stop gagging so my nipple can heal? Thanks in advance for any help!

Love my 3 boys! joy.gif
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#2 of 2 Old 12-03-2012, 12:16 PM
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It is possible to have one breast letdown harder than the other, especially if it is engorged.  In that case, expressing/pumping before nursing that side, may help.  I would nurse the baby on the right on a nursing pillow and use the breastpump on the other breast while he eats- that will allow for an easier let down.  You can then freeze that milk to have as emergency milk for later.  And after the breast is softer, you can again try nursing the left.  I would also try different positions on the left- like a football hold instead of a cradle, and see if that helps the problem. 


Another possibility is to see a pediatric chiroprator (although most have at least worked on their own kids and can do some kids- if you live in a rural area, you can call and talk to the local ones and see if you feel good about them).   If baby's neck is out of place from the birth, or positioning in utero-, it can lead to baby having a hard time turning his neck to one side to nurse, and thus causing him to have a poor latch on only one side. 


I would not worry that baby isn't getting enough.  Women nurse twins, so your body will make what he needs on the side he nurses from, as long as he seems healthy, I would not worry.


Congratulations!  Those first few weeks of nursing can be very hard- you are doing a great job!



Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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