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My daughter was born on Sat. 11/5, and took to the breast right away! My milk has come in, as of today, and she loves to suck, loves to nurse, and loves to be comforted by feeding. But. IT HURTS


I know the issue is her latching, and I try over and over and over and over to get it just right, but I seem to be unable to get it right!? I read through the Sears BF book, the La Leche League website, had a lac. consultant at the hospital go over it with me, as well as my birth coach. I feel like I know what to do, but DH and I are having problems executing it!

Any advice!?? Please!!
 

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A common mistake is to try and get a large amt of areola into the baby's mouth, symetrcially.
What you really want is a great deal in the mouth above the bottom lip. It's the bottom jaw that does all the action, the top one can't move!
Look at your baby's latch and make sure that his bottom lip is near or at the outer aspect of your areola.
 

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Here's some things I learnt eventually the hard way:

- use nursing pillow or whatever to get baby up to nipple level
- bring baby to breast, not breast to baby.
- don't hold back of baby's HEAD, your hand should be around baby's neck (baby will arch back usually if you push on the back of their head)
- rub nipple on space between nose and upper lip, so baby opens wide (though neither of mine would do this very well the first few weeks)
- after baby is latched on, check upper and lower lip is flared out, if not get your finger in there and flick those lips out.
- make sure baby is not just sucking on the nipple, some of the aerola has got to be in her mouth

Don't get discouraged. The first 6w is a learning period for both you and baby. As long as baby is gaining weight and your nipples aren't too damaged, you're doing well. I think there's a good reason the milk leaks/pours out at this time while baby is LEARNING to latch.

It's common for nipples to feel tender the first few weeks. Mine did and I'd been nursing my toddler during the 1st trimester of the pregnancy. I also find it hurts a bit when baby first latches on, especially when breast is engorged but after a minute or two, that pain goes away.

BTW I had LCs in the hospital helping me with my first dd and yet it was still hell when I got home. I had trouble replicating the positioning - you gotta have the right chair, the right pillow, ... I found having a private LC come to the house very useful. If the pain continues, you might want to try that. Or go to an LLL meeting - they'll be able to help you too.
 

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Do everything described by these other mamas.
And then go see a speech language pathologist. Tell your lacatation consultant that you think the child needs to have her suck evaluated and trained.

SLP's are very gentle and they know how to work with babies to teach them to move their mouths properly so as to move the maximum amount of milk and not hurt mama.

If you're getting the baby latched on properly according to the instructions above, and you're still in pain, this isn't your fault. Suckling is a very complex action and requires a very intricate and difficult sequence of motions. It's not uncommon for a newborn to lack this kind of motor organization.

It's not okay for you to be in pain while nursing. You may have to 'tough' through it for a while until everything comes together for you- please don't introduce bottles or pacifiers unless the SLP tells you to do so. Nipple confusion is not a myth. It's a slippery slope from introducing one bottle so you can have a break and then having a baby who prefers the bottle and won't learn to nurse properly and won't come back to the breast.

Please let us know how it goes, okay?

You're a great mama for sticking with this and not just shoving a bottle of formula in her mouth. Good job, mama.
 

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You have already got most of advice I would give. One more thing that was really important with my babies was making sure their head was at the right angle with their nose not touching my breast. I was having latch problems with my twins and as soon as I got their heads at the right angle the pain was gone.
 

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My baby is 18 days old and we just got a grip on nursing last week (well, a better grip than we had and I'm not crying at every latch attempt!)

We had terrible latch problems in the hospital. Within the first 24 hours, my dd had blistered, bruised, and drawn blood from my poor nipples. They were nearly useless. We consulted two of the LCs on staff, but never were able to get it quite right. After we got home, we pumped and let my nipples heal from the nursing. Last Friday we saw a private LC and everything changed. The best advice she gave was to offer the "nipple sandwich" and to pull my breast in and bring the baby to it. The nipple sandwich is a technique where you squeeze the breast around the areola to offer the "sandwich" in the direction the baby's mouth is, based on the position you're feeding in. If doing the basic cross cradle hold, the sandwich is offered by squeezing the sandwich so that it is perpendicular to the floor, thus entering the baby's mouth as a sandwich would enter your mouth. I hope that makes some kind of sense here in print!
The other advice she gave to me was because I have a very large chest. After I squeeze the nipple into the sandwich shape, I pull my breast in towards my body and then bring my wide-mouthed baby onto the breast. It has worked so well! I also have to be careful to uncover my dd's nose and hold the breast away from it so she can breathe past my giant mass.
I've never been so jealous of women who have smaller breasts than now when I'm trying to nurse!

I hope all goes well for you! It is hard, but you're doing your best for your baby!
 
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