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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I gave birth to my first child on Saturday morning, and am currently feeling very happy, nervous, excited, and overwhelmed.<br><br>
Unfortunately, my new little girl is not latching very well, and I've got the sore, bruised, bleeding nipples to show for it. I met twice with the lactation consultant at our hospital, but she was not very helpful. She said that the latch looked good, and that some discomfort was to be expected at first, but that it should pass in a couple weeks. I was willing to accept that, but feedings have now become so excruciating that I'm dreading each and every one. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> My right side is so very painful, that I simply couldn't bring myself to nurse her on it yesterday, and had to pump to relieve the engorgement. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:<br><br>
I've done my research, and it seems that she's rubbing her lower gums on the nipple while sucking, causing the nipple to come out looking much the same shape as the tip of a new tube of lipstick. I realize that she needs to get more of the areola below the nipple into her mouth, but she simply won't open wider or for any real length of time. I've tried tickling her lower lip with my nipple or finger, as well as tickling her upper lip and nose (cross cradle) with very limited results. I've managed to get more of the breast in just a few times (simply because she happenned to yawn - sheer luck), and when that happens, she has refused to nurse, just pulling once or twice, then screaming. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I've tried to persist, refusing to continue the feeding until the latch is better, but she becomes frustrated and won't even try to latch, or screams until she's so exhausted that she falls asleep. The poor little thing can't afford to miss too many feedings, and I just don't know what to do.<br><br>
My nipples, though not entirely flat, are on the flatter end of the normal spectrum, so that's probably contributing to the problem. I've been trying to "perk them up" before feedings, but this doesn't seem to be helping much. Also, she has a bit of an overbite - don't know if that makes any difference.<br><br>
Does anyone have any advice I can try right away? I'm also more than willing to contact a lactation consultant (other than the one from my hospital), but could use any info on locating highly qualified consultants. I've visited the LLL website and emailed a local leader, but don't know when I can expect to hear from her or what help she'll be able to offer.<br><br>
Thanks in advance, everyone!
 

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Holy smokes... the tube of new lipstick description... I know EXACTLY what you mean because I've been there. My little guy is 3 months old now and it's getting better. I really don't have much advice except for me it got better as babe got bigger. Both my nipples were cracked and one was bleeding because of the way he was smashing them in his mouth. Although from the outside his latch looked great! Plus, the kid has some SERIOUS suction. The bigger his mouth got though, the less he smashed my nipples and now we are just about in the clear.<br><br>
I did rotate positions from time to time. I took motrin when I couldn't handle it anymore and that helped a LOT. I even used a nipple shield for the first part of maybe 4 feedings (until letdown, then I'd take it off). He really didn't like the shield and I still had pain with it so it wasn't a lot of help but I did think it helped just to have a break from him directly sucking on an open wound. I had nipple ointment (APNO) that I used for awhile but it contains a steroid and they break down skin with long term use so that didn't seem like a good idea after awhile.Oh, and this sounds nuts but every time I nursed him I'd imagine love coming from my heart, circling around and healing my nipples, and then traveling into babe. Weird, I know, but I think the positive thoughts/energy helped.<br><br>
Hang it there. I promise, it gets better. I always read it should only take 6 weeks so when we were still having trouble after the 6 week mark I started to get depressed. It's 12 weeks now and like I said... I am almost completely healed up. Yay!!!
 

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I had the exact same set of problems. It does get better with time. Be careful to get that wide angle at latch on. If baby doesn't latch properly, don't be afraid to break suction and start over. It may irritate a little but much less than a poor latch for the whole feeding.<br>
Good Luck!
 

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you sound like you have the same problem we do, and I would describe my nipples the same way. I will try to describe the hold that we used to fix it.<br><br>
in this hold your hand makes a C around the areola<br><br>
hold your areola with thumb on top with the thumb about 3/4 of an inch from the nipple<br><br>
put your fingers at the outside of the areola under the breast.<br>
the nipple should be tilted up.<br><br>
tickle the top lip and when baby opens "drop" the nipple in from nose down, it should put pressure on her lower lip and she should get more areola on the bottom.<br><br>
I have found our problem has really improved with her growth and bigger mouth at four weeks nursing is no longer painful, but it is still hard to get her to latch well. I think you should see a different LC<br><br>
good luck<br>
crystal
 

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hi,<br>
i have been there, and occasionally still visit the lipstick tube shaped nipple.<br>
also, my son managed to make my nipple into lots of other unnatural shapes.<br>
i posted on here a couple weeks ago, at my wits end....and people wrote back encouraging things.<br><br>
all, i can say is it will get better!!!!!!!!!. really. i think my son just had to grow some more and get a bigger mouth.<br>
it didnt start feeling better til 7 weeks.<br>
i took advil when it was really bad. also using lansinoh before and after every feeding, and going braless!!! really helped.<br>
try to stick with it, cause it will get better. but i know what it is like to dread every feeding and be crying in the middle of the night.<br><br>
also, ok, i know what i am going to say might be controversial.and i am not suggesting you do this...i am just telling you what worked for me-<br>
ok, so i was doing the cradle hold. a la leche leage leader came over to help me.<br>
i tried everything, tucking his legs, having his tummy touch mine , his head tilted back. i used several different breastfeeding pillows. etc.<br>
then one day i abandoned the pillow and correct positioning. (mind you he was 7 weeks old at this point) i held him in my lap. had his head and shoulders elavated a bit. and let him do his thing. if you saw him, he has the worst bf position going.....but actually, things started getting better and he didnt' kill me anymore. i tried the pillow and correct positioning again, and it got bad.<br>
i let him do his thing and it got good.<br>
strange. i know....i don't get it. but i feel better. so i can't complain.<br>
things arent perfect. but they are definately getting better.<br><br>
hang in there!!!!! you can do it!!!! i know it hurts!!!!!<br><br>
take care and good luck!!!!! sorry i don't have more advice<br>
stephani
 

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Getting your own LC is good idea. Hospital LCs tend to be overworked, and are more used to dealing with babies with medical problems. Plus I could get a good latch at the hospital LCs office but then at home I had trouble positioning baby. Someone to come to your house is a big help.<br><br>
My local LLL put me onto a great LC. Call around a few LLL groups and ask for recommendations.<br><br>
We had a lot of pain and latch problems due to my dd's high palate. It did get better as she got bigger.<br><br>
The asymmetric latch which is recommended actually didn't work for us. When I tried to go 'bullseye' and get the nipple right in the middle, it worked better. My point is like some others said, try everything but pick what seems to work best for you and your babe. I think I was too hung up on trying to nurse "correctly" at the start. Of course, it's hard to be confident in the early days when you're having problems.<br><br>
If you're nipples are a bit flat, pumping right before a feed, just to draw the nipple out helps. And just do what you have to do to get through it. Don't feel bad about resorting to pumping, you gotta do what you gotta do. I think in the 16weeks we had before we got to exclusive nursing, I tried nipple shields, APNO, lansinoh, Motrin, even a few Percocet at times (left over from my c/s).
 

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For the semi flat nipples...may be a little wierd...but if your partner is willing...it can do the trick. Have your partner suck on your nipple before the babe does...this makes the nipple just right for sucking. This is the advice given around here when nothing else works...and it is soo simple...just not usually thought of.<br><br>
The other thing that could help is to try breastfeeding laying down...this worked wonders for me....A couple of pillows for your head...babe flat on the bed and he/she should be in perfect position for your breast...it will take a little bit to get used to, but it may help you all out alot.<br><br>
Hope all goes well. I will keep you all in my thoughts.
 

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Pumping for a few minutes to draw the nipples out worked brilliantly for me. DD would not open her mouth wide enough for the first week or so, but when I pumped, my nipples seemed to take on the right shape, and I could get her to latch properly even if she didn't open her mouth the whole way.<br><br>
Now (almost 5 weeks old) she latches beautifully, except on occasion she'll try and suck my nipple into her mouth, rather than opening wide. Then I have to break the latch and start over.<br><br>
-Anna
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>saratchka</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I realize that she needs to get more of the areola below the nipple into her mouth, but she simply won't open wider or for any real length of time. I've tried tickling her lower lip with my nipple or finger, as well as tickling her upper lip and nose (cross cradle) with very limited results.</div>
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sorry for the all lowercase - typing w/ one hand....<br>
i had to reply back now cuz my heart was hurting for u so bad! i totally know what ur feeling.... i used to cry and cry while nursing. ds refused to open his mouth wide enuff and the pain was excruciating!<br>
things got better for me around 6 weeks when i went to an LC. (Yay! got my second hand back, now I can type normally <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">).<br><br>
This is a little hard to visualize but she described a latch like eating a Big Mac. She said it so big you can't fit it all in to your mouth so you kinda squash the end of it, push your lower lip down with the bottom of it, and when your mouth is open big enuff you shove the rest of the sandwich in. So basically you are making a big nipple sandwich. That was the only way I could get DS's mouth open wide enuff, I pretty much shoved it open with the bottom of my nipple. Now he is 3 months, and opens up real big on his own <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I know this is hard. As much as I was pro-bf'ing I had moments where I was ready to give up. I know it might be hard to believe things will get better cuz you are going thru so much right now but it really will and this time will seem like a distant past. Even if you don't get the latch 100% now, as your baby grows older it just gets better anyways. You'll get thru this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Thank you everyone for all your advice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I've had both a LLL leader and my doula out to take a look and tell me what I was doing wrong. Between the advice from you ladies and their help, I've already found that things are improving. I had been positioning her body badly, which was making a decent latch nearly impossible. Now that her body is in the right place, I can follow some of the latching advice much more effectively, and my nipples are starting to look a little less raw. I suspect that most of the pain I'm still feeling is simply the result of the existing injury and should pass as I heal.<br><br>
I don't think we're quite out of the woods yet, but we seem to be on a good path.<br><br>
We'll get the hang of this, yet! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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