Refusing to eat from one side
I need some assistance and any advice please! My baby is 13 days old and will NOT eat off of my right side, the nipple was flat but with some work with a pump I have been able to get it to come out a fair amount. I can get him to latch and it is a strong good latch but he sucks 2-3 times and pulls off and fusses, eventually it escalates the more I try and he starts to cry hard and will fuss even more once I get him close to my breast. He seemed to be latching fine on the left side however that side has a VERY bad crack that makes it way too painful to nurse, when I do try to get him to eat on the left side it usually ends up with either me crying from pain the whole time or both of us crying. I have worked with 3 different lactation consultants we have tried the cross cradle hold, football hold, plus the 'lying down' method. I have watched videos on baby led nursing and tried that but it still doesn't work. I attempt to get the baby on my right side but he just cries and cries, the last lactation consultant I met with was worried he was associating bad things with that side and that is part of the reason he won't nurse on the side now, which is why we tried the laid back nursing but he isn't responding to that really. How can I get him to latch on the right side? And how can I get my left side to heal quickly so that I can comfortably feed on that side? I have been pumping my right side and now am only hand expressing my left side because pumping it makes the crack break open.
Some people have recommended nipple shields possibly but I would be unsure what size to use, I have to use the 27 mm size breast shields on my pump, also I am unsure on whether to use a contact or regular shield.
Re: Refusing to eat from one side
I am by no means an expert on this, but I had very injured nipples for the first few weeks. It was very painful as both nipples were cracked and bleeding. I actually thought that part of my right nipple was going to fall off. I was very reluctant to use medication for fear my daughter ingesting it, but finally I gave in and got a prescription for triple nipple cream. It has a steroid in it, but other creams weren't helping. I used it sparingly at first, but finally I used it as directed for 1 entire day (24 hours) and the cracks closed up. It still took a few days for all of the pain to go away, but that is when everything started to get better. I know that we had many difficulties at first, but me flinching and crying definitely didn't help. I was stressed about the whole situation at first and you can't make that feeling go away, but hang in there it really does get better. People told me to be calm so that the baby didn't pick up on my stress, and that is good advice. I, however, just ended up increasing my stress by feeling bad that I couldn't be calm. Just do the best you can and try to hold on to the fact that it will get better.
Re: Refusing to eat from one side
Has your baby been assessed for tongue tie or other physical issues? Some tt types are difficult to see and require that the doctor do a finger sweep under babies tongue. Not all doctors are aware of the 4 types of tt identified as potential barriers to breastfeeding. The book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition) has a good discussion of these.
Nipple sheilds can be helpful for the baby who cannot latch without them, however, they are not generally reccomended for a baby who is latching but causing niple pain or damage, as at best it masks the issue without solving it and at worst, causes MORE damage. So, maybe appropriate on the one tricky side, but use with caution. Also many lactation consultants still reccomend mom pump as well when using a sheild as shelds have been linked to low supply and poor milk transfer. (there is some controversy about this.)
You need to sheild to fit comfortably over your nipple (but not too big) and go far enough into babies mouth to trigger latch without going too far. You can get an idea of how big (long) the tip needs to be by putting your pinky (pad side up with nail short trimmed) into babies mouth far enough to hit the 'comfort zone' just beyond the hard palatte and marking where your finger comes out with a pen and matching that to a sheild. Most sheilds have very large tips, and different brands have slightly different shapes. Also, an IBCLC should certainly be able to fit you for a nipple sheild and teach you how to use it. It is best if they are used under the care of an IBCLC.
I don't think this is only a side issue, but rather a general latch issue. The injury on the one side indicates a poor latch. My oldest refused one side for a while, but the real issue was an overall inability to get a deep latch.
But, if it is a side issue, what is it? is it that baby cannot get a good latch, or is perhaps a slow or fast letdown on that side causing baby to pull off? If a slow letdown, you could try the techniques for bringing baby to the breast generally. See http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html
to rule out a fast letdown, see http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html
this video explains deep or assymetric latch realy well. This kind of attenting to detail is not neccesary with most babies, who can indeed more or less 'self attach" if given the opportunity, and the opportunity is usually best given by using biologial nurturing (laid back) positioning techniques. But when that is not working, you just have to keep trying whatever else you can. There is no right or wrong way to latch a baby. if it is comfortable and milk is transfering, it is good. if not, it is not. http://www.ameda.com/ameda-support-t...ational-videos
healing sore nipples: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...lehealing.html and http://www.llli.org/faq/heal.html