How can I just keep taking him off?
I have a five week old and we can't get the latch right. I've had terrible blisters to the point where he is spitting up blood from ingesting blood from my blisters. I saw sn LC and was told I need to keep on taking him off if the latch hurts AT ALL and try again. It is so frustrating to do that over and over again during each feeding, and we never get it right. He just gets a few swallows in, it feels "pinchy" on the nipple, I take him off, try again, take him off. It is so frustrating for both of us and Ive never gotten it do it doesn't hurt a little and so my nipples don't look like lipstick when he is done. I feel like its just so counter productive to keep on taking him off and trying again over and over again and it's making both of us miserable. It doesnt even hurt that badly while he is feeding, just a pinching sensation but my nipples are in rough shspe when he finishes. I have seen three different LCs, read all the suggestions on this board, in books and all over Kelly mom and other sites and I still can't get it to work. I am thinking of pumping for some feelings and giving him a bottle of breast milk instead of the breast for some feelings. What are the downsides of that? I'm almost ready to throw in the towel completely and switch to formula too. I feel like a failure but I don't think we can go in like this, so unhappy. The LCs said he does not have tongue tie but he has a bit of an overbite.
Re: How can I just keep taking him off?
I always feel it close to home when I see other moms struggling. Your not a failure! This breastfeeding stuff can be overwhelming when we find ourselves struggling. For you to still be breastfeeding is a huge accomplishment! Your baby is getting the best nutrition from you! I have felt the same feelings you have...everynow and then i still do. It does get easier, but even now at 10 weeks we are still working on our latch. I wish i could give you tons of advice, but w me learning as well all i can offer is support and encouragement! Dont give up momma! Keep on going! I know it can b fruatrating sometimes, but things will get better! I know u will find a lot of support here!
Re: How can I just keep taking him off?
Welcome to the forum, mama! I am sorry you're having such a tough time. I know it's very, very draining, both physically and emotionally. But if you can hang in there, it will get better. I promise! My first daughter tore my nipples up- not only blisters but deep and persistant wounds. But eventually my daughter grew, her latch improved (bigger baby = bigger mouth = better latch), and I went on to nurse her for 3 years.
Advising a mom to relatch when nursing is painful is standard advice, and it's good advice UNLESS the process of relatching is making the nursing experience even worse for mom and baby. You have to balance the potential benefit of a less painful nursing session against the frustration of relatching. Sometimes you will have the emotional and physical energy to keep trying for a better latch, sometimes you're going to be best served by just getting the nursing session over with as fast as possible.
Have you heard about the nipple sandwich technique? That is the best strategy I know of for cramming the maximum amount of breast into a tiny newborn mouth.
Pumping and using a bottle for a couple of feedings per day is a good idea if you cannot stand the pain. Sometimes a break from sticking your sore nipples into the baby's meat-grinder latch is all that you need to keep you going for one more day. Potential downsides:
- bottle preference- babies sometimes discover that they enjoy the ease of feeding from the bottle and start rejecting the breast. A couple bottles per day at 5 weeks probably isn't a big risk, but you should know about it anyway.
- milk supply- pumps do not transfer milk as well as babies do (in general), so pumping may not maintain your supply as well as the baby does
- increased latch problems- babies suck on artificial nipples differ toy from the way they suck on the breast, and introducing a bottle can make an already bad latch even worse
I don't want to put the fear into you over bottles, but those are the potential downsides. They aren't huge risks- but worth considering. And if you do start using a bottle, they are things to watch for.
Re: How can I just keep taking him off?
I agree with mommal, if taking baby off everytime it hurts is not working, it's time to try something else. I would imagine your LC would agree.
You say you have tried everything, but here are some suggestions anyway for helping with latch. (to add to the excellent ideas from mommal)
1) Try everything again. Often what did not work even just a few days ago will work this time.
2) A comfortable latch and comfortable positioning often go hand in hand. Have you tried laid back breastfeeding? This positioning style can be very helpful for a painful latch. With laid back, mom can be in any position that is reclined-from just slightly leaning back to laying far back (but not flat on your back.) make sure you are comfortable and supported by pillows, back of the couch or chair, etc. Baby can be on you in any position that works. Experiment to find what position will work best for the two of you. It does not matter if it looks like the pictures! It only matters if it is comfortable.
3) If it hurts when baby is latched, instead of taking him off, gently adjust/reposition his body, (Re-angle or shift his bottom, press bottom more into you, turn his shoulders more into you, push more of your breast into his mouth, or pull out/down his lips, or jaw, if you can. GENTLY. One thing that likely will not help is pressing on babies head. They tend to press back!
4) Nurse at the earliest cue, or do not wait for a cue, offer as much as you can when baby is entirely calm. A baby who is starting to get frantic will often have difficulty lathing.
5) Be diligent about taking steps to encourage healing of your nipples. It will hurt to nurse a bit even with a good latch, if your nipples are bruised, sore, cracked etc. There are many different protocols to try for sore healing nipples.
6) Consider trying a nipple shield. Of course there are downsides to them as well but I would certainly try this before pumping and bottle feeding, personally. Make sure you understand the risks and perhaps talk to your LC about it first.
7) Get a second opinion from another LC, or see this one again if you like her. Painful latch can be tricky but there is usually a solution. Make sure who ever you see for breastfeeding assistance is well trained in assisting moms with difficult latch issues at the age your baby is. It would be great if you can see an IBCLC and even then, ask about her training and experience! Also these issues can take time to fix and appointments should last 90 minutes or so.
8) Have baby assessed again by someone very well versed in identifying anatomical barriers to breastfeeding, like tongue tie. Maybe like an ENT? There are four currently identified types of tt and some are very tricky to diagnose.
9) Mommal points out the potential issues of bottle feeding, pumping etc. If you go to bottle feeding, getting baby nursing again may not be easy. And of course it won't do anything to fix latch, as baby will learn to breastfeed by breastfeeding. However, if you need to do this in order to heal, this may very well be a way to keep breastfeeding going in the long run. Every mom finds her own path. I would also suggest that if you do give baby formula to get a break, consider pumping or hand expession to keep milk supply up. You may feel like trying nursing again after a break and if you keep your milk supply approprate, that will go much more smoothly. Also-and this is very important-if you are pumping, use the best pump you can and make sure pumping does not hurt or further injure you!
Laid back http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and www.biologicalnurturing.com
See kellymom articles on tips for sore nipple healing and also on using nipple sheilds.
All purpose nipple ointment: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17