9 mo with sloppy latch killing my R nipple!
I have yet another crack in my R nipple. It really hurts when ds feeds. He also loves to play with my breasts and climb all over me, even when he's not nursing. My L nipple has cracked only once, but this is the third time the R nipple has cracked.
I was just nursing him down for his nap and we were on R side 2nd. It was hurting some (after a very painful latch on), and he was obvioulsy just comfort sucking after a couple of mins and I was really getting antsy to get him off. So I slipped my little finger into the corner of his mouth, so that my finger actually was right against the part of my nipple with the crack. Well, I felt his little teeth rubbing against my finger as he sucked! How is this possible? Shoulnd't his tonge be in the way?
It is really hard (for me anyway) to work on the latch of a very active, distractable, teething 9 mo baby. It seems no matter how I try to latch him or re-latch him, it still hurts, often worse than it did the first time! I also have this huge fear of him biting me, especally on this side, because he'll sometimes come at the breast all "hungry" with his mouth wide open and his tongue over his teeth like he really wants to nurse and as soon as the nipple is in his mouth, he'll chomp down on me! :eek:
Any suggestions on how to deal with this would be very apprecated. I am very scared of accedentally weaning him (from the R breast at least), because I seem to be pushing him away all the time out of fear or actual pain. :(
Re: 9 mo with sloppy latch killing my R nipple!
Ouch! Those little teeth can be SO sharp! It definitely sounds like his latch is incorrect. You are right--his tongue should be covering his bottom teeth when he's latched properly. Even though our breasts may look the same, very often there are subtle differences in each that will cause a baby to latch a little bit differently to each side.
You may have to keep latching and relatching repeatedly until he will stay in a correctly latched position. But maintaining a good latch is important, both in helping your nipple to heal and in preventing future nipple wounds. You may want to find a local LLL Leader than can help you position your baby in person. Putting Lansinoh on your nipples several times a day will soothe them and help them to heal as well.
You may also find it helpful to try some different nursing positions. Even some "odd" ones-for example, lie down and put him on with his head toward your feet. Varying positions throughout the day can help take stress off the sore area of the nipple.
You mention he's teething? Some mothers find that their baby's latch will change during teething. Perhaps try letting him chew on something cold just before nursing. And if he does bite, tell him "no" firmly and put him down, or offer him something else to bite on. Watch him closely for biting cues--some mothers will find that their baby gets a certain facial expression or will bite at a similar time during the feeding. You can keep a finger at the corner of his mouth to quickly unlatch him if he does start to chomp down on you.
Hope that helps!