Re: Latch unresolvable??
Mama, I have been there and done that and I swear that it does get better. I know people throw out that tired old "it all gets better at 6 weeks" but that isn't always the case. When the baby is tiny and the latch is really bad and the wounds are really deep, it can take a much longer time to heal. It took me 4 and a half months for the deep cracks to close- but they did eventually close, and I went on to nurse my daughter for 3 joyous years. As the PP said, sometimes you just have to wait for the baby and her mouth to grow big enough to latch on deeply every single time.
Your baby has been checked for tongue tie, right?
ETA: here are some tips on dealing with severe cracks
- See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. Nothing beats hands-on help, and maybe the IBCLC can help you troubleshoot the latch.
- Rent a professional scale and do some weigh-feed-weigh tests on the baby to determine milk intake. When a baby has a marginal latch, milk transfer can be reduced, resulting in lowered supply. This can be a particular problem when using a shield, since shields can also reduce or slow milk transfer.
- experiment with different nursing positions. Many moms have success with the football hold. I personally had the most luck with the side-lying position, since that allowed me to use both hands to assist the baby with her latch, since I didn't have to hold the breast.
- keep the humidity in your house high. My cracks didn't heal until a steamy July with no air conditioning.
- Use a combination of 1% hydrocortisone cream and Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on your cracks to combat inflammation and infection. Mix and apply using a clean finger, and use a pea-sized amount.
- Hydrate the cracks before nursing by immersing your nipple in a shot glass full of warm water, or by soaking them with a sopping wet washcloth. Moist scabs tear open less painfully than dry ones.
- google the "nipple sandwich" technique and try it out. It can really help you cram the maximum amount of breast into a tiny mouth.
- give it time. I know that what you're dealing with is agonizing, but eventually it will end. I thought I'd be nursing on cracks for a whole year, but eventually they healed leaving no scars. I nursed my first LO for 3 years, and I know that things can get better even if you start at the absolute lowest low point.
Last edited by @llli*mommal; May 31st, 2011 at 06:50 AM.
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