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Thread: Positioning Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    10

    Default Positioning Issues

    I am the mother to twin girls born at 25 + 6. We started trying at the breast when B was 33 weeks and A was 36 weeks. They are now 38 weeks gestation. I am finding it hard to position them. I have large breasts, and it seems if I hold them cross cradle, holding my breast from underneath I try to bring the baby to the breast but her body pushes back before I can get her to the nipple. I tried the football hold and it seem like I have to twist my breast to get the nipple to line up. It just seems that most positions feel very awkward and I am trying to bring the baby to the nipple and contorting my breast at the same time, and I spend most of the time trying to position the baby and frustrating them.... I also seem to be better at getting one baby to latch but only on my left breast. I've also tried with them swaddled and unswaddled. Any tips or suggestions for different positions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,860

    Default Re: Positioning Issues

    My suggestion would be to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. With latching issues, particularly with small or premature babies, nothing beats hands-on help!

    Have you tried the side-lying position at all? How about supporting the breast using a rolled-up washcloth or small towel?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,894

    Default Re: Positioning Issues

    I agree with seeing a lactation consultant. I don't think I would have ever gotten my preemie to latch without her. It's all so new and much more work for a preemie. Make that two and you might need some extra help. But keep with it. Once they are strong enough and nursing becomes old hat, you will be glad you persevered.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    10

    Default Re: Positioning Issues

    I did see a lactation consultant on 2 occasions and while they helped in some areas. The positioning help left me even more uncomfortable. I could certainly try the rolled up towel approach tonight when I see them. They are currently still in NICU.

    They have us on a nipple shield now. And I actually got B to latch yesterday with it, but what a pain to use those! I was hoping maybe if I fixed my positioning issues I could get them to latch the normal way.
    Last edited by @llli*freemaka; June 14th, 2011 at 01:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,894

    Default Re: Positioning Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*freemaka View Post
    I did see a lactation consultant on 2 occasions and while they helped in some areas. The positioning help left me even more uncomfortable. I could certainly try the rolled up towel approach tonight when I see them. They are currently still in NICU.
    Not all lactation consultants are created equal. I will say, with no offense to any that might be on here, that the ones I saw on the hospital were useless. And it wasn't until I found good ones outside that I got all the help I needed. Know that you can bring one with you into the NICU and some do take insurance. You can also contact your local LLL. They may be able to sit with you and trouble shoot your issues.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. It's hard enough having your babies in the hospital but to not be able to nurse, I know how heartbreaking it can be.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    1,081

    Default Re: Positioning Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kst.7399 View Post
    Not all lactation consultants are created equal. I will say, with no offense to any that might be on here, that the ones I saw on the hospital were useless. And it wasn't until I found good ones outside that I got all the help I needed. Know that you can bring one with you into the NICU and some do take insurance. You can also contact your local LLL. They may be able to sit with you and trouble shoot your issues.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. It's hard enough having your babies in the hospital but to not be able to nurse, I know how heartbreaking it can be.
    If you can find another lactation consultant, I would. Are any of the NICU nurses trained/experienced in lactation? Have you tried using a boppy pillow to support your little one? The nipple shields are a pain, but with preemies tiny mouthes, they are often helpful. And just because you are using one now doesn't mean you'll have to forever. I had to use one with my son for a while but I transitioned him off of it. And part of the positioning difficulties may get easier as your little ones get bigger.

    I just have to say I'm SO glad you are providing breastmilk for your babies and putting them to breast!
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Positioning Issues

    Ok so last night baby "A" aka Josa was too sleepy to be interested, no big deal not much I can do. Then "b" aka Kate, whom I have the biggest issues with spent the entire time acting like she was trying to pass gas or make a poo. She does this quite often. I would say about 80% of the time when we try the breast. When I try to bring her to the breast she will turn her head and if I try to give some resistance to her turning her head she starts crying. She seems to dislike every position we try. Then when we end the session I see her eating her hand and she sucks on her paci like no tomorrow!

    I feel like I spend the entire time making her miserable and we aren't making any progress at all. I want this time to be enjoyable and not so stressful for her, short of stopping the sessions with her I don't know how to make her relax and enjoy this time and make progress. I don't need to see immediate progress, but some would be nice. After 5 weeks we are still where we started. I am also starting to notice my production drops significantly the pumping after I have been with her.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,081

    Default Re: Positioning Issues

    A couple thoughts...does she have reflux? When you are bringing her to breast, make sure your hand isn't pushing on the back of her head - you want to make your hand into a "C" and place your hand at the base of her head/top of her neck to support it, but not push it. Babies have a reflux to push their heads back when it's pushed forward.

    Are you doing skin-to-skin with them? Because that can really help with breastfeeding.

    I'm sure it's frustrating that you've been working so hard and don't see as much progress as you'd like after 5 weeks. But, you're babies are still very young, so this will likely just take more time and practice. Many full-term babies don't get the hang of breastfeeding at first. How are your babies fed - ng tube or bottle? Maybe try some breast compressions when they do latch...and express some milk onto the nipple shield when you try to get them to latch.

    While your babies were born earlier than my son, I thought I'd share a little of our experience to hopefully encourage you. My son was born at 29.6 wks and spent 53 days in the NICU. During that time he had only 1 full feeding at the breast, and not many more times of just latching on. He came home on a Haberman bottle and it took us 2 months to switch to breastfeeding and drop all the bottles. When I was going through it, it seemed like an eternity and like we'd never get there. And I was an experienced breastfeeding mom prior to having him - my daughter was 25 months when he was born and was still nursing. But, with persistence and lots of support, we did get there, and he's not 28 months and still nursing 3 times a day. And he's doing amazing...I whole-heartedly believe he's doing as well as he is because of breastmilk and breastfeeding.

    So keep on keepin' on. You and your girls can do this. Again I recommend getting some hands-on lactation help. Because really that can make a big difference.
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Positioning Issues

    I am fairly large breasted too and found that using a pillow and watching their body positioning was more helpful then the nursing "pillows" that the nicu had. nursing preemies is hard but it is so worth it! You can do it mama!

    Also- We found that I needed to be wearing a nursing bra- not a regular bra because it pushes down on the ducts. A was having issues latching and I was looking into the shield when it turned out that I wasn't getting the nipple far enough into her mouth. she would turn and cry as well.
    Jaxon (07/13/08) weaned at 27 months
    Alexa and Braxton (11/18/10). My NICU miracles.

    http://swallomlife.blogspot.com

    "This above all: to thine own self be true" -Hamlet

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Positioning Issues

    Mama, they aren't even meant to be out of your body yet. I know it's frustrating, I remember those days well and my daughter is 5 years old, but it really is worth the extra effort. What are you are doing, the struggling and tears you are going through now, are so very worth it in the long run.

    It took my daughter 2 months before she would even put my nipple into her mouth and another 3 months to get it right. Seriously it wasn't until her gestational birthday that she latched for the first time.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

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