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Thread: Large breasts and baby's small mouth

  1. #1

    Default Large breasts and baby's small mouth

    HI everyone, I am new to this forum and and a first time mom. I joined in desperation after 5 weeks of intermittently successful breast feeding. All the LCs that we have seen tell me that the immense nipple pain and soreness and cracking is due to anatomical mismatch, with my breasts being large (D cup size prepregnancy) and my son's mouth being smallish. He came out at 38 weeks and behaves like a premie. I have been nursing him on one side and feeding him expressed milk from the other, until the other side heals. By then, this overused side gets sore and cracked and I need to switch breasts for the next couple of days, until this one heals. I am tired and frustrated about this and really really want this breast feeding thing to work for my baby boy. Any thoughts or recommendations on how to get back to consistent nursing? In the meantime, he has had weight gain issues and we have had to supplement him with formula in a feeding cup. The pediatrician advised us to supplement until his weight improves, which will also help him with better latch.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,890

    Default Re: Large breasts and baby's small mouth

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! Nursing a small baby with a small mouth can be a challenge, particularly with large breasts. A few questions for you:
    - When your baby is done nursing, what shape are your nipples? Are they symmetrical, like pencil erasers, or asymmetrical/wedge-shaped like new lipsticks?
    - Can you describe your cracks for us? Are you seeing multiple small slit-like cracks, or just one major wound per nipple?
    - Can you describe your baby's poops for us? Number, color, consistency? (Don't be afraid to be graphic!)
    - What sort of pump are you using?
    - Have you had a recent yeast infection or course of antibiotics?
    - Do you see any of the following in the skin of your breasts/areolas/nipples: redness, pinkness, shininess, flakiness, peeling, patches of dry skin, patches of white skin?
    - Would the pain you're having best be described as a stabbing pain or a burning pain?
    - When do you have the most pain- when baby first latches on, throughout the feeding, towards the end of the feeding, or after the conclusion of the feeding?
    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

    Default Re: Large breasts and baby's small mouth

    Thank you for your reply.
    When your baby is done nursing, what shape are your nipples? Are they symmetrical, like pencil erasers, or asymmetrical/wedge-shaped like new lipsticks? - It appears asymmetrical, like a new lipstick

    - Can you describe your cracks for us? Are you seeing multiple small slit-like cracks, or just one major wound per nipple? On the left, there are 2 slit-like cracks - one is a larger one along the circimference of my nipple and the other is a smaller one on the nipple

    - Can you describe your baby's poops for us? Number, color, consistency? (Don't be afraid to be graphic!) He has been having 5-6 poopy diapers per day, watery, yellow
    - What sort of pump are you using? - Medela pump in style
    - Have you had a recent yeast infection or course of antibiotics? - My OB treated me for presumptive bacterial infection of the breast w/ a course of oral antibiotics. Completed course 1 week ago
    - Do you see any of the following in the skin of your breasts/areolas/nipples: redness, pinkness, shininess, flakiness, peeling, patches of dry skin, patches of white skin? Only some pinkness in the depth of the cracks.

    - Would the pain you're having best be described as a stabbing pain or a burning pain? - sharp pain during the feed and mostly burning pain after the feed, lasts for an hour or longer sometimes
    - When do you have the most pain- when baby first latches on, throughout the feeding, towards the end of the feeding, or after the conclusion of the feeding? - all the above

    Please advise

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    855

    Default Re: Large breasts and baby's small mouth

    dear new mother,
    you are to be commended for your devotion to making breastfeeding your infant a priority. from the way you have described your symptoms is sounds like more than one variable is contributing to your discomfort.
    you might want to look up thrush treatments on this website under the resources tab.
    you might want to experiment with different ways to hold your infant while nursing.
    sometimes moms get relief from cracked sore nipples by sticking to the tried and true least complicated methods like airdrying after every feed, staying away from disposable breast pads, keeping your body from neck to naval free from all soaps, powders, lotions, deodorant perfume etc...
    sterilizing all the tubing and flanges on your breastpump and sterilizing all bottles, pacifiers,
    exposing your naked nipples to direct sunshine, briefly do not burn yourself.
    You might want to have an IBCLC check the baby's suck to see if he has any oral issues.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  5. #5

    Default Re: Large breasts and baby's small mouth

    Thanks for your reply, Esthervegan.
    I have been doing the airdrying. Im also using an antibiotic ointment for presumptive nipple bacterial infection after airdrying. Nursing my LO became extremely painful with non-healed cracks on both breasts. SO, I switched to pumping and feeding him expressed breast milk. I use an electric pump and am not able to pump more than 4 oz per session in the am and about 2oz per session in the evenings. I pump every 3 hours during the day and it takes about 40 minutes each session for double pumping for effective expression of breast milk. I use an electric pump with massaging of my breasts as well during pumping.
    It appears like my LO tends to cluster feed during the evenings and that is when I feel short of breast milk and need to supplement him with formula as well. I also pump twice at night (between 1-5AM). I often feel so frustrated about the supplementing and am tempted to put the baby back to the breast, but the pain is just killing me. I wonder how long it takes for the cracks to heal. It has been day 3 of no direct breast feeding already. ((

  6. #6

    Default Re: Large breasts and baby's small mouth

    You absolutely are doing the right thing trying so hard for your little one. I am just skiming because teething little grumpy man is in my lap, but have you seen someone for hands on help with latch? We had a lot of trouble with pain and cracking in the beginning I think mostly because excuse my bluntness my nipples are very large, and his mouth was tiny. What helped me the most honestly was lots of lanolin, air drying a bit of expressed milk, and just bearing it until my nipple toughened up and his mouth grew a bit. It was very hard, but I had no one to help me figure it out. I highly recommend seeing someone if you can to help with the possibility of a latch problem.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Large breasts and baby's small mouth

    We pretty much have weekly appointments with a breast feeding doctor for improving latch. I have the same issues of larger and flat nipples as well. When I was reading about blanching of nipples after feed due to latch issues, I could relate to it somewhat except that my nipples are not completely white but appears paler after the feed and I experience burnign sensation that could last for upto an hour or more.
    I am still unable to nurse him on either of my breasts because of the deep cracks and immense pain from it. Any thoughts on how long it might take to completely heal the cracks? Would it revert to being cracked again when resume nursing? Today is day 4 of no direct breast feeding and Im getting frustrated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,890

    Default Re: Large breasts and baby's small mouth

    From what you describe, I think there's a possibility that you have 2 issues that are causing you problems. The first is a latch issue- asymmetrical nipples generally indicate that the baby is latching on too shallowly, which causes compression of the nipple, pain, cracks, and potentially vasospams/blanching as well. The second issue I think you are likely experiencing is thrush, which would account for the slit-like, circumferential cracks, the pinkness, and the prolonged burning sensation after feedings. The fact that you had a recent course of antibiotics supports this hypothesis, as antibiotics increase your risk of having thrush.

    I can totally understand your frustration. Breastfeeding is supposed to be pleasant, and what you are experiencing is the opposite of pleasant. Have you seen a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC? I think you could really use a visit with one...
    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!"

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