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Thread: Taking too much nipple? Weak latch?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    13

    Default Taking too much nipple? Weak latch?

    I'm worried that my 5 wk old is latching poorly. She is gaining weight, this week she went from 7 lb 9 oz to 8 lb. already in 5 days but I think she's taking a lot of nipple and not enough areola. I cant tell if her bottom lip is out either, nor can i get my finger in there to flip it. She has plenty of wet diapers too. I do not have any nipple pain, but sometimes after nursing the nipple comes out very extended. She also feeds very frequently often 1.5-2 hrs for long periods of the day. Overall she is good at night, feeding a little less most nights up to 4-5 hrs without. We just weaned off nipple shields a week ago. I got her off using a cross cradle hold on a nursing pillow but over the last few days I've been trying a cradle hold because it seems more natural/comfortable. Do you think I have anything to be worried about? I have had a tough road getting things going so I think I may be being too hard on myself. Thoughts on her latch/progress? I go to a breastfeeding group on Tuesday taught by a lactation nurse so I can have her look then too. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,852

    Default Re: Taking too much nipple? Weak latch?

    Forget for a moment about how her latch looks, and tell us how it feels. In general, a latch that feels good IS good, even if it looks wonky. And a latch that looks good but feels bad is bad.

    I think that if your baby is gaining weight well and the latch feels okay, you're probably stressing over nothing. And don't worry about those "frequent" daytime feedings- nursing every 90 minutes or so is totally normal during both day and night. Anyone who tells you that babies "should" go longer stretches (3-4 hours is often mentioned) is an escapee from a mental hospital.
    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
    Sep 2011
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    13

    Default Re: Taking too much nipple? Weak latch?

    The latch is not painful. Sometimes for two or three sucks it may sting a little, but then its totally fine, and no pain at all, before, during or after feeding. I guess I just worry about the latch since sometimes she only feeds for 10 minutes, while other times its for 20-25 minutes. I'm sure I am making too much of it, but I obviously just want to make sure the little one is getting everything she needs from me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Boring ole Michigan
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    205

    Default Re: Taking too much nipple? Weak latch?

    Latching does cause a little pain when they first latch on but then it goes away after a few seconds. Thats completely normal.

    And I agree with the pp. If you are not in pain and the baby is having enough wet/dirty diapers then there isn't anything to worry about. Most newborns LOVE to nurse all the time and eating frequently is just a sign that you have a newborn- not a sign that somethng is wrong She is trying to build up your milk supply still so it makes sense why she wants to nurse more!

    Also it is normal for your nipples to extend out after nursing. If they are "lipstick" shaped then that could be an indicator the baby doesn't have the best latch. If you are still concerend you can ask the nurse at your next meeting and I sure she could tell you a whole lot more

    Oh, and congrats weaning off the nipple shield! I have yet to successfully do that and my LO is 2.5 months!
    July 27 2011

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Taking too much nipple? Weak latch?

    I think it might be the cradle hold that is making her not get as much of the areola. When I first got her off the shields last week I was using the my brest friend nursing pillow to do a modified cross cradle hold while compressing the breast in a c. She was probably able to get more of the breast and less nipple this way. I wasn't noticing any lipstick nipple then.

    I think I may revert back to the cross cradle modified hold until she gets a little bigger and stronger with her mouth size and suck since I didn't notice the lipstick nipple with that position. Luckily the nipple isn't sore from her taking a lot of nipple. She is a small baby for her age, so perhaps until she has a slightly larger mouth and can get more if it in her mouth, I'm better off compressing the breast for her. I'm not high-skilled enough to compress the breast in a cradle hold. I was probably pushing a little much considering she just got off the shields last week.

    To get her off the shields, in case you want to try my strategy, I would nurse her a bit with them on then remove them mid-feeding. Eventually I just tried the next feeding without ever putting them on, and she took to it. After a few successes in a row, I stopped even trying them with her at the beginning. If she got frustrated at all in the course of the process, I'd put them back on. She had problems latching initially because she has a small mouth. Good luck to you *zorkycharlemagne.

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