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Thread: Painful latch/ pumping struggles

  1. #1

    Default Painful latch/ pumping struggles

    My 3rd DD was born 10/2 nursing has been a BIG struggle with her, I fight to get her on the breast, then it hurts until she gets "settled in" sometimes longer, she's done some damage, and the lc's at our doctors office want me to pump, because she still is down 10% of her birth weight. Yesterday they decided they wanted me to only pump and give her that milk, but today my milk supply has dropped to the point where I can't keep up with her! I'm heartbroken about this, I nursed my first two DD's without major problems, but for some reason nursing just isn't natural for this little girl. I feel like it's affecting our bond too
    Any advice would be great, I've cried almost every day about this and I'm not ready to give up, but this doesn't look like it's going to turn around. It's also hard not really having much emotional support at home

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Boring ole Michigan
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Painful latch/ pumping struggles

    What type of pump do you have? Also have you tried a nipple shield since she won't latch right any other way?
    July 27 2011

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,361

    Default Re: Painful latch/ pumping struggles

    Welcome, mama, and congratulations on the new baby! I am sorry you've had such a tough time nursing her so far. Since you're an experienced nursing mom, I am sure you know what a good latch feels like, and it sounds like your LO just doesn't have that. So, has she been checked for tongue-tie? And are the LCs at the doc's office IBCLCs?

    Regarding pumping, what sort of pump do you have, how often are you using it, and how much milk are you able to pump in a session? And how does pumping feel?

    I'm sorry you don't have emotional support at home. It's really hard not to have that. Wee'll do our best to give it you, though! You won't be the first person to come here for a shoulder to cry on in addition to advice on nursing.
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Painful latch/ pumping struggles

    I use a Medela Freestyle and I'm pumping every 2-3 hours except at night when I can get her to nurse I get 50 ml she didn't nurse much last night so when I got up I was pretty engorged, I got 3-4oz, and she wouldn't nurse when she first woke up, pumping hurts, nursing hurts worse at least to start, the nurses have checked for tongue-tie and when they've checked she looks good, she doesn't open her mouth all the way, which I think is a big cause of the pain from her, and she clamps down, at this point she's getting frustrated when my letdown doesn't happen quick enough, and she'll come off and fuss. I have not tried a nipple shield yet, lactation still wants me to pump quite a bit

    Thanks Mommal, it's good to know I'm not the only one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,361

    Default Re: Painful latch/ pumping struggles

    Hmm, pumping hurts? That's a bit of a red flag. Pumping is generally less painful than nursing. So, I suggest doing the following to trouble-shoot:
    - make sure you are using the correct size of breast shields. Nipple should slide freely in the collection tube, not rub against the sides.
    - try lubing the nipple with some olive oil
    - try starting the suction at the lowest level, and only gradually turning the pump up to the maximum effective level
    - review the symptoms of thrush: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...resources.html

    Can you tell us more about the pain you're experiencing?
    - do you feel like baby is "clamping down" on the nipple?
    - when baby unlatches, are your nipples wedge-shaped, creased, or the shape of new lipsticks?

    I think the LCs made a good suggestion to use the nipple shield. You want the baby on the breast, nursing, as much as possible. The more bottles she gets at this early stage, the more likely she is to refuse the breast, because eating from bottle is easy and provides immediate rewards, whereas eating from the breast is more difficult. I would not pump exclusively at this point, because again, the more the baby is on the bottle the less likely she is to want the breast. However, I think lumping after nursing is a very good idea, particularly if you elect to use the shield. Shields can slow down milk transfer and thereby reduce supply, so whatever the baby doesn't do in terms of milk removal when nursing with the shield, you want to do with the pump. The Freestyle is a good pump, and I am glad you are using it. But if you aren't seeing good results from it, I suggest using a hospital-grade rental pump.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: Painful latch/ pumping struggles

    The fact that pumping is also painful makes me wonder about thrush as well. Did you use the Freestyle with your other children? I just think that exclusively pumping will do more harm than good, keeping baby on the breast as much as possible and if totally necessary feeding your milk after nursing would be a better idea IMHO. However I really don't see why supplement g is necessary...is it the 10% weight loss? That's still within normal range. Did you have any fluids during labor? Baby will sometimes be plump from the fluids you receive thereby leading to a large drop after birth. The real issue is her pattern of weight gain, does she have enough wet diapers during the day! If yes then I personally would get checked for thrush work on the latch and nurse all day.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

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