Re: Breast-feeding/pumpin with Ehlers Da
The only other time I've heard of Ehlers-Danlos was on "House" which I guess speaks to how relatively uncommon it is. I kind of doubt you're likely to find to many BTDT moms. Nevertheless, what your friend is experiencing sounds typical of latch problems and the fixes for her issue are probably the same as for any mom. Here's what I think may help:
- more hands-on help from a good LC, preferably an IBCLC. If she is relying on nurses from the hospital where she gave birth- I assume she had a hospital birth- she should try to see someone independent.
- make sure the baby is checked for a tongue tie- if baby is tongue-tied, clipping the tie could make things much better
- google "nipple sandwich technique" for a way to cram the most breast possible into the newborn mouth
- e-mail Dr. Jack Newman
- when pumping, use a high quality hospital-grade rental pump. That will enable her to rmove the most milk in the shortest amount of time, reducing the amount of formula she needs to use. And if she does elect to EP a hospital-grade pump is what she needs so she should get hold of one now.
- if she is leaning towards EP, I encourage her to try to keep the baby at the breast for at least some feedings. If she continues to nurse, and the baby continues to be willing to nurse, she keeps her options open for the future. Latch issues often resolve with time, so there may come a time when she will want to transition to exclusively or mostly nursing. It's a lot easier to do that when the baby still remembers how to latch on and suckle.
- experiment with different nursing positions. Many moms who have trouble with a shallow latch find that the football hold enables them to get the deepest latch. I personally found the side-lying position to be most comfortable.
The following are specific suggestions for coping with pain and nipple trauma:
- go topless/braless as much as possible to reduce chafing to already sore nipples
- talk to her LCs and doctors about using a combination of 1% hydrocortisone and Bacitracin ointment on her nipples to combat inflammation and infection (use a pea-sized amount, mixed and applied using a clean finger)
- talk to the LCs about using a nipple shield
- if she is experiencing cracking, use the above-mentioned hydrocortisone/Bacitracin cream, and/or lanolin ointment, and/or hydrogel breast pads (soothes is the brand I used)
- if she has cracks, immerse her nipples in a shot glass of warm water for 30-60 second before latching baby on, in order to hydrate the scabs. Wet scabs tear open less painfully than hard, dry ones.
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!"