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Thread: Turning head sideways?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Default Turning head sideways?

    Charlotte (10 weeks actual, 5 weeks adjusted) frequently does this thing where she wants to turn her head sideways when she nurses. At first I was thinking maybe she was getting a case of torticollis or something, so I started doing some stretches but really, she can freely turn her head both ways, can nurse both ways etc, so I don't think it's a neck problem.

    But even when I make sure her shoulders and hips are aligned facing my breast, she'll turn her head to the left a bit so that my nipple is kinda coming out of the right side of her mouth a little. It doesn't really hurt most of the time, though when she has a session where she's doing a lot of squirming around and rearing back, it seems to pull in a worse-than-usual way and I'm sure it's not helping with her shallow latch issues. (And I've now had THREE blebs, which is maybe related? I don't know.)


    Is this a sign of something? Just a bad habit? When I try to support her head back to a more aligned position, she actively resists.. she's definitely doing it on purpose.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    23,801

    Default Re: Turning head sideways?

    Maybe it's just how she's comfortable. Sometimes our kids' quirks are just quirks, YK? But if you've been dealing with latch issues, I wonder if maybe adopting this posture helps her control a rapid milk flow. That's often why a baby who can latch on deeply chooses not to. If so, maybe try nursing in a more reclined position, enlisting gravity to slow down the milk flow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    381

    Default Re: Turning head sideways?

    I used to put a roll up blanket under my girls necks to keep them positioned how I wanted (chin closer to breast) and elevate them (I am tall with a long torso). Try it with a small receiving blanket to see if you can keep her head positioned
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  4. #4
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Turning head sideways?

    Could her neck be out of place?
    Robin

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Turning head sideways?

    In what position are you nursing? Cradle hold? Are you sitting upright or what? Is baby turning her head up toward your face, or down? Are you using a breastfeeding pillow and if so what kind?

    The more I learn about the research done by Suzanne Colson, the more I am convinced that many nursing 'issues" like latch pain, difficulty latching, baby pulling off, baby having a hard time 'opening wide" etc. and also things like flailing arms getting in the way and head turning are actually caused by the "traditional" nursing holds that work against gravity and all to often also work against a mother's and baby's comfort and security. Traditional holds also often force mom to have to support babies head with her hand, and many babies do not like having head pressed (even gently) when nursing and will rear back or turn.

    Sorry anyone who has seen me post about this, I am sure I sound like a broken record, I know it does not work for everyone but it does appear to help in so many diverse situations. So, that is my suggestion, if you have not already, try laying or leaning back and have baby on top of you, perhaps longitudinally (up and down) or oblique to your body rather than across you horizontally, although you can have baby in any position. for more see http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/ and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

  6. #6
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    Dec 2011
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Default Re: Turning head sideways?

    Meg- on the left, I typically do football, on the right, cross cradle.
    I use a regular bed pillow, and sometimes then tuck a rolled up receiving blanket behind her to keep her shoulders and hips turned towards me. (I have a boppy but it just did not work for her. It was great with my son, but for whatever reason, we always seemed to be fighting it now.)

    She turns her head down.

    I am sitting upright.

    I have tried to do more leaned back nursing, but she ends up sort of smashing into my (rather large) breasts and smothering herself, and ends up pulling back repeatedly to get air. My breasts also tend to then kind of fall backward and out and it makes things difficult to get her lined up.
    Perhaps I need a LC or LLL member to come walk me through some of the laid back positions because I just can't seem to master them.

    I'm definitely willing to try.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    8,851

    Default Re: Turning head sideways?

    Perhaps I need a LC or LLL member to come walk me through some of the laid back positions because I just can't seem to master them.
    That's a good idea but you would need to find one familiar with helping moms with this type of positioning. These concepts as a part of lactation assistance are fairly new (although rapidly gaining many adherents.)

    The thing to remember about laid back is that it is not a single position, or even several positions. I like to think of it as a breastfeeding 'style' that, hopefully, facilitates mothers and babies finding the positions that work best for them. So no two mom and baby pairs will "do" laid back exactly the same way. There will be some fumbling and awkwardness as you figure it out, that is normal.

    Here are some ideas to try:

    1) Experiment with different degrees of body tilt. (Your body) Maybe you are trying to lay back too far. Even a slight body tilt can help. You want to get back enough so you are into what Colson calls sacral sitting, or what I call couch potato position, but you do not have to be laying way back at all. You could be almost sitting up put with some backward body tilt.

    2) If your breasts kind of go out to the side, maybe try having baby supported partly on you and partly on a pillow/folded blanket that will bring baby to your natural breast level-one way would be to think of kind of a reverse of a cradle hold, where instead of being across you, babies lower torso and legs are supported on the pillow or piled up folded blankets next to you and babies upper body/head is coming to the breast from the side. Or have baby in a more longitudinal position next to you but angled so baby comes to the breast.

    Laid back is usually pictured with baby entirely on mom but Colson found that it is also fine for baby to be supported by pillows or blankets next to mom instead, because, like lying on mom, this also allows gravity to support baby in a frontal feeding position (Lying on their front rather than on their backs or on their sides with pressure on their back & neck.) It is too complicated to get into here but this idea that babies, like other mammals, are frontal feeders, rather than dorsal (back) feeders is key to her findings. Basically, think of puppies or kittens nursing. They are not on top of mom put are fully supported on their fronts.

    3) You can bring baby to the breast from any position, Some moms even find it helps to have baby come over moms shoulder to the breast. Colson points out the breast is round with milk ducts all around and baby can come from any direction as long as baby is not covering mom's face. (Coming from a different direction may help with the blebs also?) Of course it is OK to hold your breast if that is helpful in achieving a good latch, but one of the ideas behind laid back is to make it possible for baby to come to the nipple where your breast naturally lies.

    4)If baby's nose is getting smushed into the breast, ( a common concern) have you tried pressing lightly in on the breast area near babies nose with a finger to just clear that airway?

    5) If the breast going out to the side keeps baby from attaching when on top, maybe try supporting the breast into a workable postion with a small folded blanket or pillow ( or some combo.) You could also use your hand but that gets tiring.

    6) I have found some moms that struggle with laid back find it works best at first if they latch baby while sitting upright and then lean back after baby is latched. This can be done from any traditional nursing postion including football, you just might want to have a pillow stategically placed behind your back for football to leave space for baby's legs when you lean back.

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