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Thread: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

    Hi all, this is my first post here. I'm mum to a 3 wk old son, first baby, and finding things incredibly tough physically and emotionally.*

    The birth was induced and ended in an emergency c-section (baby was OP and had his head deflexed) We got through the first few days of BF even though I had limited options for positioning him due to my condition. *

    We came home after 3 days. Our problems started here although in reality they had begun in the hospital. We hadn't received any breastfeeding support while there other than for the first latch in the recovery suite. At his 5 day checkup he had lost 9.8% of his birthweight and was still slightly jaundiced, so the hospital readmitted us for 2 days.*

    While there I had to give in to medical advice and start supplementing with formula. Emotionally I was very fragile and couldn't sleep or stop crying. I felt like I'd failed to meet my son's most basic need. I did what I could to BF and express and to try to be positive. He started to gain weight and we were discharged.*
    These are the challenges we've faced:
    - He is a sleepy feeder. This has continued past the jaundice stage.*
    - The latch isn't great and it's painful 95% of the time. The pain is knife-like and was occurring either from his upper or lower jaw. During several postnatal checkups I've mentioned this and been given scraps of advice ("use lanolin" - I do; and then some suggestions for different positions, but very little hands-on help and nobody mentioned LCs). I discovered nipple shields but was advised to not use them for too long. I wasn't told why. He fed much better with them, I healed and had less pain, but I found them fiddly to use and having read lots about latch problems I began to wonder if they were masking a deeper issue. I gave into the pain last week and resorted to supplementing one night feed with formula to give my nipples a rest.*
    Then last week on the recommendation of a midwife I stopped using the shield, and things have taken a downward turn. I can't nurse through the pain, not even for one feed. My son gets frustrated when I relatch him, and some feeds have taken 2+ hours due to relatching and sleeping at the breast. I dread feed time approaching and spend hours crying each day.*
    - Low output when expressing. The most I have ever expressed in a session was about 70ml/2.5oz. This was using a hospital grade pump and I was still trying to BF a little. Now I'm lucky to get 1oz/30ml after 30 mins of double pumping and I am no longer BF with any regularity give or take a few minutes each day. So I know I must have affected my production. I have rented a hospital grade pump today and need to get on a schedule!*

    With BF so painful and my expressed levels so low, it pains me to say we are now back on a majority formula diet for about 3 days now. My guilt rages strong, but I've had to find some positives:
    - it has removed some stress for me and DS at feeding times.
    - I am managing to get about 3oz a day of EBM into him (some must be better than none, right?)

    Latest chapter - so far: after DS literally skinned one half of my areola, I contacted an IBCLC and she diagnosed a TT. This condition had never been mentioned to me before. *He had the procedure on Saturday and we managed 3 feelings, laid back, skin to skin, self-latched. I was elated, but since then we've had pain at pretty much every latch as he readjusts his suck frequently e.g. during a BM, or fights at the nipple with his hands, or tilts his head down or to the side after latching, causing me lots of pain. *Or he nods off. The LC came out again yesterday and observed us in various BF positions. She noted that he is still quite "foetal" in his posture, in particular in his neck, as he won't tilt his head back to latch. He also frequently feeds with his shoulders hunched up to his ears. * She thinks this tension might be affecting his ability to latch as he can't open up wide enough. She's advised that I just express for now while I heal (again) and while I seek help from somebody trained in craniosacral therapy. And try baby massage.*

    I'm relieved AND frustrated by the advice. Relieved because this might be another physical reason it's nowpt working, and I feel less guilty. Frustrated because expressing is a lot of work and I am seriously worried about my supply. Is it true that your supply can't be easily increased after the first month? If so, I have to really go for it this week. Any suggestions for kick starting it? Anybody have experience with craniosacral therapy ? I've read how a lot of you have worked through the nipple pain but I cannot see me doing the same

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

    First of all, congratulations on your new baby. You are NOT alone in your feelings in the first few weeks/months. It is HARD! No matter how magical it seems on tv or with other people's babies, nothing quite prepares you for the hell that is those first few weeks with a baby, especially if you are having nursing challenges.

    I think its fantastic that you sought the advice from a IBCLC. And I'm glad that you found out about tongue tie and got it taken care of.

    I took my son to the cranial osteopath and was really happy with the treatment and outcome. It didn't solve all of our problems, but I also took him to a pediatric chiropractor so that I knew I had covered all my bases and had fixed any physical issues that may have stemmed from a long labor and birth.

    Dr Jack Newman's videos really helped me in regards to latching. The asymmetric latch helped get that tiny mouth open.

    It is not at all true that you cannot increase your supply after one month. People have relactated much later than that. What sort of pump do you have? That can make all the difference when you are pumping and feeding.

    It is really hard in the beginning, and you are doing a great job staying focused on the goal. I know that it hurts but I would encourage you to attempt latch on often throughout the day so that when (thats not IF, its WHEN) you get your supply up, he will be ready to nurse from your breasts instead of the bottle. You could also look into an SNS (supplemental nursing system). It is a tube that runs from the bottle to the nipple so that baby can get expressed milk or formula and still be "latched".

    Keep us posted. We're here for you.
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes

    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

    Greetings Dylan.James,
    I don't have any experience w/ craniosacral therapy but i do have experience with sore nipples, sleepy baby and guilt!
    I needed to expose my achy raw sore nipples to direct sunlight after nursing and I needed to air dry my nipples after every feeding.
    I walked around w/ my blouse open for a month.
    I needed to hold my breast and my ds4's chin in order to maintain a productive latch.
    i spent the first few months of each new baby's life nursing around the clock, every 2 hours or more.
    Looking back now, I am thankful for the support I got from La Leche League Meetings or I would have thought i was the only one.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

    You have been through so much, mama, and I really want to support you in all your hard work. Everyone is giving great breast feeding advice and I totally agree with them. Something about your post made me think that you may be in a bad spot emotionally too, and I just want to let you know that if you are feeling sad, helpless, exhausted all the time that you deserve to have those feelings evaluated as well. It may all be related to the stress of feeding, but it may also be PPD. I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds, and I really am glad you are getting the support you need, but sometimes there can be confusion between PPD and just normal exhaustion, and I really want you to feel like its okay to ask for help for yourself as well as your little baby.

    DS Ethan 12/16/2008
    Breast fed/pumped 11 months as a surgical resident, 80 hours a week at work
    DS Abram Daniel 12/20/2012
    Feel like we've gotten a strong start

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

    Thanks all for your supportive replies.

    blue2000, I'm worried that this could escalate beyond the "baby blues" and am trying to keep an eye on things. I had a bout of depression while at college and always knew I might be a candidate for PPD were I to start a family. I'm trying to get an appointment with my doctor tomorrow to talk things through.

    Yesterday my son tried to latch while I was bottle feeding. It looked perfect - head tilted right back, wide gape - but I was fully dressed and missed the opportunity! I will try again tomorrow, probably after the bottle so he's more relaxed. The mere thought of him latching on makes me wince in anticipation though

    My rental pump arrived. It's an Ardo Carum - their new hospital grade pump. Previously I was using their Calypso pump. So far - my output is still v. low. Perhaps I am being a wimp with the settings so I will have to experiment - there's no advice in the manual. I've been wary of having it set too high as I'm still sore. And after some more regular pumping attempts I now find I have pain in my left breast, running horizontally on both sides, lumps and some stabbing pains. I think I might have some blockages so definitely time to see the doc. I was hoping that the new pump would help avoid this sort of thing.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

    How often are you pumping? I feel like you should be trying to latch him on more often than once a day. You will get your supply up, and when you do you do not want to be dealing with nipple confusion.

    Hot shower, direct the water at the affected breast and give it some deep pressure massage. It will hurt but you need to get those blockages out before you get mastitis.

    I know it seems like an awful lot of effort right now, but once you are past all of this you will be so happy you did it. It gets easier, I promise.
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes

    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

    Just wanted to chime in to say that I would absolutely consider craniosacral therapy. I'm trained in CST (though I don't personally work with babies in my practice), and based on the TT and C-section alone, I would consider it, especially after what you said about your LO's posture. It may not fix everything, since BF issues can be multifaceted, but I'm fairly certain it will help considerably.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(


    cranial osteopathy was the answer to my litle girl's discomfort and distress as a baby. the osteopath can even just do an assessment and let you know if there are any areas which are tight so you can make a decision about whether to proceed.

    Best wishes

    DD 15/05/09

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

    I would keep working on trying to latch baby. There are Good tips here:


    And use alternatives to feeding than bottles.

    For EPing, which is what you are doing right now, pump every 2 hours around the clock for a total of 120 minutes in 24 hours. Most moms don't pump enough! Also, make sure the flanges are the right size.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Cranial osteopathy, nipple trauma, low pumping output :(

    Well I'm happy to report that things are getting better here

    Yesterday I got one totally pain-free latch! I had to really work on not tensing up as I positioned him, but I left him to it and he latched on perfectly. I have to thank my IBCLC for telling me NOT to shape my breast with my fingers to assist the latch, but to let him self-latch. I had only ever left him to it twice before - the very first feed in the recovery ward, and once in our first week when I let him lie across my chest in bed for a night feed. So today he took the left twice and the right once in a session that lasted about 45 mins.

    I aim to gradually shift the balance from bottle (whether formula or EBM) back to breast so am starting to introduce the "finish at the breast" method to avoid the stress of trying to get him latched when he's ravenous.

    I will try the cranial sacrotherapy next week. I only decided to retry BF in the last 2 days after seeing him assume a perfect latch pose, but I can see tension in his neck.

    I've been trying to pump just as often as I can manage really! But I'm not on a schedule and I need to be, I got a little despondent earlier when I realised I'd not regularly BF for about a week, and got thinking about how must have affected my supply, and my fertility But I need to refocus now on the future. I'm going to try some herbal supplements to help me along.

    My blocked ducts responded well to massage while expressing. It's in the left breast and I could feel a bigger improvement after DS fed from it today vs. expressing. Even after 30 mins of heat and massage and pumping, the breast was softer but still painful when I lay down on my left to sleep. So far so good today.

    This forum has been a gift, what a fantastic resource for mums in need of support and reassurance. Thank you all.
    Last edited by @llli*dylan.james; August 31st, 2012 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Missed some points

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