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Thread: Positioning and latch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Positioning and latch

    My son is 7 weeks old and we have been feeding in the cross cradle position with the boppy pillow. I have large breasts and usually have to hold it while feeding. The difficulty I've been having is that he's a pokey sleepy eater and I've been experimenting with different holds. Plus it's very hard to feed in public without the pillow to lift him up to my breast. I really don't feel comfortable using any of the other holds yet. The problem is when I try the cradle hold I have trouble with the latch. It's shallow and he's been making sort of a squeak(similar to the sound they make when they drink a bottle). Plus my nipple comes out a little pinched. I can't carry around the boppy pillow everywhere and I don't know how to deepen the latch. His head is slightly turned and his body is usually facing ceiling. I've tried to turn him but he doesn't like it. The only benefit is that he's more awake in this hold and eats faster. Any tips would be helpful.

    Also, he's been having longer stretches at night which is causing me to become engorged so I have to get up and pump if it has been longer than 5 hours. Will the engirgement get better the more he sleeps at night or will I have to wake up and pump during the night.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Positioning and latch

    I hear you with the pillow. I could not nurse my oldest without the pillow and had a 'travel sized’ one for going out. But it was still a pain.

    have you tried "laid back" positioning? You don't have to actually be laid back. It's just the name. It can just mean mom leans back a bit and is supported. A mom can do it even in a straight backed chair once she gets the hang of it. This type of position gives baby more room, and places baby more on his tummy on mom and less on his side turned into mom. And baby can be in any position as far as how baby approaches the breast. The evidence suggests that this posture is more biologically normal and it often is much more comfortable for both mom and baby. It may take some tweaking to make it work for you, but this type of positioning helps many, many moms and babies get more comfortable nursing.

    If baby is sleeping so long at night you are uncomfortable, especially at such a young age, I suggest getting baby and nursing, maybe in a sidelying position on your bed. This is way easier than pumping, typically. Once latch is easier you won't even need to wake baby up. Babies do not need to be wide awake or awake at all to nurse well. More than 5 hours is a long time for a baby this age to be sleeping in one go.

    It is possible, if baby is nursing at least 8-10 times a day, and your baby is gaining well, that the long sleep stretch is normal and fine, but it never hurts to nurse more! However, if you really do not want to nurse baby during this sleep stretch, you can try hand expressing (or pumping) just enough to feel comfortable. If you keep getting up and pumping too much, you keep telling your body to make more milk than your baby needs. Some fullness as your milk production finds the right level is fine, but you do want to avoid getting engorged.

    OK below are my favorite positioning tip sheets. See if any of this is something you have not tried. Also, sometimes it takes trying the same things several times before it 'clicks'

    general tips on latch and positioning http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

    Laid back position http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    laid back video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html see how even sleepy baby latches great

    Here is a short and sweet pictorial on latch, mom is 'leaning' back. http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

    also just a general good article on nursing in the early weeks- http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Positioning and latch

    Thank you. I will look at the links. As far as laid back nursing, I tried it a few times but he kept bobbing on my chest and then would get mad. Do I need to keep trying. He actually has fairly good head control and can hold head up 45 degrees. Also I feel like his nose gets buried in my breast tissue and I'm afraid of him suffocating Lately at night I've been putting him on the boppy in cross cradle and positioning him on side with head tilted and nose free. Then I lean back and rest head on pillow hold my breast so it won't move and then I can doze while he intermittently eats until he pops off. It works well except it takes FOREVER cause he falls asleep so much. As far as side lying, I tried that too but if I use bottom breast I end up smothering him or can't get right latch. I've tried with top breast slightly tilted towards him and it works ok but I'm so nervous I will sleep and smother him as I still have to hold the breast to get latch right. It really on works on right breast too. It's very frustrating. Also he has trouble sleeping flat and sleeps poorly really anywhere but the swing. I've even tried belly sleeping. He's a very noisy squeaky baby and I have trouble sleeping with him.

    What is the portable pillow you were talking about?

    As far as the sleeping is concerned, he just started having these irregular long stretched. He eats usually every 2 hours during day until 9 or 10 then goes 3-5 hours in between until like 530 or 6 when he starts back with the 2 hour feeds. He's aging weight really well too. 3 lbs since birth.

    The pinched nipple doesn't happen every time and is more consistently on right side but does not hurt.



    Off the topic. I've been having flu like symptoms: chills, aches,headache, and sweats. This started after a long night stretch where I woke up with teeth chattering chills and very hard painful breasts(no red streaks). It's been 2 days with no improvement. This couldn't be mastitis could it? I've heard it can develop very quickly.

    Sorry, this is a ton of info

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Positioning and latch

    first things first, did you/do you have a fever? That does sound like mastitis. Of course it could also actually be the flu, or another type of infection.

    If it is mastitis, The remedy is to rest and nurse lots. nurse often! no more long breaks until it resolves. You also probably need antibiotics. And yes you keep nursing even on the antibiotics.

    I do suggest keep trying the laid back position. Really you are already doing it when you nurse reclined with the pillow, and I bet you can tweak it to the point you no longer need the pillow. You can do this with a football hold as well. This positioning is totally adjustable. You can be in any amount of recline and baby can be in any position, so tweak it as you wish. Use pillows to prop you and baby up as needed. If you think baby cannot breathe due to his nose mashing into your breast tissue while on top of you (a common concern yet I have never heard of a baby accidently smothering this way) you can gently press into your breast with a finger near the side of baby's nose to create an airway. Newborns less than an hour old can nurse laid back, it does not require any special head control. The head bobbing is a normal rooting behavior. Baby is trying to get on the breast. Just help him find it.

    I want to talk more about your concern about the length of feedings but the most important right now is for you to rest and nurse and get treated as needed and get better. Please keep me posted.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Positioning and latch

    mastitis quick tips. Yes it can be mastitis without the red streaks http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...atcanyoudo.pdf

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Positioning and latch

    I will keep you posted. I have not been running a fever. How am I supposed to know if its mastitis or flu. I've just been resting and nursing and that's pretty much it. It he goes longer than 3 hours at night should I just pump or wake him.

    I will keep working on laid back nursing

    Thank you for your help

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Positioning and latch

    I really don't know, its weird you have teeth chattering chills and no fever! You may need to talk to your doctor.

    It he goes longer than 3 hours at night should I just pump or wake him.
    that is up to you, you just want the milk flowing out frequently because that is important if it is mastitis. Do what works best for you. You could try bringing him to the breast and see if he will dream feed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: Positioning and latch

    I hear you on the positioning challenges. Mine nursed best in the football hold or cross-cradle hold until he was about 2 mos. We didn't do a traditional cradle hold until he was 2+ mos -- the cradle hold gives you less control so it's harder to get a good latch. I think when they get a little bigger and better at latching on their own, the cradle hold starts being more manageable. Also when they get big enough so that their bottom or hip can rest in your lap, it gets easier to nurse without a nursing pillow.

    As for nursing in public without bringing my pillow with me -- I used to shove a blanket in the diaper bag and usually also bring a fleece jacket along, then I would use one or both (rolled or bunched up nice and firm) as a bolster under my baby-holding-arm, resting on my thigh. Also, I would cross my legs so that the top leg helped prop everything up a little higher. Still not perfect and not as comfortable as nursing at home relaxed with the nursing pillow, but far better than hoisting the baby up unassisted. Good luck!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Positioning and latch

    Thank you for the positioning tips for public mercystreet. I will just keep trying ways in public. Lllmeg: I started antibiotics yesterday afternoon and am feeling better, just tired still. I'm curious about the mastitis though. I have some palpable lumps and tenderness and normally with blocked ducts if I pump and feed him a couple of times they will go away. It's been several days now and the tenderness is better but the lumps are not going away. How long does that take? I even tried nursing a little bit leaning over him on all fours so his chin was at the blockage site but honestly, it just made me uncomfortable. I've also been doing massage and warm compresses. I also have been starting almost all feeds on that side. Any advice?

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