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Thread: Newborn Night nursing issues

  1. #1

    Default Newborn Night nursing issues

    Hello, I have a 10 day old baby. I've struggled to find a good latch with her since day 3 when my milk let down. She's gaining weight so she's definitely getting milk. Yesterday I was able to finally get a good latch on both sides in the side laying position. But then as we got into the night it didn't work anymore. Every night I have issues getting her latch correct and it's so painful. But I'm always so tired I end up just letting her eat since she is actually getting milk. Plus at night I'm super engorged. The last two nights I soaked two breast pads through to my bra and shirt and bed. I slept on a towel last night. Any ideas what could be going wrong? I hand express when I'm engorged before I feed her so that she can get a deeper latch. I try different positions and her mouth looks the way it should. I had a visit from a lactation consultant a week ago and of course things looked fine at that point and all she could tell me was to make sure I hand express before feeding so she can get a deep latch. I'm so discouraged and in a lot of pain. It feels like once I finally get something going and my nipples look healed for the day it gets bad again and I totally dread feeding my baby. help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,479

    Default Re: Newborn Night nursing issues

    Hi gagliano. What you are experiencing is pretty common for the newborn period.

    Your milk production has been increasing every day since baby was born. So this is a common time for feeling super full if it has been a while since baby nursed. Leaking is 100% normal and in fact, it is good your breasts leak as this will act to alleviate some of the pressure and issues of engorgement.

    Latching at night when everyone is more tired is also commonly more of an issue. Usually as both you and baby become more practiced at latch in general, this will improve. If baby is capable of having a comfortable latch during the day, she is capable of having one at night. It is just harder due to the tiredness and you may be more engorged at night.

    all she could tell me was to make sure I hand express before feeding so she can get a deep latch.
    Certainly this is one way to help a baby get a better latch. But it is not the only way. Aside from trying different positions and latch techniques, another way to alleviate the engorgement being a problem is to encourage baby to nurse with high frequency. The more often baby nurses, the less full the breasts will get between nursing sessions.

    If it is helping, fine to keep hand expressing before latching baby. But there are two potential issues you just may want to think about 1), if you are hand expressing milk frequently, that is going to give your body the message to make even more milk. 2) hand expressing before nursing delays baby getting to the breast. If baby starts out hungry and eager to nurse, but then putting baby to the breast is delayed at all for any reason, that can very quickly become baby being very hungry and frantic to nurse. At that point, with newborns especially, they become so disorganized that they cannot latch well.

    If your nipple are healing then you are on the right track. I know it is hard but sometimes you have to be more proactive even when exhausted at night to be sure baby is latching well so you do not become re-injured. Doing that, plus nursing more often and maybe NOT hand expressing as much or in any other way delaying the time it takes to get baby to the breast may help.

    Otherwise I am afraid you may have to see an LC again to make sure baby is capable of a good latch. Here is what a consult ideally would look like. http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html Lots changes in the first couple weeks so if you last saw an LC when baby was 3 or 4 days old it is definitely time for a follow up. If nights are you major problem, that is specifically what your LC should be helping you with. It is important your LC listens to you so they know where the problems are.

    If you cannot see another (or the same) professional LC, I would strongly suggest look locally for any volunteer breastfeeding helpers like LLL Leaders for help and support.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,912

    Default Re: Newborn Night nursing issues

    with MaddieB. I only want to add that for nighttime leaking, I suggest investing in a washable adult incontinence pad. They are less scratchy than a towel, they absorb better, and milk doesn't pass through the waterproof backing and get onto your bed. Plus, when your child is older it can become a waterproof pad you slip under their sheets. They cost about $20-30, but they are an investment I would make again!

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