Re: Smacking and sore nipples
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!
Clicking/clucking/smacking/loss of suction while nursing is sometimes a problem and sometimes not. When a mom is not sore and baby is gaining weight well, it's not a problem. In your case, it sounds like a problem because you're sore.
Babies click/cluck/smack/break suction for various reasons, including:
- Fast letdowns. These are usually due to oversupply- the more milk mom has, the faster it comes out. Babies often discover that they can control the milk flow by clamping down on the nipple, or by breaking suction.
- Tongue ties. Sometimes the baby doesn't have good maneuverability in her tongue, and this causes her to periodically lose her latch or to have her latch become shallower (and a shallow latch = compression and soreness).
- Early introduction of artificial nipples (bottles or pacis) can cause a baby to have difficulties with latching.
So, what do you do? In your shoes, I would:
1. Think about your milk supply. Is it on the high side? Are you frequently engorged or full? Does the milk ever spray out when baby unlatches? Does the baby ever choke, gag, cough, or splutter while nursing? Does she feed really fast, maybe in 10 minutes or less? Are you pumping, and if so, do you get a lot of milk with little effort? If any of that sounds familiar, let us know and we 'll walk you through managing oversupply.
2. Try reclined nursing positions. These are great for babies who have trouble maintaining their latch, because gravity holds them on the breast rather than pulling them away from the breast. Also, try propping the breast up with a rolled up washcloth tucked beneath it, to keep the breast from dragging at the baby's mouth.
3. Have baby checked carefully for tongue tie. If there is a tie, it can be corrected with a simple outpatient procedure.
4. Take away the bottles/pacis for a time, if you're using them. Give baby a single set of sucking skills to master, instead of several different sets (babies suck differently on pacis or bottles than they do on the breast).
5. Be really, really patient. An imperfect latch should become more perfect with time, as baby gets bigger, stronger, and more adept.
6. Get hands-on, professional help from a lactation consultant, preferably one with the IBCLC credential.
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!"