Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: BFing help

  1. #1

    Default BFing help

    This is probably a common issue, so maybe I can get some help with this. My little one (4wks) started off in the hospital BFing, but after a week it became SO incredibly painful we had to stop. Since then we have mostly been pumping and bottle feeding, which is incredibly taxing. I have nursed a little since then but it hurts 9 times out of 10. We saw a lactation consultant (no tongue tie, slightly high palate) and only got a good latch with her around. Most of the latches that I have been 'successful' with have produced 'lipstick' nipple and pain. My lo pushes away, screams, and needs her bottom jaw held to get a semi-successful latch. My goal is to *hopefully* BF exclusively but I am so discouraged because of the pain. My nipples are sore and I also think I have been experiencing periodic engorgement. Thoughts from experienced mothers?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,096

    Default Re: BFing help

    Welcome to the forum!

    My thought is this: latch problem, see the LC again or see a different LC, preferably one who has an IBCLC credential. Make sure the baby is checked VERY carefully for tongue and lip ties- they are easy to miss, particularly when they aren't textbook, and it's possible the first LC made an error. Make sure someone shows you the "breast sandwich" technique- it's ideal for getting maximum breast into a tiny mouth. Also, experiment with positions- there may be one that works better than the other. In particular, the reclined, football, and side-lying positions may be helpful. Keep the milk flowing- if compression of the nipple is resulting in difficulty in draining the breast and plugged ducts or periodic engorgement, you definitely want to empty the breast well and frequently. If the baby isn't up to this task, you need to use a very good double electric pump with properly sized shields- another thing the LC can help with.

    Don't get discouraged, mama!!! And if you can, please keep the baby on the breast for a few feedings per day. I know it's frustrating and painful, but it also keeps your options open for the future. As long as baby remembers how to latch and nurse, there's a better chance that you'll be able to transition back to exclusive nursing. And please remember that tiny babies have tiny mouths and that makes it hard for them to latch on well. But babies and their mouths grow fast, and most babies grow right out of their latch problems. Mine did.

    Stay strong, mama! We'll be here for you throughout this journey.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,575

    Default Re: BFing help

    I agree with mommal. See the lc again, another lc, ask for consult with ent or pediatrc dentist or someone trained in breastfeeding related tongue tie issues, talk to your local lll leader, somebody, anybody. And yes, keep trying different positions.

    Also rule out any pain contributing factor, like thrush or bacterial infection.

    Nursing should not hurt. Latch pain is a real problem and there are real solutions. There is nothing about your situation that makes me think you will not be able to exclusively nurse. But you may have to get very proactive about getting the right help.

    Meanwhile, make sure to nurse or pump at least 8-12 times a 24 hour day. Try to never go more than 4-5 hours without nursing or pumping, and that long only once per day. Frequent milk removal will help prevent engorgement and keep production normal while you figure this out.

  4. #4

    Default Re: BFing help

    Thank you for the helpful information and encouragement. I dont think i can afford another visit from a lactation consultant ( first visit was $100, additional are $85... Donations to my cause are welcomed--- i do realize that if/when bfing starts working itwill be cheaper in the long run without formula....). I assume that any other lc would cost just as much. My last hope is to call the lc at the hospital (they have a "warm line") to see if we can arrange something. Feeling very discouraged today. My nipples feel very damaged. Its heart breaking that i am feeling that these issues are affecting bonding with my lo.
    I have tried the sandwich latching technique and am still ending up with lipstick nipple. Is there a chance that this might just be 'normal' for me? Right now bfing hurts but like i said i am already damaged...so might just be previous injury. I have also heard that it sometimes can take a week or two before bfing can become comfortable...do other people find this to be true?
    Today is/was my los 4wk growth spurt and we have nursed 3 times today and pumped when not nursing. I am looking for some kind of hope because i feel like i am running out of options.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,096

    Default Re: BFing help

    If finances are tight, I suggest calling the LC and being very upfront. A lot of LCs will help you for a reduced or spread out fee. Most of them got into the business because they like helping moms and babies, not because they think it will help them get rich.

    When it comes to the possibility that lipstick nipples could just be normal for you, well, sure they could! Anything is possible with the immense variation in the human species. But I don't think this is normal, because you are experiencing such a high level of pain. It points to something being off, and that something is probably the baby's latch. When you pump, do your nipples come out lipstick shaped, or are they symmetrical (like pencil erasers)?

    It can definitely take time for breastfeeding to become comfortable. But the time involved varies widely. Most moms find that their issues are temporary- just a few days, or a week or two. Some moms find that it takes more time, sometimes much more time, for breastfeeding to become comfortable. And that latter class of moms- they are why LCs exist.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,575

    Default Re: BFing help

    I agree with mommal about talking with your IBCLC about the price, although what your IBCLC charged is toward the low end of the typical rates (in the US) already.

    If that does not work out or you want to see someone else, I suggest:

    Do you have a local breastfeeding support group or breastfeeding coalition? I suggest call someone local who will know what services are available and if there is anything low cost or free. For example, my LLL Group serves two counties. In one, there are free appts wiht IBCLC's available to anyone, regardless of income, through a public health program, and in the other there is a voucher program available for mothers that covers about half the cost. But it is amazing how few mothers or health care providers know about these programs.
    Also, many insurers will cover LC appts now. But you, rather than your IBCLC may need to do the paperwork to get that done.

    I know it is frustrating to lay out money and not see results. I personally have been in a situation where I needed to see two different IBCLCs for multiple visits when my oldest could not latch correctly. But not only is not being able to breastfeed a health issue, it is expensive. Formula will cost much more than even several visits with an IBCLC.

    If seeing an IBCLC again is just not possible, do you have local breastfeeding support, like an LLL group?

    I don't know what all you have tried but I am going to link my favortite latch info in next post just fyi.

    and no, pain bad enough you cannot exclusively nurse your baby, especially at 4 weeks, is not 'normal' for anyone.

    Have you ruled out vasospasm?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,575

    Default Re: BFing help

    Tips with pictures on latch and different positioning ideas (includes side lying) 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

    Here are two simple pictorials, one on latch and one on tongue tie. In the latch one, Notice that the mother is in a “slightly” laid back position, looks like on a couch? This is a very “adjustable” position, play around to find how you and your baby are most comfortable. http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

    This video is not in English but it does not matter. Shows the versatility of laid back nursing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SZ3zb5OYMA

    latch and 'Breast sandwich' article http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar04p3.html (probably only needed if baby cannot latch or latch is hurting mom)

  8. #8

    Default Re: BFing help

    Update: my lo and i have been working pretty hard on bfing. I try to bf at every feeding. I dont always make it through the entire feeding due to pain and/or frustration. We are still having issues with the latch... Which i suspect is the lower jaw not coming/staying down. I have been trying to pull her jaw down as she latches... Not very successful so far. I do however find it 'interesting' that she latches on one side better than the other.
    I just want to say thank you for all the advice and support. I never thought that bfing would be this challenging, but i am hopeful that things will continue to improve.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,096

    Default Re: BFing help

    Thanks for the update! Be patient, and I am sure things will improve.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*srtameow View Post
    I do however find it 'interesting' that she latches on one side better than the other.
    This is often accounted for by minor differences in mom's anatomy- if you have one nipple that's slightly shorter, for example.
    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!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: BFing help

    We had a very hard time in the beginning, but it got better eventually. I had more pain on one side once my initial injuries healed and I found that position had something to do with it. Something about the way I held her was messing up the latch, but I could not figure out how to fix it. I think there were some anatomy things too. However, a laid back position really helped. The hospital lc and my mom both strongly recommended side-lying, but I just couldn't do it. Trying out different positions might really help. I wish you the best of luck. I cried through almost every nursing session for a couple of months, but it gradually moved from toe-curling pain to soreness to no pain. I'm going on 22 months of breastfeeding and I'm am so glad I made it through those first few months. You are a strong person to be able to keep trying! Hold on to the thought of how strong you are until you get to the point where it can be a joy.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •