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Thread: Bad latch w/son... expecting #2 in a few months. Help!

  1. #1

    Default Bad latch w/son... expecting #2 in a few months. Help!

    My son is going to be 8 in a month, I bf him for 2 years, exclusively for 11 months. I wish I could say it was awesome and magical, it was a nightmare. His latch was bad, I had to use a nipple shield, he was underweight so I constantly worried if he was getting enough or not. I so desperately wanted him to just latch on nicely and nurse like all the other babies did!

    I have sort of flat nipples, not entirely flat, they stick out a little but when squished to try & put it in the baby's mouth, it just flattens more than turns them into the "sandwich" the LC seemed to want me to make.

    Granted, I was under a ton of stress, first time mom, my son had a birth defect which resulted in weekly doctor visits, casting, surgery, not sure where it would all lead - it was a very stressful first year and I'm sure that contributed to things.

    Anyway, my mom keeps telling me I should "rough my nipples out" with a wash cloth 100 times a day to prepare. I'm skeptical. It's NOT the pain that was ever an issue, it was the latch. Should I be doing this? Is there anythign I should be doing? What about those nipple-puller-outer things?

    Any tips? I really want to BF #2 due in June, I'm committed to do it even if it's a major pain in the ass like it was the first time, I'm just hoping it's easier this time!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Bad latch w/son... expecting #2 in a few months. Help!

    not sure if it matters, but I also never felt a "let down". I know milk came out, obviously, but, I never felt anything. I couldn't pump either. I'd get drips and drops max!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Bad latch w/son... expecting #2 in a few months. Help!

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the baby to come! I really hope you have a better nursing experience this time around.

    The nipple puller-outer things (IIRC they're usually marketed as breast shells) are a good idea. They don't hurt and might help, and for that reason they are worth trying. You can wear them during pregnancy.

    No need to "rough up" your nipples. That was advice given to moms 50 years ago- your mom probably heard it from her mom. It's an absolutely pointless exercise because nipples can never, ever be roughed up enough to withstand a bad latch. Nipples are evolved to be super-sensitive so that a mom can detect and adjust a poor latch.

    When a baby is properly latched on, the nipple is sitting on the back of the baby's tongue underneath the soft palate. When the nipple is in that sweet spot, it experiences almost no motion or compression. All the suction and compression is happening to the areola, at the front of the baby's mouth in between the tongue and the hard palate. If you want to get a sense of this, put your index finger in your mouth and suck on it. If you place it on the front of your tongue and suck, you'll feel a lot of motion and compression. If you place it far back in your mouth, on the back of your tongue, you'll feel little to no motion or compression at the tip of the finger.

    When a mom has short, flat, or inverted nipples, it can be really difficult to get the nipple onto the back of the baby's tongue; the nipple just isn't long enough to get there. This is why the breast shells might work for you- if you can coax your nipples out a bit, they might get into that sweet spot a lot more easily.

    One thing that is likely to work in your favor here is that you already successfully nursed one baby. Nursing is the best way to break the adhesions under the skin that hold the nipple flat or draw it inwards. It's quite probable that no matter how short/flat/inverted your nipples appear to you right now, they're less short/flat/inverted than they were before you nursed your first baby.

    ETA: Not feeling a letdown doesn't necessarily mean anything- plenty of moms do not experience that sensation. I nursed 2 babies and never once felt a letdown. Not pumping much also doesn't necessarily mean anything, since pump output varies based on how a woman responds to pumping, the type of machine used, experience with pumping, pumping frequency and when the mom pumps, and size of the breast shields used with the pump.
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; January 7th, 2014 at 08:33 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bad latch w/son... expecting #2 in a few months. Help!

    Thank you! I so want this next baby to be easier in the nursing department. Praying for no nipple shields lol!

    I've been looking online at the Nipple Formers/Breast Shells and also the Nipplette, which suctions out the nipples. Not sure which would be better. I mean, my nips are further out then they were before I had my son, I will say that, but there still doesn't seem to be enough to make it to the back of the mouth, so I'd like to do something pre-birth to try and aid in that.

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