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Thread: Still confused about nipple placement...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Default Still confused about nipple placement...

    Where exactly are you supposed to face the nipple when inserting into baby's mouth? I have been pointing the nipple up towards the roof of baby's mouth since the start and always end up with a line down the middle of my nipple. However, I was watching my friend nurse the other day and she latched on her baby straight on. She said she has always done it this way and she hasn't felt any pain or discomfort nursing since her baby was a week old...Is this the right way to latch?

    For background: My son had his posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie clipped 2 weeks ago and breastfeeding has been much better since then (my nipples used to be raw and very strongly lipstick shaped before then). However, there is still a little discomfort when feeding. There is always an initial 10-20 second sizzle (which I have been told may always be there) but then even afterwards, I feel more discomfort than the "slight tug and pull" that I am told breastfeeding feels like.

    Could it be because I'm inserting the nipple incorrectly? Or can this discomfort happen just because my baby is a voracious sucker (according to 2 LCs)?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,346

    Default Re: Still confused about nipple placement...

    Anatomy varies from woman to woman and baby to baby. So the ideal place to aim your nipple depends a lot on your individual baby and your individual body. If aiming your nip at the roof of your baby's mouth is resulting in compression (that's what's causing the stripe down the middle of the nipple), then it makes sense to play around with where you aim your nipple. Maybe a different latching technique will enable a deeper latch. But in general, aiming for the roof of the mouth results in the deepest latch.

    ETA: being a "voracious sucker" has nothing to do with discomfort. When a baby is properly latched on, it doesn't matter how hard he sucks, because the suction will affect only the resilient, elastic tissue of the areola. The nipple will be so far back in the baby's mouth that it will experience almost no motion, suction, or compression. Therefore, my feeling is that the pain you're experiencing is due to the small size of your young baby's mouth, or perhaps residual tongue tie.
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; January 11th, 2014 at 03:07 PM.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
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    Dec 2013
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    18

    Default Re: Still confused about nipple placement...

    Thanks mommal. We'll continue to try different latch techniques, positions, and wait for his mouth to get bigger!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Columbus, OH
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    183

    Default Re: Still confused about nipple placement...

    The IBCLC that I worked with said something that helped me a lot with getting my babies mouth in the right place. She said not to worry about where the nipple was placed, but instead to focus on getting her chin deeply nudged into my breast underneath the aerola. This automatically gets the rest in a good position. At least it did for us. This advice just made things click for us.
    I also found the football hold much easier for getting a deep latch (though it did seem more tiring so we drop it after a while). Have you tried different positions? Then I automatically take you babies mouth in relation to your nipple to a different place.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Salem, Ohio
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    176

    Default Re: Still confused about nipple placement...

    w/pp

    The beginning of my BF experience with DD3 was very painful, I couldn't say for sure if the pain went away from the way she latched or because she grew and her mouth got bigger but I do know that once I stopped trying to do it the 'right' way things did get better and continued to get better til I was just nursing and I didn't think about anything else.

    Good luck! and I hope it gets better soon for you both!
    Mother of 3 beautiful girls, and expecting baby number 4 in July

    Elisabeth ~ 9/25/07
    Eliana ~ 1/08/09
    Elivia ~ 1/22/12 ~ EBF

    with all 3 still

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    18

    Default Re: Still confused about nipple placement...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jessicanewmom View Post
    instead to focus on getting her chin deeply nudged into my breast underneath the aerola.
    That helped quite a bit! Things aren't perfect still but less painful.

    @sugarfoot289, glad to know that it can and probably will continue to improve each day. I'm hopeful that one day breastfeeding will be completely painless.

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