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Thread: 1 month old, still having nipple pain with shallow latch

  1. #1
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    Default 1 month old, still having nipple pain with shallow latch

    Hi everyone, I am a first time mom with a 1 month old and I am still having trouble with sore nipples. I saw a lactation consultant at 1 week and 2 weeks and they said baby's latch was good but he has a small mouth, they said it would likely get better. Now at 1 month I still have a hard time getting him to open wide and after he feeds my nipples are still creased, not as creased as they were at 1 week but still creased and painful. I have watched many videos on shallow vs effective latches and it seems like he is just a touch shallow...his top lip doesn't flare out and his bottom lip i usually pull his chin down to get it to flare out which helps with the latching pain. The left nipple creases down the middle, the right nipple is lipstick shaped, but at least there are no cracks or sores. He is gaining weight and seems to be satisfied after each feeding, I do hear him actively swallowing and he usually nurses around 15 minutes per breast every 3 hours...it just hurts still and is discouraging to me! Any advice would be appreciated on getting him to open wide he usually opens the teeniest bit if I stroke his lips, I usually end up just waiting for him to cry so he opens wider. This sometimes makes him mad during the feeding though!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: 1 month old, still having nipple pain with shallow latch

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! Have you had someone check him for tongue and/or lip ties? The LC should have but may not have or may have simply missed it. It would make sense to ask the pediatrician the next time you are in, and to perhaps see the LC again, or to see a pediatric dentist or otolaryngologist as they often have experience with ties.

    Since you're not cracked, just creased, I think what is most likely to happen is that your baby will grow out of the latch issue. A bigger mouth can take a deeper "bite" of breast. But I also think you want to look for videos of something called the "sandwich technique", or better yet, to have the LC show you. The sandwich is great for cramming maximum breast into a tiny mouth.

    Tips for getting a baby to open wide:
    - Try to latch him on before he is really hungry. Hungry babies get frantic and start opening and closing their mouths, and it is hard to hit a moving target!
    - Show your baby what you want him to do by opening your own mouth really wide. Even very young babies will sometimes mimic mom.
    - If baby is frantic and opening and closing his mouth, give him a clean pinky finger to suck, with your nail held down towards his tongue. A few seconds of sucking on mom's finger may calm him enough to enable a repeat latch attempt.
    - Experiment with different positions, particularly with reclined positions. One position may work better than another.
    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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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: 1 month old, still having nipple pain with shallow latch

    Thanks for the tips I really appreciate it! The first LC did think he had a tiny tongue tie but the second LC and my pediatrician both said they didn't think so. Everyone says he just has a small mouth and it should get better. I have been attempting the sandwich technique but its hard when hes crying, i did try the finger trick and it helped :-) I will continue to keep working with our latch and different positions, hopefully his mouth gets bigger soon lol

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1 month old, still having nipple pain with shallow latch

    Why don't you have a pediatric ENT have a look? I had terrible bruising and pain and cracked/sore nipples for about 2 months until I called an LC who said my son has a tongue tie (she made it sound very severe) but my pediatrician wasn't concerned. He did say that normally if the baby's tongue can't come out far enough, he recommends going to an ENT. So in the office he tried to prod my baby with a tongue depressor but he wouldn't stick his tongue out! So he said to have an ENT take a look. In the meantime, the LC did give me some exercises to do with my baby and at that time my milk supply regulated so I was less full so my baby was able to get a much better latch, though not perfect. The pain went away and nursing actually felt comfortable finally! So I didn't rush to make an ENT appointment but I did schedule one - the earliest with this doctor was yesterday (baby is 5 months now) and I didn't bother trying to find an earlier one even, only because it didn't hurt anymore. The dr. said the tongue tie wasn't that bad but she'll release it anyway since it could potentially cause problems later if left untreated. It was quick and simple and I think my baby's eating is already better! (Yesterday was the first time he was able to stick his tongue out to me to copy mine!)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1 month old, still having nipple pain with shallow latch

    I agree you want to continue being proactive about getting any possible physical barrier like tongue tie firmly ruled out. The whole small mouth thing is questionable to me by this age. I mean yes, its possible. But lots of very small babies with very small mouths nurse just fine from the get go, no pain for mom. Do you have very large nipples?

    I wonder if it would help to increase nursing frequency. The more milk that builds up in the breasts, the harder it is for baby to get a good wide mouthful.

    I second idea for trying breast sandwich and also reclined (laid back) positioning aka biological nurturing.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1 month old, still having nipple pain with shallow latch

    He is able to stick his tongue out and touch the roof of his mouth with it so the pediatrician said no tongue tie? I did try everyones tips and already the pain is improved so I think it's more of an issue with my technique and baby being upset during latching. If he's calm and I'm calm I can get more breast in his mouth (I have small breasts/nipples). I think what happens too is he slips off my breast as he gets sleepy and I don't always correct it because I don't notice a difference with the pain, it was always there. Now the pain is better so I feel pain once he slips off, and I am able to unlatch him and retry. However, even though the pain is improved my nipples are still coming out slightly creased which to me still says we have more practicing to do! I guess practice makes perfect! At least its improving with everyones tips :-)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 1 month old, still having nipple pain with shallow latch

    One more question for everyone...once baby falls asleep sometimes he purses his lips and clamps down on my nipple and stops sucking. Does this happen to anyone? I just unlatch him when it happens but I though it could also be contributing to my misshapen nipples. He doesn't do it every time. But when he does my nipple turns white a few minutes after and I get a burning sensation...from my research it sounds like vasospasm. Any tips on him not clamping down like that? Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1 month old, still having nipple pain with shallow latch

    once baby falls asleep sometimes he purses his lips and clamps down on my nipple and stops sucking. Does this happen to anyone?
    Yeouch. my oldest did this, but when he was a bit older than your baby. I would watch like a hawk with my pinky ready to stick into the corner of his mouth because once he was on there it was like having my nipple in a vise!

    I don't know why he did this. It happened as he fell asleep and went away on its own. BTW he was also one of those 'small mouthed' babies. I also know NOW that he had (has) mild tt. No one talked about tt back then as far as breastfeeding goes, and luckily with the help of a nipple shield and a good IBCLC and time and practice, we were able to nurse comfortably. It sounds like you are getting there too. Keep working on finding the positions where you both feel most relaxed and comfortable.

    Tongue tie as it affects breastfeeding is diagnosed differently then 'regular' tongue tie. Your doctor may be correct that there is no tt of course, but the mobility a tongue needs for nursing is a bit different. I would feel better if you saw a doctor who is up on current thinking about breastfeeding and tongue tie, including 'posterior' tongue tie.

    I agree the burning and white nipple sound like vasospasm. Have you tried applying warmth righty after nursing for the pain?

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