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Thread: Biological Nursing / Laid Back Breastfeeding Problems

  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
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    Default Biological Nursing / Laid Back Breastfeeding Problems

    My baby is 2 weeks old and since he doesn't have a deep latch, my nipples are sore, cracked and bleeding...I've tried everything in the book, met with 3 different lactation specialists and attended a support group and it still has been difficult to get him at just the right time, just the right way so it doesn't hurt.

    I read about Biological / Laid Back nursing as a way to help with sore nipples and wondered if anyone has experience with it. I'm still having challenges, here's a few that I'd love advice on:

    1. Baby still having difficulty latching on...since I'm not latching him on exactly, rather guiding him, he sometimes wreaks havoc on my nipples and I'm wondering if it's actually gotten worse! His latch still isn't deep and it feels like pinching.

    2. My breasts are super soft, even after let down and it seems like he just falls right into the breast and his nose is often buried into my skin. I do try to pull back on the skin to give him air, but is it possible to do this with soft breasts?

    3. From my understanding, this method is supposed to help the feeds go faster, but my baby is taking almost 40 minutes on each side, falls asleep...

    Any other tips on this method would be so helpful! I've read much of the literature and a few of the forum posts about this topic, so in theory, I know what to do - but just can't get it right it seems!

    THANK YOU!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Biological Nursing / Laid Back Breastfeeding Problems

    Hi. I think I know a good amount about biological nurturing, I have attended a lecture given by the lacataion consultant who researched this positioning and read her book and watched her dvd. I also used this positioning when breastfeeding my 3 children. I am not a lactation consultant, however.
    1. Baby still having difficulty latching on...since I'm not latching him on exactly, rather guiding him, he sometimes wreaks havoc on my nipples and I'm wondering if it's actually gotten worse! His latch still isn't deep and it feels like pinching.
    While BN often facilitates a baby to (more or less) self latch, it is perfectly fine to help baby latch as much as you need.

    2. My breasts are super soft, even after let down and it seems like he just falls right into the breast and his nose is often buried into my skin. I do try to pull back on the skin to give him air, but is it possible to do this with soft breasts?
    This is often corrected by either changing your position (not leaning so far back,) and/or changing/adjusting baby's position, and/ or simply gently pressing on the breast tissue near the side of baby's nostril in order to create an airway. The nostril shape itself allows (usually) for a baby to have the tip of their nose in the breast while getting air from the sides.

    3. From my understanding, this method is supposed to help the feeds go faster, but my baby is taking almost 40 minutes on each side, falls asleep...
    I do not recall this idea of faster nursing sessions from my research or experience. It is entitrely normal for a baby of 2 weeks to take 40 minutes (or more) to nurse and also to fall asleep nursing. There are many ways to help nursing sessions be more productive if needed, and this may also make them shorter, but laid back positioning is not going to make nursing sessions faster than they otherwise would be that I am aware- of course, anything that helps a baby latch better may decrease the amount of time a baby nurses because baby is more able to get milk.

    I hope this answers your questions about BN. In my experience, the most common error made about BN is the idea there are lots of rules to it. But actually there is only two or three 'rules'-1) that mom is sitting or leaning back (NOT flat on her back) in a reclined position- with her bottom scooted 'out' rather than directly in line with her head or hunched over baby. HOW reclined? Anything between flat on her back and sitting straight up is "laid back." 2) That mom is supported in this position (with chair or couch back, pillows, wall, etc) as needed for her complete comfort. And 3) baby can be in ANY position but usually with babys' front to mom's front, but in any case with baby's front facing in toward mom. (Sometimes baby being a bit more to one side of mom feels better.) The major idea is that gravity supports both mom and baby and allows for the greatest comfort and more normal breastfeeding in many ways, including but not only in facilitating a better latch. It is important to remember you are free to adjust things as feels right for you.

    I am probably the biggest believer in biological nurturing you are likely to meet, I nursed two of my babies wonderfully starting less than an hour after they were born via Cesarean this way, something I really struggled with when I had my first which was before laid back was "discovered." But even I found with my last baby that for the first few weeks while we struggled to find a good, comfortable effective latch on my left side, I had to sit straight up and really eyeball things, doing the breast sandwich latch technique. It drove me crazy. But nothing else worked at that time.

    You have to find what works for YOU. That may be laid back, that may be something else right now. Just remember there is no 'wrong' way to breastfeed.

    I have many questions myself that would help us help you further, should you be interested.

    You saw three LCs- was this in the hospital or after? Were any IBCLCs? Did any apt resemble this scenario?: http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html ? Was any follow up care offered?

    Aside from doing laid back positioning, what latch ideas did the LCs discuss with you or have you tried?

    Was the support Group LLL? BF USA? something else? was the facilitator and the moms there helpful to you?

    Is baby currently exclusively breastfed or being supplemented?

    Is baby gaining normally?

    How many times a day does baby nurse? Do you nurse at the earliest cues?

    Are you doing anything to treat your sore nipples? Are your injuries getting any better? Starting to scab over? Or are they continuously reinjured?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; January 18th, 2015 at 09:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Biological Nursing / Laid Back Breastfeeding Problems

    Links: BN website http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/

    Many latch and positioning ideas in one article: http://feedthebabyllc.com/latch-and-positioning/

    Nancy Morhbacher Laid Back Blog entries: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/...-breastfeeding

    This AD for the DVD shows many pics of moms doing laid back and a simple explanation of BN. Just watch the ad, no need to purchase the DVD. http://www.geddesproduction.com/brea...-laid-back.php

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Biological Nursing / Laid Back Breastfeeding Problems

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP! I've been wanting to reply but the day after this, I woke with a fever, chills, aches and had that for 2 days and am just now starting to feel better. (I didn't notice any clogged ducts or redness/hardness for mastitis, but I've been treating with lots of nursing and warm compresses!)...then I had trouble logging back in and was locked out for a few more days and I don't usually have time to get online. :/

    Anyway - your response put things into perspective for nursing session times and more about BN. It took me almost 6 weeks until I was comfortably nursing my first and with my second, I gave up after the first day! Too excruciating for me. So this time, I'm seeking out LOTS of help and advice and praying we can get this!

    Here's the answers to your questions:

    You saw three LCs- was this in the hospital or after? Were any IBCLCs? Did any apt resemble this scenario?: http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html ? Was any follow up care offered?
    - I had a private session with 2 LC's while in the hospital and attend a BF class as well.
    - After the hospital, I went to a BF support group
    - After that, I had a LC come to my house, but I don't know if she is certified. She did follow up and offer a few more suggestions and was helpful, but I haven't seen her again and she didn't do a consult as described in the website. I WISH IT was that thorough! I tried contacting my insurance company to see if they can reimburse me for LC services, but got the runaround, so will have to try again.

    Aside from doing laid back positioning, what latch ideas did the LCs discuss with you or have you tried?
    - I've mostly been doing cross cradle, as it gives me a bit more control and helping baby to latch asymmetrically and trying to get him to open his mouth wide! Due to the pain, I often find myself super tense in my neck and arms, which is why BN appealed to me.
    - I also have done football hold, but feel a strain and that I'm always hunched over.
    - they also told me to do the "sandwich" to help him get deeper, but somehow baby ends up really close to my nipple and I try to push his chin down, but can't get that to work.

    Was the support Group LLL? BF USA? something else? was the facilitator and the moms there helpful to you?
    - Support group was through the hospital, so I'm not sure. It was helpful in some ways as I learned new things and felt like I had a game plan, but it was also discouraging b/c I'm just told every time it hurts that I'm doing it wrong - but I'm not able to figure out how to "do it right!" It was also a bad experience b/c one time the LC shoved (literally) baby's head on my breast just as I was about to latch him on and that cause bleeding. Then on the other side, as I was nursing, she abruptly pulled his head up and put a wadded blanket under his head, which started him and he caused bleeding on the other side. :/ Aside from that, the environment wasn't inviting...very bright room, classroom chairs, very cold. Not welcoming at all so it was hard to get comfortable.

    Is baby currently exclusively breastfed or being supplemented?
    - Only breastfeeding

    Is baby gaining normally?
    - I only had him weighed on time and at that time he did take in the appropriate amount. He seems to be full after feedings, so I'm assuming he's on track. Will be doing another weight check this week.

    How many times a day does baby nurse? Do you nurse at the earliest cues?
    - At least 8-10. Often I feed him just as he wakes from a nap or just before he goes down for a nap. Seems to be on demand right now. I try hard to get him when he's calm and with early cues, but often if he wakes, he's hungry and ravenous, I mean hungry!

    Are you doing anything to treat your sore nipples? Are your injuries getting any better? Starting to scab over? Or are they continuously reinjured?
    - Treatment is very basic, at first, mainly lanolin. Then I started putting breastmilk on the nipple, then lanolin, then earth mama's nipple butter. Then I tried the following regime:
    ---Saline soak for 5 minutes
    ----Breastmilk, air dry
    ----Lavender/Chamomile diluted with coconut oil

    but it seemed to get worse and more dry ...so now i'm back to just saline, breastmilk and lanolin.

    It seems like there are scabs...the nipple has some parts that are hard. But it also seems like the tip is still getting injured b/c at times it looks like an open wound, but I just can't quite tell. I do know it HURTS very much still, even though it's gotten a bit better. I actually had a full blown panic attack from the pain yesterday - it was the most excruciating it's ever been, so maybe it's NOT getting better! :/

    QUESTION: Do I need to put lanolin to prevent dryness and cracking? I'm still confused about that because I read conflicting ideas on this.

    Anything else you think would help sore/cracked nipples? I've read about hydrogels / antibacterial ointment - pros and cons, so not sure.


    Thanks again for the great info and links. So far what I've done is latch him on and then lay back, which works okay...not the most comfortable, but better than my neck and back being strained. I've already had a massage therapist out! It's too hard to let him self latch when my nipples are in so much pain and he sometimes misses the mark!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Biological Nursing / Laid Back Breastfeeding Problems

    Hi I don't have a ton of time right now so I'll just answer your questions.
    Nipple cream's are not required in all circumstances to keep breast hydrated. Many mothers never use any nipple cream. Additionally when a nipple cream is required it does not have to be lanolin. Lanolin is popular because it is entirely safe for infants to ingest tiny amounts and very few mothers have a reaction to it. Except some m others do.

    All any typical nipple cream is going to do is help your body's own natural moisture heal the nipples. That is what it is for, this is known as moist wound healing.

    If there is a bacterial infection of the nipple, then a anti bacterial ointment is helpful. If there is risk of infection setting in, which there always is when there are open wounds, again a anti bacterial ointment would be helpful. There is not really a con that I know of. Either it will help or it won't help but it's not going to hurt anything. You put on a very tiny amount at the end of the feeding. So baby is not going to ingest anything.

    When using a barrier cream like lanolin, you put on a thin layer after every single nursing session and after anytime you wash or shower.

    Some lactation consultants suggest washing injured nipples once or twice a day with a gentle soap.

    I know very little about hydrogels sorry.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Biological Nursing / Laid Back Breastfeeding Problems

    Oh I just want to add that you can do laid-back breast-feeding while still doing a version of cross cradle or football. Again with laid-back breast-feeding it really doesn't matter where the baby is it's about mom being in a more comfortable position.

    I forget did I ask if thrush is been ruled out?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Biological Nursing / Laid Back Breastfeeding Problems

    Well I'm sorry you have not gotten more helpful help from the breast-feeding helpers around you.
    If there is any local la Leche league I would strongly suggest getting in touch with them. I am less familiar with breast-feeding USA but they are probably also a pretty good resource. LLL USA also has a breast-feeding helpline you can call from anywhere in the country.

    Have you looked into what the cost would be to simply pay for a lactation consultant on your own? Some places have clinics or less expensive options but you'd have to ask around.

    When nursing hurts, it is always probable that latch is involved. Sometimes when there are latch issues, another problem is that baby is unable to extract milk effectively. This is why it's very important to make sure baby is gaining weight normally.
    Also the symptoms you describe sounds pretty much like classic mastitis. Unless you were exposed to the flu, mastitis is almost surely what the fever and chills was. Breast pain and redness do not always accompany the other symptoms of mastitis.
    It is possible that you managed the symptoms well and will not require antibiotics. It's just something to know if it recurs that those are an option to talk to your doctor about.
    If it is mastitis there are a couple possibilities. One is that the breast injury led to infection. The other is that milk is not being removed effectively enough and that is leading to infection. Of course both things could be happening or it could be something else.

    Nipple pain and injury is a serious breast-feeding issue. I'd like to point this out because some times a mom is so determined to tough things out that she pushes herself into a bad situation. You have been working really hard and it sounds like your baby is probably doing really well, but this kind of very bad pain and injury is a sign that something is not right. Nipple pain and injury is a pretty common issue and it is almost always solvable. I just want to urge you to keep looking for help if you can.

    One thing about the breast sandwich that is important to keep in mind is that you have to hold your breast in such a way that baby has room to get on there. You have to figure out a way to hold your breast in the right position while keeping your fingers well away from the nipple. If you have a large areola you may not be able to get your fingers completely off of that, however if it is smaller then try to keep your fingers away from the areola as well.

    Also remember how you compress your breast will depend on which direction baby is approaching the breast. You are trying to make the nipple protrude and the breast thinner like you would push down on a sandwich to open your mouth up and get on it. That's why it's called the breast sandwich. Sorry I know that is probably not a very good description. It's something that it is important that you were shown how to do.
    If pulling on babies chin is not working what about gently manipulating your breast tissue instead of babies mouth to see if that will help get a better latch? Kind of gently pushing more tissue into babies mouth? Also sometimes it helps to adjust babies entire body position usually by snuggly baby in closer to you especially the lower half a baby pulled more in.
    Also when you are adjusting latch it can help to go by feel more than how it looks. Sometimes a comfortable latch does not look like a perfect latch and vice versa.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Biological Nursing / Laid Back Breastfeeding Problems

    Thanks for all this info. My friend who is a postpartum nurse, came over last night and showed me how to do the sandwich and i think that helped. I am going to hire an IBCLC and for now I'm pumping on the injured side...just too much pain and it needs to heal! i am able to do laid back nursing if i latch on first then lean back, but at times baby comes right off...it has been much more relaxing to nurse this way!

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