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Thread: First time mum needs encouragement

  1. #1

    Default First time mum needs encouragement

    Hi! I'm new here.
    I did a lot of research and studying while I was pregnant, including taking the Bradley method course, trying to learn everything I could about taking care of myself during the pregnancy and the birth. The labor and birth was phenomenal. Completely natural, as my husband and I wanted, right in our home.
    Nursing troubles started immediately when baby girl wasn't interested in nursing until the next day. I wasn't able to get anything more in her mouth than the nipple, which led to severe pain and cracking and bleeding. After about a week of that (and my mother telling me that it was normal) we had a lactation consultant visit and I was able to get a slightly better latch. Still painful, but slightly better. She told us baby girl had a tongue tie so we made arrangements and had it lasered five days after that. In the interim, I pumped and we fed her via syringe to give my nipples a break.
    The release went well and she healed nicely, but I couldn't get the latch any better. Plus I started getting plugged ducts, which I still have. I haven't been successful in getting ANY of them out. . . And there's a lot of them. I'm doing hot showers while massaging and hand expressing, the bag of marbles trick, electric toothbrush and hot compresses. Pretty much spend my days top less (which I hate because I feel so. . . Not put together. Not to mention the scramble for clothes when the ups guy comes) to avoid the constriction of a bra. And i sleep on my back. I'm taking lecithin, EPO, and vitamin c. I have had mastitis twice, which was literally worse than giving birth. Only thing I know of that I haven't tried yet is ultrasound therapy, but I have my doubts about the safeness of it, so I won't be doing that. I also haven't tried the homepathic remedy for it.
    So we saw the LC again yesterday and my husband said she doesn't really know what to do with me because she thinks the latch looks good yet it's still quite painful. The latch does not look good to me, based on all the videos I've watched about deep latch. She has the nipple and a tiny bit of the areola underneath, but that's all. Plus her top lip doesn't flange out and now she has a blister from where she sucks it in. I think I may look into another LC for a second opinion.
    My husband is very supportive and has done so much in getting me help and hates to see me hurting. He keeps telling me he would take the pain if he could.
    I think I'm doing what I need to be doing I regards to the latch and plugs, but any suggestions and encouragement I'd greatly welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: First time mum needs encouragement

    Wow you have really been having a time of it! So sorry, and glad you are hanging in there.

    I think seeing another IBCLC is a great idea. The more eyes on a problem, the more likely someone will have the idea that makes the difference. Helping a baby latch comfortably is more art than science, and how it looks means little. It's really about how it feels.

    Breastfeeding issues are so hard to deal with when you already have so much to get used to just adjusting to motherhood in general.

    I suspect the poor latch and the plugs are related, as you have probably figured out already. What helped me the most when I had really hard to extract plugs was using a personal massager for vibration, and nursing baby upside down, and of course, encouraging baby to nurse very frequently.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,443

    Default Re: First time mum needs encouragement

    (((hugs))) I've been through some painful emotional stuff with breastfeeding, but it was always worth it. I'm glad you have supportive family! That's huge! And FWIW, I'm right there with you on the plugged duct tonight. :/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: First time mum needs encouragement

    Hugs to you for hanging in there and not giving up!

    Definitely look for another LC, this one obviously can't help you,so you just need to find one that can.

    Also, google some videos on latch tricks, particularly the breast sandwich, and the flipple technique.

    My baby never opened his mouth wide enough so I could never get enough of the areola in his mouth. I googled and watched videos and tried everything,nothing was working. Even the sandwich and the flipple. But the IBCLC I went to showed me an asymmetric latch technique that worked and basically, it was a combinationof the two (so to get a better idea of what I'm saying, you should look up some videos).
    I'll try and describe it, maybe it'll help.
    First, the football hold is best for this as it gives you the best view of the situation, of baby's mouth and most comfortable in terms of motion.
    Second, the basics - the head should be just beneath the breast, the palm of your hand supporting your baby in the neck area, fingers around the neck and head.
    You use the heel of your palm to push baby's back gently upward, toward you, so the head would fall back slightly, so the chin would be the first to come in contact with the breast, making it easier to basically shove as much of your boob in, lol.
    Your hand is forming a C around your areola, the thumb being on the upper side. You are forming a breast sandwich, but an asymmetrical one, where your thumb is right next to your nipple, touching it, and your index finger (and the rest) is right outside the areola on the lower side, and you squeeze, like a sandwich, to get a better bite.
    Then, in one motion you (after using your nipple to get baby to open the mouth) pull baby really quickly to your breast, and as your pushing lightly on the back (as mentioned earlier) you use your breast (and the hand holding it) to push baby's jaw downward, at the same time pushing the nipple far in the mouth with your thumb and then pulling it out quickly.

    This might sound a bit confusing, especially with my "expert explanation" lool, and complicated, but it's really easy with a bit of practice.

    So basically, you position baby so the chin comes first, use your sandwich shaped breast, and the hand holding it to push down on the jaw (the edge of your areola meets baby's lower lip) , and then you shove the upper part of the breast in, using your thumb.

    I really hope you can figure out what I'm trying to convey. I'll be happy to further explain any part that is unclear.

    I don't know if that will help you, but it can't hurt to try.

    That was the only way I was able to get enough breast in my boy's mouth to get a good latch. It was shallow and hurt like hell. And he too had the blister on his upper lip
    Last edited by @llli*andreica; July 29th, 2015 at 05:28 PM.

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