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Thread: Nipple problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    9

    Unhappy Nipple problems

    I need advise from moms in the same situation as me. My nipples are positioned extremely low and I have rather large breasts. When nursing I have to pull my breast out of my babies air passage way. Feeding is always a two handed procedure. Therefore I am unable to drink water, snack, or read. My hands are numb by the end of my babies meal. I need to know that there are others out there with this same delimma. I have tried other positions and nothing seems to help. I am actually in physical therapy right now because I strained my neck trying to see my babies latch on during nursing. Plus he pulls away a lot and has to latched on again. Any suggestions would be greatly appriciated.
    Last edited by Aidensmom; March 3rd, 2006 at 12:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Nipple problems

    how old is your baby?
    it realy does get better as the baby gets older and is better at nursing.
    mine are big too! are you able to nurse laying down? it took my dd a long time to get the hang of it but once she did it made things so much better.
    Have you tired a boppy pillow? That helped us too.
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/pos...20the%20Basics

    my dd like the football hold if her feet where behind me. Hard to expain..
    I would put her on top of the boppy pillow with her feet pointed back
    that way I she could get a good latch, that was just on one side.
    the other she didn't have any problems with...

    do you go to lll meetingS.. that would be a good question to ask some other moms. they could then show you what worked best for them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Nipple problems

    I have large, pendulous breasts also, and when my son was very young, I always needed 2 hands to nurse. So I can definitely relate to how laughable the books' advice is about having ice water and a snack nearby while nursing! To be honest, when he was first born, it took THREE hands to get him positioned and latched; I was terrified the hospital would send us home before I learned to do it by myself.

    One tip the LCs in the hospital taught me was to roll up a receiving blanket (or a burp cloth if that is large enough) and place it deep under my breast to prop it up a bit. I also wore nursing bras that feature a "sling" inside each cup for extra support of each breast. If you can use some method like this to raise the bulk of the breast up higher, then with some practice, you will handle that breast only for positioning, not for carrying its weight. That should make things easier on your hands and wrists.

    The other key is to make sure the baby is placed on enough pillows or cushions to raise him up to the level of the nipple. Wearing the baby in a sling may be another way to get him at the right height and keep him there. I have actually read of hospital LCs helping very large-breasted moms by having them sit at a table, put the breast on top of the table, and then lay the baby also on the table. The idea is to lighten the load on your hands and arms so that they can just work at good positioning and finding the right angle.

    We eventually had a lot of luck also with the football hold and with the side-lying position. As your baby gets a little older (I'm assuming he is quite young still), keep experimenting with the various positions -- it gets easier as he develops better head control and coordination.

    As for the problem of the breast blocking his nose ... don't assume that he can't breathe with his nose against your breast. A newborn's nose has this flat shape that somehow leaves little channels for the air to get through even when his nose is pressed against the breast. But nowadays, they are saying that the best latch is usually asymetric -- more of the areola is covered by the lower jaw than by the upper jaw, with the result that the baby's chin is well against the breast while the nose may not even touch the breast. Try making your "nipple sandwich" and pointing the nipple sort of towards the roof of the baby's mouth as he latches -- not towards the back of his throat.

    Poor momma with your strained neck! Nursing really is a lot of work at first, and I can really relate to neck and back discomfort as a result of all the time spent nursing. Please trust that this will get easier as you get more practice and your baby learns and grows. In the meantime, good for you for taking care of your own needs with the physical therapy -- I hope you feel much better very soon.

    --Rebecca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Nipple problems

    I too have larger breasts and bf was a struggle at first. I found the sidelying position the best overall. I would have Adria's head resting on my arm and a pillow supporting the rest of her body so that she was lifted and level. Once I got her positioned I would roll my arm clockwise and pull it in towards me so that it supported my breast as well as her head (the inside of my arm was facing up). Between my arm and the pillow under her body my breast was "on a shelf" so that I didn't have to hold it. Then I put a body pillow behind my body so I could lean back a little which pulled my breast away enough to give her air (sometimes she would be buried in my breast and pull away gasping for air! oops - first time mom syndrome).

    I hope this helps! Adria and I struggled at first. It took me three weeks before I got the sidelying position down. We're pros now and you will be too. My midwife kept telling me it was all worth it when she received two phonecalls from a sobbing and frustrated me! She was definitely right!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Nipple problems

    Thank you all for your suggestion and encouragement. I needed to know I am not alone. No one at the meetings had these issues and the leaders suggestions I had already tried. My baby is 3 1/2 months old and it is going better now than it was a month ago. I'm sure itwill continue to get better. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    37

    Wink Re: Nipple problems

    Ohhhhhhh yes, I can definitely relate! It was always a 2 handed event with my son, but I have become a little more proficient at it this time around! I roll up a blanket or a hand towel and prop it under my breast and then that frees up one hand. If her nose gets too squished I can use that hand to pull the breast back a bit.

    Also, if I want to lie down to nurse, I sometimes will latch her on while I am sitting up and then lay down on 2 propped up pillows and she ends up being on top of me..it's way easier than trying to lay on my side to nurse.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Nipple problems

    I'm there too... I always wondered how women could nurse and eat or drink. Makes me green with envy. Im going to try the receiving blanket.

    Thanks!

    oh & I used to hold my breast away from his nose, but I've found he can actually breathe down there!

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