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Thread: left breast woes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default left breast woes

    hello

    i hope i can get some good feedback. i am having some difficulities nursing my 3wo. this is my 3rd child and i successfully nursed my other kids with NO problems so i am totally devastated by the problems i am having now.

    my sons birth was by emergency c-section and i thought we had latched on well at the hospital in spite of the surgery pain, etc. however. when we got home i started having a lot of swelling of the nipple on my left side and then developed a BAD case of mastitis in that breast. i also developed a very bad crack - i think because of the swelling but it may have been poor latch on. i had to pump and offer a bottle for a day or 2 because of he completely refused the breast. i had also made the "mistake" of offering him a pacefier because he seemed to want to suck a lot and my breasts were killing me.

    now, he takes the right side fine but is having a horrible time with the left. the shape of the nipple is different than the other and different than it has been in the past. i thought maybe it "became flat" if that is possible. when i look down at it the shape of the nipple is like a triangle with hardly any of the nipple actually protruding and he cant seem to take much of the areola into his mouth so when i do offer him that side he only grabs the nipple and then has practically no suck.

    ugh. i am living in brasil and have no real friends and no family down here to help with this and my portuguese is very bad so i am limited to the kind of help i can get. i am tempted to give up nursing on the left side all together.

    thanks for any insight or encouragement. kim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: left breast woes

    I completely understand!
    Mine are the same way! The right nipple is what I call "The easy feed boob" and the left is the "bad one". My first child destroyed my left nipple by giving me a blood blister on it one of the first times he latched on. Neither of us knew any better at the time. He was sucking away and I thought the extreme pain part was just par for the course.
    Now the nipple has a slightly different shape and it is harder for my second baby to latch on.
    What I usually do that helps is to prep the nipple by shaping it a bit with my fingers to make it stick out first. Then when I serve it to my baby I pinch it a little again to get the nipple past his lips and get him good and on the areola.

    If your baby grabs it wrong just gently pry it loose and start again. After a few tries hopefully he/she will get it.
    Don't let the baby keep it in his/her month with an incorrect latch though. It can lead to nipple damage.

    I have also found that, even though it is the more difficult of the two nipples, if I start him on that one it seems to work better. More motivation to get it right I guess.
    Hang in there!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: left breast woes

    Kim,

    You have not made any "mistakes" -- this was a tough situation, and you did the best you could to take care of your baby. You are a great mom! It is totally an option to give up on the right side; many mothers nurse with just one side; just be sure to offer to nurse extra frequently so that your milk supply will adjust, and watch his diaper output (3 stools and 6 wets/day minimum) and weight gain (6-7 oz/week). You might want to keep this as a last resort though; having two breasts to nurse from gives you a lot more flexibility! Keeping the right breast emptied frequently will also help it heal from the mastitis and help prevent recurrence.

    If you want to keep trying with the right side, here are some things you can try. Pump a little before offering it, so that the breast is nice and pliable. It will be easier to latch onto if it is not so full. Offer the right side after he has taken a good amount from the left; he will be less hungry and frantic, and be more patient with repeated attempts to get a good latch. Make sure you are keeping him nice and close to your body -- no gaps between his chest and your chest -- so that he can reach the breast easily. When you pull him close, putting pressure on his shoulders, rather than his head, tends to help.

    You are doing a great job! It is not that uncommon for experienced breastfeeding mothers to suddenly have problems with a second or third child -- this is not your fault!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: left breast woes

    thanks so much for the input guys!

    i really needed to "hear" that i am not the only one with these probs and i needed the encouragement you offered. i have a renewed sense that this to shall work itself out.

    kim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: left breast woes


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