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Thread: Trouble with the Breast

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    736

    Default Trouble with the Breast

    My daughter is now 2 weeks old. I had some problems breast feeding her at the hospital, partly because of the drugs, which made me so itchy and sleepy I was afraid I'd drop her, and partly because of my C-section. We tried the football hold but it never seemed to work real well in the hospital bed.

    I ended up having to pump because every time I tried I couldn't get her to latch. The nurses said I have flat nipples, and all I really wanted was for her to have Breast milk. I ended up with very sore, bleeding nipples shortly after I was discharged. I consulted a lactation consultant, and I've been using a nipple shield to nurse her.

    The problem is it takes a long time for her to nurse (she'll suck for nearly an hour if I let her) and she practically falls asleep while nursing. I try to take the shield off and offer her the breast without it but my nipples are so small I don't think she knows what to do.

    Am I just doomed to have long feeding sessions with a nipple shield?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,285

    Default Re: Trouble with the Breast

    I have no experience with breast shields, but for what it's worth I had no trouble latching and my son still stayed on the breast for very long periods of time in the beginning, sometimes back and forth for 3 or 4 hours clusterfeeding. This is totally normal in the beginning as they are working to set the milk supply. Hopefully you can get some other advice from moms who have used nipple shields. Good luck and congrats! Hang in there. I promise you it all gets easier in time. By 6 weeks, mylonger nursing sessions seemed to get much shorter.
    Loving mama to S - 11/06, and F - 1/09

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    736

    Default Re: Trouble with the Breast

    Just to share some good news --

    I just tried to feed her earlier and thought "what the heck, I'll offer her the breast first without the shield".

    Usually this doesn't work; I've been trying it on and off for the last few days. To my surprise, after a few moments of trying to get her to open her mouth and get her latched right, she grabbed right a hold of it and went to town.

    I've never been so proud.

    Hopefully this behavior continues.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    736

    Default Re: Trouble with the Breast

    So it looks like that was just a fluke.

    I know I shouldn't be worried -- she's definitely eating (she usually dribbles a little when she finally spits it out and there's milk in the shield).

    Her diaper output seems about right, perhaps a bit more than 3 on the poopy ones, though, should I be concerned about that?

    I wonder if it's just too much for her -- the one time I got her to go to breast, she seemed to have a hard time keeping up with the milk flow. She was practically swallowing at every suck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Trouble with the Breast

    I'm sorry I missed you the 1st time around.
    Newborns are very sleepy! And some babies take longer to learn how to nurse then others.
    How are your nipples fealing? ARe they still cracked and sore?
    what are you using on then to aide healing?
    heres a page about flat nipples
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/flat.html

    heres a good story from newbeginings that might help
    http://www.llli.org/NB/NBMarApr01p53.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: Trouble with the Breast

    They are no longer cracked or sore.

    I've tried everything -- a syringe to pull them out, pumping to pull them out, but it never fails, as soon as I take my nipple out of whatever I'm using to bring it out, it softens right up and becomes a tiny little nub again.

    What are the problems that nipple shields can lead to? I see that it mentions problems, but it doesn't specifically say what problems.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Trouble with the Breast

    I'm also curious to know why the breast shield shouldn't be used without the supervision of a lactation consultant.

    I have flat nipples too and I wonder if a "Evert-it™ Nipple Enhancer" would be helpful or is the same as using a pump. I have a Medela manual pump (which I love) and the pump-in-style so I don't know if I need the Evert-it. Anyone has used this device?

    I am pregnant with my second child and I hope I don't have to end up pumping full time. (which sadly I won't do this time.... I don't think I can go through that again...)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Trouble with the Breast

    your local leader can help you more....
    maybe this link expains it beter
    http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVJunJul00p39.html
    are you still seeing the lc?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Trouble with the Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by Krystal View Post
    Her diaper output seems about right, perhaps a bit more than 3 on the poopy ones, though, should I be concerned about that?
    You mean she's having MORE than 3 dirty diapers per day? That's totally fine. We just don't want to see less than 2 (size of a US quarter or larger).


    What are the problems that nipple shields can lead to? I see that it mentions problems, but it doesn't specifically say what problems.
    I'm also curious to know why the breast shield shouldn't be used without the supervision of a lactation consultant.
    Nipple shields are a great tool for the right situation, but they should be used as more of a "last resort" after many other things are tried. They can lead to a reduction in milk supply, though the newer silicone shields are less likely to impact it than some of the older materials.

    They should only be used under the guidance of a LLL Leader or a Lactation consultant for a couple of reasons. (1) to make sure that the problem can't be solved WITHOUT the use of a nipple shield first and (2) to make sure that you are properly fitted for one.

    HTH
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    736

    Default Re: Trouble with the Breast

    Unfortunately I've gone back to pumping because I'm afraid that my milk supply might be going down. Though I can usually hand-express about an ounce or two from each breast, it's difficult to get it into a bottle without leaning over it (which is havoc on the back).

    She just won't take the breast no matter what I do! Besides the two occasions where I miraculously got her to do so, she won't. I've tried getting her on when she's sleepy, as I've been told they don't care quite so much then. But if she does open her mouth she doesn't open it wide enough. My nipples are so small, it actually depresses me somewhat that I'm having such a hard time!

    And thing is she knows it's there! I'll have her near the breast, and she'll bounce her head back and forth, but never latch. I'm beginning to think I can't keep this up. I know it's been only 3 weeks, but I'm worried sick about her.

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