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Thread: Help! Nipple confusion, sucking problems or just latch problem?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    73

    Default Help! Nipple confusion, sucking problems or just latch problem?

    Hi there! I am new here and have lots of problems with BF. My DD is 4.5 months old and now, that I read so much on your site and my nipples are sore, I really think that she has nipple confusion. Let me describe it. I can't see her tongue, when she's nursing, if I manage to slide my finger in her mouth, while she's still on, I can feel her tongue below my nipple, but it's difficult to say, if it goes over lower gum. Also, her lower lip stil isn't flanged out. Even if I manage to latch her on, so her lower lip is flanged out, when she starts actively sucking, she sucks it in. And I am really careful with positioning, I hold her close, her nose isn't touching my breast, her chin is. I am using latching tips from site www.mother-2-mother.com site, but nothing seems to work. She opens her mouth wide, but she does that, her tongue isn't stock out over her lower lip. COuld that be the problem?
    I am in contact with my LC and we were trying all kind of things. We thought tham my letdown is to strong and that's the problem, so I tried block feeding, different positions, but it didn't make a difference. I think I contacted LC to late, because now she doesn't want to suck on a finger and she is so distracted when somebody is watching her, so she doesn't want to latch on.
    Why my subject includes nipple confusion? We made the mistake, we gave her 1 bottle before she was 6 weeks old and whenever my parents were here, they were sticking a pacifier in her mouth. But, I got angry, and around 2 months or so, I decided no more pacifiers in our house. However, from birth on, I remember, she always had problems with lower lip, but all the LC in hospital said, just pull it out. Needless to say, it didn't work for long.
    I also don't think she is tongue tied, because she can stick her tounge out over her lower gum (Almost to the chin ) and the tip of the tounge can touch her palate. I don't know if she has high arched palate. How can I know? WHat are signs?
    So, my question is, what should I do and is there anything I can do? My nipples are mostly sore on the tip of the nipple, they are red. There are very small cracks. MAybe I have some tiny tiny cracks on the nipple too, but it's not so obvious as on the tip. Is is too late to change anything? Does any of you experts know about some similiar situation, that resolved at this point?
    I was also thinking if I should try finger feeding, to teach her how to suck?
    Sorry my post is so long, but I am really worried and my nipples are sore. They are not bleeding and they are not sore enough to end BF (luckily), but enough to bother me.
    Thanks!

    Oh, I forgot to add, her weight gain is fine, she follows her curve. She is fussy sometimes, but she is active and also happy baby some of the time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Help! Nipple confusion, sucking problems or just latch problem?

    I am still new at this, too - but it sounds like you are keeping yourself informed and have an idea of what is going on. Are you in a lot of pain when you nurse or do you just feel sore? The tips of my nipples are also redish/purple and I have been working more on a correct latch and making sure her mouth is opened wide. I don't know much about nipple confusion, but I think that as long as the baby is still nursing and gaining - the tenderness might be normal?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: Help! Nipple confusion, sucking problems or just latch problem?

    Many women have tenderness in the early days of BF due to difficulty latching, positioning, or maybe even just nipples not used to someone constantly sucking on them. But with correct latch and positioning this should resolve fairly quickly and BF should not be painful. Let me ask for a few more specifics. You said the baby had one bottle before 6 weeks--have there been other bottles since that time or just one bottle and then no more? How much/when was the pacifier in use? Does she still have one occasionally or not at all? You have said you are in contact with an LC--have you gone to see her in person? It can be very difficult to correct latch problems without face to face contact. If you haven't been to see someone, I'd suggest going to an IBCLC for a consultation or contacting a local LLL leader who will meat with you. They can watch the baby nurse and help determine if it is a latch problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Help! Nipple confusion, sucking problems or just latch problem?

    AmyJ, I was hoping it's only normal tenderness. But I am getting more and more concerned, because I think if this is it, it should go away. I am not in lot of pain, but I feel some pinching and my nipples come out of his mouth pinched. Every once in awhile I am in more pain, then I use everything that's supposed to help sore nipples and it gets better.
    I also have redish/purple nipples on the top. I am worried because I can't see his tongue and because he sucks his lip in. I think that she nurses so often (she rarely goes more than 2 hours, when awake) because her latch is not as good as it should be.
    I mean, if I knew, that not everybody has perfect/good latch and is still nursing at 1 year, I'd be at least a little bit relieved. So, is there anybody, who still has sore nipples at that age?

    llowe, I saw LC in person few times. But from what she saw, she wasn't too worried. She knows, that her latch is not great, but she thinks that I am already doing everything I should be. The problem is, that she can't see, how I latch her on, because she doesn't want to, when somebody is looking at her. I am also LLL member and I am "bothering" everybody about her latch and my sore nipples.
    My DD didn't have any bottle since she was 2 months old. I think in total she got 2 or 3, nothing more. She also doesn't have pacifier since she was 2 months old. Even before that, she didn't want it (she was pushing it out), but my parents were holding the pacifier in her mouth. So no bottle or pacifier for more than 2 months.
    Oh, I should add this too, she makes cliking/smacking (I don't know how to say it) sounds while she's nursing. Like her tongue slips or something like that. She doesn't do this all the time, but it's still most of the time.

    Thanks both of you for replying!
    Last edited by melanija; June 25th, 2006 at 01:03 PM.

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