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Thread: BFing help questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default BFing help questions

    My son is 9 weeks old now and I have been pumping and feeding him for all these days with a couple of direct bf sessions daily owing to his poor latch. Now that I had attended a LLL meeting and one of the wonderful leader checked his latch and helped me with few tips to bf him directly. I have been an exclusive pumper so far and have been able to meet my son's daily requirements. Now that I have started to feed him directly and haven't pumed for the past 40 hours. My son normally nurses anywhere between 20 mins - 60 mins on one side. My left side is flat whereas my right side is ok. Inspite of my son's nursing, I never felt my breasts to be soft or empty. He had his 2nd month shots yesterday and is feeling a bit weak. I always feel engorged during the subsequent feeding sessions even if the gap is 1.5 - 2 hours. My son is not comfortable with the left side and has never nursed on it properly. I always feel that side to be as hard as a rock. He nurses for longer stretches (60 mins) during nights and shorter duration (20 mins) during day time. I have been monitoring his output ( 6 wet diapers and 6 soiled diapers) during the past 24 hours.

    I am afraid whether I will end up having mastitis due to improper draining of milk. Is it okay to use nipple shield on my left side and nurse directly on my right side. Will this cause nipple confusion in him?

    Or will he be able to nurse efficiently with time?

    Please help me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: BFing help questions

    I think there are two things you could try:

    1) use the nipple shield on the side you are having problems with. That way, you can keep BF him - and get him used to feeding from your 'bad' side. My LO is a preemie and has both latch and stamina issues. Sometimes we use the shield, sometimes we don't. Plus she always has a bottle. She has no 'confusion' issues. If your little boy is already used to the bottle, and he will also BF I think you should be fine trying the shield - you can always stop if he starts to get confused - but I think he'll be fine.

    2) Another option would be to keep feeding from your 'good' side, but pump from the other. That would prevent you getting engorged, or worse (like clogged ducts or mastitis), and you could freeze the expressed milk to have on hand for when you need a break - or when someone else is taking care of him. This would be more work - but I think you need to do this so you don't have problems with your breast.

    I think I would try the shield option first to keep him trying to feed on both sides - he'll probably get the hang of nursing from both sides and might just need a little more practice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    New Orleans, LA

    Default Re: BFing help questions

    Before going the nipple shield route, try this:

    The position he is on when on the favored breast, slide him over to the other one in that exact same position instead of trying to flip him over for the comfort of the hold. It might feel awkward, but could help him take to the less favored breast. Does this make sense? It's hard to explain.

    The nipple shield is a PITA to get away from and becomes a huge hassle.

    It sounds like maybe you were pumping more than he needed and you two are now going through regulating your supply.

    If his diaper output is good, just follow his lead. Perhaps you could pump off the engorged side enough to relieve the pressure.
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Orange County, CA

    Default Re: BFing help questions

    I had flat nipples on both sides when DD was born and had to use a shield for several weeks. Ultimately the right nipple pulled out but the left did not. As DD got a bit older she has had no problem latching on to either side without the shield, even the flat one.

    Your LO might be having trouble latching on because of the engorgement in combination with the flat nipple. When your breast is that hard it is very difficult for them to get enough in their mouth and I've always found that my nipples appear even flatter when the breast is engorged. You could always try pumping for a couple of minutes before trying to latch him on to the left side, just enough to relieve some of the pressure and make the breast softer (with an added benefit of pulling out the nipple, even if only temporarily).

    Proud mama to
    Kaitlyn Ann 12/23/07 - 7 lbs., 15 oz.
    Jackson Thomas 1/16/11 - 9 lbs., 3 oz.

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