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Thread: won't open wide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    6

    Default won't open wide

    My dd is six weeks old and I can not get her to open her mouth wide. I try to coax her by rubbing my nipple on her lower lip, upper lip, nose to lower lip, but she just opens and closes. My nipple looks pinched and white after she nurses. The whiteness goes away and then returns and my nipple kinda has a gray look to it for about thirty mintes following feeding. This happens mostly on one breast bc my nipple is flat and she has a harder time latching in general. Any suggestions on how to get her to open up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: won't open wide

    Hmm... my son was slow to open really wide as well, and I'm trying to remember what we did. I also had flat nipples, and there were definitely latching struggles at first.

    If you can't trigger a yawning gape in your baby (and ticking her lip etc. is usually a good way to get that to happen), then maybe it will help to focus on just getting more of the breast into her mouth somehow.

    I was taught to make a "nipple sandwich," supporting my breast with thumb and fingers making a "U" or a "C," and squeezing that U or C together so that my areola got shaped into a flat sticking-out thing (wow, this is really hard to explain in words -- anyone got a link with pictures?). The "sandwich" needs to be in line with the corners of the baby's mouth. So if baby is in cradle or cross-cradle hold, then her mouth will be vertical, and the "sandwich" also needs to be vertical.

    Am I making any sense here? Sorry I'm so incoherent this morning.

    Once she is latched, try tugging her chin down gently while you scooch just a smidge more breast into her mouth. If your nipple comes out looking pinched at the tip or corners, then your breast isn't far enough into her mouth.

    I also for a while was using a pump or an Evert-it device just before latching, to draw my nipple out and give her a little more to latch onto. If you can just get that nipple far enough back in her mouth (so it is behind her hard palate and gums), than I think that will do the trick. By hook or by crook -- and once you both learn what a good latch feels like, you'll get more cooperation from her, especially since she's getting older and becoming more coordinated.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: won't open wide

    The previous message was what I would tell you to do. If you are still having trouble, and don't have a local LLL, contact your local WIC clinic. The BF peers could help you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    1,492

    Default Re: won't open wide

    I also would do the "nipple sandwich" thing using my thumb and middle finger, then use my index finger to open her mouth. I'd pull dd's chin down with my index finger and then put her on my breast asfastaspossible

    good luck!

  5. #5

    Default Re: won't open wide

    Hi There!

    The pinched nipple definitely suggests that she isn't latched deeply enough!

    An assymetrical latch works well for some mothers with babies who don't like to "open wide":

    1. Make a "C" with your hand and hold your breast with the thumb underneath the breast. Gently squeeze until the nipple protrudes as much as it will.

    2. Line the baby's lower lip up with the lower edge of your areola--it will look like your nipple is pointing toward his nose.

    3. Holding the back of baby's head, gently fold the nipple and areola into the mouth while helping baby to come "Up and Over"

    Here's a good (non-LLL) link with pictures:
    http://www.wiessinger.baka.com/bfing...latchtalk.html

    I really suggest you get ahold of someone in person to help you. It can make all the difference in the world!

    Hang in there! Keep us posted!
    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,931

    Default Re: won't open wide

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL LactoJen
    An assymetrical latch works well for some mothers with babies who don't like to "open wide":
    That's a great idea ... Dr Jack Newman's website actually has videos of latches, including the assymetrical latch ...

    See "Third Latch" here.

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: won't open wide

    Quote Originally Posted by raylou4
    My dd is six weeks old and I can not get her to open her mouth wide. I try to coax her by rubbing my nipple on her lower lip, upper lip, nose to lower lip, but she just opens and closes. My nipple looks pinched and white after she nurses.
    I have been having the exact same problem. I haven't been able to figure out what to do since the latch *looks* picture perfect. I can't get him to open his mouth any wider and he has a habit of jerking his head downwards when he does get it open so I can't get the nipple into his mouth. He's only pinching the nipple from the middle to the base, but it's very uncomfortable (to say the least) and I wasn't sure how to correct it.

    I found this description of how to hold baby from the Jack Newman web site very helpful -- it's for the cross cradle hold (my emphasis in red):
    "Hold the baby in your right arm, pushing in the baby’s bottom with the side of your forearm so that your hand turns palm upwards....
    The web between your thumb and index finger should be behind the nape of his neck (not behind his head). The baby will be almost horizontal across your body, with his head slight tilted backward, and should be turned so that his chest, belly and thighs are against you with a slight tilt so the baby can look at you. Hold the breast with your left hand, with the thumb on top and the other fingers underneath, fairly far back from the nipple and areola. The baby should be approaching the breast with the head just slightly tilted backwards."
    Click on the "sore nipples" link on the web site for the full document.

    If anything works for you, please post ... this is frustrating, but I know once we get it right, it will be smooth sailing!




  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: won't open wide

    I was just talking with my LLL Leader, who is also now an IBCLC, about this same issue -- a newborn or young infant who won't open wide enough to get a good deep latch.

    She said that frequent and prolonged skin-to-skin contact can often help a baby's "hardwired" nursing instincts come out more strongly. So try undressing your baby down to a diaper and keeping him against your bare chest for a couple hours at a stretch, as often as you can manage it. It can't hurt and might help.

    A warm bath or gentle shower together might accomplish some of the same instinctual response -- and again, can't hurt, might help.

    --Rebecca

  9. #9

    Default Re: won't open wide

    Good point Rebecca. Some mothers will find their difficult latchers will latch on and nurse happily away in a warm bath!

    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
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: won't open wide

    I am so glad that you posted this! I am having the same kind of problem. My baby will open her mouth a little, but then it's like she starts sucking before I can get my breast in her mouth good. It causes her to barely get lached on my nipple. It's like she gets over-excited about eating!

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