Re: Shallow latch and sores on breasts
Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! What you're experiencing sounds awful- I had similar issues when my first was small and it's excruciating.
Your LC's advice is not terrible advice. Pumping and bottle-feeding for a couple of days might give you the time you need to begin the healing process. But there's a catch- as you know already, your baby could end up with even worse nipple confusion than you're already experiencing. Not will- could. What's worse is that if your child's latch is traumatic enough that it has caused serious cracks, you might pump for 2 days, get a good start on the healing process, start nursing again, and see the cracks come right back.
So, here's what I did when I was in your shoes:
1. Ditch the shield. It wasn't helping me and only causing additional frustration as I tried to get my baby to latch. Also, a shield can decrease stimulation to the breast, resulting in lowered supply.
2. Keep calling professionals. Hands-on help with latching makes all the difference. I strongly encourage you to seek out an IBCLC. Make sure she evaluates your baby's latch, her tongue (tongue tie could be an issue), milk transfer, and gets you set up with the right equipment (hospital-grade pump, scale, properly sized breast shields, etc.)
3. Pump. I had to supplement- my kid's latch was so bad that I ended up with low supply and a baby who wasn't growing. So I supplemented with pumped milk.
4. Watch your baby's diaper output and weight gain carefully. Latching problems don't necessarily lead to supply problems, but if they do, diaper output/weight gain will tell you it's happening.
5. Get hold of a professional scale. You might want to do some weigh-feed-weigh sessions with your baby to evaluate how much milk she's taking in at the breast.
6. If you must supplement, consider alternate ways than bottle-feeding: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html
7. Treat the cracks in the following ways:
- Experiment with different nursing positions.
- If the weight of the breast is dragging at the baby's mouth and causing the breast to slip out, prop it up with a rolled-up washcloth.
- Go topless/braless as much as possible to reduce chafing.
- Moist healing. Slather the cracks with lanolin ointment, use gel pads, and keep the humidity in your house cranked up high.
- Try a combination of 1% hydrocortisone cream and Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on the cracks. Use pea-sized amount mixed and applied w/ clean finger.
- Immerse cracks in shot glass of warm water or soak w/ wet washcloth for 30-60 seconds before nursing. Hydrated scabs tear open with less pain than dry ones.
- GIVE IT TIME! Many latching issues are caused by the small size of the newborn mouth. But babies grow, and as they do, latch issues generally improve.
Hang in there!
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"