I haven't been around at all really the last few months, life got really crazy...but I really need some ideas with this.
DS is 13 mo and we've had latch issues on and off since birth. I've never seen anyone for it mainly because we've never had milk transfer problems and the issue would come and go, making me think we'd resolved it...then come back. So I just kept trying to fix it myself. Now I'm at the end of my patience and out of ideas.
I have always had a very strong letdown (OALD earlier on when I had OS, I still have an abundant supply and he doesn't seem to struggle with the flow so it's hard to tell what it's really like) and he gulps and could probably do just about anything as far as latch/suck pattern and still get plenty of milk. So that's not an issue, it's just about my own comfort.
Sometimes he curls his lips inward, over his teeth, especially the lower lip. When he was younger he would try to "slurp" the nipple in like a noodle but I really cracked down on that and he usually doesn't try that anymore, but will try to latch, then pull it further in so his lips curl over. I can fix his lips but then his teeth are exposed and he doesn't push his tongue out to cover the bottom teeth. Other times the latch looks good on the outside (lips turned out) but is uncomfortable on the inside. When he dives in, he usually puckers his lips to try to get to the nipple rather than opening his mouth wide. Other times especially on the left side he will try to turn his head and readjust so he is nursing out of the side of his mouth!! He does not have a tongue-tie, he can stick his tongue WAY out past his lower lip.
Sometimes he does not cover his lower teeth with his tongue, and I can feel a ring of teeth digging into my areola. (and then can see marks when he is done.) Other times the tongue is in the right position but the top teeth still dig in.
Almost always he has a shallow latch. I feel sensations of the nipple being compressed uncomfortably, or actually pushed toward the opening of his mouth with every suck combined with something like sandpaper (his tongue, I guess) on my nipple. The sensation is not what I'd call pain, but it's EXTREMELY irritating. If he leaves teeth marks, they are usually very close to the base of the nipple, like a quarter of an inch or less. We have more trouble at night when side-lying. He has a chewing/chomping kind of suck, and his latch has always been narrow and tight.
I keep trying over and over to get him to relatch correctly. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. There have been times especially during the day when I have just ended the session saying nursies are all done if you won't latch nicely, usually after 5 or 6 attempts. I talk about what I want him to do in as simple of terms as I can manage and try to demonstrate but I don't know how else to communicate with him and it typically doesn't make a difference.
I just can't handle the sensation emotionally. It's overwhelmingly irritating and it triggers an intense rage, and a feeling of shaking like adrenaline is shooting through me and it's all I can do to not hurt him. Especially at night when I am exhausted and half-conscious and have already tried several times to correct it.
I really need something to change, and not cycle back around to this. I fantasize about weaning but I really don't want to. I can definitely see us weaning earlier than I want to though because I dread nursing and I'm sure my vibes put him off too.