Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Help - Trying to fix latch with large nipples

  1. #1

    Default Help - Trying to fix latch with large nipples

    Hi I'm new to this site and really need some help. My baby is 11 days old. I believe that my nipples are too large for his mouth and he can't latch correctly. When my nipple comes out of his mouth it's shaped like a lipstick. One side is much higher than the other side. And they hurt. On day two of nursing I began to get tiny scabs on the raised part of the nipple. I was still in the hospital so I asked to see the LC. She spent all of 5 minutes with me, told me I would have to wait until he grew and his mouth got bigger and she gave me a nipple shield.

    So I've been using the shield and it has helped I guess since I have no scabbing, cracking, or bleeding, but it still hurts when he latches on. I hate the sheild because it's a big struggle to try and hold the shield in place, hold my baby, and hold my breast. All while he's flailing his arms around and screaming with frustration.

    So the questions is, is waiting for his mouth to get bigger all I can do? And I'm also worried that he's not getting as much milk through the shield than he would without.

    I've started pumping and having others give him one or two bottles a day to give me a break from the pain. He is also taking a paci.

    Note: I had this exact same problem with my first baby. We never could fix the latch, I ended up pumping her bottle and then nursed her only a couple times a day. We did this until she was 8 months and then I dried up. Only difference I never used a shield, she refused it completely. I had very bad bleeding and cracking too. I was hoping this wouldn't happen again this time but here we are.

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,096

    Default Re: Help - Trying to fix latch with large nipples

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! I'm so sorry the hospital LC gave you absolutely no help. She should be ashamed. "Just wait until she grows, here's a shield" is not adequate.

    Being tough and waiting until your baby grows should eventually work to cure your latching woes. A bigger mouth can take a bigger, deeper "bite" of breast and once that happens the pain typically ceases. Based on your description of your nipples, my feeling is that your problem is a shallow latch. Your nipple is landing too far forward in the baby's mouth, and is being compressed between the hard palate and tongue.

    But just because time should cure your woes doesn't mean there's nothing you can do until then. In your shoes, I would do the following:
    1. See another LC, preferably one who is an IBCLC.
    2. Check out this link on the nipple sandwich technique: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/NippleSandwich.htm This can be very helpful for getting a deeper latch!
    3. Experiment with different positions and combinations of pillows. I personally liked the side-lying position for a newborn, because it allows you to use both hands to position. A lot of moms like the football hold.
    4. Moist healing. Lanolin and gel pads really do help. In addition, keep the humidity high in your house.
    5. If you're at the breaking point and are considering switching to exclusive pumping, continue to try your best to keep the baby at the breast at least 2-3 times per day. If you can keep him from altogether weaning from the breast, you always have a chance to transition back to exclusive nursing.
    6. Make sure the baby gets checked for tongue tie.
    7. Swaddle the baby. This can make it easier to latch him on because he won't be flailing as much.
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help - Trying to fix latch with large nipples

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! I'm so sorry the hospital LC gave you absolutely no help. She should be ashamed. "Just wait until she grows, here's a shield" is not adequate.

    Being tough and waiting until your baby grows should eventually work to cure your latching woes. A bigger mouth can take a bigger, deeper "bite" of breast and once that happens the pain typically ceases. Based on your description of your nipples, my feeling is that your problem is a shallow latch. Your nipple is landing too far forward in the baby's mouth, and is being compressed between the hard palate and tongue.

    But just because time should cure your woes doesn't mean there's nothing you can do until then. In your shoes, I would do the following:
    1. See another LC, preferably one who is an IBCLC.
    2. Check out this link on the nipple sandwich technique: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/NippleSandwich.htm This can be very helpful for getting a deeper latch!
    3. Experiment with different positions and combinations of pillows. I personally liked the side-lying position for a newborn, because it allows you to use both hands to position. A lot of moms like the football hold.
    4. Moist healing. Lanolin and gel pads really do help. In addition, keep the humidity high in your house.
    5. If you're at the breaking point and are considering switching to exclusive pumping, continue to try your best to keep the baby at the breast at least 2-3 times per day. If you can keep him from altogether weaning from the breast, you always have a chance to transition back to exclusive nursing.
    6. Make sure the baby gets checked for tongue tie.
    7. Swaddle the baby. This can make it easier to latch him on because he won't be flailing as much.
    Thank you mommal for your response! I looked at the nipple sandwich page and will try that. From my understanding of what I read there; baby's mouth should not be centered on the nipple when he latches? And this is saying to squeeze your breast so the nipple goes into his mouth at a slant as if he was putting on lipstick? Sorry if I'm getting this wrong, I'm running on two to three hours sleep a day! Also I don't think he opens his mouth wide enough unless I wait until he gets mad and yells and then I shove him on fast. Which is stressful for us both I think.

    I am trying different postions and I like the football hold although baby doesn't seem to like it!
    He's going to the dr tomorrow so I will have her check for tongue tie.
    He likes being swaddled but when I try to nurse him swaddled he seems to not be able to latch on at all! He screams and struggles against the swaddle. He likes to have his arms out and throw one over my breast while he's nursing.
    I am using "nipple butter" by first years instead of lanolin - is this just as good?

    Thank you for your help!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help - Trying to fix latch with large nipples

    One more question - even though we have a bad latch or a shallow latch, can he still get enough to eat?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,096

    Default Re: Help - Trying to fix latch with large nipples

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*laristarr77 View Post
    I looked at the nipple sandwich page and will try that. From my understanding of what I read there; baby's mouth should not be centered on the nipple when he latches?
    Yes, many moms find it helpful to aim for an "asymmetric" latch. I think you're supposed to aim the nipple towards the roof of the baby's mouth. The animation on this page sort of gives you a look at what you may want to attempt: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/bas...resources.html

    And this is saying to squeeze your breast so the nipple goes into his mouth at a slant as if he was putting on lipstick?
    Only if he was going to swallow the lipstick, I think... Take your index finger and pretend it's the nipple. Open your mouth, aim your finger straight in, and close your mouth. Then try it again, only this time aim your finger towards the roof of your mouth. You should be able to feel a difference in the amount of "nipple" that ends up in the mouth.

    Also I don't think he opens his mouth wide enough unless I wait until he gets mad and yells and then I shove him on fast. Which is stressful for us both I think.
    I understand. Some babies make these little puckery attempts at the breast until they are really mad, and then they open wide because they're screaming. You might want to try gently putting a finger in the baby's mouth when he's making his little puckers and pulling it a little wider. If it works, great- but don't be shocked if he hates it!

    I am trying different postions and I like the football hold although baby doesn't seem to like it!
    Just keep experimenting! I'm glad football at least seems to work better for you. Maybe if you are less stressed the baby will sense it and will start liking it better...

    He's going to the dr tomorrow so I will have her check for tongue tie.
    Good! Let us know what the doc says!

    He likes being swaddled but when I try to nurse him swaddled he seems to not be able to latch on at all! He screams and struggles against the swaddle. He likes to have his arms out and throw one over my breast while he's nursing.
    Little stinker. Again, keep trying it- he may eventually decide he's okay with it.

    I am using "nipple butter" by first years instead of lanolin - is this just as good?
    I read the product description and it sounds okay, but I've never used it myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*laristarr77 View Post
    One more question - even though we have a bad latch or a shallow latch, can he still get enough to eat?
    A shallow latch can result in difficulties with milk transfer. But it doesn't always work that way. There are plenty of babies with shallow latches who get enough to eat. Count diapers and keep a careful eye on weight gain. If those two measures remain normal, your baby is getting enough to eat.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Help - Trying to fix latch with large nipples

    A bad latch can lead to plugged ducts and mastitis. My right nipple is larger than the left, almost by 50%. it's tough and the nipple sandwich works for us. It still ends up malformed and blanched if it's really bad, but we DI it.

    Hed get more from a bad lat h than a shallow one I'd think. Shallow would defiantly mess your nipples up. If he tolerates swaddling go for it, and they have a reflex to open their mouths wide if there's Stimulation. Keep tickling at his mouth with your nipple and he should open up
    Last edited by @llli*sailoryue; February 20th, 2011 at 09:31 PM.
    Luna Justine: born January 20 th 6 am on the dot
    I did it! Now without the nipple shield 100% of the time Since 2/12

    We are now self-latching! .

    ing about . expecting to start in 2 weeks.

    Blame strange autocorrect if my posts come out weird. More often than not typing one handed on a "smart" object or just ing

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •