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Thread: Nipple bruising/shield questions

  1. #1

    Default Nipple bruising/shield questions

    Hi there! My DS is 3 weeks old and we're having issues with bf-ing still. I am using the nipple shield (due to latch issues without it)..which brings me to one my first problems. I try to take off and get him latched w/out it but he only seems to be interested in latching on (without the shield) while my breasts are extremely full, then once the let down occurs, my breasts are soft and he seems to slip right off of my nipple. How can I get him latched in the beginning when the breasts are full and keep him on throughout the feeding? He latches on like a champ when my breasts are full and when I am using the shield (but I hate using it). Does that make any sense that he latches on great for the let down?

    My second problem seems to be my SLIGHTLY bruised nipples. I am using the nipple shield 99% of the time and I still seem to have a little bruising on my nipples. I am not really in pain now or during feedings for that matter, but both nipples are a little sensitive. I am generally a very sensitive person when it comes to my nipples anyways but I am wondering why I am getting bruised nipples when we are using a shield?!?!

    My third problem is him using me as a pacifier. I am wondering if this is possibly the reason behind my bruised nipples. He is using me to soothe himself to sleep...and as much as I love the closeness and snuggle time...I would rather him use a real pacifier (which he doesn't seem to want) and not my nipple. It makes being a SAHM to a 2 year old and newborn VERRRRY difficult. Any tips on getting him to soothe himself to sleep rather than using me?

    Im sure I have a whole slew of additional questions, but for now...that's enough! LOL...TIA for listening and any help you can give me is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Brussels, Belgium

    Default Re: Nipple bruising/shield questions

    Hi mama, congratulations on your second-born and

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*MaMaMahler View Post
    My third problem is him using me as a pacifier. I am wondering if this is possibly the reason behind my bruised nipples. He is using me to soothe himself to sleep...and as much as I love the closeness and snuggle time...I would rather him use a real pacifier (which he doesn't seem to want) and not my nipple. It makes being a SAHM to a 2 year old and newborn VERRRRY difficult. Any tips on getting him to soothe himself to sleep rather than using me?
    I'm not sure how to answer your first two questions since I never dealt with those problems, these might help:
    and the latching videos from the second site might be helpful.

    This one I'll take on--your youngest isn't 'using' you as a pacifier, he is correctly responding to you and his needs for nursing and closeness. There's someone here with a wonderful explanation of pacifiers and nipples, but I can't remember the exact words... Pacifiers (and nipple shields) can interfere with learning correct latching, because they offer rigid shapes that the baby must mould herself around, rather than mould a breast to a baby's mouth. Both are also linked to supply problems, nipple preferences and early weaning. So my best ideas are to help you work with the situation, rather than against it.

    I hear you on feeling overwhelmed with two young children!

    Elizabeth Pantley is LLL-approved and her website has loads of info for sleeping and little people. Have a look at her advice and book excerpts in particular. You might want to post in the Sleep forum too. I have her nap and baby sleep books and just referred to the nap book today as we are changing DD's naps.

    Have you tried babywearing? I've heard it's indispensable for mothers of two, but it was essential for even my one. Baby can fall asleep in it, or you can position LO to bf in the sling or carrier while you play with your eldest, or get some very light housework done. There are some no-sew slings which have been used for young babies, google the search terms and you'll find sites as well as YouTube videos.
    Katharine in Belgium
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    DD2 Feb 2015 - natural birth VBAC with DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nipple bruising/shield questions

    Dear mama, congratulations on new bb! OK, so having bfding issues "still" at 3 weeks is not so bad. The first 40 days or so are tricky for many moms. Please know that latch issues are almost always solvable with the right info, effective help, patience and perseverance.

    This is the time to call in every favor. People assume that with a second baby, mom can handle it. So you may have to ask directly for help. Get someone over to entertain your two year old, perhaps with their two year old. Ask the other mom to bring the snacks. Ask for meals delivered-it does not have to be elaborate dinners, lunch & even snacks can be a big help. Let everything else (or as much as you can) go for a bit-Forget cleaning for bit-the dirt & mess will be there waiting when you can come up for air!

    Nursing your bb is teaching your two year old a valuable lesson about love and about how mothers take care of babies. We moms often feel guilty about "ignoring" our older kids during the crunch time with a newborn. But it will be OK.

    Easiest question first-bb "using" you as a pacifier is normal and fine. Pacifiers are breast replacements. Very young bb's NEED to nurse very frequently, even if they are getting plenty of milk. Nursing "for comfort" is normal, expected, and usually necessary for good milk supply. If bb is not getting "enough" milk, (and an 'off’ or shallow latch could lead to that,) then they need to nurse even more in order to get more. Frequent nursing should not be a problem as long as latch is OK. Obviously, in your case latch is not OK or you would not be using a shield.

    Baby "slipping off" is a fairly common issue. It could be latch, it could be positioning, it could be both, or it could be something else. Sorry! More details needed, and it would be best if you could talk this out with a breastfeeding helper. See below.
    Nipple shields can be wonderful tools when used correctly and in the appropriate situations, and in those situations weaning off the shield happens as latch is improved. But they can cause their own issues, including bruising. Are you under the care of an LC and did she suggest the shield? Were you shown how to put it on correctly? Was it fitted correctly for both you and baby? (They DO come in different sizes although most stores like Target or babies R us only carry one.) Are you continuing to work with the LC on improving latch?

    If the answer to any of this is no, then there is a good chance you are not using the shield correctly and/or appropriately, and/or the underlying issue is not being addressed. That does not mean stop using it! If it is the only way baby will latch and nurse, then by all means keep using it. But please contact your local LLL Leader and/or an LC without delay. A fast solution will help ensure your milk supply is not compromised. Hands on help at this point will likely be the fastest way to a workable solution. An LC will be able to do that (probably for a fee, it depends what is available in your area) your LLL Leader may be able to give in person help at a meeting, and a few Leaders do home visits when possible (remember Leaders are volunteers with their own busy lives.) Certainly you can talk it out with your local Leader(s) and get help over the phone from her. (Any Leader help is free of course.) She may also know what is available to you locally re: low cost LC help. Of course, even the most expensive Lc is waaay cheaper than a year of buying formula. Also, if you don't like or don't feel helped by the first LC (or LLL Leader) that you talk to, talk to another. You are welcome to call any LLL Leader, not just the one closest to you.

    If you cannot find phone numbers for your local Leaders in the database on the home page here, call the LLL helpline at 1-877-452-5324. You may need to leave a message, but a Leader WILL get back to you. To find a LC, look here: http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3432

    Talking things out with a Leader (or an LC) is so important because, believe it or not, even though you explained your situation very clearly, a breastfeeding helper would need even more details in order to direct you to the info that will help YOU the most. It’s very individual. I am sure you will get lots of great suggestions on here as well, but in cases like this where time is of the essence I cannot encourage you enough to try to get some phone or in-person help quickly-this week. Take advantage of all the help that is available to you.

    Links that may help:
    Latch video- Ameda video –about 5 minutes long, partly animated: http://www.ameda.com/resources/video

    Nice simple article about what to expect the first few days and weeks of nursing a newborn: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html

    Laid back positioning-often improves latch and gravity helps keep baby "on." http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    All about nipple shields: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...an-shield.html

    Tips for when a newborn will not nurse: http://www.llli.org/FAQ/back.html & Help, my baby won’t nurse! http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Nipple bruising/shield questions

    Reverse pressure softening may help you get your LO to take the breast without the shield: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...cotterman.html

    Your bruised nips are probably a result of your baby "slipping up" on the nipple. That's going to be painful even with a shield.

    Regarding your baby using you as a paci... Well, mama is the original paci. Silicone or latex is a poor imitation. Sometimes a baby will accept being held as a substitute for suckling. So if you have a sling, try it!

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