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BF: 8 weeks in and attachment has deteriorated

(17 Posts)
orchidee Tue 28-Jun-11 10:18:16

Hopefully this is just temporary. Any ideas welcome.

We're 8 weeks into breastfeeding and after initial latching issues and nipple pain it's all been going well recently. Until yesterday. My baby is now reluctant to do a wide open mouth and because of the heat and him getting upset I latched him on as best I could. (I know, asking for it.) Well you'll not be surprised to hear that between poor latch and cluster feeding I have painful nipples on both sides and a bruised area on one areola, roughly corresponding to where his top lip/gum would be.

I plan to revisit the websites on positioning and attachment. If anyone has any particular advice please pass it on. We feed sitting up in a cradle hold.

RitaMorgan Tue 28-Jun-11 10:27:13

Have you tried letting him self-attach (biological nurturing type positions)?

orchidee Tue 28-Jun-11 10:27:30

I found this in case it helps anyone else

In the meantime it's lansinoh to the rescue

orchidee Tue 28-Jun-11 10:43:07

Hi Rita

I have tried on a few occassions. The first time resulted (or coincided?) with a blocked duct - I've not had once since - and next time resulted in a sore nipple which I suspect was poor attachment.

HandMini Tue 28-Jun-11 17:57:57

The best advice I have been given so far on attachment is the fast pulling in of baby's head once their mouth is gaping wide and chin and bottom lip are pushing in at the bottom of your nipple. Think of it like a hinge at the point that baby's bottom lip touches your nipple and pull your baby forward and towards you FAST while his/her gape is at its biggest. Good luck, it must be depressing to have done so well and now have this setback.

BertieBotts Tue 28-Jun-11 18:01:45

Has he been checked for tongue and lip tie?

juneau Tue 28-Jun-11 18:09:40

I have a 7-week-old and one of my nipples is bruised too, so I sympathise!

Just check your latch at each feed and don't be afraid to remove baby and re-attach if you feel something is wrong. Better that than sore nipples.

LittleMilla Tue 28-Jun-11 18:30:52

Hi Orchidee I have experienced the same with my DS who is 8 weeks on Thursday. I went and saw our local NCT bf counsellor today who has said DS has got tongue tie and a high palate. He's a little bruiser - weighing in at a steely 12lb last week at 7 weeks - and loves the boobs!

So she's said that I should just leave him be. Although my nips are taking a bit of a bashing! I'm experimenting with some new positions and trying to make sure he's as comfy as possible. He's also starting making this clicking noise when he feeds, all related to above.

So worth getting your LO checked out - I certainly had no idea that he might have tt. I am going to see how we get on and maybe get him cut if I get really uncomfy. But it's not unbearable and I feel confident we'll be able to work through it.

Most important thing is that your LO is gaining weight and you're comfy.

orchidee Tue 28-Jun-11 18:55:05

Thanks everyone. DS hasn't been checked for tongue-tie, in fact I'm not sure the paed or anyone else has looked in his mouth. We have his 6 week check in a few days so I will ask then.

LittleMilla I've also heard some clicking noises occassionally, not at every feed, and I wondered if DS wasn't latched on correctly.

I think that the current problem is partly that he isn't pushing his tongue down and forward as he usually did alongside the wide-open mouth. So, his mouth's not wide open and he's not pushing his tongue down. He has also been a bit unsettled, only napping for about 10 mins between feeds then waking again, and he woke more frequently overnight last night (approx 2 hourly) for feeds. So perhaps he is tired and that's affecting his part of working to get a good latch. I have been paying attention to his suck / swallow rhythm today and watched the Jack Newman videos on "good drinking" here. DS is more random, fast, strong sucks initially, then two sucks then swallow, then any number of fast sucks and no swallow, then fluttery sucks like he is maybe comfort nursing to sleep. I've tried breast compressions when he is sucking but not swallowing but I'm not sure what I'm doing really.

This has got pretty long...

LittleMilla Tue 28-Jun-11 19:16:56

Hello - the BF lady said that I also have a very fast let down and lots of milk - which helps to explain his clicking on and off the boob. He's struggling to cope with the flow.

Does your DS 'correct' himself as the feed progresses? My DS doesn't have the textbook latch at the start, but manages to get comfy as the feed progresses. Also, have you tried him on a bottle - does he take it any better from that?

I'd really advise going to see an expert. It's made me feel 1000 times better that a) he's doing OK and b) what the reasons behind his idiosynchracies are.

sc2987 Tue 28-Jun-11 20:57:58

LittleMilla: you may not have problems now with the tie (because you have an abundant supply), but it can cause supply issues after 12 weeks when the supply becomes less hormone-driven and more based on demand. So if he still feeds inefficiently after that you may find you develop supply issues. It really is very simple to get it cut, and it made an enormous difference for us.

LittleMilla Tue 28-Jun-11 21:31:36

Thanks sc2987 I will keep that in mind. BF lady mentioned something but I wasn;t listening properly blush. At the mo we're occasionally giving him a FF later at night and I am not bothering to express as I am still OK. So as I get closer to the 12 week mark I had better get my ar$e in gear as I don't want to stuff things up!

Thanks again.

orchidee Tue 28-Jun-11 21:36:05

Ds is putting on loads of weight and seems well so I've not been concerned about him not getting enough milk.

I haven't noticed him correcting his latch during the feed but will pay attention for that. He sometimes begins to slip off mid-feed and I'm holding him firmly to try to prevent that. His suck is very strong initially though which can be uncomfortable, then that settles, maybe during the first letdown...

I tried hand expressing and cup feeding tonight (to give the nipples a break) and it went okay for a first attempt. I'll try anything though.

pregninja Thu 30-Jun-11 23:10:41

Orchidee I had issues with my DS's latch at about 10 weeks - he just suddenly didn't want to open his mouth wide and was making the clicking noises a few people above have mentioned. (This coincided with a fortnight of green poo so I was worried he wasn't getting enough hindmilk).
I found doing an 'exaggerated latch' (sorry, have just tried googling for the info I used at the time to no avail - have a trawl around for it) worked really well at the beginning of a feed. Basically you use your thumb to shape your nipple to point upwards as you're guiding it into baby's mouth. Then it was patience to stop when he started making clicking noises and correct the latch. For memory it only lasted for a few weeks and he went back to normal feeding technique (and poo...sorry TMI!)

orchidee Fri 01-Jul-11 19:20:57

Today has been better, not great, but less pain for me, less clicking and slurping for him...

pregninja Thanks - I had come across a similar(?) technique a few weeks ago here. I think what you describe is sometimes called a nipple flip. I'm consciously paying more attention to getting a good latch, and hoping this is just a temporary blip, maybe a growth spurt <hopeful>

As an aside, I wonder if BF rates have increased now there's so much info and videos on the internet? At least in countries where BF isn't so prevalent that you can ask any random mother for info. (I'm trying to educate my own mum about BF, she's shock about the reality of breastfeeding a newborn).

KWright Tue 05-Jul-11 15:18:11

How are things going now pregninja? I too have been having latch probs and a mother who didn't breastfeed and is very much pro-bottle!

Found this on another thread.

Tried it for the first time today and what a difference! I had to line up a full length mirror next to me and rest bub on a pillow on the arm of my chair.

orchidee Tue 05-Jul-11 15:33:14

The nipple flip technique has worked! Pain-free and happy days for both of us.

KWright - your video link showed a similar idea - thanks for that.

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