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Help! 3wo DC thinks my nipples are elastic.

(12 Posts)
posypom Sat 06-Aug-11 19:15:19

I'm breastfeeding my 3wo DS and in the last few days he's started to pull back hard (and suddenly) on my nipple and have a little stretch and wriggle midway through feeding. He doesn't seem to realise my nipples are attached and it's excruciatingly painful! Is this normal? Will he grow out of it or, if not, how can I teach him that my nipples are not made of elastic? My nipples are already sore from feeds when his latch has slipped and I haven't been quick enough taking him off, but they're not going to heal if he keeps doing this. What can I do? Each feed seems to be getting more and more painful and his night-time feeding marathons are agony. I don't want to give up BF but I need to know it's not going to hurt like this for the next 6 months. Anyone got any tips/advice?

Chipotle Sat 06-Aug-11 19:19:40

My DS did this too. But it really does improve and stop hurting IME. Lansinoh is your friend!!!!!
Breastfeeding just seemed to click with me and DS at 6 weeks. It was almost like we both suddenly knew what to do and it became the easiest thing in the world. So easy we are still doing it at 16 months.
We had a few glitches involving teeth at the 6 month mark but that too was a short phase.

Mampig Sat 06-Aug-11 19:24:18

My 5 wo does this when he has wind. been doing it for couple of weeks. wink. Hope this helps. If you are sure you and he don't have thrush then this could be the prob.

MrsShrekTheThird Sat 06-Aug-11 19:27:15

All three of mine did this stupid phase!! No idea if its the right thing to do or not, but I held firmly behind their head before the yanking started. Ds1 did it most, I've no idea whether it's to alter the milk flow or what...but I took him off when he did it a few times, and he stopped it.

Emzar Sat 06-Aug-11 19:45:24

Mine does this sometimes. With him it seems to be wind - if I take him off and either swap sides or sit him upright to burp he tends to stop doing it.

posypom Sat 06-Aug-11 19:47:43

He does get a lot (how much is normal??) of wind so it could be that. I wasn't sure whether holding his head was a good idea because I was told only to support his neck and not to push his head onto the breast. I'll try taking him off and winding him when he does it.

Chipotle, I'm looking forward to it clicking!

orchidee Sat 06-Aug-11 19:50:59

Is he arching his back when this happens? Mine did this and I think it was because he needed burped or just wanted a rest for a few moments before finishing a feed.

Kellymom is brilliant for BF advice. Maybe the pages on fussiness or common concerns may be interesting.

posypom Sat 06-Aug-11 20:19:49

Hi orchidee, yes he is. Just finished a feed and I tried taking him off after he started pulling and he did do a big burp so maybe that's it. Thanks for the help everyone. Everyone said that breastfeeding was hard but I had no idea it was going to be so hard! Now I just need my nipples to stop hurting (Lansinoh is helping but it's not miracle cream) and we'll be away...!

orchidee Sat 06-Aug-11 21:10:09

Everyone has a different story, but in case this helps. My nipples were very painful in the early weeks - cracks, friction blisters, vasospasm... I used 2 tubes of Lansinoh in 2 months - partly because DS was a frequent feeder and partly because I put a lot on after each feed. Anyway, after the 6 week growth spurt things magically got easier, then after another few weeks it got easier again. He is now 13 weeks old and I hadn't thought of this until now but I've stopped needing Lansinoh! I think that it can get easier for no apparent reason but: you both have to learn the technique of BF; your baby's mouth gets bigger; they become more efficient at feeding (no longer does a feed knacker them out, they suddenly stay awake and playful after feeding!) and over time, you get to know each other and you learn to read their cues (full up / windy / need a moment's rest...) Mastering feeding while I am lying down has been brilliant for us. Our favourite is in bed, me on my back, him tummy side down. I think that feeding uphill helps with a forceful letdown plus it's easy for him to snack on and off. Side lying is good too. We struggled to manage these positions then magically they just worked one day. Maybe because he had better head control.

Anyway, stick with it, once it gets easy (and that can be hard to imagine when your nipples are agony, I know) it is brilliant smile

posypom Sat 06-Aug-11 21:43:39

Hi orchidee. Thank you - that's what I needed to hear! People have said it gets easier but, like you say, it's difficult to imagine. Plus the last 3 weeks feel like a lifetime in many ways, so another 3 weeks feels insurmountable sometimes. It'd be wonderful to be able to enjoy breastfeeding. I'll just have to look forward to it!

orchidee Sat 06-Aug-11 23:33:45

Thanks I'm glad to help. In the early weeks I could only think about the next feed, it was one feed at a time, thinking about a day at a time was too much with cracked nipples. Knowing that cup or bottle feeding was an option kept me going, it was like a safety net option. I don't have bottle equipment at home but everywhere sells it... I found hand expressing useful to learn "just in case".

Also, I think my baby would suck really hard initially then slow down, it was certainly very sore just after he latched on and would make me question whether to unlatch and relatch him or keep going. The nipple flip technique helped, which let my nipples heal and coincidence or not, he stopped the initial hard sucking so it all got easier.

So from someone who dreaded their baby waking because feeding was so painful - it can just get better all of a sudden. The other thing is, for us the early weeks seemed like constant growth spurts and cluster feeding for most of the day. Again this settles down naturally. Now I get the lovely side of breast feeding. My baby will look up and smile during a feed, he can latch himself on without much help from me, and I feel a flood of those relaxed, happy hormones. It's better than chocolate, I tell ya!

So, keep posting and use the helplines and real life support to get where you want to be. Your hv or pharmacist may recommend jelonet or similar wound dressings if the lansinoh doesn't help. Different feeding positions and attachment techniques may help too (if your nipples are sore generally, not just from this recent tugging)

gogoNagano Sun 07-Aug-11 08:27:02

Posy, thank you for posting this thread - my 3 week old son is also doing the mid-feed nipple stretch and wriggle combo, so I will try burping him when it happens next.

Your thread could have been written by me... am in almost exactly the same situation, and it's a comfort to know that it's not just me (although I'm sorry to hear of anyone having pain!). I too am taking things one feed at a time (although they are mostly epic ones at the moment so they all blend into one sometimes!) and holding out for the time that I can really enjoy feeding my DS.

I hope things improve for you soon m'dear smile

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