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New mum, need help! (Latching, pillows, pain, sleeping...)

(9 Posts)
PrincessJenga Sun 14-Aug-11 12:12:45

Hello all,

I'm new to this (LO is just four days old) so please forgive me if I'm asking really stupid questions, but I'm determined to breastfeed and struggling a little so I'd appreciate your expert help.

I had an EMCS so was initially shown how to feed lying down. This sometimes works but LO seems to find it easier to latch on when I'm sitting upright. So, Q1 , any tips for how to get him to latch on lying down (especially in the evenings when I'm more tired and my tummy is hurting when I'm sat up)?

Again, because of the section wound, I'm finding it hard to hold him to my breast for long periods. Q2, do the feeding pillows work? Any you'd particularly recommend?

Once he's latched on LO usually feeds well, but he often falls asleep after 10 minutes or so and slips off. Q3, should I be trying to keep him awake so he can feed for longer? If so, how?

Finally, and I'm sure this is a 'classic'... it hurts... oh how it hurts... I have lansinoh, but Q4, what can I do to try to 'cool down' my burning nipples?

Thank you!!!

crikeybadger Sun 14-Aug-11 12:57:24

Not stupid questions at all, PrincessJenga- it's a new thing to you and your baby, so don't feel daft about asking for help. smile

I'll see if I can give you some suggestions ....
Q1- This page from the Australian Breastfeeding Association gives a good explanation about how to feed lying down. You may also find that using the clutch or rugby ball hold keeps the pressure of your section wound.

Q2- Lots of mnetters find that bfing cushions are helpful. I'm not sure of any actual brands, but there was a thread about it recently. It's here

Q3- This is fairly normal behaviour for a very new baby. Does he come off the breast contented and satisfied? As long as you are responding to his feeding cues then this all sounds fine. Has he been weighed since birth?

Q4. Alot of women feel some discomfort in the first few weeks of breastfeeding, but the pain should ease as the feed progresses. However, you describe a burning you get this pain all the way through a feed or afterwards? Do your nipples look a normal colour? The most common cause of nipple pain is a latch that isn't quite right, so if it doesn't feel good to start with, the unlatch and try again.

Hope this helps. Don't forget you can ask your mw if you have problems or the breastfeeding helplines are excellent too.

Have a good day. smile

Mollcat Sun 14-Aug-11 13:01:07

Can you get to see someone like a breastfeeding support group? Your hospital might have one, or the infant feeding coordinator should be able to tell you of a good one.

Or you could try calling one of the national helplines: Breastfeeding Network Supporterline 0300 100 0210 or National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212 or NCT 0300 330 0771. They should be able to give you some ideas today or put you in touch with a breastfeeding counsellor in your area.

Burning nipples can be a sign of thrush - again, you'd need someone to see you and LO for a diagnosis. More info here: BfN thrush leaflet BUT you should rule out poor attachment first.

The falling off/asleep and difficulty latching plus sore nipples makes me wonder about tongue tie but that's because I'm obsessed with tongue tie! Would be worth asking whoever you see to check for TT though.

Just to add that I'm not qualified in any way or even any good at BFing my own baby but someone will be along soon who is. Most importantly, if after seeing someone you don't feel the advice is working, go back and say so or find someone else. Everyone means well but not all advice is as good as it should be.

chillikat Sun 14-Aug-11 17:14:46

Hi PrincessJenga I bought a floppeze pillow, also had a emcs but used the pillow from the start I hadn't even thought it might have made feeding more comfortable at the beginning but it probably did keep anything from rubbing on the wound. At 20 weeks the pillow is also used to help DD sit up and in the coming months and years I'm not sure yet if it'll be mine or hers grin

I was told to tickle baby's feet to wake her up to feed, or apparently drawing circles on the palms helps. Alternatively take some clothes off (baby, not you) or change nappy.

Congratulations on your newborn, breastfeeding is well worth it, and take it really easy with your c-section recovery smile

Catilla Sun 14-Aug-11 17:30:06

No CS experience but I always tried to feed with the baby,ting on something. I had a feeding pillow but it wasn't hi enough so I always had a stack of pillows and cushions when feeding at home. Although the feeding cushion wraps around your body, I found this was helpful for rugby ball hold but not for the normal hold. Suggest trying with whatever combo allows you to get the baby right up to your nipple height so you don't have to slouch or support your back for long periods.

Good luck!

PS for great websites for lots more tips, google kellymom and drjacknewman

gemma4d Sun 14-Aug-11 18:28:12

Q3 - In hospital I was recommended to nudge/tickle baby awake if she went to sleep too early in the feed, but online I discovered Breast Compression. It is so much better, basically when baby is falling asleep but still just sucking, squeeze your boob WHEN they suck. The extra milk stimulates them to start sucking again.

Q4 - with both my DDs I got sore nipples early on. With DD2 recently I was dripping blood and pulling off lumps of my nipple. When I got help with latch it stopped hurting INSTANTLY. My favourite midwife put DD2 on herself and 99% of the pain went straight away even though I was still shredded. Following instructions etc never worked for me, I had to be shown the latch. Can you get help from anyone?

PrincessJenga Sun 14-Aug-11 19:06:14

Thank you everyone. I love mumsnet and how supportive people are!

I've had a better day today. Milk is properly 'in', baby and I are more confident and the midwife weighed him and confirmed he's barely lost any weight so is obviously feeding well. Phew!

Hopefully this will simply help me relax and get on with it but I'm just about to check out all of the links you've suggested and I've dug out the number of the bf counsellor who led our NCT session. I'm going to call her tomorrow and ask for her to pop round and check the latch.

Thank you again.

Mollcat Sun 14-Aug-11 19:51:07

One other thing, post-CS try the rugby/football/clutch hold (where you put the baby on a pillow next to you or under your arm, so off your wound).

Glad it's going well. Kellymom is a fab website, as is Dr Jack Newman's.

crikeybadger Sun 14-Aug-11 20:56:07

Good news PrincessJenga - he's obviously doing really well. smile

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