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Having trouble with one side and not the other!

(11 Posts)
owlbooty Sat 03-Sep-11 10:28:47

Any advice/experience appreciated!

Basically I've been breastfeeding for 2 weeks now and have had trouble getting the LO to latch properly on the left side - which in turn has led to him chewing some of the skin off my nipple (YOW) so I am now expressing on that side to try and give it a chance to heal up.

However - it does seem that he always struggles to get a decent latch on the left side and doesn't have that problem with the right. When I put him on the right, he'll happily latch himself on without any faffing from me. On the left I have to be extremely careful about how I put him on or it's agony and even when I get it right, he tends to shift about and come off more than he does on the right which is making it really difficult especially at night when I am bleary-eyed and bewildered and can't see very well what he's doing.

Has anyone else had this? I am wondering if there is something wrong with one of my norks smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 03-Sep-11 10:35:35

Don't think you have anything wrong at all owl so please don't worry. Some babies just prefer one side. Have you tried the Rugby hold on the left?

Is there a local BFC or Bfing Support Group you can go to where they can help you with your sore nipple and help you with the latch and show you different positions that may work?

JBrd Sat 03-Sep-11 10:59:19

My DS (now 14 weeks) has always fed better on the left breast than on the right, and in the last few weeks it's gotten worse and worse, up to the point that he point blank refuses to latch on the right! I've been getting v. stressed about it.

Have you tried the rugby hold on the difficult breast? I found that DS feeds better when I do that. Or feeding lying down.

I have spoken to a number of breastfeeding counsellors, who have reassured me that a) this is very commom and b) that it is perfectly possible to feed just from one breast (you might get a bit lopsided, but that goes away again). They have also recommended to go back and do skin-to-skin, put your baby on your tummy while lying at a 45 dedree angle and let it route for the breast, and gently guiding baby towards the difficult breast - I tried this, and it seems to make things easier.

Speaking to breast feeding counsellors has been very useful, I can only agree with Jilted - call a breastfeeding helpline (NCT, La Leche etc) and/or go to a breastfeeding clinic, they can give very useful advice! I have just been to one yesterday - and they found that my DS has tongue tie! Which could well have been a great factor in all the problems that we've been having with breastfeeding. I just wish I had gone earlier...

Good luck!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 03-Sep-11 11:51:57

owl have you had a look on youtube too at Dr Jack Newman's videos on getting a good latch and breast compression?

crikeybadger Sat 03-Sep-11 12:08:07

Sometimes babies prefer one side because something happened to them during birth that makes feeding on that side uncomfortable.

You might like to consider seeing a cranial ostepath if you think this could be a possibility.

owlbooty Sat 03-Sep-11 12:25:34

cheers ladies - glad it's not just me! Am going to go and get latch checked on monday at the bf clinic and will check out vids online. We did have a bit of a rough delivery so will ask at the clinic about that too.

Jokat Sat 03-Sep-11 20:35:48

hi, I've had the same problem, my dd latches on to the right very easily and with no suff and tends to stay on fine. On the left, she rarely seems to open her mouth wird enough and it usually takes several attempts to get her on properly, and even then she'll often end up sliding off a bit or she'll let go altogether even though she seemed to be latched on perfectly :-( Would you mind posting any advice you'll be given if you go to a clinic?

owlbooty Sun 04-Sep-11 11:39:48

certainly will - am in oxford and have heard the hospital bf clinic is top notch so am hoping for good things - anything helpful I will post back on here. smile

organiccarrotcake Sun 04-Sep-11 12:19:41

It is very likely to be a birth/late pregnancy compression or trauma issue which isn't as bad as it sounds (and can be caused even in the most gentle of births). A cranial osteopath may well help - they must be experienced in babies and birth trauma though and generally they'll make a difference within about 3 sessions.

The rugby hold on the difficult side can be easier for baby, although not so easy to nurse in public. When I was going through this I nursed at home on the difficult side before leaving home, making sure I could feed from the easy side when out.

owlbooty Sun 11-Sep-11 13:23:40

went to the clinic and they were ace - it was all down to the latch. I was basically not getting him on well enough on either side but they showed me how to improve his gape and now the pain has gone - I do still have to be very careful when I put him on but the basic message was if he is faffing or it hurts, take him off immediatetly and relatch.

jillinthailand Sun 11-Sep-11 13:50:14

Hi owl - good to hear you've got some good advice from a bf clinic already. Just wanted to say I had the same problem with my dd and even though we haven't really resolved it we're still bfeeding at 10 months old so hang on in there! I totally agree with jilted - check out the dr jack newman website. Loads of great info on there.

My dd still doesn't open up for a wide latch on the left side which means now I'm a bit lopsided... but apart from that this hasn't caused any real problems.

I know it's tough getting started but I promise it gets easier, it will definitely hurt less with time and practice and especially as your baby gets older breastfeeding can become a lovely quiet time for cuddles. Good luck

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