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Nipples too big to BF newborn????

(13 Posts)
helsybells Thu 04-Oct-12 20:21:31

Has anyone else encountered this problem?

I have been struggling to feed my baby since day one (she is now 12 days old) as it has been extremely painful. I have had several midwives and an NCT BF specialist work with me on my latch and the NCT lady and one of the midwives both agreed that the problem may well be that my nipples are too big for my baby (whose birth weight was 6lb 7oz - tiny baby size for clothes!).

I have tried nipple guards but have had to use the large ones to fit me but they are just too big for baby to get over the top of to latch !! I went to my local BF support group yesterday and one of the support workers had a baby of similar size to mine and offered to let me see her do a latch with her baby. It was useful to see and very kind of her but I was quite shocked at how much smaller her nipples are than mine - at least half the size if not less...

Has anyone else encountered this problem and is there any way around it??

I have been feeling very down at times as I desperately want to feed my baby properly and really feel like I'm letting her down but I just haven't been able to cope with the pain.

helsybells Thu 04-Oct-12 20:24:23

P.s. also to say - my baby latches really well acc to all the experts who have observed and I have done a lot to work on latching from my point of view but when I do finish a feed my nipples come out quite distorted in shape. The bottom half of the nipple is elongated and pulled out as a nipple should be after a feed, but the top half of the nipple (where the soreness occurs) is squashed down so my nipples come out more or less wedge shaped.

showtunesgirl Thu 04-Oct-12 20:37:46

Have you tried squeezing your boob so that your nipple is flatter? You hold it kind of like it's a hamburger. I had to do this for DD when she was newborn and it really helped her to get latched on and then when she was firmly going at it, I would then release my hand.

Chinateacup Thu 04-Oct-12 20:48:35

I would agree with squishing your nipple a bit to flatten it just to get the latch. It's not great technique so to speak, but worked for me til we both worked out how to do it without too much fiddling. Good luck.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 04-Oct-12 20:52:59

Mine are whoppers blush and DS was a similar size. It's hard to say if yours are bigger than mine as it were but they sound pretty similar. I worried about it a lot before having DC1.

Not had any pain or flattening though so it might not be the size. Have the MWs and BFC all checked for tongue tie?

As for the latch, try googling exaggerated latch.

BertieBotts Thu 04-Oct-12 21:01:56

I'm sure bottle teats are much larger than nipples aren't they, and most babies manage fine with them? I know the action isn't the same but might be reassuring perhaps.

Squeezing the boob like a hamburger is a Clare-Byam-Cook technique - she's often denigrated on here but this tip of hers actually works really well for a lot of people.

Kat3L Thu 04-Oct-12 21:04:34

Congratulations on your new arrival. I had this with one of my nipples which I'd not previously realised was considerably larger than the other side. I found that using my Avent breast pump for a few mins on the larger side would help elongate and thin the nipple which then allowed my DS to latch.

I also remember one midwife saying that my son would soon have a bigger mouth and be able to rise to the challenge of feeding without the palaver. I can't remember exactly how long it took but I'm pretty sure he was less than two months. Good luck with it all.

helsybells Thu 04-Oct-12 21:10:43

Thanks for the squishing/hamburger idea I will certainly give it a try. hough I've just had a go and it doesn't seem to make much difference to the shape of my nipple... I think part of the problem might also be that my nipples aren't big and ROUND they are more big and Sausage/oval shaped (i.e. not that they protrude like a sausage but think more like a sausage lying on it's side... though clearly they are not as big as a sausage!!! ;) )

hmmm thanks Bertie - sadly my nipples are at least 2-3 times the size of the bottle teats I'm currently using for baby sad sad sad

YorkshireRose12 Thu 04-Oct-12 21:20:04

I second getting your LO checked for tongue tie. You need a trained BFing advisor to do this - try the infant feeding coordinator at your hospital - rather than a MW or HV. Hopefully at some point mawbroon will be along on this thread, she knows a lot about tongue tie and can give you some really helpful links on possible signs of a tie. If not, look at some of the other tongue tie threads on here and see if anything is sounding familiar. My DS really struggled to latch at first, admittedly he was a bit bigger than your LO although not that much, and I thought it might be to do with the size of my nipples but once his tongue tie was cut he could get everything in place properly to get a full mouthful of breast and things got so much better.

Also try squashing more breast into your LO's mouth when latching on. The technique that worked for me was to put my first two fingers on the edge of the areola where DS's chin would be when latched on, my thumb opposite and pinch my thumb and fingers together to flatten the breast. This makes it easier to then direct the nipple to the back of baby's mouth when latching so again baby gets a good mouthful and should prevent the nipple getting squashed. When doing this it's important that you're able to move baby swiftly onto the breast once baby opens wide. Try googling Jack Newman's leaflet called "When Latching" - the technique in here is really useful for giving you good control of the baby for latching on.

Good luck!

GummiberryJuice Thu 04-Oct-12 21:46:20

I agree get baby checked, my nipples are massive, my girls were just a few ounces bigger than your ds, and I didn't encounter those problems I did worry about correct latch and the midwife even said it would be a miracle for the text book amount of my nipple to be in babies mouth,

GummiberryJuice Thu 04-Oct-12 21:47:38

I agree get baby checked, my nipples are massive, my girls were just a few ounces bigger than your ds, and I didn't encounter those problems I did worry about correct latch and the midwife even said it would be a miracle for the text book amount of my nipple to be in babies mouth,

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 05-Oct-12 09:25:04

Mine are bigger than the bottle teats that you get now, but the teats you used to get are massive so I still don't think the size of your nipples is an issue.

There's been some good advice on here, like getting the MWs to check for tongue tie and going to your local Bfing Support Group. Hope it gets resolved soon smile.

helsybells Fri 05-Oct-12 15:08:10

Thanks again for the advice - I have done a little research into tongue tie based on suggestions here and from pictures I've seen compared them to LO and she has literally nothing there. I will still mention it to health visitor as I'm clearly not an expert but I think it may draw a blank.

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