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Can anyone help?!

(9 Posts)
Notacluetoo Thu 11-Apr-13 21:28:46

I'm writing this on behalf of my sister, and I'm really hoping that someone can offer me some advice so I can give her some support. Her DS was born 10 days ago and she is really struggling to breastfeed. She had a normal birth but stayed in hospital for a couple of days as her DS wasn't latching on and was asleep most of the time!

Since she has been at home, her nipples have been quite badly cracked and she developed blisters on her nipples. She contacted a private lactation consultant who diagnosed a severe tongue-tie, and she had this snipped 2 days ago. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to have rectified the problem - she's now using nipple shields to prevent the damage from getting worse, but these are preventing her DS from fully draining the breast at a feed so she's very uncomfortable. She has also been advised to top up with formula by the midwife as the baby is not gaining back his birth weight. She has seen a number of midwives and they've all said that she's latched on well (but I don't think that can be true if she's that badly damaged...)

I don't think expressing is going particularly well, as she's only managing to get out an ounce or so in half an hour's expressing, and she's quite knackered! Her DS is still very sleepy so only feeding every 3 hours (often longer) so she has been trying to express him top-up bottles, but it's obviously taking a long time.

I suggested that she maybe see a cranial osteopath as he doesn't seem to be able to let his head come back to latch him on, and I wondered if that might help. I saw the cranial osteopath with my 2 DC and it was worthwhile for us. Other than that, can anyone please advise me of anything else she might try? She's doing a mixture of nipple shields and bottles at the moment, but it's a pretty depressing start to her breastfeeding experience, and I just wanted to give her the right advice and support to get her through this.

Thank you!

ChasedByBees Thu 11-Apr-13 22:21:43

You're a lovely sister. smile

I think she's doing everything right, but I agree the latch can't be right if its that damaging. Where in the country is she? Y

ChasedByBees Thu 11-Apr-13 22:23:09

Ahh, pressed send. At the JR in Oxford there's amazing breasfeeding support. I think she could do with a really experienced counsellor checking the latch. I hope it improves for her soon.

noblegiraffe Thu 11-Apr-13 22:26:39

That sounds really difficult. Is she using Lansinoh on her nipples? She should be slathering it on after every feed as it will really help them to heal.

For expressing, I've heard that hiring a hospital grade pump is much better at getting milk out than a normal one.

The more often she can get her DS to feed from the breast the better - aiming for every two hours. If he is asleep, waking him up by stripping off, changing nappy etc can help. To keep him awake when feeding, tickling his feet, rubbing his ear and stroking his head in a circle can prompt feeding.

Hopefully someone else might have some other suggestions.

bubblesinthesky Thu 11-Apr-13 22:29:50

Your poor sister that sounds a miserable start to breastfeeding.

Can she contact her local NCT? They often have breastfeeding counsellors who will come out and see people. I know I needed someone completely independent to help me get DDs latch right. Alternatively if you google breastfeeding support followed by the name of your town or city you're quite likely to find a clinic she can go to for help. If you're in Birmingham PM me I know a really good one

bubblesinthesky Thu 11-Apr-13 22:31:08

Sorry meant to say if she's in Birmingham

BuntyCollocks Thu 11-Apr-13 22:43:41

A couple of things to consider -

The original cut may not have been deep enough. There is sometimes a posterior tie lurking behind an anterior one, so it might need to be done again.

Is there a lip tie? Getting that snipped made the world of difference to us.

It sounds like the latch isn't right - possibly due to the issues I've mentioned. If it was right, it wouldn't be hurting even with the damage already done.

What pump is she using? Has she tried hand expressing?

Get her to wake baby 2 hourly to feed, and google jack been and breast compressions.

Notacluetoo Thu 11-Apr-13 22:46:52

Thank you so much for your replies! She has seen a lactation consultant who said the latch was ok, but maybe she needs to see her again now her DS has had the TT snipped in case he's not getting on properly. We're in Surrey so there are support places available locally but I know she's feeling very vulnerable about leaving the house. I've offered to take her to a drop-in tomorrow so she can get some more help.
Noblegiraffe - she's got lots of Lansinoh and is using liberally but the blisters aren't healing and when she puts him on, they get worse. She's using a Medela electric pump but with not much luck. She has been stripping him off to feed and try and wake him up but he's obviously quite a relaxed boy at the moment!
Bubbles - she did get hold of the nct counsellor who suggested biological nurturing, but all that happened was that he fell asleep (!) and really, his latch isn't good enough for him to manage that by himself!
Thank you so much for your help and ideas!

BuntyCollocks Thu 11-Apr-13 22:57:53

Can I gently suggest either getting Ann Dobson out, or travelling to London to see Malcolm Levinkind?

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