Advice and hand-holding please about breastfeeding(15 Posts)
I've been EBF DS, who's now 3 months. We had a rocky start because he was full of mucus for the first few days and didn't want to feed and then it turned out that he had a posterior tongue tie, which was snipped at 6 week.
Feeding is incredibly painful. DS chews and clamps down while feeding, and it feels like my nipple is being sliced with a knife during the whole feed. Afterwards my nipples are raw red, cracked and misshapen and I have shooting pains in my breasts most of the time.
I'm feeding on demand, which is about ever hour and a half, as DS throws up quite a bit, so it's quite a lot to cope with.
I've asked for help from two NHS breastfeeding nurses, two private lactation consultants, two cranial osteopaths, my heath visitor, a bra-fitter(!) and my GP. I've been told repeatedly that there's nothing wrong with his latch, which looks fine from the outside.
The GP thought it might be thrush (although neither of us have symptoms) and said that DS's tongue is short. The thrush cream and DS's medicine haven't helped.
I've used lanolin and 'nipple butter', nipple shields and tried expressing (DS can't/won't use bottle).
DH is very supportive and is doing everything he can to help me, but I'm just feeling so low about it all. Thankfully, DS is thriving in spite of it all.
Any advice would be really appreciated.
Wow, I'm impressed with your determination and persistence! Forgive me if I'm repeating something you've already been told, but when he starts to grind and chew do you break his latch and start again? I sometimes had to do this dozens of times until my ds latched properly. He got better at latching as he got older.
It does sound to me like your ds isn't getting enough breast in his mouth, as your nipple should be drawn in past his gums, meaning he can't chew on you. Did any of the hcp that you have seen mention this?
Thanks for responding Bell. For the last week or so, I have been trying to break his latch when he starts chewing, but I give up after five or six times as by that time he's screaming and thrashing about and I'm worried about hurting his mouth. I guess it's a case of practice makes perfect, so I will persist with this in the hope that we'll get better at this bit.
One of the lactation consultants once did a move where she pushed more breast into his mouth (never thought I'd write that sentence!), but I haven't been able to replicate it at home.
I think his tie hasn't been fully revised. Also - does he have an upper lip tie?
Yes, Bunty, I think he has an upper lip tie too. I can see it and his upper lip doesn't flange out like in the diagrams when he's latched on, but everyone I've spoken to about that has said that these aren't a problem.
There is a technique called the "nipple sandwich" (now there's something I would never have thought I would write...) for getting a deeper latch. If you google it there are lots of explanations (and surprisingly nothing dodgy).
I also have just remembered that I had to sometimes flip my ds's top or bottom lip out so that it was properly curled once he was latched on. It's worth checking that as well.
I hope it gets better soon
Get tongue tie checked again ours was cut four times before it was pain free due to scar tissue forming.
I also found cranial osteopathy was very good at improving her tongue function.
I was told by everyone my latch was great but the pain and nipple compression showed otherwise.
Upper lip tie, I believe, can be as much of a problem, if not more so, than tongue tie. Look into either cote royd or Malcolm levinkind to get both revised. Until then, YY to nipple sandwich, and manual flipping of top lip out.
Really it is so very unlikely to be the upperlip tie, it might not help but wouldn't cause this pain which would be explained by p and a issues, more tt snipping needed after regrowth or v high palate and or very short tongue.
A decent ibclc or bfc should help you know which.
Have to disagree soupa. My dd had both a Ptt and a lip tie. Both have been revised, the Ptt has regrown, but we do not have the same issues as we had previously.
There are large numbers of people with ptt and normal tongue function. There are people with huge restrictions from tt, ptt and stt. Evaluation of tt in any form includes function not just appearance. Some research suggests babies do better with tt as they grow certainly nipple pain reduces whether snipping is done or not.
There is little research to suggest that ordinary lip ties are a frequent cause of pain, some lip ties might but they ate v unusual though there are other impacts on bf.
It isn't an area where there is enough research but currently there are only private snippers who want all lip ties revised whereas mainstream dental, paediatric, nice etc opinion is that they are within the range of normal if they cause no functional restriction.
Many babies with tt have lip tie too and a tt snip usually solves most pain issues not caused by positioning. When mums are having tt, lip tie snips plus co plus p and a changes as the baby grows over the first month it can be hard to see what resolved the pain.
It's not unusual for tts especially ptt to regrow but no longer cause the same pain in babies with no lip tie.
And op please get more real life help, it sounds so very hard for you
Google exaggerated latch too, maybe what the bfc did? If you pm me with where you are I will see if I low anyone especially good your way.
Thank you everyone. I've been trying the 'nipple sandwich' technique, which shocked DS at first, but he started to get the hang of it after a few feeds. Nipples aren't as sore as before, so I think this is going to make a huge difference.
I'm going to work through the other suggestions tomorrow.
I was feeling pretty miserable earlier and much better now, so I'm very grateful for your help.
That is great. If you can have a few comfy feeds your nipples will get better and better. Good luck
This sounds like me with ds1. I never did find a way to resolve the problems we had with the latch (also told it was "fine" when nipples showed otherwise), but the exaggerated latch/flipple technique helped.
I just wanted to say though that what did work was ds getting bigger, and by 16 weeks it was all pain-free. I went on to bf for 14 months and those latter 10 months were as pain and faff free as I could have hoped for.
It can still all come right even when it feels like it never will .
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