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How can I make DS open his mouth more? (BF)

(23 Posts)
SizzlesSit Sat 10-May-14 15:52:11

DS2 is 5 days old. I have painful bleeding nipples. I know its the latch. Sometimes it works fine but othertimes I just cant get him to take enough nipple in.

Ive tried touching the nipple to his nose, holding the breast like a hamburger but with not a huge amount of success.

I never bled with DS1 so this is all a bit new and painful for me! (And surprising as I thought that feeding for 2 years would have toughened my nipples up!)

SizzlesSit Sat 10-May-14 17:16:56

Hopeful bump before another night of pain

Lorelei353 Sat 10-May-14 18:52:55

Only thing I'd say is to take him off immediately if he's not b opened wide enough. It took my ds a while to get the hang of opening wide. I'd be so desperate for him to feed after 20 mins of trying to get my nipple in his mouth that I'd be tempted to just v let him feed even when the latch wasn't right but as you're finding out, that way pain lies. You just need to be patient. He'll learn and get the hang of the right way to do it soon.

SizzlesSit Sat 10-May-14 19:32:53

Thanks. Up til today I was leaving him but I yelled in pain earlier and unlatched him. Think he got a fright sad

NeverendingPotato Sat 10-May-14 19:37:04

I used to just gently pull the chin down just as ds1 latched on as he wasn't one for opening his mouth much. That worked quite well, certainly more successful than nipple to nose.

upyourninja Sat 10-May-14 19:38:29

May I be the first to zoom in and ask if you have checked him for tongue and/or lip ties? Often missed by HCPs but can make a huge difference to feeding and latching.

But yes, don't ever persist through a bad latch. He'll get the hang of it smile

Lorelei353 Sat 10-May-14 19:40:56

It's really tempting when he's finally on! But deep down you know when it's not right. I used to be howling crying in frustration. I KNEW he could do it properly but the endless trying over and over killed me.

The other thing to remember is when he does, finally, open wide bring the baby to you, chinn first and up and over the nipple. Again it's really tempting to shove your nipple in his mouth but they won't do not it either.

Good luck!

Lorelei353 Sat 10-May-14 19:41:58

Excuse typos on stupid phone.

Angelto5 Sat 10-May-14 19:43:39

Have u tried a different feeding position like the rugby ball?? It may help??

LouisaJF Sat 10-May-14 19:44:31

Instead of taking the nipple to his nose, rub it up his top lip towards his nose. He'll open his mouth wider to get it. Hold the back of his head so that he doesn't try to latch. When, and only when, his mouth is wide enough, push him on to the nipple so you are practically pushing it down his throat. This is the technique the MW showed me and it has worked wonderfully. DS is nearly 7 weeks and we haven't had a hint of soreness.

SizzlesSit Sat 10-May-14 19:53:44

Ooh thanks everyone.

Im in France where BF isnt common. I asked 2 paeds to check for tongue tie (answer is no). Both were a bit hmm cos they knew he was feeding well/Id already fed DS1 so thought I was crazy to be questionning it. But they werent the ones with sore nipples!

Misty9 Sat 10-May-14 19:54:43

Sounds a lot like my problems with ds, who was 100% tongue tied. This was snipped privately at 4wks but things didn't really improve until he grey bigger at 11wks or so. I tried everything to get him to open wider but in hindsight I think he just had a tiny mouth. I remember only too well being in tears with a screaming baby while I tried to repeatedly latch him on correctly.

This time round I worried we'd have similar problems so was interested when the midwife remarked I have big nips, which means baby can get a mouthful of that and not much else when they're still tiny.

Hope things improve for you, it's miserable when it's not going well.

tertle Sat 10-May-14 21:11:00

I don't have any advice to offer on the latch I am afraid but I can recommend silver breast healing cups for your sore nipples (silverette). They worked absolute wonders for me. Good luck and hope you can get some support with checking for tongue tie soon.

Sunflower1985 Sat 10-May-14 22:09:39

Back in the early and very painful days the closest I got to a good latch was when I positioned nipple to middle of the eyes and supported ds's head as it tilted right back to get the nipple in. Chin really into the breast and nose clear. It looked an odd angle, but worked for us.
Hope you heal soon, just one good day.

ASmidgeofMidge Sat 10-May-14 22:13:01

Try googling the 'flipple' or 'exaggerated latch' technique. I read about it on MN and it really helped me

MagicSeeker Sun 11-May-14 10:33:07

What worked with DS was holding the bottom of his neck/top of shoulders (not back of head). Nose to nipple and brush his lower lip with the boob below the nipple (not the nipple itself) to encourage his mouth open. When he opens wide, use 'hamburger' hold to get as much of nipple and surround into mouth as possible, then gently but assertively guide him onto boob with the hand that's on his shoulders. Hope you can kind of picture that! Took me ages to get the latch right and even longer to heal my cracked bleeding nipples (getting the ductal thrush diagnosed and finally treated made the difference there for me!). DS is nearly five months and we both love BF now after an incredibly rocky (traumatic, even!) start. Hope that helps.

Imeg Mon 12-May-14 21:07:41

I tried breast compressions as described on the kellymom website because baby wasn't gaining weight very well. Although I wasn't expecting it to help with the latch, for some reason I think it did encourage baby to open wider once he was attached (I also had trouble as he really wouldn't gape and was quite small). Also persistently removing and reattaching which was frustrating for all concerned. He's much better now (9 wks).

SizzlesSit Tue 13-May-14 20:13:59

Thanks everyone. Its getting better - no more bleeding and its only hurting at the beginning, and when he decides to let go then vigourously start sucking again.

Its still a two-handed technique to latch him on though. No idea how I would do it in public yet (was feeding DS1 in public at one week with little problem - just goes to show that BF is very reliant in an obliging baby! smile )

Bdgbdg Tue 13-May-14 21:56:06

The NCT expert at my local breastfeeding cafe told me to tip babies head back slightly to open their mouth wider.

I had this problem with my little boy. Now I just have to say "big mouth" to him and he opens wide (he's 4 months old now) smile

I recommend finding your nearest breastfeeding cafe - most gave a breastfeeding expert in attendance, but you can also get useful tops from other mums.

Good luck!

Lorelei353 Wed 14-May-14 04:54:59

Mine remained a two handed operation for months. It was pretty awkward feeding in public, and three weeks in I was crying because I thought I'd never be able to do it but I found a way. I was also pretty reliant on a feeding pillow.

I used to practise feeding in 'public' at my local breastfeeding cafe.

glad to hear it's getting better though. Well done.

Lorelei353 Wed 14-May-14 04:55:01

Mine remained a two handed operation for months. It was pretty awkward feeding in public, and three weeks in I was crying because I thought I'd never be able to do it but I found a way. I was also pretty reliant on a feeding pillow.

I used to practise feeding in 'public' at my local breastfeeding cafe.

glad to hear it's getting better though. Well done.

TropicalHorse Wed 14-May-14 05:45:24

My baby had a tiny mouth and a short upper lip (like me!) I was in agony for ten days until one day when I was desperately trying to demonstrate what I wanted her to do - ie, opening my mouth really wide - and realised that when I did it, my upper lip curled under. Sure enough, our similiar mouth shapes behaved the same way and my daughter had been feeding with her upper lip curled in. Two lactation consultants and several midwives missed this!! But it was an easily-solved problem with a little flip of the lip with my finger once she was attached.
Good luck!

Alixion Thu 15-May-14 19:57:35

I agree with TropicalHorse - soooo much more comfortable when top lip is not curled under.
I can tell DS has a good latch when both the top and bottom lips are turned out.

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