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(23 Posts)
hollieholmes26 Tue 10-Jun-14 01:03:08

hi. my 5 day old baby won't latch to my nipple. ive had 4 successful attempts on left breast but she wont touch my right breast. i have very large breasts and small nipples. Due to placenta praevia she was born by emergency c section when i haemorrhaged so its really important to me that she breast feed. any advice on positioning encouraging latching would be appreciated. i'll try anything!!!

MamyPoko Tue 10-Jun-14 01:40:54

I went through this, and empathise. My first baby couldn't latch without nipple shields, and though I hated the little silicon buggers, they saved breastfeeding for us. I kept using them, kept offering the breast without them, and eventually he managed it. It did take weeks, though. Feeds with nipple shields took a long time, and I followed advice from the specialist midwife at bf drop-in to keep an eye that supply was ok, but we got through it and carried in breastfeeding for a year. Good luck!

hollieholmes26 Tue 10-Jun-14 01:48:01

its very frustrating. im a big believer in breast feeding when and wherever my baby wants it, but boobs are so big i wont breast feed in public as putting the shield on is such a hassle for me. i di express into bottles as well as she doesnt take enough to empty my boobs and i started to develop limps after.just 24 hours and i use that when out, but now im worried that she will get used to the bottle and never feed from me naturally sad

MamyPoko Tue 10-Jun-14 01:52:30

It is frustrating. All I can tell you is that my son got it in the end; he'd had bottles too but I think once he grew a little and got stronger, he was suddenly able to latch. Has your DC been checked for tongue-tie?

SoonToBeSix Tue 10-Jun-14 02:30:26

Why can't you use the shield when out , are you using the Mandela one? It's the best. My prem twins would only latch with a nipple shield but it wasn't a big deal to use at all.

BernardlookImaprostituterobotf Tue 10-Jun-14 02:36:15

She's only 5 days old. It sounds really dismissive to say and I don't mean it as such but try to take the pressure off a bit.
It's clear how important it is to you but she's very new to this too.

I agree about checking for tongue tie. Does she open her mouth wide enough? Is she a slightly lazy feeder? If the latch isn't quite right then feeding can be tiring for them.
Do you need to be out feeding in public with expressed milk at 5 days post surgery?
If you are able to be at home then have you been comfortable enough to stay in bed having skin to skin? Sometimes feeding laying down can make it easier to feed with larger breasts.
If she's feeding with a shield that's a great start.

What holds have you tried? There's also the flipple technique that can encourage wider mouth opening. If she's had enough of a drink to not be starving and frustrated then you can unlatch and encourage her to latch again without the shield.
Ideal position for you both takes a bit of trial and error but if her latch is good then you'll get there quite quickly, if it isn't it's much more difficult.
Is tbere any bf support around you?

BernardlookImaprostituterobotf Tue 10-Jun-14 03:10:48

Here is the Kellymom list of resources, it may have something you like the look of.
There are holds, pictures and video.

I completely understand why you would want to get rid of the shield but - you are breastfeeding, if she's doing plenty of wet and dirty nappies and is content then that's the goal.
You have time. Everyone, including your baby, has to have a little practice at this.
Pumping before a feed (or attaching it really) can help elongate your nipple which may help stimulate her suck. Don't over think, your last post worrying about nipple confusion - don't borrow problems, each feed is a new feed.

It seems to be that you're feeling you're not really getting on that well. You are. And there's all the day time posters to come who will give you excellent advice, support and encouragement.

Oh and congratulations on your beautiful new daughter!

Kewrious Tue 10-Jun-14 04:15:24

I had PP and an EMCS too. I also have big breasts. I happily alternates between breast and bottle. Anyway for the first three weeks I stayed at home so used that to build supply/ learn how or breastfeed. It gets easier. I used a bottle when out and about and breastfed at home for a whole year. So hang in there! And try the rugby hold? I did find I had to bring the boob to him a bit because of its size rather than letting him come to the boob.

fruitpastille Tue 10-Jun-14 08:19:20

I use nipple shields. They are a bit of a faff but I have a cover to use if I am somweher busy (bebe au lait) or a scarf or muslin helps. Still much easier than sxpressing!

hollieholmes26 Thu 12-Jun-14 00:08:31

Thanks everyone. had baby checked and she doesnt habe tongue tie. im trying her with nipple at each feed before resorting to shield and we are slowly making progress. Im having trouble getting shields to stick properly though. have followed instructions but still dont seem to seal....any tips on getting them to seal properly?

SoonToBeSix Thu 12-Jun-14 01:23:03

Are you wetting them slightly?

hollieholmes26 Thu 12-Jun-14 07:14:39

yeh ive followed the instructions on how to attach them but with no joy.nits not a massive problem as i hold them in place and little one is satisfied after feeding, but would be less awkward if they attached properly.

Wishbabycouldtalk Thu 12-Jun-14 17:03:40

I had this problem with my prem baby. We only managed it when a really bossy midwife held my son's head to my breast in the laying down feeding position. She was pushy, but I think the position worked for us, as it meant everything (breast and baby) stayed more or less in place, and you have a hand free to hold your nipple out for baby.

Once LO got this, we could feed in rugby ball hold and standard BF hold.

This May not help, just skimmed last few replies so laying down may already have been suggested, if so sorry!

Good luck xx

cakebaby Thu 12-Jun-14 22:04:08

Hi my ds had an undiagnosed tongue tie which was privately snipped at 8 days. We couldn't establish bf until 4 WEEKS up til then I expressed and he had bottles. He would then only feed with shields (I liked boots own ones, they are very floppy & thin so mould easiervto smallrr flatter nipplrs and IMO they stick easier). It didn't affect my supply and at 10 weeks after trying now and then to feed without them he decided they were slowing him down & refused to feed with them! Never looked back.

Have you tried the biological nursing position where you lie reclined & place baby on your front to find the nipple by themselves?

How about a nursing apron for out & about? Like a cover on a huge Alice band that you wrear like a necklace to keep everything out of sight, but you can still see what baby is up to!

Good luck, you sound a lovely mummy smile

CelticPromise Thu 12-Jun-14 22:15:39

Go to a bf group if you can. Real life support from someone who can see you feed can be really helpful.

cakebaby Thu 12-Jun-14 22:24:17

Oh and ds was EMCS after 24 hrs stuck. He wouldn't feed from my left. We noticed over a few days he couldn't turn his head to one side so we took him to an osteopath. He turned his head to that side for the 1st time on the way home in the car smile

fixyourgardengate Thu 12-Jun-14 22:28:00

The shields are a faf, but I managed to feed ds up to 10 months with them, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

By that point the shields had become second nature, I used to keep it in my bra (between my boobs) for easy access and could get him latched on with a mimimum fuss. Probably wouldn't recommend that just yet, i know the instructions for the shields say you should sterilise after each use but I'm a lazy cow

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 12-Jun-14 22:41:10

Shields were the only way I could get my tiny prem baby to latch, and saved me from getting red raw. I think I used. Them for about 8 weeks then gradually stopped using them

Congratulations, by the way!

LastOneDancing Thu 12-Jun-14 23:40:25

Another big-booked mum of a c-section baby who wouldn't latch here!

I have been using medela sheilds since day 5 - they saved my sanity. It's pretty much second nature now & I'm a brazen old cow who just flips a boob out, pops it on & away we go. I just thoroughly wash and scald in boiling water after each use.
I'd also second going to an osteopath/chiropractor who specialises in babies - my DS would wail at my boob, being squashed against my pelvis for 22 hours had left him with a very sore neck & jaw. One visit and he was a much happier baby.

I honestly think I've suffered a lot less with cracked nips, thrush etc than the mums around me, so while it's not ideal, its certainly not the end of the world.
Congratulations and good luck with the feeding - it gets so much easier!

redcaryellowcar Fri 13-Jun-14 01:58:46

I think there is a lot of aversion to shields, but if they are enabling you to get some feeding done that is fantastic, you are still really early days, keep going, and try to find a good bf support group to help you with reducing use etc, you probably find as lo gets older and stronger she will manage without.
You sound amazing for five days!

PastaandCheese Fri 13-Jun-14 13:52:30

I find they stick well when wet from the steriliser.

I've fed both my babies with shields.

When out I put a muslin over my shoulder and reach under to put shield on, bring baby's head up and then pull the muslin down under the baby's chin at the last minute.

At the end of the feed I just pull the muslin up again.

fruitpastille Sat 14-Jun-14 07:56:48

Have you got the correct size? I use avent ones as I think they are bigger. They are sterilised in milton solution (I keep a bowl of it on the side in the kitchen) and I rinse with boiled water too before putting in a v small tupperware which I take with me everywhere. I have 2 pairs so only have to do this a couple kf times a day. They stay wet in the box which helps them stick plus I put them on at an angle so dds bottom lip is in contact with my skin. Sometimes the seal is less good but I just make sure I wind dd thoroughly to get all the air out! HTH.

lrb1982 Sat 28-Jun-14 03:57:40

Nipple shields saved my breastfeeding last time. I used them for a good few weeks then once my nipples had healed I started to try without. Basically mid feed once my nipple was shaped properly and my DS was less frantic, I took the shield off. Then after a week or so of doing that, he latched on fine without them. I also have large boobs with small nipples and had a section. My 3rd is now a few days old and already destroying my nipples so I'm going to buy shields tomorrow. Oh and lansinoh cream helped to stick mine in place. Good luck.

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