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Is it normal for baby to need to be correct position to the mm to be able to feed?

(24 Posts)
sparkling123 Wed 21-Nov-18 21:29:09

Hi everyone,
Have 6 week old and wanted to know if this is normal.
Once she latches correctly, let down has started and it feels right (no pinching/pain), she can only maintain this if she is kept rigidly in this position to the mm. Any minor movement away from this results in my nipples getting pinched. She can also only keep this up for about 5 mins but I'm now not sure if this is in my mind as I get tired from having to hold her so firmly and forcefully to me.

I can get her latch, and I know my milk is there as I've had days of just expressing milk and there's always plenty.

I have spoken to professionals, it's a long story and I feel like I'm nowhere nearer to a solution so just wondering if this is in fact normal and how I need to be feeding?... or does it sound like it needs further investigation.

Thanks everyone

OP’s posts: |
FiresideTreats Thu 22-Nov-18 03:29:12

Hi, sorry - what do you mean by the mm? And what position(s) do you currently feed her in?

DameSylvieKrin Thu 22-Nov-18 03:50:04

OP means ‚to the millimetre‘ i.e. even a tiny movement is a problem.
I have a 7w old who found it very hard to latch, probably owing to being premature.
It is true for me that if I move or let him move (he often lets the nipple slide out very slightly after a minute or two) it hurts so I assume the latch gets more shallow.
However, I don’t find it a strain to keep him there and he can carry on for a long time.
Are you comfortable enough when you are feeding? Do you use a pillow?
I lie down to feed him also during the day if he’s feeding a lot to avoid my shoulders getting stiff.

FiresideTreats Thu 22-Nov-18 04:08:20

Ah! Of course! Thank you.

Waiting to hear what position OP is feeding in but do wonder if once baby gains more head control things will feel easier as well? I am no expert though.

Have you popped into a local BF support group and shown them what's happening? They might be able to offer some positioning techniques to help.

sparkling123 Thu 22-Nov-18 06:54:09

Morning, I'm using rugby position due to c section. It was movement by the millimetre, and is as you say Dame.
I've been seen a few times, it's a long story but she has mild tongue tie, and right on the border when nhs will cus it. My position has been checked and all fine, consultant is sure something is not right anatomically as she says there is not really a reason for me to get pain from the position I've got her in.
I do need to get more comfortable, I have to hold her too me with so much force for it to work, literally like I am squeezing her against me for dear life, I can't squeeze any harder. This is how I was shown and it does work but is so hard to maintain.

Thanks for replies.

OP’s posts: |
FiresideTreats Thu 22-Nov-18 08:27:35

Oh gosh, that does sound tough. I don't have experience of either c section or tongue tie, but have read on MN time and time again how even a so-called mild tongue tie can affect feeding quite drastically. I hope someone with more experience can offer some knowledge. Is a private TT snip an option for you?

sparkling123 Thu 22-Nov-18 09:02:32

Thanks Fireside, yeah I'm now considering booking private today. I'm just still unsure if what I'm experiencing is that unusual, the lactation consultant (who has been marvellous) seems to think so, but I just wanted to do a bit of a Mumsnet poll to see if it is actually that unusual.
My thinking was that if lots of ladies experience problems with keeping baby latched in exact position I would preserve with this approach of uncomfortable hold, otherwise I will go for private tt session.

OP’s posts: |
FiresideTreats Thu 22-Nov-18 15:08:34

My DS struggled to latch at first but he didn't have a tongue tie. I mostly did the cross cradle hold but did do rugby to encourage feeding from his least preferred side but I don't remember having to hold him so snug and still. It may of course be normal for your baby and it may improve as she grows stronger.

Have you tried feeding by lying on your side? Or cradle/cross cradle with baby on a pillow instead of on your body? I am sorry if I am suggesting the impossible with your c section recovery!

BertieBotts Thu 22-Nov-18 15:11:42

At 6 weeks old I think this can be normal yes. But you could push for tongue tie division if it's really extreme. There should be a vacuum suction so that a little movement is not a big deal.

Short term - sounds like a feeding pillow would be enormously helpful if you can get hold of one.

BertieBotts Thu 22-Nov-18 15:13:41

The thing is I forgot about the exact positioning, I only know about it because I have a 13 week old and I was getting lazy with his positioning in the beginning, it was only help on here which made me see I was trying to feed him like I would an older baby (like I remembered feeding my older son).

DameSylvieKrin Thu 22-Nov-18 17:06:16

I had a section too and I wonder if your discomfort might be partially related to that? When I was discharged the nurse told me to expect back pain because the back would be taking over for the stomach muscles for a short time.
Also, are nipple shields any help with tongue tie? My son is still not great at latching and I found that they really helped to train him in the correct position, but he doesn’t have tongue tie. He just doesn’t have the instinct to open the mouth wide before latching.

sparkling123 Fri 23-Nov-18 12:59:57

Yes Dame, I definitely think a lot of the discomfort in holding her is related. I read just yesterday about getting more back and shoulder ache after a section as you overcompensate for the stomach muscles. I do find myself hunching a lot trying to correct that now I'm aware of it and stomach is healed. I got a boppy pillow and it made a huge difference. Also shields but I need to keep practicing. Thank you for the support. You are stars smile

OP’s posts: |
ajw88 Fri 23-Nov-18 13:04:00

I bought a curved pillow to rest dc3 on because he found it difficult to latch at first and same thing, I was stuck in that position. It helped ease my arm A LOT! Just a cheap one off eBay. He has been fine feeding since about 5 weeks but still not as easy as my previous 2.

Ohyesiam Fri 23-Nov-18 13:05:03

Op I’m not sure if this is a Helpful thing to say. But for me breastfeeding her for the first 12 weeks and then my nipples right numb. I’ve had huge problems getting the latch on correct but I think it was just partly to do with the shape of my anatomy. Hang on in there.

Have you seen an NCT feeding counsellor?

blueskiesandforests Fri 23-Nov-18 13:14:15

I had 3 c sections and my older 2 had tongue ties (I didn't even realuse the extent of the difference that makes until dc3 was born without a tongue tie and feeding him was as easy as breathing - how was it so easy right from day 1? It was a revelation!

DC1's tongue tie wasn't spotted til she was about 6 weeks (MW in hospital and on home visits didn't notice, health visitor did). Breastfeeding was hard initially.

I must say though by 6 weeks it was getting pretty easy - DD was a big, full term, baby with good head control by 6 weeks - to the extent that although MW suggested getting the tongue tie cut I didn't do it. Breast fed til 12 months, by which point she was a solid walking / running toddler who climbed up for a feed sitting up blush

So I'd say that while c section plus tongue tie makes it hard as you describe initially, it shouldn't still be like that and there is something else going on. I don't know what but would push the professionals youve been talking to for more investigation.

Onynx Fri 23-Nov-18 13:18:42

Get them to check for both posterior and anterior tongue ties. You shouldn't have to clamp her so tightly after six weeks.

blueskiesandforests Fri 23-Nov-18 13:19:29

I must say I never got the hang of the rugby ball hold at all despite breastfeeding3 babies for roughly a year each - it never felt right, I just couldn't latch them and hold them that way.

I'm glad the pillow is helping - I also used a v shape pillow at first and for longer during endless evening cluster feeding.

I really think it should be getting a bit easier by 6 weeks though.

Nutkins24 Fri 23-Nov-18 13:24:16

Ime this is normal for young babies. I’ve ended up with backache (didn’t have a section) from staying in uncomfortable positions as once they’re on I daren't move. Like most bf issues it massively improves after about 8-12 weeks. Then they seem to be able to limpet on however they’re held. Use lots of cushions, get comfy then bring baby to the nipple. I have a tendency to hunch down towards baby and when the midwife pointed this out it was a game changer. I hadn’t even realised I was doing it.

sparkling123 Mon 26-Nov-18 09:36:30

Took her to a private tt consultant on Saturday, she took a quick look and confirmed she had tt, and did the procedure very quickly. She then advised me to stop doing rugby hold and go for cradle instead as she said it would be easier to maintain as baby grows.
Baby has now latched without pain!! But only to left side, so I need to work on my technique for right side.
I am a little annoyed the nhs consultant couldn't help with this, plus I had to wait 4 weeks for my referral, wish I'd just gone private in first place.

OP’s posts: |
sparkling123 Mon 26-Nov-18 09:38:27

When I say quick look, she did examine properly with an implement, it was just didn't take long at all for her to diagnose, maybe a minute. The hospital consultant was looking for about 10 minutes.

OP’s posts: |
blueskiesandforests Mon 26-Nov-18 10:50:07

sparkling123 my dc1's tongue tie was missed at her check up before leaving hospital and by the midwife. GP who did her 6 weeks check missed it too. Health visitor sptted it straight away. She was born in England. It doesn't seem to be something that health care professionals are expected to have much knowledge of. Frustrating as it's such an easy fix! DC 2 was born in Germany and all health care professionals involved with babies are trained to spit tongue tie and even though I didn't have it cut both paediatrician at his 3 day check and midwife pointed it out.

Wonder if lack of training about tongue ties is linked to not brilliant breastfeeding rates....

Glad things are improving for you!

DameSylvieKrin Mon 26-Nov-18 14:07:23

Glad to hear you got it sorted! My 8.5 w old has suddenly got the hang of latching and does it properly every time, hopefully it’s an age thing as PP said and an improvement is just around the corner!

rebelrosie12 Mon 26-Nov-18 14:15:26

It's so bad to hear of tt being missed all the time. There is no such thing as a mild tt! If it's affecting feeding then it's not mild. Glad to hear you got it sorted OP.

sparkling123 Mon 26-Nov-18 16:45:25

Thanks for the encouragement! I need it! Had a much better day today with her and she actually managed to 'finish' a breast, it took a while but we've never got that far before. Still my right breast.
I had a better day with my left one as well. I also started using this trick to keep her awake that I read online, that is rubbing the palm of her hand to keep her awake, something to do with accupuncture! I've tried lots of things in past, stripping off, tickling feet etc and wet flannel when she was very sleepy early on. Hope that we turn a corner soon like you say!

OP’s posts: |

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