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OK, can someone talk me through 'latching on'?

(26 Posts)
bumperlicious Tue 10-Jul-07 13:49:53

DD is 3 weeks tomorrow and we are having an up and down time with BFing. I keep thinking we are latching on, I know the theory (nipple to nose etc.) but my breasts still really hurt and nipples are coming out wedge shaped.

I have been going to a bfing support group, which is great, and they give me good advice, but I just can't seem to put it into practice, and the cousellor has watched me a couple of times but I hate monopolising her time when there are other women who need her help. So can anyone give me some tips.
I do nipple to nose, but then she doesn't seem to reach up far enough for it, and then I lose patience and am just desperate to get her on. But it's still hurting. Nipples aren't cracked any more, but throbbing.

tiktok Tue 10-Jul-07 14:28:22

Bump - nipple to nose is very misleading, and to be honest, I never tell mothers this. It is only a guide when the baby's mouth is firmly closed. The idea behind it is that the nipple will enter the mouth going into the top third, with the head tipped slightly back - and this happens when the mouth opens and the mum brings the baby on. If you do nose to nipple with the mouth already open, it won't work (unless the baby already knows how to latch).

Forget nose to nipple, in fact. It's not working for you. Just drop it.

Instead, hold your baby skin to skin, in the biological nurturing position (ie you leaning back slightly or even more than slightly, with her able to help herself.....in fact best to look here for pics.

I suspect you need a break from trying to do it by the book, and your baby does too. A new tactic will wipe the slate clean

Post again if it doesn't work.

popsycal Tue 10-Jul-07 14:29:51

tiktok - was it you or mears who posted a link to a video of latching on some time ago?

I found that very helpful...

kiskidee Tue 10-Jul-07 14:38:12

another thing to look at and it should work in tandem with the idea of biological nurturing in breast crawl. look here for the video I posted this link not so long ago and at least one mn mum and one rl friend of mine found it worked for them with a newborn baby when they couldn't get their baby to latch on well but the baby managed it themselves.

tiktok Tue 10-Jul-07 14:39:38

There are video clips at the US site www.breastfeeding.com - maybe they could help.

bumperlicious Tue 10-Jul-07 14:43:39

Thanks, will check out those links. I did see the breast crawl video, but will it work even after 3 weeks? and obviously it's not practical long term! Feel a bit weird about trying it, not sure why, I guess I like to be in control

Thanks for the tip re nose to nipple tiktok, she has had he mouth open while I've been doing that, so will scratch that for. Right, going to check out these sites.

kiskidee Tue 10-Jul-07 14:45:53

it should work at 3 wks. the mum on mn who did it, had a 5 or 6 wk old. my friend had a preemie born at 30 wks and was about term at the time.

kiskidee Tue 10-Jul-07 14:48:37

take a bath with your baby. lie on the bed afterwards and give it a try. babies are driven by instinct to find the breast. someone somewhere else said the cradle hold allows a baby to use 3 instincts: root, latch, suck. Breastcrawl allows 17. (don't know what they all are though) Once they learn how to do it, then you don't really 'need' to do it later on.

sleepycat Tue 10-Jul-07 15:16:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiktok Tue 10-Jul-07 15:17:49

I would second the encouragement to do the breast crawl

Spockster Tue 10-Jul-07 15:23:05

I had the same problem, esp when breasts engorged. My nipple was too big for her to get a good mouthful of, and she kept sliding off...MW told me to squidge the nipple between thumb and forefinger as she latches on so she can get a good mouthful, and can hold on better...it did work!

FoeGlassSlipper Tue 10-Jul-07 15:29:57

The breastcrawl video is amazing!

I would suggest trying to feed lying down. I always felt more relaxed. Also push your breast into the babies mouth a bit. Often they need a bit of help. Never like nose to nipple myself.

InTheseShoes Tue 10-Jul-07 15:30:00

Was just about to recommend the same as Sprockster - my bf counsellor referred to it as a "nipple sandwich" - squashed between edge of thumb and forefinger so it's the shape of a liquorice torpedoe for want of a better explanation. Worked like a dream for me and I had the flattest nipples known to man, had to feed ds1 with shields for four months and was glad to finish, but now with ds2, feeding is fabulous, seriously thinking about being an extended breastfeeder I am enjoying it so much. Stick with it, keep coming back for help here, good luck!

InTheseShoes Tue 10-Jul-07 15:31:55

Ooh, also, I feed DS2 on one of my boobs in the "rugby ball" position, i.e., under the arm. The other boob he latches on better in the "usual" position. Should also add have massive norks, and still this is ok, and nipple sandwich really helped.

Jacanne Tue 10-Jul-07 15:34:44

Does her lip curl down under your nipple - I always used that as a good guide as to whether dd was latched on correctly.

If you need help I am sure the BFC wouldn't mind you monopolising her time.

here is a good place to get some advice if you want to talk to a BFC online

There are also some good pictures in this leaflet if you download it.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_4084 370

bumperlicious Tue 10-Jul-07 16:29:18

so if i try the breast crawl and dd 'learns' to latch on that way, should it make it easier doing it the normal way. only, i can just see the faces of people in the M&S cafe when i lay down in the middle of the floor and strip naked...

rainbow83 Tue 10-Jul-07 21:44:12

hi there, check out this link: http://www.expressyourselfmums.co.uk/article.asp?category_id=9&case_id=30

it helped me loads.

kiskidee Wed 11-Jul-07 11:11:29

i suppose babies get better at latching themselves on if we don't 'overhelp' them. no, you won't have to strip off that in M&S.

bumperlicious Wed 11-Jul-07 11:29:14

Kisdee - I tried the breast crawl last night! It was amazing! Just hoping that it will help us in the long run, though the past two feeds we still haven't got a great latch. But the HV is coming in a minute, hope she will be able to help.

Feeling a bit of a failure really I was such a swot at school, I hate not being able to do something perfectly! This is something that no matter how many books and articles I read I still can't do it right! Just need to practice!

Quiddaitch Wed 11-Jul-07 11:33:04

more video clips of how to spot a good latch

and a bit of a <squeeze> for you... it can be tough but you're getting there i'm sure.

Katy44 Wed 11-Jul-07 11:34:03

I can second the nipple sandwich, especially when you're engorged.
Plus, I'd read all the books, nose to nipple etc, when I was in the hospital the midwife just grabbed my breast and pushed as much of it into his mouth as she could (obviously not as violent as it sounds!) and it worked - that's what I've done ever since, and never had any problems with sore nipples etc. Just make sure you're aiming the nipple upwards slightly.

MadMumsy Wed 11-Jul-07 11:36:31

Yes, I agree with Katy44 - just shove as much into her mouth as possible, curl your toes and go for it!!

Katy44 Wed 11-Jul-07 11:39:48

I hate to say this as I think I'm in a lucky minority, but I've also always found that if it hurts he's not latched on right. If it feels like he's got teeth, I take him off and usually find I have a second nipple fairly near my first one where he's been sucking! If he's on right it doesn't hurt apart from the obvious discomfort of someone sucking your breasts for 8 hours a day (or whatever it is).

kiskidee Sat 21-Jul-07 11:33:11

how is it going, bumper? their mouths get bigger and maybe doing the breastcrawl when its convenient for you will keep 'teaching' her what to do. sorry, just saw this post.

bumperlicious Sun 22-Jul-07 09:14:21

hi kiskidee, we seem to be mostly cracking it! although when we are tired it's more difficult and one bad latch can set us back. it's more good than bad though!

one problem that we are still having is if i try and delatch her if it is hurting after a couple times she gets pretty narked off and refuses to latch on any more. makes me just want to keep her on and grit my teeth! trying not to though. thanks for asking after us though

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