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DD not breastfeeding - advice please!

(20 Posts)
TwentiethCenturyHeffa Tue 22-Jul-08 12:56:49

My DD is a week old today and I've not been able to get her on the breast. I've been expressing all her feeds, which I'm happy to keep on doing as long as she needs it although it's quite tiring.

It seems that my nipples are just too big for her mouth because she's keen to feed and tries to latch on but just can't get a good enough mouthful to start. We feed her the expressed milk at the breast so that she keeps the connection between nipple and food. She still looks for my breast if she's hungry.

I was just wondering if anyone had any good advice? We've tried nipple shields but she hates them. At the moment we're hoping that her mouth will get big enough soon to take the nipple properly but I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem?

Thanks in advance - this might be a bit of a post and run as the PIL are here all day (hmm) but I will check back as soon as I can.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mimsy2000 Tue 22-Jul-08 13:00:17

oh gosh, how stressful for you. i also had problems early on due to a very sleep baby from a pethidine injection during labour. could you not get your midwife to come have a look? sometimes it's a bit easier for an outsider to see the problem. good luck.

cmotdibbler Tue 22-Jul-08 13:01:37

You really need to see a breastfeeding counsellor face to face to get some proper advice - try calling one of the helplines listed here and talk to someone about it.

Unless your DD is really tiny and your nipples are huge there shouldn't be a problem. What did your midwife/health vistor say ?

PortAndLemon Tue 22-Jul-08 13:01:52

See a breastfeeding counsellor in person, urgently.

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers Tel. 08444 122 949
The Breastfeeding Network Tel. 0844 412 4664
La Leche League Tel. 0845 120 2918
National Childbirth Trust Tel. 0870 444 8708

Are you very engorged when she tries to latch on? Expressing a bit just to soften up the breast can help with that.

kiskidee Tue 22-Jul-08 13:02:48

try biological nurturing. Search the breast and bottlefeeding archives for more info. sorry kinda rushed right now.

also google 'baby led attachment' the Australian Breastfeeding Association website has some good info pages on this. Baby led attachement is the same as biological nurturing.

I have big nipples too. when latching on the traditional way, I used to 'post' my nipple into her mouth.

TwentiethCenturyHeffa Tue 22-Jul-08 14:16:51

Thanks for the advice and all the contacts. I think seeing a proper breastfeeding counsellor would be useful. I've been seeing the community midwives who have been fantastic (very helpful with expressing). The post-natal breastfeeding support I had in hospital was dire which I don't think helped. I've been trying to feed her with them there but we just can't seem to get her latched on and suckling. She's done it once or twice but doesn't seem to be getting very much. Seeing someone one-to-one would probably be useful.

I'm not too engorged thanks to the expressing although they were at first, which may have been a problem initially.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TwentiethCenturyHeffa Tue 22-Jul-08 22:25:57

She normally is tummy to mummy and nipple to nose, but I've not tried the trick of stroking her top lip. I'll give that a try and see how it goes. Thanks for the advice! And don't worry about stating the obvious, I'm very new to this

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 22-Jul-08 22:36:55

Message withdrawn

thisisyesterday Tue 22-Jul-08 22:44:59

TCH have you tried biological nurturing? sometimes just letting baby find her way on will lead to a good latch.
sometimes the "proper" way to do things just doesn't work, especially when you have issues like big nipples etc.

toddlerhip Tue 22-Jul-08 22:46:26

You have to be kind of quick as soon as they open their mouth wide and really shove (post) in the boob as much as possible (sorry!). I know it sounds obvious but they have to be snuggled in really close to you. I was worried at first there was so much boob in their face they can't breathe but they do. Maybe also squeeze out a little bit of milk onto the nipple if you are having trouble with the wide mouth. Wide mouth is really the key.

why do you think lo didn't get much before?

islandofsodor Tue 22-Jul-08 22:49:54

i can't saythat this exactly happened to me. We will never know why ds would not latch on, one theory is that he coudn't open his mouth wide enough which was borne out by the fact when he finally did one month later it was agony as his hard palate was compressing against my nipple as his mouth wasn;t openeing wide enough still.

Anyway I digress. the bfc was wonderful but couldn't avtually do anything other than suggest ways of getting him back to the breast without getting hysterical (he had become very frustrated and we needed to get him to accept being calm first, sounds klke things are not that bad for you. We did lots of skinto skin, taking him into the bath with me, dripping expressed milk from a syringe down my breast. Occasionally he deigned to lick the drips!!!!

I expressed and fed from a ininfant feeding cup (looks like the top off a bottle) as that apparently increased the chances of him latching on eventually, he didn;t learn the wrong sucking mechanism.

One thing the bfc also did was provide incredible emotional support for the times (and there were many) when I felt like packing it all in.

Hopefully it will encourage you to say that after about a month he suddenly without warning latched on and I went on to feed him for way over 12 months.

LackaDAISYcal Tue 22-Jul-08 23:00:49

hi 20thCHeffa. Sorry you are having these problems and i hope you can get things sorted as soon as possible. I would second getting a BFC to come out and see you as a matter of urgency and help with your latch; the longer she gets used to using a teat, the harder it will be to get her to latch at all, and pumping all the time is bloody exhausting and difficult to keep up if you are to maintain your supply.

In the meantime another position you can try is the rugby ball or underarm hold, where baby lies on a pillow beside you with feet tucked under your armpit. When i was having problems with DD opening her mouth wide enough to latch we tried this way and she seemed to be opening up much wider than in the cradle or cross cradle positions.

Good Luck

toddlerhip Tue 22-Jul-08 23:03:34

My feeling is it is better to get her on the boob asap before she gets too used to bottle feeding even if you don't think you are doing it quite right (as long as she isn't distressed) until you see someone. Even if you have to express too. Also, expressing and sterilising is tiring and a real fag and (obviously) nothing like as nice. Also you produce less milk expressing as the hormones are activated by having your baby.

try watching some videos re positioning (google breastfeeding video)...i think it can really help watching other people.

toddlerhip Tue 22-Jul-08 23:05:44

sorry, i meant having your baby nursing and close.

TwentiethCenturyHeffa Thu 24-Jul-08 12:16:17

Just wanted to say thanks for all the fab advice and support here. I spent yesterday with a community MW and breastfeeding counsellor and they think we're making progress. I've admitted myself to the community hospital for tonight so that they can give me continuous support overnight and help me get it sorted since they reckon she's really close to latching on.

Thanks again, your posts helped me get the support I needed to carry on with it!

cmotdibbler Thu 24-Jul-08 13:13:37

Great news ! Really glad to hear that you have had some good support

jimmyjammys Thu 24-Jul-08 23:57:22

I had a few problems in the beginning as well with DS not opening his mouth wide enough and taking enough of the nipple - i watched a few videos on line - i think the jack newman ones?? can't remember of the top of my head but eventually I worked out that squishing my nipple to make it smaller and putting it into his mouth when he opened worked for me.

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