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Doesn't want to open her nouth wide ehough

(9 Posts)
Teoroy Wed 30-Jul-08 14:37:53

Hello mummies!
I've been bf-ding for the last 4 weeks my newborn baby and it has been a real struggle. Cracked nipples, mastitis, blisters- the lot! I am determined to persevere but it is really hard. I've been trying to make her latch correctly but the problem is that she doesn't want to open her mouth wide enough to get more of the areola in. How can I make her do it? Thanks.

Mummyfor3 Wed 30-Jul-08 15:01:06

Have no advice, sorry, but have been there so just posting in support. What helped DS and me was simply time passing and him getting bigger and learning what to do, I suppose.
Also "breast sandwich" (thumb above areola, index or middle finger below to sort of flatten breast) helped through the worst of it.
Best is probably to get RL advice from BF adviser (HV with special interest, LLL or NCT, or from hospital where you delivered). They should observe a feed to check latch, positioning, how babe drinks etc etc.

Good luck! Perseverance is the key in my experience: it took me 3 children and to over 2 months with DS3 to get it right, but right it is now grin! I wish somebody had told me with previous 2 kids that it can take a while to get the hang of it, because now of course BF v.v.v. convenient (apart from all other benefits).


motherinferior Wed 30-Jul-08 15:03:02

Massage her just below her ear, that joint where the jaw opens. I seem to remember that worked well. Just gently, with a finger.

Thankyouandgoodnight Wed 30-Jul-08 15:04:28

Hello - I have had EXACTLY the same trouble and after a night of some serious practising, I found that the following helped:

Lay baby in position to feed but on a pillow keeping LO at the right height and level with the breast and facing towards you (frees up both your hands!).

Take your boob in one hand and baby's head in the other. With the boob hand, touch baby's nose with your nipple and it will tilt it's head up a bit and open mouth wide and then shove nipple in towards the roof of the mouth and as much of the areola (bit around the nipple) in too. You should end up with more areola below the nipple in the mouth than the top. Using the hand holding baby's head can help you aim!

Now then - if it's not right and baby's mouth isn't open wide, get it off and start again. I found that once on, if it was nearly right but not quite, I eased the bottom lip to curl down the breast and the top to curl upwards and allow one suck and then pull it off and start again. it's like baby needs to learn what it feels like too.

I so feel for you and the pain is something else isn't it?

Do get a breast feeding counsellor to watch you feeding and help you though!

Dawnie6577 Wed 30-Jul-08 15:16:10

I had the same problem and agree with thankyougoodnight, to take baby off if it isn't right and start again.

I wasn't patient enough, I just put my DS on before he was ready. The breastfeeding counsellor told me to wait a while until his mouth was properly open. Also, because of the pain, I wasn't pushing him on far enough (fear of it hurting, holding my breath type anticipation). I was told to make sure I pushed him on with quite a lot of strength.

Once she is better latched on, she will get more milk and so should continue to open wider.

Also, can she stick her tongue out? (You can try by poking your tongue out at her, she should copy). If it doesn't come out very far, she may be tongue tied? I don't know much about it, but believe it is easily fixed. Do go and find a breastfeeding counsellor, they will help.

Good luck.

TinkerBellesMum Wed 30-Jul-08 15:18:39

Just don't put it in until it is big enough, keep talking "come on, big mouth for Mummy" and keeping it calm. Tap the nose, mouth and cheeks with your nipple to tease her. Try putting a finger on her chin and gently pulling it down.

Oh and be quick when you do get a wide mouth!

expatinscotland Wed 30-Jul-08 15:19:10

i found the football hold good for getting enough nipple in DD2's mouth.

and MI's trick.

also the counsellor advised me just as goodnight suggested. if the baby is not on right, get them off and try again, it only takes a couple of bad feeds for things to go off the rails again.

you can use your pinky finger inserted in the corner of baby's mouth to break the suction.

if baby gets really fretful, let it suck your finger a bit to calm it before trying again, they tend to just clamp onto the nipple and chomp on it when they're upset.

MrsSprat Wed 30-Jul-08 15:20:49

Definitely get some in-person help on this.

Had same experience and DD was initially very sleepy to boot; had to wait until she was almost screaming the place down in order for her mouth to be wide enough to get a halfway decent latch. Couldn't get any MW/HV or 'textbooky' tips to work (it was before I signed up for MN). Awful experience ending in mixed then eventually FF after 9 weeks. So if you would like to persevere, do get some expert help.

TinkerBellesMum Wed 30-Jul-08 15:32:07

Yes, I forgot relatch if it hurts. Babies quickly learn what Mummy wants them to do and if they do it wrong they don't get fed.

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