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How do I get my DS - 3wks old - to open his mouth wider?!

(14 Posts)
NKffffffffe749edcfX11d6d7397af Mon 26-Jan-09 05:30:09

I've been exclusively breast feeding and it's going well in that he is putting on lots of weight. Problem is my nipples are sore and starting to get cracked. Been using Lansinoh and heating/coolong pads and for the past couple of days have resorted to nipple shields to give my nips a break (they've been fantastic btw)!

Midwifes told me he's latching on perfectly but I'm not convinced. He takes most of the areola in his mouth (they are quite small anyway) but it feels like he's pinching my nipple between his gums which doesn't feel right. I can't seem to get him to open his mouth any wider to take the nipple to the back of his mouth. Any advice?

Also, any ideas on how much longer it'll take for the skin on my nipples to harden and not have such soreness??!! Am determined to continue with b/f, it's just a shame to find it so uncomfortable now. Wks 1 and 2 didn't hurt so much. Am considering expressing enough for one feed to give my nipples a break and also to let DH get involved with feeding. Does anyone have experience of that - is it a recommended approach?


RoseOfTheOrient Mon 26-Jan-09 05:54:01

have you tried talking to your baby, along the lines of "Come on, now, open your mouth wider, like this" and open your mouth wide - they are quite good at copying you. SOunds crazy I know smile but it works!
not sure about expressing - to avoid nipple confusion, I don't think bottles are recommended until about 6 or 8 weeks when your supply is regulated, and the baby is over that first big growth spurt at 6 weeks.
try kellymom for lots of info.

Good luck - you are doing GREAT!

foxytocin Mon 26-Jan-09 05:56:25

nipples don't 'toughrn up'

you are probably right. your latch may not be not as good as it ought to be.

he needs to take in more breast tissue into his mouth by his lower jaw than by his upper jaw. a mirror may help you check this?

you can also try baby led attachment which can work amazingly well as babies are primed to feed at this age.

if a baby is latched on well, it should not normally hurt, even if they have suffered some trauma like you described. so do this without the shields.

and last but not least, speak and see a breastfeeding counsellor from one of the bf charities. here is one google bfn, lll, nct for the rest.

good luck in finding the help you need

JacksmamaSaysIHeartTheRev Mon 26-Jan-09 05:58:45

Well done you for breastfeeding, and congratulations on your DS!

I don't have a very good answer - I got DS to open his mouth by tickling his lower lip with my nipple, and then sometimes if it felt pinchy I'd push his chin down a bit farther. Or if it looked like his mouth wasn't open wide enough, I'd quickly pop my nipple out again, which irritated him and he'd open wide. Don't know if that helps.

Also want to say it took about two to three weeks for my nipples to toughen up. There is a homeopathic remedy called Phytolacca that I found very helpful, better than Lansinoh, for me at least. I took the 30C strength, 3 pilules every hour until the pain got better, and then 3 pilules 3 times a day.

And when I was really sore, I'd nurse on the less-sore left breast and pump on the other side (at the same time as DS wasn't bothered by the sound of the pump) to give my right nipple which was cracked a break.

Good luck!
I'm sure someone will be along in the morning with better advice. Tiktok is great for breastfeeding advice, you might try a post asking for her by name.

foxytocin Mon 26-Jan-09 06:02:48

you can watch videos of small babies feeding here

(can't review the links myself because they are blocked by courtesy of the UAE morality people hmmwhere i am at the mo!) so search the site if my link doesn't work.

tiktok Mon 26-Jan-09 08:42:16

I am here but have nothing to add to the great info here - except to say it is really useless if midwives tell mothers the baby is latching on perfectly when this baby clearly is not

Mummyfor3 Mon 26-Jan-09 10:50:19

I found flipping baby's lower lip down with my finger if I felt latch was not good really helpful (advice from "Dr Sears"). Good latch does not hurt at all, nipples do not toughen up. "Good" BF just feels like a drawing/tugging sensation.

Congrats on baba, and well done for persevering!

hewlettsdaughter Mon 26-Jan-09 10:56:09

I had this problem. Tried expressing but could never get very much. Used nipple shields to get me over the worst of the pain and somehow we got there in the end. There's a thread here somewhere...

Get all the help you can - ask if there is a breastfeeding expert who can come and see you.

Lionstar Mon 26-Jan-09 11:00:01

I used to adjust DDs lips once she was latched in the early days because they seemed to be tucked in iyswim. Pull gently down on the chin and stroke the top lip up towards the nose - this helped the latch enourmously and eventually she just got better at it herself (and were still going at 23months!)

chandellina Mon 26-Jan-09 11:17:56

i had this problem with DS until about 10 weeks. I would try to nudge down his chin but i'm not sure it really worked. i just braced myself through the pain, knowing it had to get better, and it did! i would say my nipples toughened up too, though there was lots of cracking and bleeding along the way.

pbo Mon 26-Jan-09 11:20:05

I pushed dd's chin down gently and squeezed my boob on either side just above the areola so it was wider and flatter so she could latch better.

My nipples were so sore after the 1st week it even hurt to express sad. Lansinoh worked well for me as did nipple shields.

I was worried about nipple confusion but dd had a bottle every now and then starting from 2 weeks just to give my nipples a break and she was fine. I express 1 feed a day 9 weeks on just so dh can have a go. If you wait too long to introduce a bottle they sometimes won't accept it. I use the Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles and she's had no problem with those. Tbh, if I hadn't used nipple shields and expressed a bit I probably would have stopped bf. If it keeps your sanity and stops your toes curling it's worth a try I reckon. And keep your chin up, it gets soooo much better grin

Anglepoise Mon 26-Jan-09 13:14:33

I literally used to shove my nipple in with a finger because she never opened wide. Probably not a recommended approach, but it worked for us and still going strong at 17 weeks

MamacitaGordita Mon 26-Jan-09 14:23:48

I found I was shoving DS on a fraction too soon. Wait just a second longer to get an even bigger gape. Tickling his lips sometimes worked, but what has worked quite well for us is to run my nipple down his lower lip to encourage him to open wider and also to curl his bottom lip out. Don't put up with a less-than-ideal latch; take baby off and start again. So many times I just put up with it and it mangled my right nippple, so much so that now although the latch is good the crack is so deep it's healing at a snail's pace! And get some RL experience from a breastfeeding counsellor (better than mw's- BFC's are experts in bf and bf only, mw's are experts in normal childbearing which includes bf, IYKWIM!).

Best of luck and hang in there. DS and I have 'got' bf on the left now (it's taken ages, and we're still mastering the right side!) and it's just such a great relief feeding and not being in pain!

laumiere Mon 26-Jan-09 19:35:29

One of the tips I was given is to put your thumb on the other side of your nipple to where the baby latches (so 9 o clock on the left, 3 o clock on the right). This tips your nipple away slightly so when he does latch, he takes in more areola and the nipple is at the back of the mouth.

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