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latching tips for nipple clamper - please!

(6 Posts)
herbaceous Sat 01-Aug-09 11:38:15

Hello all

I am mixed feeding my 3.4 week-old baby. Breastfeeding has been an uphill struggle, but I'm now doing the majority of his feeds via the boob. However, I have a problem...

After a feed, my nipples are slightly squished, with a white line where he's been such so hard. They then have a burning pain for up to an hour afterwards, and are incredibly sensitive to touch - even a towel brushing them hurts. One BF counsellor said she thought it was thrush, but I've googled, and think the pain is more likely to be caused by the nipple blanching. DS clamps on for dear life, especially at the beginning and near the end of a feed. It gets so painful that after him going from boob to boob four times, and still being hungry, I have to give him a bottle.

I know this is to do with 'incorrect latch', but none of the info I've read - on LaLeche website, NCT, BF Network etc etc - give any more constructive advice than a rather finger-wagging 'work on your latch'. Yes, thanks for that. Anyone got any more specific tips as to how it could be incorrect? He doesn't seem to open his mouth very wide, which could be a problem, but I do try to get the nipple towards the roof of his mouth. Could be too close to his top gum...

During the frantic sucking, he's even raised a couple of sore dots on the areola, one right near the nipple, one further away (looking like textbook latching positions!).

Skillbo Sat 01-Aug-09 16:56:39

Hi Hebacious

I have EXACTLY the same problem and so know your pain..I have been feeding my DD for 7 weeks and the pain is not as bad as it was but we still have squished nipple and pain after a feed...

I understand what you are saying about the bloody useless information from the various sources about 'improving the latch' - well tell me how and I'll bloody well try it! Even my breastfeeding counsellor is at a loss which doesn't make me feel any better...

Anyway - rant over and it's not exactly helping you...

How was your baby born? I discovered that Forceps deliveries (which I had) can cause your little one to get a really sore jaw and therefore, they really don't want to open their mouth as wide as they need to for a deep latch..I have been advised that gently massaging the jaw bone under the ears is a good way for them to ease the pain (unfortunately, my little girl has developed the bad habit of just sucking the nips as it's been so long and trying to break her of it is really hard!) you could try this is it sounds like it could be this?

I am sure you have tried every hold under the sun but have you done the one where they crawl up your stomach and latch themselves on? I did this for a few feeds before my lazy lady decided to just lie on my stomach and scream but this is the only way I have had a round nipple pop out after a feed! It's the NCT way apparently - google it maybe?

Not sure how much help this is - I am just feeding through the pain as I have been told it will eventually ease even if she continues to squish it (?) and she is gaining weight so that's the main thing..but I really do sympathise and will keep an eye on this thread to see if anyone else comes up with any tips...

thaliablogs Sat 01-Aug-09 17:31:04

For real practical help on improving latch, I found the videos here incredibly helpful, plus the diagrams on the 'improving latch' handout. Hope that helps!

herbaceous Sat 01-Aug-09 20:22:57

Thanks ladies

I've had a look at that Jack Newman site, and it's v helpful, though the videos wont load, and the site times out.

SKILLBO - He was born by emergency c section, so I don't know if he was grabbed round the head or anything. Mercifully, I couldn't see!

I have done the 'biological nurturing' thing - when they bob about for the boob - and it does help, but he's so voracious it's still pretty eye-watering for the first 15 seconds or so.

In cradle hold, etc, I find it quite hard to co-ordinate his flailing arms, the height of his head, the position of his nose, running the nipple along the mouth, making his head go back, etc etc. It can be a case of 'oh that looks OK - bung him on', which could sometimes be the problem!

Mummy369 Mon 03-Aug-09 00:17:13

Bless! You poor thing. You really need an experienced breastfeeding support worker or a lactation consultant to come and see you and assess your baby's latch. He is certainly not latching on well and you're right - when he comes off the breast and the nipple looks pinched and devoid of colour he has been clamped down and had you in a vice-like grip for the duration of the feed!

I think you would really benefit from some very intensive face-to-face support from a breastfeeding specialist. In the meantime, try an exaggerated latch - this is where you literally try and get as much of the nipple and areola as possible in to the baby's mouth.

It may be that the cradle hold isn't quite the right position for you both at the moment. Have you been shown the cross-cradle position? You may find that this works better for you - baby's arms are tucked around the breast; tummy-to-mummy; the hand furthest away (from the breast you are feeding from) is the one used to support baby's neck and under the head - and guides baby to the breast. Then, as soon as baby opens his mouth wide enough you 'bung him on' - be as firm as you need to - it's a soft landing! You can also make minor adjustments after he starts to suckle..

frizzee Mon 03-Aug-09 00:40:45

I had the same problem and found that pushing the nipple in when baby is sucking so that all the areola gets in helped. I used Lansinoh nipple cream which soothed them. Also lying on my side on the bed worked too.

I know it's easy for me to say but try not to bottle feed him too. It could be adding to the problem because the way he has to suck on a bottle teet is completely different to sucking on a nipple.

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