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Help! Just can't get a good latch... causing no end of problems....

(10 Posts)
Debcot Wed 14-Oct-09 18:40:07

Hi there, I'm mum to 3 children, youngest of which is 12 weeks. I breastfed the first two with soreness throughout, and so hoped it would be better 3rd time round. Nope. Despite reading around it, seeing a LLL leader, a helpful health visitor, still, I'm having a bad time. I'm fairly sure i have particularly sensitive nipples, as all 3 'look' like they have latched on ok, even to a midwife, but blisters form at first feed. With my 12 wk old, I've had very sore nipples, recurrent blocked ducts - a new problem to me - (with mastitis once), thrush i think (stabbing pains and pain between feeds gone now i've been given 14day course of fluclonazole).

I'm pretty sure its mostly to do with the latch, with a bit of oversupply thrown in. My sorest side tends to be pinched/ridged and blanched at end of feed. I've tried every position. Admittedly, baby doesn'topen particularly wide, but never has. if ever I squash my boob enough for him to get lots in, he either pulls back or has moved back within seconds. I also think the angle is wrong, as the white ridge is off centre - on the part that is closest to his lower jaw.

I've tried putting him on me as i recline, holding him higher up (as my nipples point up and out - unusual shape apparently!!!). I would hang from the rafters like a fruitbat if it would work!!)

I did get a couple of comfortable feeds yesterday (for the first time) after reading somewhere that 'nose to nipple' doesn't always work, and pointing the nipple to back of throat may be better - it did seem to be, but then today, i can't seem to replicate it, and soreness returns.

Baby's putting on weight well ( i think i've had too much milk for him, as i'm frequently engorged/blocked, and anything brushing against me sets off a v painful letdown, + lots of leaking - this is settling down a bit after doing 'block feeding' and one side per feed).

I'm totally fed up with people saying why don't you just stop - if i'm only slightly late feeding him i get a horrible painful blocked duct, which at times won't allow ANY milk to come out, so how on earth will it be when i stop. Plus I just want it to work!!!

I haven't gone into the emotional side of the last 12 wks and what its like to not be able to hold any of my children close as i'm too sore... I've not cried today so I'm doing well.

Sorry to ramble, I'm new to this. If anyone out there has any tips on adjusting the latch so my nipple isn't pulled out of shape, or any ideas on where to point it when pointing to the nose/roof of mouth isn't working, I'd be so grateful.

Its so helpful to read these threads and know you're not the only one out there - I've never posted before but thanks to all those who do - it really helps smile

slushy06 Wed 14-Oct-09 20:25:18

Hi like you my ds and dd would not attach painlessly with nipple to nose both of mine only opened wide enough if I put my nipple on their chin and waited for them to go for it.
You sound like you are really having a rough time and I hope things get easier soon.

Misspaella Wed 14-Oct-09 21:10:47

Debcot I don't have much to add except that I am on the same boat. I have never been a great bf and this is my 3rd time doing it. DS2 is nearly 15weeks and bf has gone from pure agony, agony, painful, to now sore. I have seen 9 different bfc and lactation consultants and not one of them could figure out why it was still hurting.

DS2 did have tongue tie (snipped twice) and it only made a little difference.

I was finally told that I should just accept that for some reason bf with DS2 would be painful and it would get less and less painful as his mouth got bigger. And yes it has but it is still uncomfortable.

I can't give proper hugs to my other DCs or DH or even have a towel round my upper body after a shower.

What has saved me are my silverettes (best investment ever!) which help heal the soreness. I reckon without them (or Lansinoh and Jalonet) I would have stopped bf by now.

If I can get to 19 weeks I would have already bf DS2 the longest compared to my other 2. If I can get to 26 weeks I would probably open a bottle of champagne.

Hope it gets better for you (and me) smile

thisisyesterday Wed 14-Oct-09 21:14:27

has baby been checked for tongue tie?

i would go bnack to a breastfeeding counsellor or lactationconsultant.
have look at and see if there is one local to you.
i am lucky enough to live near one staffed by 2 lactation consultants who were fantastic when i had troubles with ds3.

my first 2 were both tongue tied and my experiences were almost identical to yours. ds2's was snipped at 3 weeks and it was a HUGE relief!

thisisyesterday Wed 14-Oct-09 21:16:05

oh and another tip... try biological nurturing

google for it, or look on youtube for videos.

best bit of advice i got was not to hold my breast at all, but to let baby come to it himself and attach himself on.
it really did the trick

Debcot Wed 14-Oct-09 21:36:47

thanks so much for replying. Sorry some others are in same boat. I know where coming from misspaella. You deserve a golden boob award- something a friend said to me which made me chuckle! What are silverettes? Also, have you tried jacknewman's recipe for nipple ointment? Not that its made much diff to me, but might help you. You have to persuade your gp to prescribe the ingredients and make it up yourself. Anything's worth a try.

I did try biol. nurturing at an earlier stage, but was too sore to let ds flop around the area! But will try again now not as sore as then.

I have been to see a la leche leader, who doesn't think he's tongue tied. She advised latching him on while he's in an upright position, something to do with my nipples being sat high on my boobs. I think i did get a slightly less sore feed it didn't happen again. At the mo i tend to feed lay down as it seems to empty the boob more, and last couple of times tried feeding when out i had another 48hrs of unblocking to do- pretty much ties me to the house but i.m trying to tell myself that's what mat leave is for... Nowt convenient about my experience of bf tho!

Will try the biol nurt., and try not to mess with my boob (tricky for me as i tend to mess with it as a distraction from the pain and also to help empty it, but prob shouldn't...) and hope gets better as his mouth gets bigger. Thanks guys x

Misspaella Thu 15-Oct-09 07:12:04

I tried biological nurturing too but was too sore to get head bobbing about iyswm.

Silverettes -
They are little cuplets that you put over your nipple with a drop of bm and it uses the milk and silver healing to remedy sore/cracked nipples. They really really work! I bought them "just in case" for DC3 and have been using them since birth. Best investment ever.

Debcot Thu 15-Oct-09 08:06:32

thanks, will give those a go. Just had another relatively comfortable feed on sorest side- think clare byamcook has got something in her theory that we shouldn't be aiming the nipple up- wrong angle which can cause huge discomfort- since reading that, been aiming for back of mouth, and i would say 1in2 feeds not hurting! If interested i.ll type in the relevant paragraph later when i get a min. Thanks for info on silverettes- think i.ll give them a try x

tiktok Thu 15-Oct-09 09:15:35

Hope you get good help, Debcot.

Nipple to nose is often misunderstood. It does not mean, really, aim your nipple at the baby's's just a technique that enables some mothers and babies ensure the nipple is not posted into the centre of the mouth (where it will be 'blocked' by the tongue, therefore ensuring the nipple gets compressed against the hard palate). Latch needs to be assymetric, and if the baby's mouth is closed when coming to the breast and the head is slightly back, having the nipple near the top lip/skin between lip and nose/nose (whatever works) will mean when the baby's mouth opens, the latch will be assymetric when the nipple goes in.

Personally, I never say 'nipple to nose' as I have seen too many people get into knots trying to do it this way. I don't think 'pointing' or 'aiming' is a good word to use.

There is no one way of getting a latch. Differences in mothers and babies mean some will need to find their own way, which is one reason why biological nurturing can work well. It allows the baby to find his own way.

Debcot Thu 15-Oct-09 11:40:33

Thanks tiktok. I guess I thought I understood the mechanics of it, but I think the location of the ridge on my nipple would've been a clue to angle it slightly differently. Think I do need to just find my own way, as i've had help through feeding 3 children now from La Leche Leaders, health visitors etc, and it just seems that when my nipple is angled/tilted upwards in the way they all say, i am in pain, whatever the theory. Fingers crossed the improvement continues. To all those out there going through the same thing, I so feel for you.


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