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Breastfeeding help!

(14 Posts)
Sophie2309 Mon 14-Dec-20 12:43:32

Hiya everyone, but of a long post but here it goes!

I'm a first time mum to my beautiful 5 week old baby girl. When I was pregnant and she was born, I had no intentions of breastfeeding her, only bottle feeding. I suffered a 4th degree tear which required surgical repair and the hospital put me on strong antibiotics to ward off infection as a precaution. After being home for a few days, Erin (baby girl) kept searching my chest when I was holding her, and I began to feel so guilty and cried because I couldn't try to breast feed due to the antibiotics. The ones they put me on I couldn't breastfeed with, but whilst in hospital that wasn't an issue as at the time I didn't want to try breastfeed. I began expressing and throwing the milk away to try keep my milk supply/get it going so that I could try breastfeed once the antibiotics and pain meds were out my system.

By the time Erin was 12 days old, all meds etc were out my system and I began giving her the milk I was expressing. I wasn't getting a lot out, an ounce overall from both (combined). This gradually decreased to 10ml total if I was lucky after a 30 minute session with an electric pump. I have a manual one too but it hurt my nipples. I did try get her to latch several times but she just couldn't do it.

I gave up expressing Thursday 3rd, as it was taking several sessions to get 2 ounces out of me, and when Erin is having 5oz bottles it wasn't worth the stress it was causing me. Come Thursday just gone, Erin kept searching me and my boobs were sore so I thought I'd give it a try, she latched on!

My issue is, is that I have flat nipples and she keeps letting go, or when she is latched on, I'm getting very sore because she latch isn't right because she doesn't open her mouth wide enough and is used to bottle teats and flat nipples makes it difficult to begin with.

I've looked into nipple shields, has anyone had any luck with them having flat nipples? Does it help baby latch on? Im so sore and only getting worse but I really want her to have my milk!

Any help would be brilliant xx

OP’s posts: |
WutheringShites86 Mon 14-Dec-20 13:26:04

Hi, I don't gave any experience with shields or flat nipples but wanted to suggest La Leche League for support and advice for you. I did an online course with them about breastfeeding when I was pregnant during lockdown and they have local volunteers you can chat with. Their advice was great and I've been ebf my dd for 17 weeks now with no issues. Best of luck.

guessthatswhytheycallittheblue Mon 14-Dec-20 13:36:13

Not very helpful but i had 1 nipple that was slightly inverted and flat compared to the other side, it took more perserverance but I could feed successfully from that breast without a shield or anything.

Echoing the above suggestion to contact La Leche League for specific advice and support. Or do you have a local breastfeeding support group or contact?

Hang in there, it is very tough at the beginning and you are doing great

Lockdownmummy Mon 14-Dec-20 13:50:02

I would also see if you could get some real life help with latching before trying nipple shields - as well as la leche try your local NCT group or midwife.

I was told at the hospital that I had flat nipples and to use shields but honestly they were the biggest PITA ever, could never get the bloody things to stay on!

grey12 Mon 14-Dec-20 14:03:36

No nipple issues (that I have been told about) but just wanted to say that regardless you have to make your baby open theur mouth wide. DD1 didn't and I got really sore. Lanolin and airing them helps.

With DD1 I only started BFing at 2 months. Expressing is good but you should try to put her in the breast before you bottle feed her. Even if she only sucks once.

GeoffreyGeoffreys Mon 14-Dec-20 14:10:43

I'm sorry I don't have loads of advice but wgen you're trying to latch, lining your nipple up wih her nose will dncouage her to open her mouth wider. Good luck. It's tricky at the beginning but gets sooo much easier.

beautifulclouds Mon 14-Dec-20 14:14:17

What a beautiful story OP! ♥️ Can you try to contact an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant)? They are the most experienced and knowledgeable - more than midwives or HV. I'm sure they'd love to help you in this situation. Where I live they come to children's centres where you also do weigh ins and you can contact them by phone or message too. Good luck x

edgeware Mon 14-Dec-20 14:18:36

I second finding a lactaton consultant or seeing if you can get in touch with the feeding team at the hospital you were discharged from. Some hands on help for how to latch correctly and possibly seeing if there is tongue tie will help you a lot.

EleanorSaysFork Mon 14-Dec-20 14:58:30

As others have said, I think it’s worth finding specialist support on the phone or zoom or, depending what tier you are in, there may even be face-to-face availability (in my tier 2 area two breastfeeding cafes offer appointments). I had different issues but a chat on zoom and showing my baby feeding really helped.

I happened to have recently read an article by a lactation consultant and it may have something helpful in it.

www.emmapickettbreastfeedingsupport.com/twitter-and-blog/flat-nipples

You are doing wonderfully, goodluck!

ttigerlilly Mon 14-Dec-20 15:11:11

Well done OP, you are doing amazingly! ❤️

I have one nipple which is much more flat than the other, and I was breastfeeding using the other nipple so much more successfully then the flat one.

I echo other posters in suggesting a lactation consultant, I regret not doing so myself smile

Sophie2309 Mon 14-Dec-20 15:41:22

Thank you so much for all the advice!!

I will definitely get into contact with some specialists to get some help as I want her to have milk from me, even if it's part breast and part bottle fed!

I have tried to do some research into latching on and do try to line her up with her nose with my nipple, but she just doesn't tilt her head back or open her mouth wide enough even when doing that, she tends to just try throw her head about, back and forth trying to find nipple instead and only opens her mouth wide enough as she would for her bottle😩

When she does latch on, she's probably only got the equivalent of the teat of a Tommee tippee bottle teat in her mouth (bottles I use) will suck a few times and then just lay there holding nipple in her mouth. Eventually let go and try find it again and gets stressed out. She also sometimes lets go and lays there with her eyes closed to I put boob away and then she cries🤷🏻‍♀️

I don't have big boobs, B cup at a push and don't think I'm producing much which may not be helping her as it's probably minimal amounts she's getting out and getting bored/tired/frustrated. I will keep perisisting though and get some help from a specialist, thank you everyone 😊xx

OP’s posts: |
Gardeniaofdelights Mon 14-Dec-20 16:25:52

I have used this to draw out my flat nipples and it has helped enormously: www.johnlewis.com/lansinoh-latch-assist/p231841640?sku=231841640&s_ppc=2dx92700055393199764&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-sjA8PDN7QIVjMLtCh0W-AGHEAQYASABEgKovvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

It just gives my son enough to get latched, and then once he starts to nurse he draws the nipple out anyway.

You could also try using these bottles as apparently the shape is most like a human nipple: www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Anti-Colic-Bottle-Flexible-Breast-like/dp/B010WVRC2A/?ascsubtag=4174258%7Cn1c943498b6364c9fa290dc804fc66a2616&tag=mumsnetforu03-21

Sophie2309 Mon 14-Dec-20 17:21:16

Gardeniaofdelights

I have used this to draw out my flat nipples and it has helped enormously: https://www.johnlewis.com/lansinoh-latch-assist/p231841640?sku=231841640&s_ppc=2dx92700055393199764&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-sjA8PDN7QIVjMLtCh0W-AGHEAQYASABEgKovvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

It just gives my son enough to get latched, and then once he starts to nurse he draws the nipple out anyway.

You could also try using these bottles as apparently the shape is most like a human nipple: https://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Anti-Colic-Bottle-Flexible-Breast-like/dp/B010WVRC2A/?ascsubtag=4174258%7Cn1c943498b6364c9fa290dc804fc66a2616&tag=mumsnetforu03-21


Thank you 😊 I'll see if I can find a local shop that sells that and give it a try. Looking at those bottles, the teat looks the same shape as the Tommee tippee ones, or very similar. But will definitely keep them in mind if I have no success 😊xx

OP’s posts: |
Pipperleen Mon 14-Dec-20 22:12:41

I used shields at first - we really struggled with the latch as my nipples are quite flat. One of the midwives at the hospital suggested them on about day 3. They were an absolute life saver. After about a week, I experimented one night with getting her going with feeding and then taking the shield off and getting her to carry on. It only took an evening for her to get the hang of it and we haven’t looked back since!
If I have another baby I will definitely be packing them in my hospital bag.

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