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Breastfeeding Nightmare...please help!

My son was born on Sept. 11th. I'm a first time mom and attempting to breastfeed. My husband knows more about it (his family members are all "breastfeed only" moms) and is sure that it is the only option for our son Levi. Problems started in the hospital when the nurse gave him a bottle. Now I can't get him to latch on properly for the life of me. I am in so much pain I want to cry every time I attempt to feed him, which is ever hour. I have seen 4 lactation consultants and now I am completely ready to give up. I pray every day that today will be a successful day, my husband has fasted and spent the day in prayer and still, we fight every day all day long to get him to eat. Please tell me something that will work! He isn't opening his mouth wide to latch, despite all "nose to nipple" attempts. How do I make this work so I can move past fighting with him into actually bonding with him. HELP!

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Asked by EricaPotter at 2:33 PM on Oct. 1, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (12)
  • hang in there! It took me about a month to get it right and I was in the same pain you're describing. Wait till baby's mouth is wide open and put him on. has some great info that helped me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:37 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • How is he eating? Are you giving bottles? Are you doing what the LCs are telling you?

    Open his mouth for him. Get him in position and with your hand gently pull his chin down to open his mouth. Have someone hold his head in position if need be.

    You can take pain meds.

    Call LLL. If there isn't a local group call LLL International. Their number is 1-800-LaLeche. I used to answer this hotline. The women answering it are experienced Leaders. is a great site with links to other sites that have pictures of how to latch

    Mothering Magazine online has good breastfeeding discussions boards.

    Answer by Gailll at 2:40 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • can u get in touch with a lactation cosultant or how about the la lache league?

    Answer by piwife at 2:40 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • Hang in there, you can do it and so can your son. It took us a long time too with my first. I had bleeding nipples and even went as far as a blister, but hung in there. Try to relax... he will feel it and might latch on more easily. If you think it will help, ask for everybody to leave the room/house when you have to breastfeed, that way there will not be any distractions. Keep trying and praying... Good luck!

    Answer by sauterelledesil at 2:41 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • pump your milk and then feed him. its still breastmilk.. people dont breastfeed for the fact of having the baby on them lol. so just pump it will be ok and u dont have to go through so much pain. some kids are not ment to breastfeed it happens. nothing you did, nothing your husband or anyone else did. Pain also isnt good. if your letting the baby stay on while it hurts it can mess up ur nipple. it could be bent the wrong way and stay like that. and dont let anyone tell u it wont happen like that bc im proof it can

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:45 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • yes, check out! And join the breastfeeding group on here. Do you have any friend's that breastfeed? lean on them for support, breastfeed around them, ask for help. Sometimes it is hard to get help from someone you dont know ( the LCs) Talk to your MIL and any sisters in law and other women on your DHs side. Hang in there, as long as he is gaining weight and getting enough diapers daily your son is doing fine... the discomfort is the only issue and that should get better on its own or should be fixable

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:46 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • Are you engorged? It's much harder to latch if you are. Try pumping a little to get yourself more comfortable, then try nursing. Go ahead and give him a bottle of breast milk. It's OK. I always did both for my kids. Whatever works is what you need to do.

    Answer by mompam at 2:52 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • Anon 2:45 should be ashamed of herself! mom asked for help, and thats what you say? OMG.

    If you're engorged, It'll be harder for him to latch on, try pumping a little first, that may help- i had to with my DS#1.

    DD (first child) was a BF nightmare, and i quit when she was about 6 weeks old- still regret it to this day.

    if he seems to be doing fine, and you're not giving him bottles, then you have NO concerns about his health, just your comfort.

    ALL babies are meant to BF, it just takes a little longer for some of them to get the hang of it, and you too. Don't give up!

    when you try to get him latched on, make sure he is WIDE awake, undress him if you have to. Instead of pulling yourself toward him when he opens up (first instinct, i know), pull his head toward you. Try a football hold, it gives you a lot more control. try to relax, take a hot shower before you nurse, get rid of distractions, tell yourself it won't hurt.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 3:02 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • if you anticipate pain, then it will hurt. if you believe it'll be ok, and you can relax, chances are, you will... and eventually you'll get the swing of it.

    FYI i couldn't pump, not with any of them... so i learned how to express by hand, no special equipment needed, and it worked better than any pump i had used, and felt a lot more comfortable!

    also, have you tried a nipple shield? it may help to get him going at first, and you can gradually stop using it when the pain subsides...

    whatever you decide, i hope you stick with it. i KNOW how hard it is, and how much it can hurt- but once you're past that, its a time you will never forget, and will long for once its over.


    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 3:05 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • Im sorry to say that it sounds like you may do better with a bottle. I hated it but im not able to BF my baby girl either.Mine is because im still in school and can't be their all day everyday. But some babies are unable to BF especially if they were given a bottle at first. If your hell bent on it then by all means don't give up! But if it's truly not right for you and your baby theirs no shame in Bottle Feeding. Don't let anyone make that choice for you even though ur DHs family did it doesn't mean you have to good luck!

    Answer by kat324 at 3:10 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

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