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New to nursing

Posted by on May. 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM
  • 4 Replies

Hi ladies!!  I decided to join this group because I am fairly new to nursing and really wanna make it work.  I attempted with my 1st, but due to a bad latch and NO support or education I gave up within a few days, and just pumped for about a month.  I didn't even attempt with my 2nd, but went straight to pumping, I stopped almost right away because she seems to have alot of tummy problems with my milk (she still has a LOT of issues with milk).  My 3rd I never attempted because we were going through alot of medical and behavioral issues with our 2nd child (she's autistic and was EXTREMELY violent at the time).

So brings me to my 4th and final baby.  Her name is Oliviera and she is 2 weeks old.  The 1st week went great!!  I didn't have any pain and she had no issues latching.  This last week though has been pure HELL!!!  We went a few days were she would not stay latched on to my left side.  She would pull off constantly, and every time she would relatch it would hurt so bad!!  Now since last night she is starting to do the same thing to the right side.  From what I read it sounds like my let down is to fast for her, which I can handle her pulling off and relatching, but the pain when she latches on is KILLING me!!!  I sit there crying until she is finally latched on because of how bad it hurts, and it usually takes her about 15 min to finally latch on good. 

Should it be hurting so bad when she latches on?  I was told it could be a bad latch, but when I went to the lactation consultant at our hospital, she said the latch looks good, but a little shallow.  I have pretty big nipples and areolas.  She said that it could be that its just to big for her mouth, and that is why she is pulling back off so far.  Any help or suggestions would be great, because I really wanna make this work!!

by on May. 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM
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Replies (1-4):
by Brandy on May. 6, 2012 at 7:32 PM

I had the same problem the first 3 weeks or so.  I had a lot of pain for the first few minutes after she would latch, so I assumed she had a bad latch, went to the lactation consultant and she said her latch was great.  Just hang in there and it'll get better, after a few weeks the pain went away all on it's own.

by on May. 6, 2012 at 7:45 PM
The only advice I have is to hang in there!! The first few weeks are the hardest part!
Good luck!!
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by on May. 6, 2012 at 9:41 PM
Try laidback nursing for your letdown - recline back and have her nurse on top of you. Have you tried different nursing positions? When my dd was a newborn I could only nurse her in the football hold position just until she got the hang of latching on without assistance. Has she been checked for a lip and/or tongue tie?
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by on May. 6, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Here's some info for you:

No matter what latch and positioning look like, the true measure is in the answers to these two questions:

  1. Is it effective?
  2. Is it comfortable?

Even if latch and positioning look perfect (and, yes, even if a lactation consultant told you they were fine), pain and/or ineffective milk transfer indicate that there is a problem somewhere, and the first suspect is ineffective latch/positioning.

If baby is transferring milk and gaining weight well, and mom is not hurting, then latch and positioning are – by definition – good, even if it’s nothing like the “textbook” latch and positioning that you’ve seen in books.

“Rules and regulations have no place in the mother-baby relationship. Each mother and baby dyad is different and what works well for one mother and baby may not work well for another mother and baby. The important thing to do is to look at the mother and baby as individuals.”– Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC in The Mother-Baby Dance

Following are some of my favorite resources on latch and positioning:

Biological Nurturing: Laid-Back Breastfeeding from Dr. Suzanne Colson. Breastfeeding in a semi-reclined position can be very helpful for both mom and baby.

Latching handouts by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC

Breastfeeding: Off to the best start from the UK Department of Health
(Lovely latching pictures here, with simple directions.)

Deep Latch Technique from The Pump Station.
(Good latching pictures and directions.)

When Latching by Anne J. Barnes, has instructions with drawings
(The drawings and tips here are helpful.)

Latching videos by Dr. Jack Newman

Animation illustrating assymetrical latch technique by Victoria Nesterova
(Nice animation — text is in Russian.)

The Mother-Baby Dance: Positioning and Latch-On by Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC
(This is a longish article written for breastfeeding counselors that has some nice descriptions of latching and positioning, along with info on why some things tend to work better than others.)

Is baby latching on and sucking efficiently? How to tell from
(A useful list.)

L-A-T-C-H-E-S * Breastfeeding Assessment Tool (for the first 4 weeks) and Scoring Key by Marie Davis, RN, IBCLC
(A tool for professionals that could also be useful for moms who are wondering if breastfeeding is going fine and whether additional help is needed.)

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