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new here need help....

Posted by on Jul. 2, 2013 at 1:23 AM
  • 3 Replies

I just had my baby all most 3 wks ago and she is not latching on right. I tried to start nursing her in the recovery room and she only would latch on to the top part of my nipple. I got help right away from a lactation nurse and we found out that my baby girl doesnt open her mouth wide enough to get a good latch and my nipples wont stick out. With my 2 children before I had to use a shield but only for a wk because my nipples dont stick out. By day 2 my nipples were bleeding and bruised so I turned to a nipple shield again. Even with that she would latch on to the tip and basically suck her way back till it was all in her mouth. Now I have her latching on to my right breast but not my left without the shield BUT at night she is super lazy and wont latch on at all without a shield!!!! Is there anything I can do??? 

by on Jul. 2, 2013 at 1:23 AM
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by Gold Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 2:19 AM

First off you need to ditch the nipple shields and get some nipple shells. Shields are to protect the damaged nipples, not draw them out. Shells are worn between nursing to help draw your nipples out. 

Second off if baby is having that much trouble opening up wide, I would have her evaluated for a tongue tie/lip tie. 

by mel on Jul. 2, 2013 at 6:35 AM
I second the lip/tongue tie.
by Gina on Jul. 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM
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Most women have nipples that don't stick out. Sticking out is actually not common; NOT sticking out IS common.

Latching and Positioning Resources


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.

Newborn Hands: Why are they always in the way while breastfeeding? from the San Diego Breastfeeding Center

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.)

Help for various nursing positions

Lactation yoga, or side-lying nursing without getting up to switch sides by Eva Lyford, @ 

Nursing Laying Down (step-by-step description with photos) from

Some tips on the football & cross cradle nursing positions by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

Some tips on nursing while lying down by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

More useful information

Latching: Thoughts on pushing baby’s chin down when latching @ 

Taking baby off the breast by Marie Davis, IBCLC

PDF Baby-led Latching: An “Intuitive” Approach to Learning How to Breastfeed by Mari Douma, DO, from the Michigan Breastfeeding Network Newsletter, December 2003, Volume 1, Issue 3.

PDF When the Back of the Baby’s Head is Held to Attach the Baby to the Breast by Robyn Noble DMLT, BAppSc(MedSc), IBCLC and Anne Bovey, BspThy

Breast Compression by Jack Newman, MD. The purpose of breast compression is to continue the flow of milk to the baby once the baby no longer drinks on his own, and thus keep him drinking milk. Breast compression simulates a letdown reflex and often stimulates a natural let-down reflex to occur. The technique may be useful for poor weight gain in the baby, colic in the breastfed baby, frequent feedings and/or long feedings, sore nipples in the mother, recurrent blocked ducts and/or mastitis, encouraging the baby who falls asleep quickly to continue drinking.

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