Breastfeeding latching on problems

  1. Hey there,

    My friend gave birth 6 days ago and she is having problems /c latching on. She is finding it VERY painful. She has flat nipples, so I think this may be part of the problem. The baby doesn't latch on to the areola, only the nipple. Her nipples are cracked, especially on the left side, She knows all about "nipple care", Every time she tries the pain is always there. I think her main concern is the baby latching on and not the nipple care. It is painful and discouraging.

    If anyone has any advice, it would be appreciated! I am a geriatric nurse, (I did OBS too long ago). They didn't teach her in the hospital.

    Thanks,
    Michelle
    •  
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   semstr
    Yes, call these women, they'll come!!
    Keep your nerves!! Maybe your friend can try to lay baby on its back and she herself hangs over it. Not very comfortable, but the pendling breast has more tissue this way.
    And DON'T START GIVING FORMULA!! Especially not in a bottle!!

    Take care, Renee
  4. by   prmenrs
    Don't forget some tylenol for Mom!! Poor thing! One trick is to use her fingers back on the areola to compress the entire area into a size she can kind of "stuff" into baby's mouth--use the 1st and 2nd fingers of one or the thumb and 1st finger to compress.

    Also, some babies really do bite. Take a clean finger (or use a glove) and let baby suck on it; if s/he bites down w/ the gums, it hurts Mom. Try to push down on the bulge of the tongue, and het him to extend his tongue over the lower gum ridge; this should help him learn how to cushion his gums with his tongue.

    She's also getting really engorged about now--expressing milk into his mouth will help him "get some" so he's not so frantic.

    GOOD LUCK!!
  5. by   kimtab
    I'm not an OB nurse..yet, but I do have personal experience with this problem so I wanted to reply. Definitely have your friend see a lactation specialist to make sure she is doing everything correctly first. As long as she is latching correctly I don't think flat nipples matter much in the whole scheme of things ( I have flat nipples too) But the baby should be taking the whole areola in it's mouth. If he's just got the nipple, then I'll bet she is in a world of hurt. What it took for me to get it right was going back to the hospital to see the lactation nurse, who took my nipple and stuffed it in the baby's mouth the right way She also went over different positions with me and how to tell that my latch was correct. It was very helpful.

    Beyond that, plenty of women find it painful to breastfeed for the first few weeks. I know all the books say that it shouldn't hurt if you are doing it right but guess what? The books are wrong! Turn on a 12 amp hoover vacuum and stick the hose end on your bare nipple and tell me that ain't gonna hurt!

    When I got to the point where I would cry when I heard my son waking up-- I started calling all the Moms I knew and they ALL told me the same thing, yep- it hurts. They all told me that the pain had lasted 2-4 weeks for them. I felt so much relief at hearing that, I knew that there was an end in sight and that's all it took for me to be able to carry on with what wound up being a very fulfilling thing for my baby and I.

    BTW, they were right, the pain went away at the end of week 3. So if your friend is doing everything she should tell her it will get better! In fact it will get great! So don't give up. Breastfeeding IS wonderful, just not in the first weeks But when she see's that baby getting fatter and knows that it's all coming from her it is the best feeling in the world.

    Get her some Lansinoh for her nipples- it really does help to heal them when they are all dry and cracking.

    Kim
    Last edit by kimtab on Oct 16, '01
  6. by   BBnurse34
    The lactation consultants I work with don't like them but I had the same problem with all three of my children. The solution was a nipple shield. Be carefull though, I here that there is a risk of infant not getting enough milk. I could always see the shield filling, baby swallowing and feel let down.
  7. by   nurseshn
    HELLO,
    i HAVE HAD 3 CHILDREN AND I HAVE BREASTFED ALL OF THEM. MY SUGGESTION FOR THE, ARE THEY INVERTED NIPPLES?WOULD BE THE NIPPLE SHIELD FOR MOM!!! ALSO IF SHE CAN'T SEEM TO GET THE LATCH ON TECHNIQUE, BETTER TO PUMP THE MILK SO THAT BABY GET'S IT THAN TO PUT BABY ON FORMULA. AT LEAST BABY WOULD STILL GET ALL OF THE VITAMINS FROM MOM AND ALL THE IMMUNITES BABY NEEDS TO FIGHT OFF COLDS AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE BECAUSE IT'S COMMING STRAIGHT FROM MOM.

    GOODLUCK TO YOUR FRIEND AND PLEASE SUPPORT HER THAT'S SO VERY IMPORTANT TO BREASTFEEDING MOMS.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Always can refer her to La Leche League...they are WONDERFUL at helping w/specific bf problems likethis. Also, the interraction w/other mom's and babies is wonderful. refer her to:

    www.lalecheleague.com to find a leader nearest her. Good luck. Tell her not to give up!
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    OOPS that is www.lalecheleague.org !!!! sorry
  10. by   babynurselsa
    Another suggestion I have is to have her pump a little off first.

    she may be so full that her breasts are engorged and the baby

    cannot get an adequete latch.
  11. by   keeshababe
    ouch!! A nipple shield will work and also ice (if tolerated) works, the la lache league will definitely help your friend. Tell her not to give up but to be careful regarding the baby being dehydrated and/or losing too much weight.
  12. by   mark_LD_RN
    encourage her to stay with it, use the lansinoh cream, started with least sore breast first, be sure she gets the as much of nipple in mouth as possible, definitely invest in nipple sheilds and call le leche league for support they are great. try multiple postions to find most comfortable ones for mom and baby and alternate positions if possible this usually helps with soreness.
    also she can express some milk and rub into nipples to promote healing just be sure to air dry them before putting bra and /or pads back on.
    if breasts are to firm try expressing some to allow baby to latch on easier, good luck hope this helps
  13. by   Brownms46
    I agree with everything that has been written here! I also would definitely called the Leche League, because I had an excellent experience with them....way back in the 1970's when breast feeding was becoming in vogue again...but not as accepted as it is today! Younger moms today wouldn't believe out grossed out people were when I was breast feeding my son! Anywho...I got a mom who had 5 children, and she would give me advice on top of advice, and constant encouragement. She was never to busy to talk, and provide moral support... When my ex was transferred, they had a new mom all set up for me, before I arrived! Best thing ever for a new mom!!

close