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18/02/2014 at 11:33
Please help me!
T is 6 days old now, and still hasn’t latched on properly. I am expressing and other than on day 2 and 3 (virtually no milk because I was stressed out massively) we haven’t needed any formula top ups. He was being cup fed in hospital but we have had to switch to bottles to make sure he’s getting what he needs.
I tried him at the boob every time in hospital, and every time he screamed. Now when I try him he is interested but he can’t get enough in his mouth and hold it there, the nipple just slips out. I have flat nipples and large boobs, bad combo.
I’m now feeling like I don’t want to put him on the boob because it’s so disappointing each time. I saw loads of bf people in the hospital and I know all the theory but T just physically can’t do it at the moment.
I have nipple shields, but there is a huge gap between the end of the shield and my boob because my nipple doesn’t stick out at all, would they work like that?
Have I left it too late? I feel like he’s never going to latch and I can’t exclusively express for the next 6 months, it’s too much.
Feeling pretty down about it today, I cant do anything right it seems :(
18/02/2014 at 11:39
No experience of flat nipples sorry but it's still really early days for you so please don't feel down. I remember W was such hard work to latch and it was ok when I was in hospital and had people to help but so much harder once you're home.
Have you got a number for a bf supporter, they can come to your home to help. If not call your mw who can give you the number.
They should be able to give you tips on what yo do to help, maybe holding baby in different positions or you sitting/lying in different positions.
18/02/2014 at 11:42
The shields should still work, have you tried them yet? There will be a big gap when you put them on but as baby sucks it pulls the nipple into the shield. They work by giving baby something to get hold of. They saved me, definitely! Over a week or so they also drew my nipples out more permanently so then we didn't need them any more.
18/02/2014 at 11:54
I second asking if a breastfeeding supporter can help - in my area they're linked to the community midwife team, and I've had them out 3 times (bet they love me!) as I've felt so wobbly about the BFing - they've really helped and made me feel less alone with the troubles we've had with his tongue tie and subsequent latching difficulties. It's what they are there for and I'm sure they'd rather you call them than keep going feeling as you are.
18/02/2014 at 11:55
Has he been checked for a tongue tie? If he does have one it could stop him from being able to stay latched. Keep going with the shields, there should be a gap, but as Tina said, the more he sucks the more the nipple will be drawn into the 'teat'. Definately see if you can get a BF counsellor/lactation consultant to come out and help. It is definately not too late, but by the same note, don't stress too much over it. If you give him a bottle of formula and he's happy, then that's all that matters. Go easy on yourself lovely xxx
18/02/2014 at 12:01
Sorry to hear, did you contact my friend who had flat nipples (it was you I gave the email address wasn't it?)? I would also go & see a breast feeding expert. I joined Le Leache League & they were very supportive & I'm sure they would help you. & it's not too late, good luck x
18/02/2014 at 12:07
18/02/2014 at 12:08
18/02/2014 at 12:09
I always found it more difficult to latch on when your breasts are really full, which they are in the early days. When your boobs are softer, it's easier for them to get a good mouthful! I've never used shields so haven't got any advice but definitely seek some support xxx
18/02/2014 at 12:28
Have a huge hug firstly, I know exactly how you feel.
I have large boobs and flattish nips, and J had posterior tongue tie, so a v bad combo, but we started using shields within the first week as he wouldn't latch otherwise, and he fed from them successfully to 12 weeks, at which point we managed to switch to bareback feeding and fed till 16 months. So it's definitely doable, even with less than ideal circumstances. The shields are supposed to be bigger than your nipples, your nipples will get stretched a lot when T latches, more than you expect. I used to lick and stick the shield, hold it in place with one hand, and then latch J with the other- it took a bit of practice so take it slow and don't stress if it doesn't work first time. I don't know whether there are any breastfeeding groups near you but I found them far more helpful than the midwives in the hospitals. Good luck lovely, you will get there x
18/02/2014 at 12:29
18/02/2014 at 14:25
I haven’t tried the shields for a feed because when I put it on it didn’t look right, but if that’s how it is I will have a go. How long do I leave him to try? He’s very lazy so I can imagine if it doesn’t work after a couple of sucks he would stop bothering (that’s what he does on boob).
He was checked over in hospital by the specialist bf midwife and she said everything looked fine in his mouth, so tongue tie isn’t the problem.
BK I didn’t email you friend, sorry. I was going to but then with the induction and since he was born I’ve just been in a daze. Will see if I can dig out your email.
I can’t see my nipple at all in any of the positions the midwives showed me. It makes it really really hard to know if he’s even got a chance of latching.
I’ve got a swing and I have tried pumping for a min and then putting him to the boob, even with the nipple sticking out he still slips off, this is why I’m starting to feel like he just won’t get it :(
I’ve got a bf support person from the hospital coming tomorrow at half 11 now.
I’ll try the shields at the next feed.
This sounds like a real dumb question, but how do I know if he’s actually getting anything if I do get him on the boob? I can’t really feel anything even when he is trying to suck, maybe the odd slightly sharp sensation.
18/02/2014 at 14:34
I had such similar problems with feeding p. You need to get to a bf clinic asap. The one I went to saved our bacon as they showed me how to hold my boib whilst she latched so it was an easier shape for her and showed me how it feels when its right. Even if you hsve the theory from hospitsl it tskes a while to get the hang of it. Bfing is not easy and it is a skill you have to learn. You absolutely have not left it too late. My clinic was at the sure start center, hsve a google to see whre your nearest one us and csll and ask. Otherwise call your mw or hv and ask thrm, they will know where the local one is. Please dont beat yourself up its very hard going but I absolutely promise you its worth perserveing, its such early days.
18/02/2014 at 14:36
Ps babies have to learn to feed as well as mums. He will get It I promise lovely, you are doing brilliantly. Re knowing if hesngetting sny you might see him swallow or his tummy move. Or he'll just seem hsppy sfter coming off x
Try the shields, if he gets anything through them then there will be a little bit of milk residue left inside the shield in the nipple bit.
Not a dumb question and after 13 months of BFing I can't answer it. Sometimes I hear him swallowing, but not always, and I personally never heard it in the early days and never felt my milk let down either.
18/02/2014 at 15:07
Hope the counsellor can help, our local one was brilliant. I also second the LLL suggestion as they can send someone to help you too; have a look on Facebook for your local group. I think the best way to know if he's getting milk is to see if he will stay on the boob as if he gets milk he will hang around! Plus it collects in the shields so you can tell better with those than without. The shields make your nipples more like a bottle teat so if he knows his way around a bottle the shields will seem more familiar to him.
I hated bfing in the beginning and used to dread A waking up because if the latching on stress. He couldn't latch on to one side at all and the other one was hit and miss and so painful. I remember texting my local LLL advisor at 4am, sobbing in agony during a feed, on around day 4 or 5. It was horrendous. He would cry, I would cry. Once he had shields he just dived on and went for it, even on the side he couldn't normally latch on to. Now I can honestly say I love bfing 98% of the time and really treasure feeds for the cuddles and closeness. I never imagined I would feel like this in the beginning! It is bloody awful but just keep going and do what works best for you guys, wether that's shields or formula or whatever you need xx
18/02/2014 at 18:43
I had (have) a very lazy baby took us a while to perfect the latch ... R was latching on but not correctly & sliding off the nipple, giving me sore nipples & she wasn't getting enough milk (formula top ups were needed). R now latches well & rarely needs formula top ups. Pumping helped a lot by stretching my nipple, also bf support advised on using a latch assist, which helped with the latch.
It has taken us till now & slow weight gain, it was hard & I hated giving top ups but we have got there its just taken a little longer. Also my friend used nipple shields & successfully breastfed for 6months.
I hope breastfeeding gets easier for you & your lo starts latching on.
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