Post # 1
My daughter is 15 days old, she was born by emergency c section weighing in at 6lbs9oz, dropped down to 6lbs1oz after the first 24 hours and as of Tuesday is up to 6lbs14oz … she’s gaining weight wonderfully. The frustrating thing is that I’m essentially exclusively pumping. We just can’t get the latch down. I’m seeing a lactation consultant and sure, she can get her to get a good latch in the office, but that doesn’t really help me when I’m at home doing it on my own without a second set of very experienced hands. It appears that she is just latching on to just the nipple, and therefore isn’t really getting any flow. I thought that I was doing good because I had finally gotten her to suck at the breast for more than a few sucks, but the lactation consultant showed me how ineffective her latch is, which would be why she is still so fussy afterwards. I am having such a hard time to know if she’s gotten more than just my nipple when she latches. It doesn’t help that I’m currently a 40G in my bra size. I will continue to see the lactation specialist until I get this down, but it’s frustrating and heart breaking. Something that is supposed to be so natural … causing such difficulty. Thankfully my supply is great and I am able to pump to keep it up.
I know I’m not the only mom to experience this obstacle … but man, it sucks.
Post # 2
Have you tried a nipple sheild? My boys had issues with latching due to my nipple/breast size (DD here). My lactation consultant gave me a nipple sheild to try and the boys really took to it. It even helped control my let down. I had a really strong let down and would choked my boys, but with the nipple shield it kind of just slowed it down thankfully.
I know it sucks to realize that exclusively pumping is looking like your only option, but at least you are still giving your daughter the best thing you can, your milk.
Post # 3
BFing can be SO hard, and nobody really tells you that. I remember the first couple weeks being absolute torture. My milk came in late, I had a really low supply, and DD was a lazy eater with a terrible latch. She screamed bloody murder at night out of hunger. I sobbed because I felt like a terrible mother who couldn’t take care of my baby, and those PP hormones weren’t helping. I was so sad because BFing was the one thing I really cared about. I didn’t have a birth plan written out, or anything like that. I just wanted to be able to successfully feed my baby.
Over time, my supply got better (although I still don’t think it’s great), and DD became a better latcher/eater. I also learned to be easier on myself. I won’t lie, I cried the first time I ever gave her formula. I don’t look down on anyone who uses formula, but I was super hard on myself about it. Now I just realize that I am lucky to be able to supplement with formula and still have the ability to BF too.
I think with working with the LC, you will able to achieve what you want. The great news is that you’ve got a great supply, and I think that’s half the battle!
Post # 4
Have you had her check for lip tie or tongue tie? It could explain the shallow latch. Also, sometimes I would physically pull my son’s chin down to cover my whole nipple if he latched too shallow. Eventually his mouth grew so he could open it wide enough on his own.
Good luck! It’s hard but rewarding. I had to give up at 5 months because my supply dropped when I went back to work, but I feel that anything you can provide great!
Post # 5
I’m not a mom yet but I read a lot of mom blogs and they all say BFing is way harder to get the hang of than people think. You need to be proud that you’re sticking with it where some wouldn’t. Maybe your husband can go with you to the lactation consultant appointment and learn how to help you position your baby?
I’m sure you’re doing fantastic and the fact that you’re so driven shows how much of a loving mom you already are. Just remember your baby is new at this too! You can learn together 🙂 You go girl!
Post # 6
BFing is so, so hard. It seems like it should be easy, but it is. Good for you to stick with it (for awhile, I looked up statistics about when people quit BF’ing, and said, “well, if I feed through tomorrow, it’s better than X% of moms…”)
We had so many latching issues, and it was awful. We did end up using a nipple shield for awhile, and now at 16 months, we’re still going strong and it gets so, so much easier.
I don’t have any advice you wouldn’t get from your LC, I just wanted to offer support and tell you you are doing an awesome job!
Post # 7
Is there any chance the LC / IBCLC could come visit you at home? It’s so much better when you can practice and get advice while sitting in your own chair! And is there an LLL chapter in your area? LLL meetings are a great place to go and practice bf’ing and get practical advice from Mum’s that have been there, done that!
Keep at it Mama, you and your LO are BOTH learning and adjusting to life together and it can sometimes take time to get it all down pat but it does get easier!
Post # 8
Kemma: I doubt the lc will come. I know there is an lll chapter, just need to find out their schedule.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
In addition to LLL, you may want to see if your local hospital offers a breast feeding support group. Each hospital around here offers one, and it may be a good way to meet other Moms who have BTDT, get some tips, and maybe even get a lead on a LC who would make a house call (some do, some don’t). I wish you the best. I wanted to BF but had 0 support and eventually gave up after 4 months of misery with DS.
Post # 10
I would like to second the suggestion of a PP about the nipple shield. With my first daughter she just couldn’t latch right- so the nipple shield became a lifesaver. With my second daughter she had spent 5 days in the NICU and never latched right so I ended up exclusively pumping. You need to not feel bad about this. At least your baby is getting your breastmilk!
Post # 11
awakemysoul: I’m sorry it’s been so hard. It was too much for me, so I ended up exclusively pumping for about 7 1/2 months. I know it’s not ideal, but it got my DD breastmilk well into her 8th month (thanks, freezer stash!). I second/third/fourth the suggestion to keep working with the LC, find a meeting whether a new mom group or LLL group- any support at this point will help.
If you find yourself pumping exclusively after all, check out this blog: http://exclusivepumpers.com/2013/03/
I found this website at the facebook group WTE exclusive pumpers to be the most informative. I was told by a LC that pumping would not be effective in the long term, but there are women on that group who have pumped beyond a year and had so much milk saved up they ended up donating. It IS possible, it IS hard work, but it’s not impossible.
Post # 12
I had trouble with latch too. Turns out I was starting from the wrong place and my daughter wasn’t opening her mouth wide enough and was just grabbing the tip of the nipple. You have to start with your nipple at the baby’s nose and stroke downward from her nose to her mouth. I was starting with my nipple even with her mouth. That tiny adjustment changed my life. Also, the nursing pillow called My Breast Friend helps with
positioning. Apparently my boppy was also causing a problem because it doesn’t sit flush with your body and the baby can fall in the hole. So, doing those 2 little things really helped. Good luck and good for you for sticking with it. It’s hard to get the hang of it but once you do, it’s wonderful.
Post # 13
You’re doing the best you can and that’s great!
Of all my friends with babies, only 2 found breastfeeding easy. The rest all had to “figure it out” with the help of a lactation consultant.
One friend had a baby whose mouth was very small. She used a nipple shield and it make all the difference. She used it for the first 6 months btu it worked! Then one day she was relaxing in a bath with her DD and all of a sudden realised DD was feeding without the shield. My friend thinks it was because they were both relaxed, not thinking about it, so it just happened.
Don’t get frustrated. Keep doing your best and give yourself credit.
Post # 14
awakemysoul: Definitely give them a call, I’m sure they’ll be only too happy to come and help you out!
Post # 15
awakemysoul: Breast feeding is SO hard! I was induced, had a 38 hour labor and then my milk came in super late so i experienced a little baby who lost a lot of weight too, we even got readmitted 1 day after discharge because of her weight loss and jaundice. It’s been super stressful! Since she was 4 days I’ve been almost exclusively pumping, which is exhausting! I’ve seen 3 LC’s and finally liked the last one i saw. We ended up getting baby girls tongue clipped at 5w2d and it’s helped tremendously with her latch. We are still using the shield on my right breast but she’s pretty good on my left side. We try to BF every other feeding so baby doesn’t associate the breast with frustrating times. When we are BF if she gets too frustrated I’ll give her about 1 oz from a bottle just to satiate her and then continue to BF. Are there any LC’s in the area who will do home visits? I agree with you when you have 4 hands to work on a latch (2 of those hands being the experts) it seems “easy” to get the right latch then you get home and try to replicate the same thing in a different area and it’s SUPER hard. Maybe if someone was able to assist you in your home you could get the perfect nursing setup. Keep up the great work, it’s exhausting!