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Im sorry I haven't posted my birth story yet, but my baby girl was born on 8/28 (she is 8 days old today). I feel like I have been glued to the chair this entire time trying to nurse. I have so many questions and cant seem to find easy answers to them online. I'm wondering if those of you with experience can give me some advice. Nursing didn't work for my first child so I don't have any exp. with this.
My main issue is that I have a 2 year old running around the house so it is very hard for me to nurse for 45 min at a time. Sometimes it takes a full hour to finish nursing, because we run into latch problems and I have to spend some time re trying. Will this get easier?? I'm wondering when the baby will be able to space out the feedings more. I also wonder how on earth other people are sitting at the park or in a restaurant nursing their babies because I have to have all my pillows setup perfectly and I cant move a muscle with out screwing up the latch and I am always in pain. For now I have family helping, but that wont last forever so I need to be able to be mobile for my 2 year old.
The nurses & pediatrician say to wake the baby every 2-3 hours to nurse, and that 4 hours is the absolute max they should go without eating. Is this what everyone else is doing? My MIL & aunts disagree with this and say never to wake a sleeping baby. Well my baby used to wake up on her own after 2.5 - 3 hours and act hungry, but for the past 2 days it seems like she will sleep forever, and i have to work hard to wake her up. I'm nervous that she is not getting enough feedings because when try to wake her it takes forever, then I might have to drop everything to attend to my 2 year old, and so we end up going 4 or 4.5 hours in between feedings.
Last but not least, my nipples are so sore and cracked, and I had some bleeding the other day. I have read tons of stuff on positioning and how to correctly latch and I am trying to follow that. sometimes I can see that latch is really good, other times I can try over and over and not get a good latch. I really don't know what else to do. Is the bleeding a definite sign of a bad latch, or is this just normal for the 1st 2 weeks of nursing?
Thanks for reading!! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
I would suggest contacting a lacatation consultant who can come help you out!
Nursing does get easier... they learn how to latch on and move their own heads and you get more experienced and you won't always need a billion pillows. Also, it could be that baby is sucking on just the tip of your nipple and not taking in enough areola and so baby is nursing for a very long time but not actually getting much milk... and that would also cause your nipples to bleed and make eveyrone miserable.
Nursing is SO worth it and SO easy when you get past the beginning.
Once my pediatrician seen Summer was up to her birth weight and gaining, she told me it was no longer necessary to wake her to feed her. She usually goes only 2-3 hours before wanting more except at night, night time she can go as long as 6 hours. If your LO is gaining well I wouldn't think it's necessary to wake to feed.
Summer also had a little bit of a latching issue. It was mainly because her mouth was so tiny for my nipples... over time she got better on her own. I know when things were rough my nipples would get a bit sore, never really cracked or bled though. Have you tried Lansinoh Cream for your nipples? I used it a few times and it was really helpful.
My nipples were really sore the first while and a bit cracked - I used the lanolin on them and that helped. Now the right one is soft and painless. The left one I broke skin on two days ago when I had the pump on too high of a level for too long but it was nice before I did that.
I agree with using the Lanolin - its a god send! But i wouldnt wake the baby for feed - he will let you know when he hungry! Noah sometimes goes 6 hours in the night without feeding - he just makes up for it throughout the day. latching will get easier, try to make sure his mouth is open really wide before you give him the breast and he will learn quickly that he needs to help you out if he wants a feed! I was awkward at first but after a few week you really can nurse anywhere - i was over having dinner with my FIL earlier and managed to nurse Noah without him even noticing what i was doing!
Stick with it hun, its worth it!
...and baby number 2
Last edited by newmommysarah; September 6th, 2012 at 04:48 AM.
It does get better, I also have a 2 year old (but this is my 4th so I have had some practice) I have gotten to where I can even change the toddlers diaper while nursing, it just takes some practice for both of you. while nursing is natural, it doesn't come easy. Something I didn't know with my first is that I have inverted nipples so its harder for babies to latch on. I don't know if that is your case or not, but it might be. If you are having bad engorgemen right now, it may help to pump just a little so you are softer and not two giant rocks when she is trying to latch. I know with my 3rd sometimes it would help to express a little milk so it was on my nipple when he started (he needed instant gratification). Other than that, practice makes perfect. If you can hang in there for 3-6 weeks it will be so much easier! Oh and if he is gaining, I wouldn't wake him to feed.
Oh and another thought, can you get a basket of special toys ($1 tree type) for r your toddler and let him only play with them while you are nursing? the newness helps. I also read to my older ones so he doesn't feel left out during that time.
It does get easier . I could've written a similar post with my first. I was so overwhelmed by it. the pain doesn't mean you definitely have a bad latch. I mentioned it to someone else on here before, but I saw three different lactation consultants after I had my first and they all said I had a good latch, but I still had so much pain. My pain was so bad that even if I just walked into a grocery store that was cold, I would get pain! I think a lot of it is just the skin in that area trying to adjust. Hang in there . It will get better!
It gets easier! I had some of the same issues. My nipples are huge, and we had to work hard at getting the perfect latch. I have to really compress my nipple and put it in her mouth at an angle (my nipple pointing towards her chin). I found that the Boppy is a bad fit for us. We use My Brest Friend, and it is way easier to position and get baby lined up at the breast. If you are still having issues, I can give you many tips. We are at 4 weeks without supplementing or using bottles.
Is the bleeding a definite sign of a bad latch, or is this just normal for the 1st 2 weeks of nursing?
Bleeding is sign of a bad latch. You need to get some Lanolin asap to start healing your nipples apply it after every feeding. Pain when you first put the baby on for a few seconds is normal, pain during the whole session is not.
As for the latch - even if it looks good from the outside that doesn't mean it's right in her mouth. I think you have a shallow latch which is what is hurting your nipples. I fought with latching problems with my first
One thing I have learned, bring the baby to your breast not the breast to the baby - I still do this wrong, sometimes it's just easier to move the boob and shove it in her mouth instead of moving her and every time I am painfully reminded not to slack lol
It will get easier, once your latch problem is fixed and you are comfortable your milk will probably run faster and fill her up quicker. I never wake my baby up to her feed her she sleeps ~4hrs at a time and because she is pretty regular I am able to prepare my toddler for when I need to sit down and feed her usually I change his diaper and sit him down with a snack beside me in the living room - if he starts needing my attention badly I ask him if he can read me & the baby a story ... if he is being really bratty (aka trying to crawl on me while i feed the baby) I turn on a cartoon.
Congrats on your daughter and congrats on the breastfeeding!
It really does get better. Hang in there Mum!
I think there are valid reasons for waking baby for feeds in the early days but if they're gaining well and your supply is good, it's not a big deal.
In time, you won't need to have everything set up just so, it's a matter of practice for both of you. They get to a point where they just latch themselves (then you get to contend with being ambushed). Once you're pain free, try experimenting with different positions. If you do need to nurse while out and about, try resting one of your legs across the other knee or use vehicle/chair arm rests to help support her. They also get more efficient as they get older so you won't have to sit as long.
I have a two year old too. You might also try giving him a job to do like getting something for you or holding baby's hand because it makes her feel better, drawing, food, singing, dancing (you dance in your seat), send him searching for a 'lost' toy, if you have pets, let him be their problem for a bit (DS plays tag or keep away with a ball...the dog is like a second two year old and they fight over it) or 'wow look at that pretty bird!'.
While bleeding and persistant pain point to latch trouble, don't make yourself crazy trying to acheive a textbook perfect latch. It's ok if it doesn't look like the pictures so long as you're comfortable.