03 October, 2012

31 Days of Breastfeeding: Latch Trouble

Hello, again! Today is my first "real" post in the 31 Days of Breastfeeding series. I hope y'all are as excited about this as I am! =)

In the comment section of my introduction post, Angi asked:

I tried with my first to breastfeed, but gave up after a few days and turned to pumping. This time around I want to actually nurse as much as possible. The problem I had with my first was flat nipples. I couldn't get my daughter to latch properly because she didn't have anything to latch onto. Do you know of any tricks or tips to help me out this time around?

Of course, I immediately responded with "yes!" My first suggestion is to purchase a nipple shield. I personally used this one and can vouch for it.

Source: amazon.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Unlike Angi, though, I don't have flat or inverted nipples. I used it mainly to help with the pain of the cracking I had during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Truthfully, I didn't want to use it but one of my nipples was so badly cracked that I needed something to help with the pain. This worked wonders for me! Charlotte didn't like it much, but it helped and I only did it a couple times a day for about a week or so. 


You can read in any breastfeeding related book that nipple shields are suggested to women with flat/inverted nipples. When you use the shield, you sort of flip it inside out. Then you place it on your nipple still inside out. Once it's on, you sort flip the sides back toward your breast. The suction that it creates causes your nipple to pop out. Seriously. I am not even kidding! Like I said, I don't have flat/inverted nipples and when I used it, it really made them pop out. Haha! If you're using the shield right, this should do the trick. 

Also, I would highly suggest seeing a Lactation Consultant (LC). They can help you with the shield (fitting and use) and give you more tips to help with latching. Most importantly, have one come visit you in the hospital. It's important to get a good latch (and feeding) in those first few days. And my personal tip would be to write down anything they say to you in the hospital. I only vaguely remember anything my LC said to me in the hospital because I was so exhausted.

I hope this helps you, Angi - and anyone else with this problem! 

If you have a question about anything related to breastfeeding please comment here or send me an email! I will try my best to answer any question I'm asked.

Happy Breastfeeding! ;-)


Jamie said...

Love this. My Mom was a certified lactation consultant. I am scared to do it again but without her help!

Heather said...

Breastfeeding isn't easy! I actually have a post about it scheduled for tomorrow. So glad you're being so open about it.

Melissa said...

Just wanted to leave a link to my post on breastfeeding. I dealt with the flat and even inverted nipples. I actually found more help from the Medela Nipple Shells than the shield. You can read more about it here: http://mrmagnificentandcompany.blogspot.com/2011/02/too-much-information-warning-this-post.html

Jen said...

I used a medela nipple shield on the left side for a while. I did not prefer it but mine didn't look like yours. Did Charlotte drink while it's on? The kind I had was not for use during nursing sessions. My left side is still wonky and I'm looking for other options for Blueberry.

Chantal said...

Great advice!

menopausal mama said...

The nipple shield is a great idea. My daughter had a baby 8 months ago and had trouble breast feeding her--she could have used this! New GFC follower from the blog hop. Would love it if you could visit my humorous blog site and follow back--I'd be super grateful! Thanks for sharing! http://Menopausalmother.blogspot.com

Angie said...

Thanks for the information! I remember a nurse gave me one in the hospital, but never explained how to use it. Or if she did, I was too tired to comprehend what she was saying and never really tried it once I left the hospital. I will definitely remember that for this one.

heather said...

i had to use the shield with my first and now again with my second. i love it. it causes no damage to my nipples at all. it has also helped the few times i have had to give her a bottle. she has no trouble taking one at all.