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Old 08-13-2011, 09:38 AM   #1
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What's normal?

My little guy is 6 days old today (omg! Thats almost a week already!). This is my first newborn and first attempt at breastfeeding... maybe you mamas can clear a few things up for me until I can get to the LC on Monday!

- my right nipple cracked and now nursing HURTS!! Does a cracked nipple always mean latch issues? It seems like it cracked while I was crazy-engorged.

- I feed him from one side until he refuses, then burp him and offer him the other side. He rarely takes it. Is this what I should be doing?

- How do I keep my nipples (especially the cracked one) from sticking to the nursing pads? OUCH!!

- Right now he has a 4-5 hour stretch every day where he doesnt eat... in the middle of the day. Will this eventually start to happen at night on its own or do I need to do something?

- a public health nurse came to weigh the baby and checked my latch. She said it was perfect, but Im feeling a lot of yanking on my nipple... is it just because Im not used to a small person vigorously sucking on them every 2-3 hours, because of the cracked nipple (the other side is uncomforrable too though...) or is my latch too shallow?

Thanks a bunch!!

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Old 08-13-2011, 11:06 AM   #2
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You definitely need some lanolin for that cracked nipple. It will help it heal and keep it from sticking to your nursing pads. Just slather it on after every feeding! The only time I had any nipple trauma was when my oldest was a newborn and he liked to suck his lower lip in while he was nursing.
I'd double-check baby's latch, making sure the lips (particularly the lower lip are flanged out nicely). I know if a baby has a tongue-tie that can also cause a poor latch and nipple pain, but I haven't dealt with this myself.
Congrats on your new LO! Nursing will get easier in a few weeks, once you both have had a chance to figure things out

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Old 08-13-2011, 02:15 PM   #3
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My daughter is 6 weeks old today and she's my first as well. I definitely recommend lanolin (I use Lansinoh) and like pp said, slather it on your nipple after every feeding. I had a little crack too on my nipple and it was from her gums--she wasn't opening up her mouth that big to latch so she ended up "chewing" on my nipple which was painful! I had to wait until she cried and opened her mouth big to correct that. You might also want to try different positions for nursing so the baby's not constantly sucking on the same parts of the nipple (does that make sense?). For me, the football hold helped the crack heal since I got it while nursing her in the cradle hold. Also, I only offered the other boob when she fussed after nursing for a while on the first boob and after burping. She usually only takes the 2nd boob at night before bed. And lastly, she nurses about every 3-4 hours at night now, more often in the beginning. I think you're doing great! And the yanking--maybe pull your baby a little closer to the boob? I would say that a pulling feeling and soreness is normal, but not pain.

Congratulations on your little one and good luck!

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Old 08-13-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: What's normal?

Its like a zap that goes right to my toes with every suck! I think that his lower lip is being sucked in... but I don't know how to fix it.... everytime I try to pull his head in tight with lots of areola in his mouth, he pulls his head back as hard as he can and fights against me and will NOT suck unless I let him pull his head back a little, and then it hurts again. If I hold him in place while he's fighting it, he gets his hands involved and uses them to push my breast back - little bugger! I didn't even know he knew how to use his hands effectively yet...
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:54 PM   #5
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To pull his lower lip out, just wait til he is nursing and then stick your finger long ways (the side, not the tip) between your breast and his lip, put a little pressure on your breast to lift it off his lip and then roll his lip out so it is like a duck. I check my boys everytime they latch and have to flip it regularly, it hasn't ever bothered them when I did it. Good luck! Oh, and for the cracked nipple I love Kerry's Herbals miracle salve. My boys wouldn't nurse if I had lanolin on! You can get it online, just search for Kerry's herbals!

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Old 08-13-2011, 05:39 PM   #6
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Re: What's normal?

DS was doing his longer stretches of non-nursing during the day and the only thing I did to "train" him to have them at night was put him back in his crib at night even if he was awake. I also don't talk to him at night (lots of kisses always though), I nurse him, change him if needed, then cuddle, if he doesn't go to sleep during the cuddling, he goes in the crib. If he needs you, he'll fuss and let you know, otherwise he'll fall asleep on his own. Keeping the lights low during night time feedings also helps. DS won't go down for the night if the big light is on.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mapleleaf88
Its like a zap that goes right to my toes with every suck! I think that his lower lip is being sucked in... but I don't know how to fix it.... everytime I try to pull his head in tight with lots of areola in his mouth, he pulls his head back as hard as he can and fights against me and will NOT suck unless I let him pull his head back a little, and then it hurts again. If I hold him in place while he's fighting it, he gets his hands involved and uses them to push my breast back - little bugger! I didn't even know he knew how to use his hands effectively yet...
You can gently pull his lip back out after he's latched, you can also try putting your thumb on his chin as you're latching him on to help help guide his lip out.

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Old 08-13-2011, 06:56 PM   #8
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Re: What's normal?

For the cracked nipple, definitely use lanolin. If it is just a bit cracked, you can also just express some extra milk on it. Believe it or not, breast milk is very moisturizing and will help your skin heal.

I think any latch is going to hurt on the cracked nipple until it heals. However, it should not hurt on the other side. I think your latch is probably too shallow. Can you see a lactation consultant? My hospital has a monthly nursing mom's support group that is run by an LC and it's free. You should check to see if something like that is available in your area.

The sleep thing should get better with time. I nurse on demand and don't try to set a schedule, but both of my babies have figured out the difference between daytime and nigh time on their own
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