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Old 05-15-2008, 03:53 PM   #1
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Mamas with large nipples....

I am having issues with latching Egan on my breast. I have large nipples now and he has a super small mouth. {He was born 3 weeks early too if that matters}. I was using a nipple shield which seemed to help him latch, but since I had NO supply.. he would get very frustrated when trying to nurse. I was then told by the LC to just pump every two/three hours to increase my milk supply and after it was established... to then try again. In the process, the hospital put Egan on formula to make sure you got fed as he was born with low blood sugar and needed an IV after birth.

I would really like to EBF and not use formula, but if he can't properly latch on and get milk out.. how can I not use the formula when I know he is hungry? What did you do? Is there some secret that I don't know? He seems to want to suck, but he only gets the nipple in his mouth.. and that is just barely. It doesn't help at all with getting the milk out or for increasing my milk supply. I am barely able to pump out 1/2 to 3/4 oz of breastmilk. That is in total from BOTH breasts.

ANY advice, suggestions, or help would be greatly appreciated!!

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Old 05-15-2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

I have been where you are and I know how exhausting it is to be nursing and pumping to boost supply. I am pasting below some tips that I posted on another board. For you having large nipples, I suspect that #1 applies to you.

Also, I have found that supplementing at the breast takes some practice, but it is the best way to supplement and boost supply at the same time. The flow of milk should stimulate him to want to suck. Instead of training the baby away from the breast like a bottle does, it teaches them that the breast is where the good stuff is.

Check out these video clips from Dr. Jack Newman to get help with latching.

First and foremost, you can do it. Even if you are not supplying your baby with 100% breastmilk, any amount is great and the act of breastfeeding has it's own benefits. I gave up too early with my first 2 LOs because I thought BFing was an all or nothing proposition and it is not.


I am not a fan of the pump, but I have had times when it was a constant part of my life. I pumped for 5 weeks while Colin was in the NICU and pumped to increase supply with 3 of my 4 kids. I have come across some tips that I found helpful and I thought I would pass them along.

1. Make sure you have proper sized breast shields. Makes a big difference in comfort and the amount you can pump. http://www.medela.com/newfiles/faq/b...hield_fit.html

2. Be warm and comfortable, put on a sweater or robe if it is chilly.

3. Apply a warm compress before pumping to help with let-down. There are lots of good ones if you want to buy a set. I bought some at Target that are made by Gerber. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/re.../dp/B000096M1A

4. Drink a warm beverage to help with let-down. Even better a galactagogue like MM tea or my fave, Caffix.

5. Try Rescue Remedy homeopathic spray again to help with let-down.

6. Don't watch the pump, do something else. I pumped more while surfing the net, anything so that you are not watching the drops.

7. Try going hands-free. Many moms on the pumpmoms group have reported higher milk yield when pumping hands-free. There are products, but here is a super cheap method: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/h...e-pumping.html
I have even pumped hands-free in the car while driving. I got this crazy idea from the pump moms group and it worked when I needed to leave Colin and didn't have time to pump before heading out. Sometimes you have got to get creative.

8. Apply lubricant to reduce friction on your nipples. I personally found lanolin to have the opposite effect. I would either use olive oil or Gerber Breast Therapy Balm. http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=2736631

9. When Colin was in the NICU and I was EPing, I would smell a Pampers diaper or baby powder to help with let-down.

10. Use the smaller Medela bottles. This tip is totally psychological, but I always felt more positive about how much I was pumping when it was in the narrow Medela bottles. An oz. or two always looks like more in the slim 80 ml. bottles (often sold as the Medela Freezer Pack) rather than the big 6 or 8 oz bottles. http://www.breast-pumps.org/Medela-B...60-p/87060.htm

11. If you are using a PISA or Symphony, restart when the milk stops flowing. Going back to the let-down phase (quick, low suction) can help encourage another let-down.

12. Make sure your pump is good quality and in good working order. Medela PISs wear out over time and lose suction. The white membranes on pump kits are to be replaced every few months if you are pumping regularly or you will lose suction.

13. If you are pumping to boost supply, try to pump as soon as possible after a feeding.

14. If you are trying to increase supply, "power pump" (5-10 minutes) at different times in a day. You only need to wash the kit every 4-6 hours depending on the temperature in your house. I would keep the pump by the computer and pop on to check my email after a feeding and get in a quick session. That way I was more motivated and could sneak in a few short sessions before washing my pump kit. Try to jot down how many times you do this. I felt good about my progress when I could see it written down.

15. Use Medela Micro-Steam Bags to sterilize pump parts and make them dry almost instantly. Once they come out of the microwave, shake off the water and they dry in a couple of minutes. This is great for when you realize you forgot to wash the pump parts and you are ready to pump again.

16. Do not stress!!! Pump if you can and if it works for you. If you can get your baby to the breast and nursing effectively, you may not need to pump at all. But, if you want to try and see if it makes a difference, I recommend really hitting it hard for 2-3 days. If you see an increase, great, decide on a strategy to continue pumping. If not, don't waste your effort, nurse that baby, maybe supplement at the breast and make the most of the nursing experience. Don't pump at the expense of enjoying your baby.


Hope this helps. Hang in there. PM me if you want to "talk."
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Last edited by odentonmom; 05-15-2008 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:34 PM   #3
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

Oh Christine!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! You have some awesome advice!!

I am going to get several things that you mentioned and try your ideas! It seems like you truly do know and have 'been there". Sometimes it gets frustrating as I so want Egan to just latch on to the breast so we can have some time like that. Unfortunately at this time, he just isn't willing and won't even try. My DH has been so supportive. He says I shouldn't focus on 'how' the baby gets my bmilk, but that he does get it. That helps keep me motivated to keep going even though I am only exclusively pumping now. I atleast feel like there will be a time sometime soon where Egan will be willing to latch on to the breast and that I will make enough milk that he doesn't scream bloody murder because none is coming out.

Thanks again for taking the time out to post all of this great info and advice!! It truly is so helpful!

I may just take you up on the invitation to 'talk" with PM! Thanks again Mama!! You have really helped me stay positive and have some suggestions/ideas to do. It helps that I don't feel so helpless.
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:40 PM   #4
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

The fact that he was early has a lot to do withit I'm betting. Jack was early and had a NICU stay where he couldn't nurse for over 7days. Jack had trouble latching also but I had an abundant milk supply and was still nursing my 3yo so I didn't worry about nipple soreness and he was able to get the nilk out because it just flowed out(we had a whole other issue with oversupply actually which was almost as bad as low supply). I think you may want to try getting your milk flowing first so he doesn't get frustrated when you do try to put him to breast.
Also I agree bm is bm and keep pumping and taking it one day at a time--as he gets older he may be up to trying to nurse at the breast.
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:52 PM   #5
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

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Originally Posted by saongiri View Post
The fact that he was early has a lot to do withit I'm betting. Jack was early and had a NICU stay where he couldn't nurse for over 7days. Jack had trouble latching also but I had an abundant milk supply and was still nursing my 3yo so I didn't worry about nipple soreness and he was able to get the nilk out because it just flowed out(we had a whole other issue with oversupply actually which was almost as bad as low supply). I think you may want to try getting your milk flowing first so he doesn't get frustrated when you do try to put him to breast.
Also I agree bm is bm and keep pumping and taking it one day at a time--as he gets older he may be up to trying to nurse at the breast.
Thanks Sarah!

The advice from the LC and the nurses was what you said. They want me to focus on getting an abundant milk supply where it 'just flows out" so that Egan will be 'enticed' to latch on. He gets so mad & frustrated that whenever he thinks I am going to put him to the breast.. he just starts screaming. I mean.. I don't even have to get him to it. {Not a great confidence builder}.

He loves bmilk, so since he is still only 9 days old.. he has time. Maybe in several weeks I will be making more milk and he will be willing to latch on. I atleast hope so!

Thanks again for the advice & support!! It was much needed & appreciated!
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:12 PM   #6
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

Kaydee. That situation must be very tiring & frustrating (for both of you!!). You've gotten some great advice; I have not been in a situation like yours, but I wanted to advise you to get in touch w/ LLL. I have found both the leaders and other mothers to be a great source of excellent advice and support - and it is always coming from a place of experience (someone has BTDT). Often an LC doesn't give the best advice (NOT saying yours has given you bad advice) - anyone who has taken some classes can call themselves an LC - you want to make sure you are talking to an IBCLC (I think those are the letters LOL Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant). Anyway, I highly recommend getting thee to an LLL meeting (hopefully you have once close by). You can find out at www.llli.org GL!
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:32 PM   #7
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

Check out the mother-to-mother forums on the LLL site the PP mentioned!
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

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Originally Posted by kezoo View Post
Kaydee. That situation must be very tiring & frustrating (for both of you!!). You've gotten some great advice; I have not been in a situation like yours, but I wanted to advise you to get in touch w/ LLL. I have found both the leaders and other mothers to be a great source of excellent advice and support - and it is always coming from a place of experience (someone has BTDT). Often an LC doesn't give the best advice (NOT saying yours has given you bad advice) - anyone who has taken some classes can call themselves an LC - you want to make sure you are talking to an IBCLC (I think those are the letters LOL Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant). Anyway, I highly recommend getting thee to an LLL meeting (hopefully you have once close by). You can find out at www.llli.org GL!
Thanks Mama! I will call and see what we can find. The LC seemed very knowledgeable and we even took a bfing class that they offered at the hospital. The hospital was a 'Baby Friendly Initiative" hospital. The nurses, cna's and LPNs are all trained in breastfeeding, etc. The nurse that was with me in labor/delivery was HORRIBLE which was the main reason for some of the horrid labor/birth. She also didn't bring a pump during the time that Egan was away. She also didn't do anything helpful with breastfeeding. The next shift when they brought Egan back to our room {12 hours later}, tried to help and even spent almost an hour trying to get him to latch on. The next day the LC & hospital decided to keep Egan on formula and to use breastmilk AS the substitution. I wasn't making any bmilk so I didn't know what to do. I had the 2nd day with a wonderful nurse and helper who came in EVERY time it was time to feed Egan. They worked really hard {all day long} and we finally got Egan to latch on and even suck. She figured out that I wasn't making anything for Egan to eat/drink and that was why he was so mad. It made me feel so worthless as a mom or even a woman. How can I not make any food for the baby when I am the one who had him? Anyway... I asked to see the LC and that is how I got assigned the awesome nurses. I did realize quite immediately that the LC wasn't as good as she seemed in class. She acted like she didn't have time for anything and that the nurses had the best ideas.
I think the ones did on the 2nd day as they are the only ones who actually got Egan to latch on and even suck.

Thanks for replying! I will get ahold of LLL as soon as I can. Hopefully there is one close and can help me. I am excited that I am finally making atleast an oz of bmilk as it was so slow going at first.

Hope you are enjoying your babymoon with Oliver still!
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:48 AM   #9
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

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Originally Posted by chasingprisms View Post
Check out the mother-to-mother forums on the LLL site the PP mentioned!
Thanks Jessica, I will!
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:57 PM   #10
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

I had the same problems with both of my boys because of my large nipples. My youngest who is 6 months right now was able to latch after a few days but my supply was lacking. So I took herbs and pumped a lot!
He was 3 weeks early also with a very small mouth and it took a good 6 weeks until he was able to nurse well.
Have you tried fenugreek and blessed thistle to help with your supply??
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