Breastfeeding Questions - Problems Latching
I have a one week old and have struggled with latching on - her tongue is always in the way! My midwife made me grab the back of the baby's head and push her onto the breast which I think has caused her to cry and panic even more when she is put in the position I was advised to use.
I am now expressing and bottle feeding her as I have developed blocked pores, a bright red breast on the left and a nipple that looks like it has been severely manhandled. I continue to persevere with coaxing her back onto my good breast. I have now been prescribed antibiotics by the doctor to treat the infection.
My questions are:
1. The milk I have expressed from the infected breast - is this now infected and does it have to be thrown away?
2. How do I keep up with producing enough breastmilk to meet the increased demand on the other breast?
3. How can I encourage a good latching-on technique without forcing my baby onto my breast by grabbing the back of her head?
4. I noticed that sometimes after expressing the nipple gets a yellow coloured substance in between the "bubbly" effect which hardens and then only comes off after an express and picking at it. How do I avoid this from blocking up my pores?
Many thanks for your time
Poor You! It seems you've been having a bit of a bad experience. But, firstly, congratulations on your new baby and for persevering with breastfeeding.
Have a look at the following links for some basics about breastfeeding:
Dr Jack Newman: Breastfeeding
Mastitis usually results from incorrect positioning at the breast which causes blocked milk ducts and then mastitis, a breast infection. See the following articles by Dr Jack Newman for some advice about sore nipples, sore breasts and mastitis:
To answer your questions, the milk you have expressed from the infected breast is unlikely to do your baby any harm but, finding myself in the same situation a few times, I preferred to dispose of it as it looked a bit unsavoury!
However, if you weren't expressing the milk, you wouldn't see it - and the general advice is to keep feeding from the infected breast which helps unblock the milk duct and that the milk is safe for the baby. I have often found that the best way to unblock a blocked duct and the subsequent mastitis that can result is to keep feeding from the affected breast.
To keep a good milk supply from the other breast, just keep feeding from it. Breastmilk is made on a supply and demand basis so as long as you keep feeding from the breast then you will make plenty of milk.
However, if possible, do try to feed from both breasts rather than expressing from one only. If you only offer one breast the baby may get so used to that breast that she may refuse to drink from the other side at all. Although positioning her differently can prevent this from happening!
The following articles by Dr Jack Newman have some very useful advice regarding expressing milk and breast compression:
To encourage a good latching technique let the baby go to the breast. Do not force her on. I find the best way to encourage this is to put a nipple above the baby's upper lip, wait until her mouth is wide open and allow her to 'latch' herself. This should happen instinctively. Have a look at the images on the following link by Dr Jack Newman:
The yellow substance that hardens on your nipples sound like it could be pus. If the baby is sucking very hard you will find the centre of your nipple looks slightly blistered. This is quite normal and will not block your milk ducts which are inside your breast as opposed to being on the surface of your nipple. Just wipe it off with a clean finger or a little piece of damp cotton wool. If you have any concerns though, please speak to your doctor or health visitor.
You may find it a great help to join a local breastfeeding support group.
I really enjoyed going to mine and it can help you realise you are not alone
in your experiences. Ask your community midwife or health visitor to recommend
They are usually run by qualified health visitors or midwifes who have lots of breastfeeding training. And the mums who attend can give wonderful breastfeeding tips and advice.
I really hope this helps. Let me know!
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