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New to BF.. nipples too large.. tips?
October 3, 2012 at 7:45 PM
My baby is 4 days old today.. my milk came in yesterday.. My ds woke up at midnight last night and cried until 6am. I kept trying to feed but it wasn't working. My SO pointed out that my nipples were too big for his mouth.. I am now pumping. Anyone else? I am adamant on him only having breast milk. Any tips?


  • kylersmommy
    October 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM
    I am also new to bfing(ds is 8days old!) So what I say may not mean ad much as these.other, awesome mama's, but my nipples are huge as well! But my tiny ds doesn't have any issues. This is only.coming from what ive learned in the past 8 days but when my milk came in and I was super engorged, it took ds a few to get latched on. I don't.think nipple size has anything to do with it. Just keep trying mama! It'll get better.

    And I'm sure someone else will have some advice as well! Just wanted to throw my experience out there! Good luck!
  • thalia7758
    October 3, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    By "too big", do you mean the nipple won't fit at all, or do you mean that he just doesn't have much areola in his mouth? As long as he can get the nipple in his mouth it should be fine.

    The best advice I have is just keep trying. Your baby has made it four days so far, so he's most likely capable of getting milk from your breasts. When I had my son, I was shocked at how tiny he was compared to my left nipple. He could barely get it in his mouth, but somehow he did. I did have some trouble with him pulling away and not latching, but a lactation consultant was able to help him get latched. 

    Bascially, you need someone with experience to watch you try to nurse and see if the baby has a good latch. What you should do is take your baby either to your pediatrician or (if available in your area) to a lactation consultant. If those aren't options then call someone in the La Leche League  or even just ask another nursing mom. In the meantime, keep trying, and if you can't breastfeed, pump as much as possible to keep up your supply, until you can see someone in person. I was lucky because my milk came in while I was still in the hospital (I had a c-section) so there were nursing consultants still handy.

    The bottom line is your baby will grow, and FAST. In a few weeks you won't even remember what it was like for your baby to have such a tiny mouth. 

  • shortyali
    October 4, 2012 at 6:54 AM
    I have large nipples also. The trick is to feel around the actual nipple and learn where the areaola is and breast tissue starts. (the whole colored part isn't nipple). Then just try to get most of what you can in.
  • gdiamante
    October 4, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    What DOES happen when you latch? Baby doesn't need to take the whole aereola... just a good portion. And expect that you'll have to correct latch OFTEN in this early going, even if you had smaller nipples. It's normal for them to pop off. Don't expect latch and stay there. Not this early.

    Need to know more about what's happening when you latch to best advise you.

  • maggiemom2000
    October 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Your nipples are not too big. Just keep trying and avoid bottles as that can make it harder for baby to learn to latch onto the breast right. Spend lots of time skin to skin, with baby on your bare chest. Let baby sleep there (you with no shirt, baby in only a diaper) and any time baby begins to stir and move his head try to help him to the breast. Don't wait for him to start sucking his fists, rooting, or fussing.

    Some good tips on latching:

    No matter what latch and positioning look like, the true measure is in the answers to these two questions:

    1. Is it effective?
    2. Is it comfortable?

    Even if latch and positioning look perfect (and, yes, even if a lactation consultant told you they were fine), pain and/or ineffective milk transfer indicate that there is a problem somewhere, and the first suspect is ineffective latch/positioning.

    If baby is transferring milk and gaining weight well, and mom is not hurting, then latch and positioning are – by definition – good, even if it’s nothing like the “textbook” latch and positioning that you’ve seen in books.

    “Rules and regulations have no place in the mother-baby relationship. Each mother and baby dyad is different and what works well for one mother and baby may not work well for another mother and baby. The important thing to do is to look at the mother and baby as individuals.”– Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC in The Mother-Baby Dance

    Following are some of my favorite resources on latch and positioning:

    Biological Nurturing: Laid-Back Breastfeeding from Dr. Suzanne Colson. Breastfeeding in a semi-reclined position can be very helpful for both mom and baby.

    Newborn Hands: Why are they always in the way while breastfeeding? from the San Diego Breastfeeding Center

    Latching handouts by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC

    Breastfeeding: Off to the best start from the UK Department of Health
    (Lovely latching pictures here, with simple directions.)

    Deep Latch Technique from The Pump Station.
    (Good latching pictures and directions.)

    When Latching by Anne J. Barnes, has instructions with drawings
    (The drawings and tips here are helpful.)

    Latching videos by Dr. Jack Newman

    Animation illustrating assymetrical latch technique by Victoria Nesterova
    (Nice animation — text is in Russian.)

    The Mother-Baby Dance: Positioning and Latch-On by Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC
    (This is a longish article written for breastfeeding counselors that has some nice descriptions of latching and positioning, along with info on why some things tend to work better than others.)

    Is baby latching on and sucking efficiently? How to tell from
    (A useful list.)

    L-A-T-C-H-E-S * Breastfeeding Assessment Tool (for the first 4 weeks) and Scoring Key by Marie Davis, RN, IBCLC
    (A tool for professionals that could also be useful for moms who are wondering if breastfeeding is going fine and whether additional help is needed.)

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