Need Nursing Tips

Updated on March 12, 2008
K.M. asks from Saint Joe, IN
11 answers

I have a 3 month old whom I have nursed for a couple months, was taking him a hour to eat and was hungry every 90 minutes. I have inverted nipples and hard for him to latch on. Does anyone have any tips on how to get him to latch on easy? He had a hard time eating with the shield. Was in NICU for a few weeks, so I couldn't nurse hime until he was over a month old. Should I stop trying and switch to formula or is there something I can do?

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answers from Kokomo on

Lynn, as a Lactation consultant I have a few things to add.

First, eating for an hour every 90 minutes consistently is not normal breastfeeding. Also, if you need the shield to achieve better latch with more effective feeds, then use it, as long as needed..this may be months. lastly, you do need to sit down with an LC for hands on help. A thourough history, weight check and latch check will be done and is certainly needed. You have done a great job so far, so get proper help and find out just how great and easy nursing should be!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from South Bend on

It took me about 4 months to get the hang of nursing. My son was eating constantly like yours. Anyway, I was really frustrated because I was constantly nursing. I gave up and started supplementing with formula. I wish I hadn't. Not only is it very expensive, I missed the closeness that nursing brought. I loved nursing and am sad that I stopped. Jakey still tries to nurse sometimes at night and I hate it that I gave up so soon.

My advice is to hang in there if you can.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

You may want a lactation consultant to come to your house to watch a feeding. Just to see if he is latched correctly and getting enough milk, and also to see if he may just be comfort nursing and not actually eating.

I have read/heard that you can still nurse just fine w/ inverted nipples. You may just need a better latch.

Great job on nursing for as long as you have!You have already given baby a great start. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I am sorry you are having such a rough time, but I would encourage you not to switch to formula. For some encouragement, do an internet search for the benefits of breastfeeding. I would try as many different positions as you can to find what works best. Getting him off the shield as soon as possible will also be of benefit to you. Also, you might try pumping a few minutes prior to latching him to draw your nipples out. For additional help, go to a La Leche League meeting or call a leader in your area. Another option would be to pay a Lactation Consultant to do a home visit. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

Just as your grandmother was able to nurse all four of her children, you too can breastfeed with inverted nipples. It is not necessary to have extending nipples to nurse successfully. The shape of your nipples "at rest" does not determine the amount they will protrude as your baby nurses. Proper positioning is crucial. Tickle your baby's lips with your nipple and wait until his mouth is open as wide as a yawn. It may help to pull back slightly on your breast tissue, keeping your thumb and fingers back from the areola as your baby latches on. Your baby needs to take a good portion of your areola into his mouth, bypassing your nipple. When your baby is properly positioned and attached, he will form your breast tissue into a teat.

There can be challenges to nursing with inverted nipples. Babies born to moms with inverted or flat nipples are particularly prone to suck confusion when offered artificial nipples in the early weeks of breastfeeding. It really is easy to understand why this could become so confusing for them. When your baby is born, putting her to your breast as soon after the birth as possible is very helpful in "imprinting". She becomes accustomed to your breast and nipple shape. In most cases, your baby can be placed immediately on your chest. Allow her to lick and nuzzle your nipple, attaching if desired. Babies who have been given the opportunity to suckle immediately following birth seem to do better at the breast, even when their mom's nipples do not protrude. Avoid the use of artificial nipples (including pacifiers) until nursing is well established. If supplementation would become necessary, syringes or cups can be used from birth, while working on the breastfeeding relationship.

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answers from Columbus on

I have 4 children and have nursed for a total of 8 years+. If you will hold your nipple between your thimb and fore finger and squeeae it flat the baby can latch on better and get a better feeding. Also you may do well to call the local laleche league in our area and they will send someone out to help you on a one on one basis. If you desire your baby to have the benefit of nursing and also make it easier on yourself you may want to try using an electric breast pump and give the baby a bottle of your breast milk. When i worked and pumped i sat a picture of my little one in front of me and it allowed my milk to "let down" much easier.

Hope that helps
God Bless You

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

If you want to nurse, don't stop trying! I'm sure that a lactation consultant can help you determine if there is a problem. There are many here in Bloomington, and I know one that would even help you by phone if necessary. Some babies just take a LONG time to nurse and need to nurse frequently- especially if they are tiny.



answers from Fort Wayne on

well in case you haven't done this yet you can call the lalechee league and they will help wonders. or the wic office in your town if you are on W.I.C. they also have coaches for mothers that have trouble nursing! I also have inverted nipple and it worked wonders for me when i had a consultant...hope you are doing better and if not please call for a breast feeding consultant..



answers from Mansfield on

HI Lynn,
Have you tried to consult with a breastfeeding consultant? Mine is great and helped me out tremndously



answers from Columbus on

Do you have a good breast pump...Medela is a great one! The suction may help your inverted nipples and the pumping may help keep up your milk supply. He may be nursing longer and more frequently because your supply may be low. You can build it by increasing your feedings, and if you pump, you can bottle feed him the breast milk if he is truly having a difficult time with the latch. Don't give up just yet! Call a lactation consultant if you need further input...that's what their there for:)



answers from Indianapolis on

My son (7 weeks almost) takes a long time to eat as well. He eats for about 40 minutes. He will also go through periods of the day where he wants to eat quite frequently. Please, don't give up! Breastfeeding is such a great thing. My daughter is almost 2 and has been sick only once, not to mention all the other benefits. As your little one gets older, nursing will become easier and shorter.

I would strongly reccomend seeing a Lactation Consultant in person. I wouldn't do it over the phone because you may need some hands-on help. It's so much easier to make an assessment when the consultant can actually see what is going on.

As for inverted nipples, I wish I could remember what these things are called. Nipple guards maybe. It's not a shield because you don't wear it while baby feeds. It's a hard plastic thing you wear between feedings (not attractive, so I wouldn't wear them outside of the house). It's a hard plastic thing that has a hole in one side for you nipple to go into. You put them in your bra and wear them between feedings to help 'encourage' your nipples to move forward. But, your nipples change shape as baby eats. I have flat nipples unless they are stimulated (sexual arrousal, cold temperatures and baby nursing). Then, they become rather large. So, this may not be as big of a problem as you are thinking. Again, see a Lactation Consultant.

Keep up the good work!

God bless,

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