I'm probably worrying far too much, but thought I'd ask anyway ...
My baby Andrew is an extreme preemie, he's now 7 weeks old (-4 weeks corrected) and he's tube-fed EBM. For the last week, I've been trying him at the breast once a day, but with no success.
I've been looking around on tinternet at videos of feeding & latching, and it strikes me that all these women have really sticky-out nipples, they look like the eraser at the top of a pencil. Pardon me for asking, but is that normal after childbirth? Mine used to look like that when aroused!
Now mine look like little buttons (in rest) and raspberries when I'm expressing - that's the only way to describe them! They swell both widthways and lengthways, and appear to have loads of tiny segments/bobbles on them.
If I stimulate the nipple before trying to feed, the same happens - no obvious sticky-out bit, just a large swollen berry. And as my baby is soooooo small, it's the size of his mouth - akin to trying to put a whole plum into an adult's mouth. I'm wondering if this is why we're not being successful.
So - am I worrying too much? Are my nipples normal? Are they "flat" and in need of help? Is it just my baby's small size that's the issue, not my nipples?
My nipples are the same and when the midwife showed me how much of my boob she thought should be in my mouth when feeding I laughed my head off - the poor child would suffocate! You'd be amazed how much your boob kind of stretches in the baby's mouth even if it looks flatter as soon as baby comes off, so don't worry.
Does your baby have the strenght to suck? If no, I would recommend to express milk often and then give it to your baby and wait untill your baby has a good strenght to suck. I have read that you can even give your milk from the spoon if you doesn't want to give the bottle and wait untill your baby is ready to start sucking normaly
I should have added, my baby is current in SCBU so ensuring he is fed is not yet a worry, the nurses will pick the right time for him to come off the gastric tube and move onto hand-feeding. They've mentioned cup-feeding (similar to the spoon method) as opposed to bottles, so that he doesn't become confused with the nipple/teat.
I'm just really keen to get him to breastfeed, and wondered if the difficulty lay with my nips - but it seems not, from your responses! Probably just his size, prematurity etc.
I know some people may not agree with me but I really found that the MAM small baby dummies really helped Sofia's sucking reflex.
By the way your nipples sound totally normal!
We fed Sofia via a syringe and I wanted to carry on doing that until she was ready to breastfeed, but one of the nurses started her on the bottle and I was so upset at first, but then as she was taking bigger amounts we bottlefed her too and she was still able to breastfeed. Wish I'd known about the cup feeding method, our nurses were hopeless about helping in that regard.
She refuses a bottle now though, she's a breast only kind of baby
you described your nips just how i did they look exactly like raspberries! I started asimilar thread a while ago cos i didn't know if it was normal! Myles has a little mouth and it still worries me now how the poor boy fits them in but he does and feeds fine - don't worry hun I am sure he will be ok
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