My newborn is almost one month. He had to be bottle fed too because I wasn't producing enough milk. I think he has gotten too used to sucking on a bottle because it hurts when breastfeeding. It feels like he is biting down with gums and not using his tongue. I know he's getting a good latch but it's killing my nipples. How do I get him to stick his tongue out more or at all? Desperate to feed my baby without it hurting me!
Thanks for reaching out with your question. If you are interested in trying a different nipple, the Lansinoh NaturalWave Nipple is designed specifically for breastfed babies so they are able to use the same sucking actions--namely the peristaltic wave like motion they use with their tongue to draw the milk out--as at the breast. It was tested with breastfed babies and has over 50 years of research behind it and is proven to reduce nipple confusion so it would likely help your son to use the same sucking actions as when he is nursing at the breast. In the meantime, try to get him to open as widely as you can and draw him into the breast rather than you leaning down and putting the breast in his mouth. If you feel pain, gently unlatch him and relatch him. Watch when he is nursing to ensure that his lips are flanged out like a fish (both bottom and top lips visible and outward rather than unseen) and this will also help ensure that he is not just on the nipple. Have you seen an IBCLC in person? It is possible that he could have tongue tie which means that his tongue is more anchored and he cant fully extend his tongue. This can often be the cause of soreness and is very easy to address. If you need assistance finding an LC in your area, the lactation consultant association has a great locator at ilca.org
Take care and hang in there!
Gina Ciagne, CLC
PS- I used to live in Wilmette! Right on Lake Avenue when I was in kindergarten and part of elementary school!