Bad latch is it my fault?

(38 Posts)
BeanoNoir Sun 08-Dec-13 07:07:06

Ds is 18 weeks and feeding is going really badly. He always takes over an hour to feed, falling asleep a lot at the breast.

His latch either slips to lips just around the nipple, or if I manage to get his latch nice and deep he pushes away with his hands until he's just round my nipple.

He's feeding every 2 hours day and night and has been for about 6 weeks. I'm obviously getting next to no sleep and feel like it's starting to affect me mentally/emotionally. I also have a two year old to look after.

Hv has suggested topping up feeds with formula. He will take between 1 and 5 oz after a feed. But still feeding so frequently. Last night he was in bed at 9 I was up at 11, 1, 3, 4.30 and 6.30 this morning - and that was quite a good night. I try and bf for as long as possible before giving the top up but feel as if he would just bf forever.

I don't want to stop bf but I'm in tears and overtired all the time. Does anyone have any tips or is it time to go to bottles? I just wanted to breastfeed but it's been so hard this time.

Had posterior tt snipped at 8 weeks.

Thanks if you can help.

BeanoNoir Sun 08-Dec-13 09:21:25

After me feeding ds at 4.30 til 5.20pm and then again at 6.30am til about 7.30am, dh gave him a bottle of formula. He drank 7oz and is now fast asleep in his cot.

I didn't think it was possible for my milk to not be enough for him but maybe this is the case? Hv said that because my exhaustion has gone on so long I might not be producing enough milk? My breasts have gone v soft, one in particular feels just like it did pre pregnancy.

tiktok Sun 08-Dec-13 10:09:40

Beano, it's gonna be difficult for a talkboard, or a bf support group, to help you properly with this. I think you need real life face to face help with someone who knows what they are about, breastfeeding wise, and who doesn't clutch at (totally non-evidence-based) straws like your HV (your exhaustion has will not impact on the quantity of milk you are producing.

I would suggest an experienced breastfeeding counsellor (not a peer supporter - their training is great but it does not 'fix' long-standing and complex challenges like yours, or a good LC.

Your breasts sound normal - the softening you describe is normal.

His weight, growth, health and development I take it are normal.

So....what clues do we have here? You are topping up a lot - not only is it disheartening and time consuming to be feeding this way (at most feeds? With a baby who is feeding often? He may be taking large amounts and this will impact on supply, so he becomes less satisfied at the breast. He also clearly likes to suck and would bf forever if he could....if you get supply issues addressed, or rule them out, then I agree a dummy might be worth persisting with.

Would your partner help you settle him after a feed? Could you work out a way of making night feeds easier (not sleeping on the floor!!) ?

A bfc/LC would talk about why this behaviour started 6 weeks ago. If it was me talking with you, I'd ask what bf had been like up to that time, what formula he had had, when does he start sleeping and coming off and on....loads to ask and talk through.

I'm not sure this will help but my DS has always had this type of shallow laych and I saw countless LCs who in the end just said tgey think it's the way he wants to feed and I couldn't change it basically.

Like your LO mine had a PTT cut at 4 weeks and it never improved latch.

He is now 17 mo and still feeding frequently but has gone down...it used to be at least every half hour day and night up until about 9 months.

I coped but only just and he was my first so didn't have to worry about a toddler!

The top ups were essential for us at about 4 montha...he was skinny and evwn the frequency of feeds wasn't giving him enough milk...I used nipple shields before that point because of pain and one day he just decided he didn't want tyem any more. Weaning off top ups wasn't too hard actually once he put on weight.

One thing I wish I had done is go back to tongue tie clinic regardless of what anyone says to you about it growing back it is possible and ttheyare so hard to find you need opinion of TT experts.

DS is now too old for correcting TT so we just get on with it...but what you mentioned aboit your nipples carried on for me..they are permanently indented top and bottom. I wish I had got help with this too.

Anyway I have come to my own conclusion. I think that even if TT is seperated successfully babies who have TT may have tighter connection between tongue and throat all the way down their throat.

If yiu can imagine breastfeeding uses whole of tongue then it seems reasonable to assume that this will cause problems. In our case it is like when I try to latch ds on deeper he can't control the sucking action properly and so needs to slip down to a shallow latch in order to do this.

HTH

Chocchip88 Sun 08-Dec-13 13:25:10

Beano my (now toddler) had a very shallow latch and used to feed 2 hourly but had started to space it out a bit more by the age of your DS. I was on my knees by 12 weeks (also have older DS too). I can't imagine how you must be feeling now : (
He still has quite a shoddy latch now and kind of pushes away at the breast until he's less deeply latched. I don't have much advice I'm afraid. Have you tried taking him off every time he makes the latch more shallow? But him back on w a deeper latch and then when he pulls away take him off again - repeat ad infinitum until hopefully he starts to 'get' that the deeper latch is better?

Sunflower1985 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:08:35

No advice as such as I have many of these issues with my 18wo ds, so just sending supporty thoughts.
Your perseverance is admirable.

CheeseTMouse Sun 08-Dec-13 21:34:00

Don't think anyone has answered where you can get nipple shields from -places like Boots in with the baby stuff. They are inexpensive and helped me when my daughter bit me and I was in pain from that. Not sure about the effect on a latch, but worth a try.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 08-Dec-13 22:30:07

I would chat to a lactation consultant before trying shields as they can cause their own problems with poor latch and reduced milk transfer. They may well not help.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 08-Dec-13 22:32:47

Definitely sounds like tt is back I had a world of shit info on tt for years and 3 children. Everything you have described fits with the tt.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 08-Dec-13 22:36:11

Shields definitely help with painful latch I found them an absolute godsend. Many women I know used them with no adverse effect the modern ones are thin silicon. That said if he is a slow feeder that might make him slower it was not an issue in my case. If you use shields you might like to try breast compressions as well.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 08-Dec-13 22:45:55

Personally I'd sooner formula feed than cosleep - or at least do mixed feeding. Do formula at night. DS may go a bit longer, but even if he doesn't, your DP can do a feed and you can get some sleep.

Every 2 hours sounds horrendous at 18 weeks. DD was down to every 3 hours by 4 weeks, and it was still knackering. I have no idea how you are surviving!

Rollermum Sun 08-Dec-13 22:46:43

Sympathies, that sound very frustrating and exhausting - especially with another LO.

I had a similar situation at 9 weeks - DD suddenly breaking each latch to make it shallow which was painful and feeds took ages. I have a great HV who got me to slightly alter my position and that basically solved it. I felt I should have been able to figure it out - did research, called LLL etc - but as others have said having a good and experienced person look at you really helps. I feed rugby style and DD had grown so I needed to sit more forward and turn her on her side. Obviously each person will be different, but the change was effective but looked like nothing different iyswim.

I also baked lactation cookies. Not convinced they work on anything but a placebo level but my boobs felt fuller and leaked for the first time in ages. Also DD seemed more content with one side (which had been the previous pattern). Recipe: www.bellybelly.com.au/breastfeeding/breastmilk-supply-increase-breastmilk-lactation-cookie-recipe#.Upc-KmQgGc1

Hope you get a break / improvement soon.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 08-Dec-13 22:47:55

It is entirely possible you don't have enough milk. I didn't with DD. BF consultant could find no explanation, there just wasn't enough. It is a myth that everyone produces enough.

mathanxiety Sun 08-Dec-13 22:55:43

Is there any way you could get even an air mattress (and blankets obv) for you in the baby's room? Or a bedside/clip on cot for DS in your room?

How about having your DH give bottles if DS wakes up from 1 am onwards, so you can get some sleep? Just to take the edge off the exhaustion for a bit?

Has DH tried giving him a dummy or is it just you? Sometimes a baby will accept a dummy from someone other than mum.

Does he nap at all during the day? Are you carrying him around a lot?

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