will latch ever improve?

(17 Posts)
upandawayy Thu 28-Aug-14 18:31:34

I've been breastfeeding my baby since birth and she's nearly six weeks old. Since then we've only had a handful of pain free feeds. I've seen breastfeeding consultants and specialists, been checked for tongue tie etc. The only things that have been identified are an upper lip tie and a very strong suck, along with a fast let down from me.

Occasionally it's pain free on one side but the other is usually too shallow. From the outside it all looks ok according to the specialists.

I'm hoping for a miracle solution but has anyone else been through a bad latch that's got better?

AnythingNotEverything Thu 28-Aug-14 18:34:38

My DD had a shallow latch. I persevered with unlatching and trying again every time it wasn't right, and used the "flipple" technique to get enough boob in. We're still feeding at 10 months.

If it still hurts, then it's not right.

Philippalc Thu 28-Aug-14 19:44:18

Have you tried an IBCLC lactation consultant? If you can perhaps find one in private practice they will likely have more time to sit with you, watch a feed, try different positions, suggest tongue exercises etc... there is much to consider and often it is a combination of small things. A full assessment and history can take 2 hours so avoid anyone just looking and saying "it looks fine". Have a look at Why does breastfeeding hurt

qumquat Fri 29-Aug-14 03:37:59

Things finally got pain free for me at 4 months. Between two and 4 months I expressed a lot (nearly exclusively) as I couldn't handle the pain any more. Slowly put her back to the breast and now happily bf directly with no pain (8 months now). It was a long slog but we got there! I saw all the consultants going, but nothing made a difference except dd growing and expressing to allow my boobs to heal.

My ds1 has an upper lip tie and has a very shallow latch which causes lots of pain, I hate to say it but his latch has never improved and my nipples are dented from the chewing like motion he uses. He's still feeding at 2 yo though. ..I can at this point ask him to latch deeper but he just can't manage it because of the lip tie as he would lose suction. The pain did improve though for me but I have never had a pain free feed. I would keep working at it as your situation is bound to be different in some way and it's possible you will get a better latch especially if you can manage it on one side (better positioning could help) but be aware it's not your fault and could be unchangeable

upandawayy Mon 01-Sep-14 18:59:44

Thanks for all the replies. I have seen a IBCLC consultant who has checked tongue tie and latch but says it's all fine. I have also tried unlatching and re latching to try and get a pain free feed but there's only so many times I can take it pain wise and most often I don't get a pain free latch.

I wish there was a reason, as she opens her mouth nice and wide and everything looks ok from the outside but it's pretty much always painful. I will just have to hope it improves

Have you tried cranial osteopathy? Often it can be due to misalingnment in the skull/jaw etc and it can help.

returnvisit Tue 02-Sep-14 14:57:56

Hi my dd had tongue tie which led to a bad latch. The latch slowly improved after it was snipped and i eventually had pain free feeds. Sometimes tongue ties are missed so i would get it checked again by a specialist. You say you have seen specialists, who have you seen. ?

Iggly Tue 02-Sep-14 15:01:07

You need to see a IBCLC who specialises in tongue tie. I'd be surprised if no tongue tie with a lip tie to be honest.

I saw one who couldn't tell. Wasn't until I spoke to one who specialised on tongue tie did I get a proper diagnosis.

upandawayy Tue 02-Sep-14 17:30:48

Thanks return and iggly, I should have been clearer; I've seen a IBCLC who specialises in tongue tie! paid £75 to be told she doesn't have tongue tie!

moresnow I'm hopefully seeing osteopath tomorrow to see if perhaps that could help but I feel like I'm clutching at straws though.

I saw a different IBCLC this morning who has said to use nipple shells and shields for now to just try to get through this very painful time. I'm willing to try anything!

BadPenny Tue 02-Sep-14 17:38:56

My DS had a shallow latch and high palate - bf was painful and ineffective at first. Something that really helped me was this article:

www.lowmilksupply.org/latching.shtml

Sorry that it's so long, but for me it made a real difference once I tried what they suggest here.

Iggly Tue 02-Sep-14 20:40:38

My dd had upper lip tie which still caused feeding issues (her tongue tie was snipped). It wasn't until she broke her lip tie falling off the sofa did her feeding improve.

NoraRobertsismyguiltypleasure Tue 02-Sep-14 20:54:56

I hate to be negative here, but I never found breastfeeding particularly comfortable or pain-free for the 16 months I did it. My DD had a tongue tie that was snipped at 10 days and after it she did feed 100% better, but I never seemed to find just the right way so that it was pain-free for me. I had a lot of support, went to breastfeeding groups, watched videos and read lots, but I concluded that maybe that's just the way it is for some people. I did get used to it and after month 3 it was never unbearable, so I just put up with it because I really wanted to breastfeed and not faff about with bottle feeding.

upandawayy Fri 05-Sep-14 10:46:41

badpenny thank you so much for that article. What an interesting read. Took me ages to read it all, process it and try to remember it but I've had a couple of pain free feeds on one side now. I think the two main things were letting her latch where the nipple is instead of lifting her and also not using a pillow. Thanks ever so much I can only hope I might be able to keep it up

Waffles80 Fri 05-Sep-14 12:16:17

Have you tried nipple shields? I used the medela ones to give myself a break and I think they helped improve the baby's latch. If a fast let down, I've read that biological nurturing (lying down) can help slow the flow.

BadPenny Fri 05-Sep-14 12:54:55

Glad to hear it's made a difference for you too! You're doing so well to have persevered for so long... thanks

Loops81 Mon 08-Sep-14 21:17:32

I found breastfeeding absolute agony for the first six weeks too. Mine didn't have tongue tie, just a shallow latch which nothing I did seemed to change. Plus I got mastitis and a horribly damaged nipple. Came so close to giving up but suddenly it just fell into place at six weeks. Maybe she started opening wider, maybe my skin just toughened up, I don't know. I tried nipple shields and hated them but it was after using them for a couple of days that the pain stopped...so they could help you too? Good luck, it is so upsetting when it doesn't work but it's worth it in the end!

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