Advice on bad latch - is my baby exhausting himself trying to feed?

(7 Posts)

Agree with everyone else that it might be worth working on the latch for your comfort, but given his weight gain it sounds like he's getting enough milk so I don't think you need to keep waking him to feed etc. I liked to feed on both sides but I didn't start til they were a bit older and still awake after the first side!

ZuleikaD Wed 02-Jan-13 07:30:19

It's not possible for anyone on a board to judge your latch because we can't see it! You might want to try a breastfeeding counsellor and/or get a second opinion about your latch - though from what you say it does sound as though your baby is getting plenty of milk. He clearly did get a LOT more, though, when you latched him on in the cross-carry hold, because he was so sick afterwards, so I would stick with that one for a while. If he's feeding for 40-odd minutes then I would expect him to be 'emptying' a breast in that time, yes (breasts are never really empty, but will feel soft all over and flatter). If he's spent 45 minutes sucking, though, and isn't getting enough in that time then he might well fall asleep because he's tired.

I'd suggest keeping on trying with the different hold, if you can latch him on better that way, and see how he does.

ThreeWheelsGood Wed 02-Jan-13 01:33:06

aswell as good replies here, there IS a well frequented breastfeeding board - look under Talk then Feed the world.

sandberry Tue 01-Jan-13 23:02:06

Nothing you say sounds concerning at all. He's gaining weight well. Does he have plenty of wet and dirty nappies? if so the only reason to adjust the attachment is because you are sore.

Babies should be able to attach themselves to the breast, it is what they are designed to do. He doesn't need to take more than one breast. He should feed on the first breast until he is done and you can offer the second breast if he is interested. It doesn't sound like you need to do anything else. Infact it sounds like it is all going fantastically! (oh and 1:1 suck to swallow ratio is great but anything up to 4:1 is acceptable)

It might be worth a trip to a breastfeeding group to check attachment and get some more support with that. Sometimes if babies go on well and then slip it is because they have a mild tongue tie or because you have an exceptional milk supply. A breastfeeding group could check that out for you. Upright positioning or underarm often help get a more effective attachment and might be worth a try.

Zimbah Tue 01-Jan-13 22:04:27

Congratulations on your lovely baby. What a shame the midwife has worried you. It might be that you need a bit of support with his latch just to check everything's ok but all the doom and gloom she described wasn't really necessary! It sounds like he's getting plenty of milk with that weight, and if he vomitted up the extra then he's probably getting all he needs in one go.

Some real life help is probably the most useful, preferably a local group assuming you're in the UK. Here's a link to local La Leche groups and this is the NCT national helpline.

Fairyegg Tue 01-Jan-13 18:44:38

Hi, firstly congrats on the birth of your son. There is a section under 'feed the world' called 'breast and bottle feeding'. I just wanted to say though that you are obviously doing an excellent job and ds is getting lots of milk if he has almost regained his birth wight in 7 days. It sounds like the mw has knocked your confidence which is a shame. It's sounds like you need to be a bit more aware of his and your positioning when he latches on. Make sure his body is in a straight line, nose to nipple, chin to skin and wait for the big wide open mouth. Make sure you aren't holding the back of his head at all whilst feeding, this should be free to tilt back. If it doesn't seem right, take him off and try again rather then continue with it being wrong. Breast feeding (and bottle feeding) can be exhausting for babies, and they do sleep a lot! Thrush and blocked ducts are relatively common, and something all new mums need to be aware of, thats not to say you will get it though. Presuming your son is full term, lots of wet and dirty nappies and content when awake I would just keep doing what your doing, but taking extra care of his latch. Both of mine only ever fed from 1 Breast at a time. If you feel he's still Hungery and looking for more you could try and offer the other breast if you wanted. Overall though I think you are doing fantastically well. Please don't let this knock your confidence. The kellymom site is good for information, and try and get yourself to a local breast feeding group for support and encouragement.

Stacks Tue 01-Jan-13 17:55:10

I hoped there was a breastfeeding forum on here, but I can't find one using the phone app. Can you offer any advice?

My DS is one week old today, he latches himself now when I breastfeed laying down. He's pretty good at it I thought, getting on the breast in a few seconds. The latch is sore for the first little while, then settles down so I can barely feel it.

He'll then feed for 15-45 minutes before falling asleep still attached, or turning his head to spit out nipple, then snuggling in to me. He's never been offered the second breast, as he's always asleep on the first. He'll sleep for 1-2hrs after feeding during the day, or 2-3hrs at night. Then wake and feed again.

He was weighed the other day, and is only 30g short of his birthweight (which was 8lb 8oz).

So, The midwife came over this afternoon as I mentioned to her that I wasn't sure our latch is quite right. This is only because he cluster fed yesterday and made my nipples really sore, and the fact he latches himself, which no one told me he should be able to do.

She watched and said he latches wrong. I can see from the pictures that she's right, he doesn't have as much breast in his mouth as he should, and his cheeks dimple slightly as he sucks. He also does 2-3 sucks per swallow, rather than the 1:1 suggested by the booklet I received at the hospital. When he comes off the breast my nipple is slightly flattened. When she latched him on properly he pulled back to his normal latch, needing her to relatch him multiple times.

However, she's scared me saying DS will be exhausting himself trying to suck, isn't getting enough milk, and that I'll get thrush and blocked ducts etc. she said we should be waking him up every time he falls asleep on the breast, and putting him back till he refuses one, then giving him the second breast.

We tried this for the feed while she was here and after she left. Waking T up about 5 times and refusing to let him settle. I can latch him better in cross carry hold, so resorted to that to force more in. Finally let him rest, when he vomited a spectacular amount of milk, soaking through his clothes. After a change he settled to sleep refusing more milk.

What do I do? Keep going as before, or do what she says? Am i messing up my milk supply by not forcing him to take more? Should he 'empty' a breast every feed? should i express after he finishes feeding to keep supply up?

I hate the thought he's exhausting himself trying to eat. I just thought babies were meant to sleep lots.

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