DS won't open his mouth!!(12 Posts)
DS2 is 9 days old and I am BFing. He had a posterior tongue tie which was snipped last Monday, and he has also had a session of cranial osteopathy to help him gape. He is rubbish at opening his mouth which makes feeding impossible. It can take over an hour to get him on. Any advice or tips on how to get him to open wide enough for me to stick boob in? Once he is on he is feeding well (no pain since TT dealt with) but it is just a nightmare getting to that point. Not sure if it is laziness on his part or if it hurts him to open his mouth wide.
I found the 'flipple' and 'hamburger' techniques helped get more nipple into a slightly open mouth. if you google them you will find pictures etc, hard to describe in words!
I was taught that you need to really control how they come to the breast, so rather than bringing him on by letting him lie along your arm you need to hold his head.
To do this use the hand opposite the breast you are feeding from. Open your thumb and make a 'c' shape then put this across his shoulders around his neck from behind.
Your arm then lies along his back and tucks his bottom tight in around your body. This acts as a fulcrum and helps him to tip his head back so that he is leading chin and nose first rather than approaching the breast 'flat on'.
It can be helpful to use the other hand to gently shape the breast ( see above) so that he has something to really latch onto as a full breast can be a bit ball shaped.
Then bring him to the breast and temp him to open his mouth by letting him touch the nipple then when he does quickly move him onto the breast.
Hope this makes sense and helps. May be helpful to see a breast feeding counsellor or go to a bf clinic or drop in if you are still struggling.
Since he does feed well once he's on, I'd guess that there's no major problem and he should quickly get better with practice. If it becomes impossible to get him on though you could try nipple shields as then he can latch on without opening his mouth so wide. Not an ideal solution though so best kept as a last resort. Can you get to a bfing group? They may be able to watch a feed and give you some tips
Thank you for your advice ladies. I think I have the hold/positioning pretty much ok, it is just that his mouth won't open. Even when milk is dripping onto his nose or top lip he doesn't seem interested and either cries or just looks around him.
I wonder if his tongue tie is starting to grow back/heal as we were warned it might and that is making it more difficult to open his mouth. As it was a posterior tie it is very difficult to see.
I have tried the flipple technique and it doesn't seem to make a difference at all.
The midwife suggested nipple shields but I am really reluctant as I used them with my DD and she never latched on without them again. I also don't think they will solve DS's problem as he would still have to open wide to latch onto that.
We were re-admitted to hospital last Monday because of his weight loss and they had me pumping so I could top up with expressed milk by bottle. I worry that this is the root of the problem as he knows he can get milk without opening his mouth.
can you give him a bottle with 1oz in, then take it away and I'm assuming he would have his mouth open thinking, "hey where has the bottle gone?!" then stick your boob in?
My DS was a nightmare to get his mouth open wide enough but if I put my boob on his nose he generally did it - it sounds like you've tried that though?
I could try that with the bottle but he doesn't open his mouth wide for that either! Today he has been much better so I will persevere. Yes I do put my boob to his nose and even when milk is trickling on it it doesn't seem to make a difference!
My DD would not latch on (facial palsy caused by forceps delivery) and I resorted to nipple shields - don't know if that would help?
Good luck x
lucy, this is worrying, I agree.
Babies who can feed, do feed, on the whole. The idea he is not bothering or has figured out he needn't bother because the milk will come anyway by bottle is not helpful - I think he needs a proper oral evaluation and breastfeeding evaluation by someone who really knows what they are looking for. If he is improving, then he may continue to improve, but yes, this would be one situation where a shield might be worth the downsides.
does his mouth open properly when he cries? if not, suggests there is some physical issue that needs further investigation...
thanks everyone. I am happy to say his feeding has really improved. Not sure why but whatever the reason he is doing really well now and is putting on weight!
My DS was a bit like this - not openening his mouth well at all at first, but with practice and him growing a bit feeding soon became a doddle. Hope things continue to go well
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