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Problems with latch during night feeds - really getting me down

(6 Posts)
Havingkittens Fri 17-May-13 04:40:43

My DS is just under 5 weeks old. we started off OK, with just a couple pf minor issues which I was trying to iron out by visiting the breast feeding drop in clinics, but in the last couple of weeks he suddenly will not latch properly during night feeds. It can be a problem by day too, but more chance of success during the day. He just clamps down, bites, won't take a deep mouthful etc. when I try to put him on, using the techniques I've learned and had success with, he just brings his bottom lip closed. Even when he does go on al out right, he pulls off and clamps down on me.

I have been going to breast feeding clinics or having home visits twice a week since birth and it's not helping. He does it properly in the clinic and the advisors there say "oh look, that looks perfect. You're doing really well." Which isn't getting me any further. A couple of different advisors, who have seen me problems have either said that it may not be solvable during night feeds due to his tiredness and that it would work itself out, or commented in how wriggly a baby he is and she could see why I was struggling, but didn't really help much. It's getting to the point where I dread going to bed because I know it's going to be a struggle feeding him.

I just tried to feed him with a nipple shield as he was hurting me so much and it hurt just as much through that. He got so frustrated with it that he just chomped down really hard. He has little tooth buds on the bottom too so it can be very sore. It's really hard to keep taking him off and re latching too. I have carpal tunnel so my wrists and hands are quite painful, especially at night. He also seems to get more and more frustrated (as do I), and so clamps down more, or closes his lips tightly in protest and won't go on, until I put him down to sleep due to his refusal at which point he cries for food. I'm at a bit of a loss. Any ideas?

Meringue33 Fri 17-May-13 08:26:29

Could you express and give it to him in a bottle at night?

My LO has a rubbish latch too and it's often worse at night. I'm too tired to correct it at that hour so just go with it. It's not out and out painful tho.

If it helps to know, he probably is on a growth spurt at the moment so it probably will get better. At 5 weeks this LO was feeding practically all night; by 10 weeks he was starting to sleep for six hours at a stretch.

FreeButtonBee Fri 17-May-13 09:22:51

Have you tried a different position for night feeds? Might be enough to trick him. Either lying down or rugby ball hold with baby propped up on a big pillow( both of which I find infinitely more comfortable than cradle). At a min, it will put pressure on a different part of your nipple which might be more comfy.

Havingkittens Fri 17-May-13 09:33:52

I've only just started to try expressing. Took quite a while to get enough for one feed and not sure when I'd have time to do it daily as it feels like the only time he's not feeding on me is when I'm getting dressed, out, eating or having a nap! The last lot I did on one breast whilst he fed on the other but I was worried that would mean not enough for him if he wanted to change sides. Also, I can't work out how much I need to express for a night.

I have just bought a My Brestfriend pillow after struggling with the Widgey pillow (kept falling down the gap when I leaned back in bed!), I thought that would help, and it does in the day time but it made no difference last night. Can't do rugby ball hold in bed due to OH on one side and co-sleeper cot on other (which he won't go near). Tried having him lying accross my tummy with me leaning back and he still pulls his mouth closed into a tight latch confused

sleepyhead Fri 17-May-13 10:12:23

I have to get up and feed in the living room at night - I've never been able to get a decent position with a wriggly newborn in bed (but by 6 months was able to feed ds1 lying down and snoozing which was fab).

Have you tried latching him on sitting in a chair at night rather than in bed?

Having said that, ds2's latch is much worse at night (he's also 5 weeks old) - I think just down to sleepiness - and we've had quite a few of the same problems as you. I'm waiting for the doctor to call me back at the moment because I've got mastitis down to lazy latch/ds2 having a cold and not feeding well. He hardly fed at all last night sad.

The expressing does usually get easier with practice, but it's a faff so if you can avoid it I'd not go down the route of bottle feeding at night.

My experience with ds1 was that it does get dramatically better with age. When their mouth is better and they're a bit more coordinated then perfect latch is less of an issue. I'm clinging on to this!

sleepyhead Fri 17-May-13 10:13:29

"better" should read bigger.

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