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Latch help please!!!

(18 Posts)
zippyrainbowbrite Fri 06-Sep-13 18:48:41

DS is 6.5 wks old. We've been breastfeeding since birth and have had moderate success, but I'm still having latch issues. I was able to get a good latch when I went to a breastfeeding support group on Tuesday this week but don't seem able to replicate it at home. Yesterday we did a skin to skin day, but I just can't seem to get it right, and both DS and I are getting increasingly frustrated!

I just can't seem to get him to tip his head back when he goes nose to nipple, so the latch is quite shallow. I have a very plentiful milk supply, so he is still getting lots of milk and gaining weight well, but the poor latch means that my nipples are constantly slightly sore, feeding is uncomfortable (although not really painful after the first minute or so), and takes a really long time - about 1.5 hrs!

I'm feeling sleep deprived and quite tearful hmmat the moment as its really getting to me that I don't seem able to feed him to the point where he is really satisfied - you know that lovely 'drunk on milk' look they get? He feeds to sleep, but then when I go to put him down he wakes and starts making feeding cues again.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Fri 06-Sep-13 18:52:47

Hmm is his tummy turned towards you so he doesn't have to twist his head?
Don't be afraid to take him off and re-latch if it isn't quite right.
Have you tried sort of tickling his nose with your nipple to get a big open gape?
I love that milk drunk look - I hope you get it soon! (And some sleep)

zippyrainbowbrite Fri 06-Sep-13 19:27:02


Yes, that's what I've been trying to do with his nose, but he just doesn't seem to open his mouth wide enough in the right place.

He's all lined up nicely, so not twisted.

My nipple is coming out less lipstick shaped than it was, but definitely still misshapen!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Fri 06-Sep-13 19:35:19

Zippy has he been checked for tongue tie? DD's wasn't diagnosed till 12 weeks because, like your DS, she was putting on weight and hitting milestones, but we had a similar experience. Not sure if you have seen This page but it has a list of TT symptoms.

zippyrainbowbrite Fri 06-Sep-13 19:52:20

Thanks, that's really interesting, as he does show quite a few if the 'symptoms' listed. I will try and have a look in his mouth later.

I was able to get a good latch the other day at the group, but it did seen to 'slip' as the feed went on.

He's got his 6 week check up (a week late as I was disorganised!) so I'll talk to the dr about it then.

mawbroon Fri 06-Sep-13 20:08:42

Just be aware that even if the tongue looks normal, there could still be a restriction further back.

Have a look at him front on when he is crying. How far does the tongue lift? Does it curl at the edges? There should be good elevation, and a curled tongue indicates a restricition.

this is helpful

If you do think there might be a tie, be aware that many HCPs have no bloody idea about tongue ties. Find somebody who knows what they are doing.

duende Sat 07-Sep-13 13:47:30

Zippy, my DD is 4 weeks and I'm having similar problems. She is getting plenty of milk and gaining weight great and I'm not uncomfortable but because her latch is not great, she swallows lots of air and ends up screaming with wind. My problem is also that I can't get her to tilt her head back and open her mouth wide enough.
I can sometimes do it if a go to a Bf drop in and then rarely replicate it at home :/ I understand the theory that the LC keep repeating to me, just can't achieve it with a live baby rather than a doll....

LilacBreastedRoller Sat 07-Sep-13 17:15:28

No answers here but I'm lurking as having the same issue with 3 week old DS, though oddly much more on one side than the other. LC helped us a lot with positioning but he just doesn't open wide and it's getting rather frustrating for all involved.

delilah89 Sat 07-Sep-13 19:43:21

Hello - I am still BF my 11 month old and can remember similar issues at the beginning. In my experience they ironed themselves out. At the start it is slightly painful and also takes ages / milk leaks everywhere / baby sometimes in awkward position etc. I remember there being moments of good latch and moments of bad. I also remember examining my nipple for the lipstick shape! Must be something from one of the books.

I can remember night after night awkwardly propped up with pillows on a chair with my feet on a box like some kind of cramped-up medieval lady at a spinning wheel!!

But it just gets easier. It's partly about getting more confidence handling your baby and getting into comfier positions. Don't forget to be quite bold about getting your own boob into right shape / place.

A couple of my friends had babies at the same time and I've watched them go through the same. Firstly they were covered in milk/baby popping on and off the boob etc. and now they are pros, none of us have needed a muslin cloth for months.

Another thing that helps is feeding lying down. Have you tried it? Baby lies next to you on the bed and feeds that way. It's much more relaxing and gives you both a chance to get it right in more sleepy setting. It was really confidence-building for me.

I think it's a myth about it being possible to get it right with a very little baby to such an extent that you could do it seamlessly in a cafe etc. Very few women actually do this. The reason the breastfeeding leaflets/support group make it seem like it will all fall into place is because it does -- but only with time. Understandably they want to help you persevere with what does (IME) become a very easy, fun, cheap way to feed your baby. Stick with it ladies!

delilah89 Sat 07-Sep-13 19:45:42

p.s. My baby also had the terrible wind. Don't forget to burp each time. Sit them up against your hand and rub back gently with other hand. They will burp in the end! But also don't worry - the wind issue goes with time too and you will soon have forgotten about it.

zippyrainbowbrite Sun 08-Sep-13 02:20:28

Thanks all.

After having a good look at his mouth today it seems unlikely he has a tongue tie - he can stick his tongue out quite far and lifts it up well.

I've had a suggesting that he's doing a small mouth on purpose, as he's realised that this makes it easier for him to control the flow of milk (which makes sense I guess)

There's lots of suggestions in the kellymom site for dealing with over supply, which I'm going to try and work my way through, but trying to get the latch right is still key - it alright for everyone to say 'keep taking him off its it not right', but if we did that he'd starve as he wouldn't get anything - there's only so many times you can do it before he just starts to cry, and then he's so worked up that it becomes impossible!

zippyrainbowbrite Sun 08-Sep-13 05:51:25

Hit post too soon, then finished feeding and forgot.

I'll definitely go back to the support group this week, and hopefully that will help - I'll repost on how it goes.

It's great to know I'm not the only one with this - as much as I didn't want to admit it, I think I am suffering from PND, which isn't helping my perspective on this at the moment hmm

mrsmellow Sun 08-Sep-13 06:24:26

I could have written your post too. My baby is 7.5 weeks and I'm driving myself mad trying to work out whether he has tongue tie or reflux. He slips down to a shallow latch too and ive wondered if it is s flow control thing aswell. I got gaviscon from the GP and now he has slight constipation. Or maybe it is all overtiredness? The screaming gets to me and he just isn't a smiley baby. He just seems unhappy and I feel like such a failure. But as someone says he will grow out of it and maybe I'm just looking for a solution to a non problem and babies are just like this?

Thewhitelady Sun 08-Sep-13 08:30:18

Hi, I had a similar problem with my dd at that age. I had a bit of oversupply and that made it hard for her to latch properly because the boob is 'too round', if that makes sense, and I thought her mouth was not opening wide enough as well. Kellymom do have great advice, but I found that what worked for me was to express a bit at the beginning of a feed so the breast was softer and easier to suck in properly. To manage over supply I fed on blocks on 3 hours on each side, after about a day my boobs felt much softer and latch improved. I hope this helps... It is frustrating that bf is so bloody difficult! But it does get easier with time, I promise.

zippyrainbowbrite Sun 08-Sep-13 09:12:41

Thanks thewhitelady - it's nice to know others have been there and survived! I'm already doing the expressing some off prior to a feed thing - for almost a week now, and either that or the infacol we've been using (for just over a week) has definitely improved his wind - he doesn't seem to be suffering as much, and is doing big burps now mid feed, but we still have explosive poo!

zippyrainbowbrite Sun 08-Sep-13 09:22:40

Mrsmellow - when you get chance keep me updated with how you're doing/feeling and I'll do the same - I think it helps to know I'm not alone.

I've had a good chat with DH this morning, and I feel better for telling him how I feel. He's suggested moving to FF (although happy to support me either way) for my sanity and so DS might be better settled, but selfishly I'm not ready to give up BFing yet - at the moment I feel like it's the one thing that's bonding me with DS (and I feel terrible saying that) hmm.

mrsmellow Sun 08-Sep-13 18:57:15

I too think ff wouldn't work for me rather than him. I actually love bf- sometimes feels like the only time he is awake and not screaming and I feel like I can do something useful. He is going to be weighed on Tuesday and have his 6 week check (at 8 weeks) and if not gaining I will fork out for a lactation consultant, insist on either ranitidine or omeprazole and spend a week in bed feeding.
Cried a lot this morning. But he has fed beautifully today and I think I might have fed to sleep for the first time in weeks - usually scream to sleep. Will keep updated. smile

zippyrainbowbrite Tue 10-Sep-13 12:35:16

Am glad you had a good day - DS was weighed this morning and had list a bit of weight after previously gaining well hmm

We've just been to another BFing clinic though, which was great! The helper there said she wouldn't be concerned about a little bit of loss, as he's having plenty of wet and dirty nappies, and also seems to have had a growth spurt length wise - he's now too long for his 0-3month sleep suits.

She also watched me feed, and noticed that as I latch him on I move him upwards and outward ever so slightly, and that 1cm in both directions seem to have made the difference, as there was no lipstick nipple afterwards! Hooray!

We're still doing quite a bit of on and off at the start to get it right, but I feel we're making progress smile

At her suggestion, I'm also going to try block feeding, so limiting to one side for 4 hrs at a time, to make sure that he's getting the hind milk.

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