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Getting 5 day old DD to latch on

(20 Posts)
LostMySocks Mon 04-Nov-13 20:13:44

my baby struggled with latching although great feeder once in place. breast feeding drop in suggested changing position and i now feed with baby in virtical position. he roots and finds his own way to breast. no battle to get position and he layches himself. i have v big full boobs so just have to make sure i hold top of my boob so he can breath

WantAnOrange Mon 04-Nov-13 19:29:10

Your not alone on that one. It sounds like you are doing the best thing for your baby and a couple BM bottles a day is a great thing.

Blankiefan Sun 03-Nov-13 18:48:20

Thanks wantanorange. It's a fair point but it seems unachievable from where I am. I know it's possible but I just can't imagine getting there and don't want to end up setting my aim so high that I end up giving up totally. We're currently exclusively FFing and I am really worried about more weight loss (particularly as DD has been identified as high risk for group strep B and almost ended up back in hospital last time).

Discussed things with the midwife today and am going to aim to replace a couple of the feeds to expressed breast milk rather than forcing DD to latch on. She gets so distressed when we try. I'd rather make sure I can give her some BM benefits without causing her and me a load of stress and giving up totally.

I really appreciate the support you've offered on this; thanks so much. It makes me realise how completely under-prepared I was going into things after the birth...

WantAnOrange Sun 03-Nov-13 16:06:29

Of course some breast milk is better than none, that's great news!

I'm a bit confused about your comment re replacing BF with FF and what you've read. You know they don't have to move onto formula at any point don't you? You have the option on moving onto exclusive BM from here.

Expressing into a bottle is better than formula but it's not really resolving your problem, which is that your baby has learned to suckle from a bottle rather than a breast, and these are 2 different skills for a baby. I very much appreciate you are concerned about further weight loss but I will stress that if you want to successfully BF, you need to BF more, and decrease the bottles if you can.

Blankiefan Sun 03-Nov-13 12:02:04

I'm very excited that I've just successfully expressed 40mls of breastmilk! My friend gave me an electric pump and this was the first evidence I have that I'm still making milk (albeit not loads).

My plan is to build up expressing so that I can replace 1-2 if the formula feeds each day with breastmilk. I realise that this is all arse-about-tit given that everything I read refers to replacing the odd BF with FF not the way around I'm planning.

Do you think this will still help DD - that some breastmilk is better than none?

I'm also going to try nipple shields in the hope that my increased BM production, bigger nipples and shields might help latching.... My midwife is due later today so will discuss with her...

HSMMaCM Sat 02-Nov-13 19:57:58


My midwife really helped me get my latch right. It wasn't a time to be shy, but very helpful.

HSMMaCM Sat 02-Nov-13 19:57:11

My midwife really he

WantAnOrange Sat 02-Nov-13 19:51:31

Unfortunately, lots of women experience a too hands on, aggressive approach and feel the way you do. It sucks. I'm sorry you had that experience too.

The fact you are getting more milk when you hand express is really encouraging because it shows that your baby is feeding enough to stimulate your supply. A really good sign.

Has the MW been round again and watched a feed?

Blankiefan Thu 31-Oct-13 21:22:32

some answers to your questions...

The midwife is visiting regularly but we haven't talked latching. There have been other issues that have taken the time and until tonight, I thought I knew what I was doing and that it was just that DD wasn't taking enough. She did previously seem to be latching successfully but uninterested in sucking. Now it seems the opposite... If I'm totally truthful, the "aggressive" hands-on approach in hospital really put me off asking for more help from the midwives (although they've been fantastic about other things).

I've got large boobs so have been pretty much exclusively using the rugby tackle hold. I think my milk's coming in; it's definitely easier to get a good glob of milk onto my nipple to tempt DD - which I always do - than it was to squeeze the early colostrum out.

A friend is giving me her electric breast pump tomorrow as she's finished ith it. My plan was to express and use this for the top ups - of course this will help but I'd rather still be able to just feed normally.

Thanks all for the tips and advice. I'll keep trying.

fruitpastille Thu 31-Oct-13 20:35:48

Things that helped me...
Supportive and knowledgable midwife and health visitor made visits.
I also had a couple of numbers from the nct of local bf counsellors so I visited a closeby one.
Once I was able to get out and about more I went to local bf 'cafe' held in a hall where you could get a drink and chat to others in the same boat. There was a counsellor and hv to sdvise.
Expressing a little when my boobs were engorged to make it easier for a small mouth to latch on.
Nipple shields. In spite of all the support I had these were the number one thing that enabled me to bf successfully for 6 months plus.
I found it very hard with many obstacles but for me personally it was right to keep going. Due with number 3 now and will be bracing myself to go through it again!

Lorelei353 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:13:53

I had terrible problems getting DS to latch on when my milk came in. Little mouth and massive, rock hard oohs. I just couldn't get the latch right.

I was using a feeding pillow to support his body and in our darkest hour we went on their website to see if there was anything useful and found some 'how to breast feed' instructions. We followed them, step-by-step and it worked. Never looked back (DS is 20 weeks now and has fed like a champion ever since).

Obviously ignore the bits on here that relate to the pillow, although they'll translate if you're using cushions or anything yourself, but try following the latching-on instructions.

WantAnOrange Thu 31-Oct-13 20:01:45

When I said I agree with Jenijena, I meant about the benefits of support groups not the forcing thing! Laid back BF, as I said about being relaxed will be more helpful for getting a good latch. x

WantAnOrange Thu 31-Oct-13 19:59:00

Hi, I'm a BF peer supporter at my local BF support group and I agree Jenijena. If you can get to a group so someone can see what you are doing it would be really helpful.

Some tips I can give:

Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable. Have lots of skin to skin cuddles, without pressurising yourself to feed her, just enjoy the cuddles. BF relies on oxytocin (the happy hormone) so everything will work better if you are relaxed.

What are doing right now wrt to positioning Have you heard "tummy to tummy, nose to nipple"?

When you are ready to feed her, hold her very close, turning her whole body towards you.

Wait until baby has a really wide gaping mouth then, moving quickly, latch her on. She needs a big mouthful. You shouldn't be able to see any of you areola below her mouth, but maybe able to see it above her mouth.

If it hurts at all, take her off and do it again. This can be frustrating, but you need her to learn how to do it right.

One thing I will say, is that mix feeding this young is not recommended as it can cause nipple confusion. I appreciate you are concerned she will not get enough milk and I wont recommend you just stop but I will be honest and say that bottles (at the moment) wont help her learn to BF long term. How much time do have to spend at this right now? Do you have other children to care for? Do you have someone at home who can do everything else around the house, bring you food etc, so that you really focus on this, enjoy the time with your newborn, stay in bed and have as much skin to skin as possible? It can make the world of difference.

Sorry to bombarded you with questions!

Has your milk come in yet? The more you feed her the more milk you will make so feed her as frequently as you can (its the frequency not the length of time spent feeding that matters) to stop you running into supply problems.

Some women find it helps to express some milk onto the nipple area to tempt the baby on.

I hope that helps a bit, or is a start at least.

The Le Leche League are said to be very helpful and have a website and I think have a helpline too. is helpful too.

Good luck!

tiktok Thu 31-Oct-13 19:58:20

Forcing a baby on should never be is upsetting for the baby and disempowering for the mother, and risks turning the baby right off the breast.

Jeni, you got away with it - most would not.

'Hands off' bf help has been shown to be far more effective.

tiktok Thu 31-Oct-13 19:56:49

At 5 days old the midwife should be coming to you at your house - not you schlepping round bf groups sad

It's great your baby is keen to get on smile

Try bathing with her, and just letting her self-attach. Or try laid back bf, and enabling her to get on, rather than you trying to get everything right for her.

And get the midwife to come to you, tomorrow smile

Blankiefan Thu 31-Oct-13 19:55:55

Jenijena - when you say you were shocked at how much your little one was forced; I felt this was in the hospital. I felt that some of the midwives were handling DD so very roughly - I found it really upsetting and was glad when they backed off. Do you think this is really necessary. Isn't the problem me and not her?

Aquariusgirl86 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:46:53

Local groups are amazing and full of lovely people to help. I've been to two in different areas of the country and they were so helpful!! X

Jenijena Thu 31-Oct-13 19:32:48

Local groups will give you space to feed, with people who have been what you're doing. Led by a bf counsellor who will help get your baby latched Often done a no-men around thing, so you have privacy. I turned up to mine and cried for tge entire first hour - but we got there in the end.

I was shocked - but it worked - of how much my tiny baby was forced on to the nipple, but it did work.

Another thing is to watch YouTube videos of people latching on.

This is the hardest of times, congratulations...

Loftyjen Thu 31-Oct-13 19:32:13

I had this problem with DD (combination of low birth wt baby & big boobs/nervous nipples).
I found using nipple shields worked wonders, gradually over a few months I would take the shield off mid feed & then finally could latch on straight to boob. Ended up br/ feeding (albeit mixed) till 14mths.

Know nipple shields can be controversial, but don't understand this as the ultimate result is preserving breast feeding. X

Blankiefan Thu 31-Oct-13 19:24:52

Im trying to breastfeed and thought I'd been successfully getting DD to latch on for a while even tho once there, she mostly fell asleep just suckling for comfort.

I've persevered, expressing colostrum initially and adding in some formula (Id always planned to mix feed). She lost too much weight so are currently trying her on both breasts at each feed then doing formula. My milk seems to be coming in (not gushing but hand expressing easily gets milk rather than the early days of hand expressing colostrum.)

Tonight she was desperate to take my breast - more than she's ever been. I couldn't get the positioning right for her so we failed to breastfeed again. All along I've thought she wasn't interested but now I think my positioning is the issue.

Where / who's the best place to get practical advice on how to fix things? Ive got info on breast feeding groups but don't get what would happen there / if I'd be comfortable...

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