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mending a broken latch

(13 Posts)
Fetacat Sun 02-Feb-14 14:57:04


I have had a lot of pain breastfeeding my 12 week DS. He lost 13% of his birthweight so we were desperate to get him to eat in the beginning and I think I may have tolerated a lot of bad latches. But at the time I just thought it was meant to hurt to begin with and would get better.

As the weeks went by the pain stayed. I had him checked for TT and the consultant said he has a mild posterior tongue tie but is confident it doesn't affect his BF ability - he surmised this by having DS suck his finger and said his tongue movement was fine.
So if it isn't TT (or thrush) the culprit HAS to be my latch, right? I saw an infant feeding specialist who said he just needs to take in more boob but the problem is we start off fine but then he jerks back so has less breast in his mouth to a position he is comfortable/familiar with. Do you think this is just out of habit he refuses to take a big mouthful of boob?

I also paid and had a lactation consultant come to the house who spent the entire session getting me to do the biological nurturing position so DS latches on himself but obviously this NEVER results in a deep latch so I don't see how useful this was at all? She ended the session by saying that maybe I need to read a magazine or watch TV to distract myself from the pain. What a waste of money!

Ive been to breastfeeding cafes but no one has been able to help. They said his latch looks okay so no idea why it hurts. Am starting to wonder if it is the shape of my large pointy breasts?

Will persist with trying to shove more boob in his mouth (and taking painkillers) until we stop at 6 months. But I really wish our BF journey could have been the magical painfree experience I hear about...

McBaby Sun 02-Feb-14 15:47:47

I would get another opinion on the tongue tie. I had numerous people tell me my dd did not have tongue tie and it wouldn't affect feeding turns out she had a very severe tongue tie. I was I pain for six months and tried everything but from 6-14.5 months after the tongue tie was sorted we fed with out pain.

Where in the country are you?

Fetacat Sun 02-Feb-14 17:07:09

I did wonder about that but then this man is the main TT expert at the hospital. Is it worth getting a private opinion? I'm in derbyshire. How much roughly does it cost? I know DH thinks we should trust the doctor re: the TT as he is the expert... But then he's not the one in agony!

GeordieJellybean Sun 02-Feb-14 18:27:41

I'd get a second opinion on the TT to put your mind at rest. We saw a LC about DS's but you might want to use a different one to the LC that told you just to distract yourself from the pain!
If it's of any comfort to you, I've only just stopped getting as much pain at 15 weeks (gone a whole 5 days without painkillers now!!) which I think is mostly due to DS's mouth getting bigger.

Fetacat Sun 02-Feb-14 18:40:39

Ah Geordie that does make me feel heaps better! I was hoping as his mouth grew that might make a difference so there is hope yet... smile

McBaby Mon 03-Feb-14 14:32:19

I would go to your local breastfeeding drop in and try to get them to reccomend a qualified specialist in your area it you mention you suspect tongue tie they should know of who you could get assessed by for free. If not look on ibclc website for a qualified lactation consultant who so eclipses in tongue tie, many of them also volunteer at breast feeding drop ins so you can see them for free if needed.

ZenNudist Mon 03-Feb-14 16:49:06

Fatcat I just posted similar query but. Not got any great insight just offer sippprt.

It hurt to bf ds1 but settled after 6 weeks. Bf consultant pointed out what was wrong about latch for ds2 but there seems to be no other way than 'practice' getting latch right. Not easy when he just gets upset then falls asleep.

I found a useful series of YouTube videos by Jessica Barton 'improving latch' quite helpful. Think I'm going to try side lying later see if we can improve latch in different position.

ZenNudist Mon 03-Feb-14 17:33:04

blush Fetacat!

Fetacat Mon 03-Feb-14 23:53:51

Haha zen I feel like a fatcat at the
moment. Eating more now breastfeeding than I was when pregnant!

Those videos are good. I have been having a browse and trying to make more effort each feed. It
Sometimes is too easy when they are hungry and antsy to put up with a lousy latch......

BetterWithCheese Tue 04-Feb-14 00:03:23

Have you seen/tried the "flipple" technique? I'm pretty sure DD has a lip tie and had a tendency to slip off causing pain but I persevered with relatching her using the flipple and latch now much better and no pain. Of course, that may not help if TT is the problem. Here is link to flipple demo.

Fetacat Tue 04-Feb-14 18:54:59

Thanks betterwithcheese that is the best example I have seen and it actually worked until he jerked back. but have a new technique to try on him so will persevere!

BadPenny Tue 04-Feb-14 23:51:45

Jack Newman has great advice on latching - really clear info sheets, plus lots of videos.

One of the best things I ever read on latching was on positional stability. It was very long, but in brief, your baby latches better if stabilised and in the right position, which means supported across the back between the shoulder blades and with the whole front on the body (head to hips) pressed close to your body. Then align the baby's nose to your nipple and wait for the gape.

It's so hard that one can know all the theory of bf but it has to be learned as a physical skill like dancing. Good luck & I hope the situation improves soon!

Fetacat Sat 08-Feb-14 20:00:27

Just for your interest I decided to contact another lactation consultant as suggested and she saw ds at her clinic where she immediately saw his posterior tongue tie as being the problem. 2 minutes later she had snipped it and he was feeding. I wouldn't say it was painfree but it was 75% better. About 6 people have told me he didn't have TT including the infant feeding specialist at my hospital and a maxi consultant! If anyone suspects but is being told otherwise trust your instincts! I'm so glad I did smile

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