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Despair over bad latch

(40 Posts)
ZenNudist Mon 03-Feb-14 16:40:47

Ds2 is only 6do. I fed ds1 so wasn't expecting quite this problem.

I followed MWs instruction but think we've gone wrong getting good attachment. I need him to tip his head back more. He's got lazy because I've been popping my nipple in his mouth (as midwife showed me). Bleeding cracked nips, hoping it would settle but need to get him to tip his head back.

I've watched loads of videos on how to attach well but he's getting frustrated, keeps crying & falling asleep.

I got a good night and a few good feeds out of him last Night. Bf consultant came round & said I've just got to practice, do skin to skin & laid back bf.

How do I encourage him out of this bad habit?

lookout Tue 04-Feb-14 07:20:22

Had he been checked for tongue tie? Sounds exactly like my ds2, I'd successfully fed ds1 so was surprised and in so much pain after 5 days with cracked and bleeding nipples. Went to a bf clinic and he was diagnosed with tt. Is there a clinic near you that you could try? Ime they're better than your regular mw smile

ZenNudist Tue 04-Feb-14 08:17:15

MW checked said no TT, there are clinics locally so will give ita go.

I can see he doesn't take a big enough bite but can't get him to tilt his head back to get more. Latch is shallow, inefficient & keeps coming off.

He's only got a little mouth though! Guiding him in at least gets him on the boob but risk hurting me.

lookout Tue 04-Feb-14 09:52:03

It sounds to me like a tie. I had a mw and a hv check my son and tell me it was fine before it was diagnosed sad sadly this board is full of people with similar experiences. Hcps are not always skilled in finding them unfortunately. Try and get to a clinic asap because then even if it's not a tie they will be able to help with latch. Are you trying different holds?

lookout Tue 04-Feb-14 09:53:17

I've just seen you saw a bf consultant, did she check for tt?

ZenNudist Tue 04-Feb-14 10:58:47

Thanks for replies. I'm trying to stay relaxed about this. Hes 1wo and has lots of wet & dirty nappies. Trying to stay positive but a little part of me hates bf (until it gets going!)

'BF consultant" didn't check tongue tie, she was offering friendly advice and don't think she wanted to be too hands on getting him to open his mouth. It's my friend who is training with nct & does peer support so she said to ask MW to check again & get to clinic but bf specialist at clinic not there this week, just more peer support people.

Off to google tongue tie.

He really doesn't put his head back much. I have to poke my nipple in as if I position him nose to nipple and he opens his mouth then he still not in the right position.hmm

ZenNudist Tue 04-Feb-14 11:05:13

I've tried side lying as well as cradle/ cross cradle. Will research videos of how to do other holds.

Brings back bad memories of faffing around with rugby ball clutch type hold with ds1. It made feeding stressful.

Am I being bloody minded not doing more skin to skin biological nurturing stuff? Spent yesterday lying for ages under sleeping ds, didn't get the afternoon sleep I needed and when he finally woke got so frustrated trying to find nipple I just gave up & helped him on! Stupid I know.

monniemae Tue 04-Feb-14 11:09:51

Can you lie back and let him kind of latch / bob himself on? I was told on here to try that w similar problems (which indeed turned out to be tt - she couldnt open mouth wide enough etc). It still wasn't a perfect latch but it felt less painful. Also Dr jack Newmn I think or maybe kellymom has advice on improving a bad latch while they're actually on you - pulling them off repeatedly to try again, as lots recommend, can be too frustrating/exhausting for little babies. So for eg swipe their chin down while they're latched on for a deeper gape; pull their body tighter into you etc.

monniemae Tue 04-Feb-14 11:12:00

oh also "the flipple" recommended here was helpful for us. I think she was a bit older actually then but she hs a v high palate and it helped. So it's a good way for you tohelp while baby is struggling to latch well without actually just shoving nipple straight in.

ChutesTooNarrow Tue 04-Feb-14 11:33:46

The best advice I ever had was to hold your breast with your hand in a 'C' shape, thumb on top. Press your thumb, gently, so your nipple points up. Then do the nose tickling with your nipple, or whatever you do to get an open mouth and latch. I think it's called exaggerated latching.

I really second the advice to check for tongue tie. I suffered in pain for months breastfeeding my DS. It is only since having my DD I have realised breastfeeding wasn't meant to be like that, and DS was clearly tongue tied.

lookout Tue 04-Feb-14 12:56:40

YY to exaggerated latch and flipple. I used those until ds2 had his tt sorted. I didn't ever get on with the biological nurturing, but did find feeding in the bath helped. You need someone on hand to help you in and out though. And also skin to skin feeding (so just tops off basically) helped us both relax.

Could you see a private lactation consultant? They'd be able to help with checking for a tie, but you'd have to pay. I'd seriously not leave it too long as I remember the pain really bringing me down, and it is so draining feeding that way. The sooner you can get it sorted the sooner you can get on with enjoying bf.

You sound like you're doing brilliantly at keeping the stress levels down, you sound very calm! Keep posting smile

LSP1985 Tue 04-Feb-14 13:10:29

I will prob get in trouble for saying this but I had so much trouble in he first few weeks as my son had a very weak suck. I used nipple shields for a few weeks. When he eventually got a bit stronger I stopped using them and he latched on perfectly. Probably not the best advice but it worked for me and meant I could breast feed my boy. grin

ZenNudist Wed 05-Feb-14 20:28:47

My post of 5am has disappeared! It thanked people for these suggestions, very useful.

I was convinced it must be tongue tie but I've been to visit our area bf specialist today who couldn't see one. She didn't rule it out completely and also suggested tips to keeping him on.

Feeling bit happier as he fed well today (awful yesterday). So tired from being up all night concentrating on getting a decent non painful feed in.

monniemae Wed 05-Feb-14 22:27:45

Glad you're feeling a bit better zen. Did the woman actually put her fingers in baby's mouth to check tongue or just do it by sight? The latter is insufficient unfortunately.

It will hopefully get better anyway as you both keep practising, baby grows etc but it's VERY hard at times! I was you a few weeks ago.. smile

CityDweller Wed 05-Feb-14 23:29:57

Sounds a lot like probs I had with DD. Shallow latch, wouldn't open wide, nibbled at nipple, rather than deep sucking. Cue weeks of bleeding nipples and several bouts of mastitis. She had tongue tie and it was missed by lots of mws, gp, and bf supporters. But I just knew something wasn't right, so went to specialist private clinic and they diagnosed it straight away. So do go to an expert if you can and don't be fobbed off by gp (mine wouldn't refer me cos Dd was gaining weight and doing wet/dirty nappies).

Meanwhile, I found she latched worse on one side than the other and on the worse side the rugby ball latch really helped.

CityDweller Wed 05-Feb-14 23:32:32

Ps - she's now 10 mo and is still ebf. It took perseverence in the early months, but eventually it got easy and I'm so glad I stuck with it.

lookout Thu 06-Feb-14 07:51:05

To me our sounds like she didn't really know what she was talking about. If she can't rule it out, it's not really an answer, is it?confused can your see someone else? The lady I saw did charge but had a discretionary funds for people who couldn't afford it. Otherwise, so pleased to hear you've had some better feeds, that's really good newssmile if it is a tie though you need to get it sorted soon. Have you seen a lactation consultant?

Paintyfingers Thu 06-Feb-14 08:00:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CelticPromise Thu 06-Feb-14 08:07:33

Did you say once feed gets going it is better? That's a good sign- if you already have cracks and soreness it can take time to heal but if it feels better once he's on that's probably a sign he's latching better. Do try laid back bf- sleep with him on you if you want to. It works brilliantly for some.

Focus really hard on the latch every feed- it's flipping boring but it won't be forever. If is painful and continues to be so after initial latch, take him off and start again. If he's distressed, calm him down as he won't latch well if crying. IME the single most important thing is a big wide mouth. Ideally you shouldn't be poking the nipple into his mouth (baby to breast, not breast to baby) but you can try exaggerated latch as suggested above. I also second recommendation for Dr Jack Newman videos online. And keep going back for RL advice- it can be really helpful to get another pair of eyes on a problem or just have someone take a second look.

Well done for sticking at it, these daysare very tough but they are short! You will get there.

qumquat Thu 06-Feb-14 12:57:19

I'm having the same problem. 4 weeks in and can't cope with agony any more. A midwife finally helped me get a good latch yesterday. It felt amazing! I wasn't in pain for a few hours for the first time since birth! Sadly dd and I have lost it again. She used her hand to widen dds gape but i don't have a spare hand to do that. I keep trying to take her off and re latch but after 10 attempts she is apoplepltic and I have to give her a bottle as she won't even latch on badly any more. Psyching myself up for the next attempt!

lookout Thu 06-Feb-14 14:41:14

I know you've both probably been through this website back to front, but in case you haven't kellymom has some info that might help with latching. I used it successfully while waiting for my ds2 tie to be sorted. You are both doing so well in persevering and getting to a clinic/specialist regularly will help.

MissRatty Fri 07-Feb-14 13:48:39

We struggle with the same...and still do at 10 weeks, but its getting better! LO doesn't have tongue tie...I think he is just lazy! Like you, I started off doing it wrong, not being shown how to get him to latch, so I think he just got used to me sticking my nipple in his mouth for food.

I have been to a local free bf clinic every week, and I sit and feed whilst the consultants are there, it is awful as I still feel awful being corrected...but its for the best! I then go home and practice, but sometimes LO unlatches to go back to the shallow latch, as I think its what he's used to...but it is getting better!

Have you got a similar group you could attend locally? It helps from a social side too, you can discuss similar problems with other mums there, and they always have free tea and biccies!

It really does help having someone else watch as well. I find I can't see the latch from the angle I'm at too, so the clinic helps too. When hubby tries to correct me though I irrationally want to hit him :-)

Best of luck, and try youtube too. I found some good vids there...

ZenNudist Fri 07-Feb-14 15:11:00

Well he's still down at about 9-10% of his birth weight at 10 days old. So I'm stuck with midwife visits & weighings until he regains birth weight.

Lots of 'advice ' about fenugreek, nipple shields, positioning & draining a side.

Trying not to worry. Which is impossible.

ZenNudist Fri 07-Feb-14 15:12:40

I'm just going to keep at it, keep going to bf support clinics, think about seeing TT specialist if things don't improve.

ZenNudist Sat 08-Feb-14 16:56:59

Things getting worse. One side (the cracked side) appears to have much less milk. I thought milk supply governed by hormones for first 6 weeks, not supply & demand.

Have pumped on bad side to try to increase supply. I only get milk for 4 mins, which fits with ds getting very fussy after short time when I do get him to latch on that side.

Other side much better but ds still clicks & fusses and comes off it quickly without draining side.

Tis tricky to be relaxed when he seems to not be getting enough food.

Got HV coming Monday but don't think she would refer me to TT specialist. Am pretty convinced that TT op has good chance of helping ds. But how to get appointment when lactation consultant says tongue function looks ok?

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