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Latch in 35 week premmie

(8 Posts)
Jellybellyrbest Mon 17-Feb-14 13:34:37

Hi, need some tips to help my jaundiced lethargic premmie to open his mouth wide enough for a good latch so that he optimises his feeding. I am syringing hand expressed milk post feeds & a also using
formula a little though can now express good enough amounts to use BM.

BonaDea Mon 17-Feb-14 13:38:11

It is really hard and partly you just have to ride out this phase until they open their mouth wider. Just persevere for now.

I take it you have had him checked for tongue tie and have also had your latch checked by the mw? If all ok there he will get there.

Meantime there are loads of good videos on YouTube, in particular look for videos about the 'flipple' technique which I found helpful.

NewBlueShoesToo Mon 17-Feb-14 13:48:57

My 36 week old was so similar. Good luck with the expressing, sounds like you are doing okay and it will get better.
I don't normally go to alternative therapies but a cranial osteopath really helped with feeding. DH thinks she was a very calming, soothing person who relaxed the parents. Whatever happened DS went from not feeding to feeding.
Good luck.

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Mon 17-Feb-14 13:54:19

I was told that the sucking reflex is the last one to develop (35 wk twins, tubefed).

Sorry - no practical tips - only to say that he will get better and hopefully it will come on quite suddenly. Mine were 10 days and 14 days when they improved.

To latch on the left side, I used to hold them with my right arm between their legs and along along their back, and my hand holding the back of the head steadily. Then left hand under left breast, keep tickling mouth with nipple until mouth wide enough, and then attach by aiming for back of the roof of the mouth. This way you have control over both the head and breast. Then rearrange arms comfortably once things ok. Sorry - difficult to explain in words grin If they weren't going to feed, they just fell off again and were tube fed.

I used to make sure that I expressed enough milk for their feeds (timed and measured in SCBU) and a bit more, then have the night off wink

Will say again, it does get better, it is not a permanent thing. My littlest one used to be able to latch on through a bra, breast pad and clothes after a few weeks. Could never carry her in a sling without feeding! Hope it gets better for you soon.

bonzo77 Mon 17-Feb-14 13:57:39

Speak to your MW. Babies often have no / poor suck reflex prior to 36 weeks. My DS2 was born at 35 weeks and his mouth was too small and suck inadequate even to bottle feed. He was tube fed for a few days till this improved. I actually did not want to BF, so didn't, but even with bottles it took some time to sort out. Had I wanted to BF he would have been discharged with his tube in until SCBU were happy with his weight gain.

Jellybellyrbest Mon 17-Feb-14 17:49:26

Thank you all! Great tips.

TulipMrsB Mon 17-Feb-14 20:13:10

My 34 week twins had difficulty latching. I've got flat/inverted nipples as well. I used nipple Shields and only just weaned them off them at 4 months. No supply issues, just got bored of taking them everywhere and sterilising them!

Good luck!

StinkerBoo Mon 17-Feb-14 21:16:01

My 35 week premie (now nearly 16 week old buster beefcake) is ebf (bar his first four days, when he had a tube up his poor tiny nose). Just keep persevering and ignore the naysayers, every nurse and midwife I spoke to tried to manage my expectations that he may not be able to feed, but we managed fine (even if his head did look stupidly dainty next to my 34GG boobs). Take your time, try feeding laying down and don't be shy about recruiting someone to help guide his head towards nipple. Realistically to bf the first few times you do need three hands!

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