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Newborn can't latch - help!

(18 Posts)
MummyNotMommy Sat 25-Jul-15 09:59:45

My DS is 3 days old and we came home from hospital last night after a section for breech.

He is amazing and gorgeous and hugely chunky (10lb 3oz), looks like he should be a born feeder! But we have just not been able to get him to latch properly. The midwives were great, but I feel like he's spent the first 48 hours of his like being manhandled into various positions and forced to the breast.

We had to cup feed him formula yesterday evening and through the night (which made me cry for hours!) as the colostrum I had been expressing to feed him wasn't enough and he hadn't really had anything for nearly 24 hours.

I'm desperate for this to work, so any tips to add to what I'm already trying to do would be amazing...

Expressing every 2/3 hours (4 at night)
Cup feeding expressed milk (maybe 2ml a time)
Cup feeding formula to sate his hunger as needed
Trying at the breast at any sign of being hungry, before cup feeding anything

His main problem seems to be opening his mouth and keeping the nipple in. A few times he has got 3/4 good sucks and then just suckles the very tip. I don't think he is getting milk out.

I have big boobs and my milk hasn't come in yet so we are finding positioning tricky. I keep thinking I'm going to smother him!

Thanks in advance for any pointers.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 25-Jul-15 10:19:32

I'm not trained and would suggest that you really need someone who is. Have you been given the number of a being service in your area? If not, try the lll.

There are some good videos on latch here and have a look at this video on laid back nursing, sometimes called biological nursing smile

2mls is pretty normal at this age, his tummy will be the size of a small marble and your milk is designed just for him. What happens after he sucks on you? Does he cry or is he ok?

Have a look in the MN archives for previous threads on big boobs. I can't help you with that one as I have the exact opposite grin

Congratulations on your DS too thanks

AlpacaMyBags Sat 25-Jul-15 10:20:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lilac3033 Sat 25-Jul-15 10:40:41

I had the exact same problem! Have you tried nipple shields? They have saved breastfeeding for me. If you do it try the Medela ones. All the staff at my BF clinic recommended them. It took DD 3 weeks to latch properly, but as long as you keep trying and maintain your supply you can wean off top ups later. Hopefully it won't take you as long as that!! Definitely get real life support from a BF group or clinic. I went weekly to a local clinic. It helped SO much. I have big boobs as well and biological nursing is a very good shout. I also put a rolled up muslin under my breast to help raise the nipple for DD. Good luck! Your baby will get it eventually!

Scotinoz Sat 25-Jul-15 10:46:15

I had a newborn who didn't manage to latch for a week or so confused. I expressed, topped up with a little formula here and there, and eventually it fell into place.

Holding her like a rugby ball seemed to work with her - worth a try maybe. And holding my breast to make it into a 'c' (or perhaps it's a 'u'??) shape helped too. Best to Google that one, or hopefully someone will know...

MummyNotMommy Sat 25-Jul-15 10:50:36

Thank you all.

He definitely doesn't have tongue tie, well, according to the hospital midwives at least!

I'm keen to try biological nursing now we are home, I think there was a lot of pressure to get him feeding quickly in hospital so more skin to skin is probably in order.

He would happily just lie with a nipple in his mouth and go to sleep, but that's obviously not going to teach him best practice or get any food into him!

DoItTooJulia Sat 25-Jul-15 10:51:57

You need RL help. Have you tried every position possible? Bf is a skill: it takes time to master.

You're tired, he's tired, it's not easy, so relax and focus on feeding and nothing else: take to bed if you can.

Best of luck: the early days are difficult and wonder ful in equal measure!

Duckdeamon Sat 25-Jul-15 10:53:19

This happened to me: we very luckily got help from a community midwife visiting the house, then it was all fine, but if this isn't available you could pay someone privately.

Seffina Sat 25-Jul-15 10:59:26

YY to laid back/biological nurturing. My DD did not want to feed in the 'approved' position and just wanted to be tummy to tummy. Try and stay relaxed.

Is there any BF peer support in your area? I'm in the NW and we have a service called little angels who helped me when I first had DD.

TheClacksAreDown Sat 25-Jul-15 11:01:02

Definitely get real life help. I'd also second nipple shields - I found meleda the best

Singsongsung Sat 25-Jul-15 11:04:41

Probably an unpopular opinion but he is a big baby. Don't be afraid to top up with formula at the start. It doesn't commit you to formula feeding but will bridge the gap while your milk comes in. I've had two big babies. With my first I didn't do this and she ended up jaundiced and in hospital for a week plus copious amounts of blood tests. With my second I topped up for the first two weeks and completely avoided any such issue. My second baby was always offered breast milk first and then offered formula (she would take 4oz after breast feeding for up to an hour so was clearly not getting much from me at all). It was really easy to cut down on formula once my milk was established.
A hv said to me that any concerns over switching from bottle to breast are unlikely to be an issue with a full term bigger baby. It wasn't a problem at all for us and she went on to be ebfed for 6 months.

lentilpot Sat 25-Jul-15 11:12:31

My large baby was a terrible latcher till I took him to a cranial osteopath - I was really skeptical (even more so once we left and she had barely done anything) but the difference was unbelievable - like night and day from the very first feed afterwards. My in laws paid, thankfully, as it is pricey. We were referred to the Nhs infant feeding specialist before we saw the osteopath and when we eventually saw them (after the osteopath appt) she was hugely positive about cranial osteopathy for newborns, which I found reassuring.

lilac3033 Sat 25-Jul-15 11:13:00

I agree about formula. Used it from day one. As the BF clinic said the first rule is feed the baby. How you feed the baby can be changed as time goes on. I have had no issues going between breast and bottle either.

Singsongsung Sat 25-Jul-15 11:22:29

Totally agree lilac. Feeding the baby is the priority.

MummyNotMommy Sat 25-Jul-15 12:21:49

Definitely agree it's more important for him to be eating - no matter what form that takes.

Interesting about the cranial osteopath - do you think it's still worthwhile given he was a csection baby? I thought they were maybe more for birth trauma from normal delivery.

Got the midwife round today so will ask about people to contact in real life for help.

marmaladegranny Sat 25-Jul-15 12:30:20

My DD had this problem with her DS (now 5 months) - hospital told her definitely not tongue tie, as did community midwife. She went to a BF drop in centre and talked to the leader who said he had an unusual type of tongue tie and referred them to tongue tie clinic who dealt with it on the spot. It was a difficult side tongue tie and they did have to go back again 10 days later to have a further release but now he is latching very well and is feeding easily and well. It's a very minor, if messy, procedure if it is done early enough.

Ridingthegravytrain Sat 25-Jul-15 12:41:58

I had huge problems with latch til my milk came in. Then bingo! Also think it took a while for the discomfort of the forceps to wear off (a good week I had to hand express colostrum and top up with formula round the clock while crying!)

She bf for 18 months once she got the hang of it. All the hospital man handling just made her scream more

curlykale Sat 25-Jul-15 15:01:34

Yes to osteopathy - no matter how the birth goes it can help a baby...remember they've been scrunched up inside you - possibly quite awkwardly too given the breech position. The birth is only a part of it. And second getting another check for tongue tie - it can be subtle and often missed.

Hopefully some real life advice will help!

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