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Baby having trouble latching on at night

(20 Posts)
Tuckingfypo Fri 02-Mar-18 20:32:17

My baby DD is just a week old now, this is my second time round breast feeding and I'm having some troubles I could really use some help with.

She latched on pretty well at first, in the hospital we were doing pretty well. But ever since we got home she has had problems latching on, particularly at night.

Our first night home was spent trying to get her to latch on for ages, with me in tears of frustration by the end of it sad she would latch and do a few sucks, then pull away, try and latch again and get really upset when she couldn't.

In the end I had to express some milk and feed it to her via a cup for her to calm down, and then she latched almost straight away.

The next night we had the same problems, starting earlier in the evening! I don't know what I'm doing wrong and it's making me feel like such a failure of a mum sad

Now today with every single feed I've had huge troubles getting her to latch on. She is either too sleepy to really try, or she is crying so much she's so hungry and then bobbing about on my boob trying to latch and getting nowhere.

The only thing I can do to make it better is express and then feed her, then she latches on perfectly! But I can't do that for every feed!!

Does anyone have any ideas why she might all of a sudden be struggling to latch on?

Sorry to waffle on!

Moominfan Fri 02-Mar-18 20:36:15

Do you have a local breast feeding support group? I called a group off a flyer from my health visitor and they had a lady out the next day.

snowedin24674 Fri 02-Mar-18 20:42:26

Are your breast very full? DD had trouble latching the first couple of weeks as my were so full and hard I was advised to express abit before feeding just to make them softer. It sounds like this might be the case as you said she latches well after you have expressed.

Tuckingfypo Fri 02-Mar-18 20:52:42

@moominfan I have just found a Facebook group for a local breastfeeding group I've applied to join, and there's a number for a support group on the front of my DDs red book I will call tomorrow. It's really good someone got sent out to you so quickly, I was lucky with my first that I saw a lactation consultant at the hospital I had her who fixed the problems we had the first time round. We had a very happy 6 months breastfeeding, which makes me feel awful that I'm not continuing like that this time round!

@snowedin I don't think they're particularly full, they don't feel awfully heavy (I remember that feeling with DD1) but then again my breasts are quite big (and horribly saggy! blush ) so maybe it's harder to tell?!

I had maybe considered that I'm leaving it too long between feeds during the day? She can sleep for hours on end and is so hard to wake up for a feed during the day that I give up. Maybe at night she's going too long without a feed? I try and offer her a feed when I hear her make those initial puckering noises but she won't take it and then it escalates and we both get upset blush

Summergarden Fri 02-Mar-18 20:53:13

I found the best position to help latching was to prop myself up with several pillows, in a half sitting half lying position. Put baby on my chest, almost face down on me, a little bit on their side. This seemed to encourage a wide latch and I did most feeds that way the first week or so.
Good luck OP.

Tuckingfypo Fri 02-Mar-18 20:57:28

Thank you @summergarden, I shall try that tonight. Can I ask, did you need to use a hand to support your breast? If I didn't do this they'd be hiding on either side of my body on the mattress! blush

To top it all off we're still working on getting a deeper latch and DD has given me a lovely little red lister type spot on my nipple from a poor latch.

I find when she does latch on well, she progressively slips down so she ends up just sucking my nipple and hurting me!

I will be seeing my midwife tomorrow so I'm going to bring all of this up tomorrow and see what help I can get, hopefully it will keep me sane tonight if we have another bad night!

mude Sun 04-Mar-18 19:53:34

Watching with interest, I could've written your post myself. Currently breastfeeding my 12 day old son but had none of these issues first time around with DD!

Gwynfluff Sun 04-Mar-18 20:03:46

I have a fast letdown and a couple of my 3 babies were fussy when small.

Things that helped:

Lower then down with a dummy in, slip dummy out and then nipple in

Making a shushing sound and gently rocking until latched - seemed to block other stimulation put

Latching on before fully waking from a nap
in the day

Making sure lights were low and no ttv blaring in background when latching

Making sure level with breast and well supported, so propped on a cushion, so more easily able to relatch if fussing makes them come off

Start in favourite breast for a few sucks then take them off and get them on the other one

Smellyjo Sun 04-Mar-18 21:49:50

Slipping down the nipple sounds a possible tongue tie issue - have you had that checked?

Tuckingfypo Mon 05-Mar-18 21:29:40

Well the midwife came on Sunday (a day late!) and DD has lost 12% of her body weight sad
Another midwife came today to weigh her again and she has lost more.
This midwife basically made me feel like shit and I've been in constant tears all afternoon.

I have to feed DD on each breast for 30 minutes which is near impossible as she keeps falling asleep and is so hard to wake.

I can barely express any milk after s feed and DD won't take the top up formula.

I'm so scared she'll have lost more weight tomorrow sad

DonaldWeasley Mon 05-Mar-18 21:46:35

My baby got very angry and hungry during the first week or so and then couldn’t latch for fury. I expressed into a syringe and gave him that before feeding, which helped a bit. As did cranial osteopathy.

Hope you get some weight on her soon, it is so hard.

Smellyjo Mon 05-Mar-18 22:07:56

Oh so sorry to hear this, and being left feeling shit about yourself is not at all helpful. I would reiterate the query about tongue tie - has this been considered as it sounds very possible to me. I'm not sure prescribing lengths of feeds is helpful either, but maybe what you said earlier about waking her for more frequent feedsis a good idea. You are a lovely mum and doing everything you can to fix this - it's not your fault. flowerscakebrew

Eatmycheese Mon 05-Mar-18 22:17:15

I would also suggest tongue tie needs investigating. All three of mine had it and it massively impacted latching on. Two of them has tricky posterior ones, my third baby recently required a second snip at two months old but without the procedure I would have lost the will to love let alone carry on breastfeeding.

Definitely breastfeeding support group

Also the rugby hold is good for a difficult latch and if you’re comfortable feeding lying down on a form mattress on your side her facing you and latched on is good too.

Lansinoh nipple cream is good too if the path isn’t deep enough and hurting.

Finally I always remember from my friend who paid for a lactation consultant....
Nose to nipple
Baby to breast not breast to baby
check for jaw movement near the ear and that the bottom lip is almost touching their chin.

Hope things improve soon, sorry for long reply but I have been there and wanted to try and help!

welshcake82 Mon 05-Mar-18 22:27:16

Definitely get checked for tongue tie. Bobbing on and off the breast is a strong sign. Some midwives/health visitors won't always recognise it so if you're not happy get a second opinion.
No one in the hospital diagnosed DS, nor did my HV, nor breastfeeding support group worker. It was only when I was allocated a breastfeeding HV that it was diagnosed - if it's posterior, apparently it's much harder to spot.
Good luck

Tuckingfypo Mon 05-Mar-18 22:40:00

Thank you everyone, I'm a little bit teary just reading your replies!

I will definitely ask about possible tongue tie when I see a midwife tomorrow.

It's so demotivating because last night I was waking her up every 2 hours to feed and thought I was doing the right thing, only to be told today by a different midwife that she was just comfort sucking and all that time I spent thinking she was feeding she was actually getting nothing  the first midwife said she was latched on well, but we mustn't have always been getting it right which is why she has lost weight.

The last thing I want is to go back to hospital, I had so many people man handle me and tell me different things I didn't know what was the right way at all.

I have joined a breastfeeding support group on Facebook and they have a meeting coming up soon I'm hoping to go to. In the meantime I've ordered a new electric breast pump and some breast shells to see if I can actually start to pump a supply of milk.

Thank you all again for your kind words, it means so much! And @mude I really hope it gets better for you, I know right now I feel like a complete failure and I just want to enjoy my DD!

welshcake82 Tue 06-Mar-18 06:23:55

You're definitely not a failure op! Breastfeeding can be so difficult and the support is, in my view, quite patchy. You're stuck with each individual professional's own views on it which is why some are great and others less so. The nurse in the hospital told me to give up and ff. I didn't!
I hope you find some good support and hope the midwife is a help today! You're doing great.

Tuckingfypo Tue 06-Mar-18 08:16:25

Thank you @welshcake82 that means a lot smile

Well done for not giving up, that's awful for them to have said that!

I remember with DD there were so many times I wanted to give up but didn't and now I don't want to quit but if she loses more weight i don't know what I'm doing wrong and how to put it right!

The midwife yesterday talked about hindmilk and keeping her on each breast for 30 minutes so she gets the hindmilk but when DD falls asleep at the breast it can take half an hour to rouse her to feed again and then she just falls asleep after a few more minutes angry with my first I just fed until she came off and she seemed to get what she needed so I'm not too sure how it could be different in this case?!

Baby is having plenty of wees and poos and her jaundice seems to be improving which is positive, it's just the weight loss issue!

Ugh, sorry for ranting, I'm going to be on edge all day until the midwife turns up!

welshcake82 Tue 06-Mar-18 08:59:56

I hope you get some good support from the right person. Even if the midwife today fobs you off or isn't helpful, try to find someone else. Perhaps go to your GP and ask for a referral re tongue tie. It took 7 weeks before DS was diagnosed and snipped. And as I said earlier, if you're not diagnosed at first get a second opinion.
Your DD falling asleep at the breast could be due to her not being able to latch properly and just being too tired to try.
Also try to find a good breastfeeding support group in your area. It took me several attempts before I found one with lovely people. I was in Manchester when DS was born and found a great one.
It really is so hard especially when you're juggling all the emotions of having a newborn and also getting no sleep as well. I hope you get the support you need and let us know how you get on.

DonaldWeasley Tue 06-Mar-18 09:34:40

Good luck with the midwife today! They are not trained to spot tongue tie, so if she doesn’t refer you to an infant feeding specialist then I would really consider finding a Lactation consultant near you, I know it’s horrendously expensive, but will be cheaper than formula in the long run if it keeps you breastfeeding. Also, this lady does free online support, which might help www.littlepeach.org.

I found the contradictory advice from midwives very confusing. It’s not their specialist subject but they know just enough to seem like they know it all! Seek out the real breastfeeding experts.

Chickchickadee555 Wed 07-Mar-18 09:39:04

OP, this all sounds very stressful for you and not helped by the confusing advice you're getting from the midwives sad
Can you find some experienced breastfeeding support?
There are a few things which I think are concerning. You mentioned the long sleeps during the day, for instance - sometimes babies need to be woken to feed and gaps of longer than 2-3 hours in the first few weeks are normally too long.
Also the advice you've been given on hind milk is very outdated...the guidance now in situations like this is to switch nurse and swap sides frequently during a feed as this will aid supply and keep baby feeding for longer.
But all of this should be easily resolved with expert help. It doesn't sound like that's going to come from the midwives so can you seek this out yourself?
It's definitely worth checking on the tongue tie front but you might find that a few simple adjustments from someone who knows the right questions to ask you and also what to look for, is all you need to get things on track.

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