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Infant feeding

Newborn putting up a fight to latch on

7 replies

sunnyfields25 · 02/06/2017 19:21


I've recently posted on the sleep board regarding splitting night-time feeding duties, and the advice I got was really helpful. But there's a more specific issue I'm having with breastfeeding and I'm hoping someone on here might be able to offer hope that it will get better!

DS is 10 days old, and breastfeeding has been difficult from the start. He struggles to latch on and then frequently slips off once he's attached. We've been told it looks like he has tongue tie and we've got an appointment for it to be confirmed and for him to have it fixed on Monday, so hopefully this will help with the latching and the nipple pain.

However, the problem that's causing a lot of upset is the fact that with every feed, DS cries and pushes away with his arms. It's gradually getting worse, to the point where it can now take 20 mins to get him to latch on. DH has to hold one of his arms out of the way because I don't have a free hand to do it myself. The midwife said this behaviour can be normal in some newborns, and isn't necessarily anything to do with the tongue tie. She said I need to persevere and that it will get better over the next few weeks.

Does anyone have any experience of this battle to get your DC to latch on? And did it get better in time? It's really affecting my mood and how I'm bonding with DS, because my main contact with him involves a lot of screaming and fighting. I just want to be able to feed him when he's hungry. It's getting me so down that I'm considering giving up and switching to formula, which isn't something I ever thought I'd do. But at the moment, I can't see me ever being able to leave the house with him as there's no way I could try feeding him in public the way he is. I also find I'm constantly on edge and anxious because I'm dreading the battle of the next feed.

Thanks, and sorry to have rambled!

OP posts:
YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut · 02/06/2017 19:27

This is going to be quite unhelpful but yes, my DD was like this and we did get past it, but I can remember how long it lasted or really what I did!

I do remember in her first few days hand and/or manual pump expressing small amounts of milk and sometimes syringe feeding her a few mls: this calmed her down enough for her to latch. Knowing this was an option helped stop me from becoming frantic and before too long it wasn't an issue any more.

FATEdestiny · 03/06/2017 12:11

You could buy a giant muslin and swaddle baby before feeding. The swaddle helps calm and sooth a frantic baby, also keeps arms out of the way and as an added bonus, a swaddled baby is easier to put down to sleep after a feed.

PerpetualStudent · 03/06/2017 12:14

I remember swaddling my DS to make feeding easier. It was like fighing an octopus sometimes in the newborn days!

DancingLedge · 03/06/2017 12:29

Swaddling - wrapping in baby blanket tucking arms firmly to sides and wrapping blanket round him - was necessary for one DC who had difficulty latching on. Also nipple shields, as I got too sore.

Few weeks in, different story, became quite easy.

Moomin37 · 03/06/2017 13:50

As someone else suggested perhaps express and feed that first and then try to latch them on - s/he might be a bit calmer once they've had some milk. Also have you tried different positions? When all else failed the rugby ball hold often worked for me, although I found it very tricky. I found it useful to use for a short period to calm her down and then I could try the cradle hold instead.

Great that you're getting the TT looked at - my daughter had this and her feeding vastly improved after the frenulotomy (but it did take a couple of weeks). So yes I have experienced what you are going through and you have my sympathies as it's very tough, but things will improve Flowers

sunnyfields25 · 03/06/2017 21:10

Hi all, thanks for the tips on swaddling. It's not something I've tried before and it hadn't occurred to me that it could help with feeding, so I might give it a go if things don't improve. Good idea about feeding a bit of expressed milk too. I have been building up a small supply and freezing it for a rainy day, so I could start keeping a bit in the fridge too.

Moomin37 - I've been mainly using the cradle hold position as it's the one that feels most comfortable, but I have read in a few places that the rugby hold one is good for tongue tie babies so I really should give it a go. I think I'm just wary of trying anything that could make the situation even worse, which is silly because the situation is already pretty bad! I'll maybe try getting him propped up on some pillows under my arm in bed for the night feeds. It's reassuring to hear that the frenulotomy had a good outcome for you. Just to check - did it purely help with the logistics of latching on, or did it help with the restlessness when feeding too?

OP posts:
mummymummums · 03/06/2017 21:12

If it's tongue tie it might only resolve once that is sorted. Good luck

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