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Still having latch problems anyone? - Page 3

post #41 of 58
I kept meaning to mention this -- if you suspect latch problems due to high palate, try a symetrical latch (as opposed to an asymmetrical latch). This will put more breast tissue up against the roof of the mouth and help fill that empty space.

When I discovered this, it finally explained why, when I would get on a kick of getting Sprout to latch on "properly" to try to fix the clicking, things got worse!
post #42 of 58
Okay, I have a decision to make. Sprout and I have just been chugging along for the past few weeks. His latch is still not great -- sometimes terrible, once in a while decent, mostly mediocre. He's 3 months tomorrow.

I've managed to get an appointment with some pediatric therapists at a local hospital on Thursday. I'm trying to decide if I want to go.

It all just seems like so much effort. So many times now I've dragged the poor boy to some medical professional, and we have nothing to show for it. I have to drive 40 minutes each way with him and try to time our feedings so he's hungry when we get there (last time, I timed it poorly and had to hold a screaming hungry baby in the waiting room for 15 minutes).

I'm not sure that the therapists will know any more than I've learned in all my research. It's not a very breastfeeding friendly place -- will they even know what to do with us?

And if we do go and get exercises, will we keep up with them? So far, our record isn't great. Of course, that has to do with the fact that we've never seen any improvement from ones we've tried.

So I don't know. I'm just in this very resigned sort of place right now, and the effort involved just feels exhausting.

But if I don't try now, I won't be able to try later. The longer I wait, the more ingrained any habits become. So it's not like I can wait a few months, see how things go, and decide to try the therapy then.

Any insights? Mosaic, do you think the therapy has been worth it?
post #43 of 58
I'd say don't give up now. But if you're going to give up, pick a point. Maybe go to this next appt and if you don't learn something new, then you could give up. Or if you have other things to try, or other milestones, then make a list of things you can still try, knowing you can give up in peace after that?
post #44 of 58
I'd say try it, because at least then you know you will have tried everything. But that's only because you seem so dedicated and patient with this issue - I myself probably would have given up months ago, and I so admire that you keep trying!
So, either try it, see if you get the impression any exercises/ etc they give you will help, and if you feel confident about the answers you get, great! If not, eh, at least you gave it a shot.
Or, don't try it but don't beat yourself up because you have done SO much work on this! You've done great!
I forget, though - does Sprout take a bottle yet? What are you guys currently doing to get by?

AFM, S's latch on the right side (where one nipple is a little more inverted and the breast is noticeably smaller) suddenly hurts SO badly. I think it's cause our oversupply is finally calming way down, but ouch! I'm worried that it's too late for us, since (like you say Jen) bad habits are pretty ingrained and her latch has been pretty sloppy due to plenty of milk. Now it hurts hurts hurts when she sucks until the letdown happens, and then again ouchie when the milk slows after several minutes.
I'm going to try to go to the lactation clinic in my area soon. In the meantime, ow!
post #45 of 58
That kind of sudden pain was the precursor to the blebs/milk blisters I dealt with a couple of weeks ago, Jess. Be very, very careful. Inspect your nipples after she nurses and make sure there isn't a spot turning white. If there is, try to open it in the shower with hot water pounding down. They feel so much better once opened.

My sister went through this with her kids and she says that she thinks they could be caused by something so small as a change in tongue position-- I don't know about you, but Cecilia's suddenly "found" her tongue recently, so I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case!
post #46 of 58
Well, I guess I'm going tomorrow. I tried to call this morning to push the appointment back a week or two (using his vaccinations as an excuse), but the receptionist told me how hard it is to get these appointments (mine is a cancellation) and the schedule person never called me back. So I guess I'm going by default.

I feel a little better because DH (and DD) are coming along. Part of my exhaustion with all of this is all the appointments I've had to take him to alone. Not for lack of interest or concern from DH -- just logistics. So having them come along is a small happy.

Oh, and I saw that a University of Florida pediatrician just published a paper about tongue tie and how it isn't treated enough. So I'm going to call her. She's about a 2 hour drive away, but... maybe she can point me to some resources? I don't know. Just grasping at straws. I have a feeling Sprout wasn't clipped enough, so I kinda want her to let us come up so she can have a look. But I know it would probably cost big $$$ and that's a long drive with a little one. So....
post #47 of 58
So, I went to the appointment and it was actually pretty useful!

As I had come to suspect, Sprout has limited upper lip mobility (his lip is pretty short from nose to mouth and the frenulum that connects lip to gum is pronounced) and an extremely high palate. Those things often go along with tongue tie.

When he nurses, he uses compression more than suction (like you guys, right, Mosaic?). That's why things hurt and why he can't maintain the latch.

So we've got some exercises to stretch and pull his upper lip and cheeks. We're also supposed to let him suck on our finger and touch the roof of his mouth to desensitize the palate (since his tongue likely doesn't reach up there) and get him to flip out his upper lip when sucking.

She also gave us some tips for attemping to introduce the bottle -- stiffer nipples, smaller base, and how to do cheek and chin support to keep his form.

So, aside from getting some ideas on how to help, it's nice to hear again that I'm not crazy, that he does have significant impediments to nursing correctly. She also told me that there's another doctor who does tongue clipping, so we may go and get a second opinion on whether the initial clipping was far enough. He also does lip clipping, so that might be an option.

And, apparently, it's up in the air whether we'll be able to go back for more therapy -- our insurance has denied therapy claims before for breastfeeding assistance because they think the mom should just go to a bottle.

Give me a second to be frustrated and angry that we're still dealing with this at 3 months....



Okay. Thanks. Better now.

The good is that he's still gaining weight like a champ and my supply is still holding up. He nursed briefly at the appointment and took in nearly 3 ounces! We're both just stubborn, I guess. Or I'm too cheap and lazy to use formula.
post #48 of 58
so glad you are getting answers. dani curls her top lip in too while nursing. it doesn't hurt, but i think that's why she loses her latch a lot. it does seem like a purposeful loss of latch instead of accidental though.

Nursing is a bunch better for us though overall. We still have rough spots in the AM, but things are so much better and not as gassy/burpy.

Only issue now is a stupid milk bleb that caused me a good bit of nipple pain. OW!
post #49 of 58
I love seeing the good news in here! Jenfl, some of the tricks they taught you sound a lot like what we learned (supporting chin, etc.) plus some new ones since your guy is an overachiever and has to get the lip involved, too. If it won't break the bank, I'd recommend going back for at least one follow-up to see if the exercises are helping. I think part of the reason we haven't had much progress is because I was kinda doing one of the exercises wrong.

jsh7809, any luck with the LC? I agree with Cecelia's mama that you want to get that sorted out before it causes any more trouble... I bet your LO can get the hang of it I tend to forget that this is a nursing relationship that naturally develops and changes over time as they get older and stronger, our supply evens out, etc.

As for us, we had our "final" appointment last week because I'm back at work now. She helped me fine-tune my technique on the finger exercises and showed me how to help work on it even if little missy won't suck on the finger (which, since she has suck issues, too, is very helpful). I've been really trying to do that more every day and I think it will help; I hope so anyway, because you can tell that she hates it! She also told me what to expect down the line as we introduce solids, etc... I admit I always thought this was a nursing issue, but now it's clear that we have to get it ironed out or we'll face continued feeding, speech, and dental issues down the road.

Anyway, I just want to give everyone in here major props for fighting through these obstacles!! And I hope to keep hearing more good news from everyone!
post #50 of 58
Hmm, L curls her top lip in, too. Could this have something to do with why she tends to suck in little blips of air? It's mostly right after my milk lets down. It's like the seal just breaks for a split second, but she doesn't lose her latch.
post #51 of 58
My LC and therapist said some babies do curl their upper lip, and can compensate -- but with Sprout's other impedients, it all adds up.

So I did the exercises for 2 days, and things got worse! So I've stopped, and we're back to "maintainable" and "resigned".
post #52 of 58
Hmm... do you think you were doing them correctly? Is it possible this is a case where he's a little disorganized while he shifts from old patterns to new ones? How was it worse?
post #53 of 58
He started dropping every suck instead of being able to maintain for a few in a row. I'm pretty sure I was doing them right.... all they were were stretching his upper lip and cheeks, and letting him suck on my finger with upper lip flipped out (touching upper palate and encouraging sucking instead of compression). Plus, the "worse" started right after his appointment, before I'd done the exercises on him myself.

Not sure if it was a rough spot on the way to something new.... he does seem to flip his lip out more often, even after that short period. But it doesn't seem to affect things much.

Got an appointment July 30 with another doc to get a second opinion on whether he was clipped enough.
post #54 of 58
Hmm... I agree that it sounds like it got worse, but I don't know what that means. Can you call for advice without having to pay to go back in before the 30th?
post #55 of 58
We are having issues over here. DS has some sort of bump/bubble under his tongue that I noticed at about 1.5 weeks old. I called my doula and she came to look at it and said she hadn't seen something like that before. My MW didn't indicate she knew what it was either, just said that the baby didn't look tongue tied. I asked our dr about it and he said that it was probably a blocked salivary gland/salivary cyst and that it was a "watch and wait" issue. Well, baby is now about 10 weeks old and the bubble is getting larger. I've also noticed his latch doesn't seem very good now and that he holds his tongue differently in his mouth. He holds it more towards the roof of his mouth (like you would if you were making a clucking noise). He's still growing, peeing, pooping, smiling, starting to giggle so he's getting enough milk in, but it's really painful for me. I struggle enough with breastfeeding, I don't need pain to go along with it. I'm going to nurse when I can and pump until I can get him into the dr again. Of course, the dr will probably just refer us to an ENT which will be another wait period.
post #56 of 58
i kinda feel like i'm crashing this thread, since i haven't been part of it all along. s to all of you who are working through more significant challenges!

just in the last few weeks, occasionally charlie only wants to suck my nipple, like he won't take in more breast tissue to get a deep latch. he doesn't do it often, sometimes not for days and then several times in one day. it happens when he's sleepy, but not all the time. if i unlatch him, i can't seem to correct it, or get him to open wide. instead he wants to suck my nipple into his mouth.

as a result, my nips have been sore on and off lately. any tips? he did this when he was first born but i worked him out of it. i'd hate for him to return to his lazy ways .
post #57 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peace+Hope View Post
i kinda feel like i'm crashing this thread, since i haven't been part of it all along. s to all of you who are working through more significant challenges!

just in the last few weeks, occasionally charlie only wants to suck my nipple, like he won't take in more breast tissue to get a deep latch. he doesn't do it often, sometimes not for days and then several times in one day. it happens when he's sleepy, but not all the time. if i unlatch him, i can't seem to correct it, or get him to open wide. instead he wants to suck my nipple into his mouth.

as a result, my nips have been sore on and off lately. any tips? he did this when he was first born but i worked him out of it. i'd hate for him to return to his lazy ways .
Somebody told me to let her see me open my mouth really wide and stick my tongue out right before she latches on. That she'd eventually imitate that. Seems even more likely since he's older now.

Who knows if that's true, though.
post #58 of 58
I've also been told to stimulate the top lip, as that makes them open up wider. Basically they say to wait for that big, open mouth and then try to catch a good latch. If it's not good, break the seal and don't let them cheat!

Is he hungry during those times and actively want to eat or is that only when he wants to comfort nurse? If it's a comfort thing, maybe this is bad but I'd probably not worry about it too much; but if he actually thinks he's going to eat that way, I'd very assertively nip that in the nip.
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