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Non-latching baby... Please help!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Any input, tips, encouragement, any help at all really would be greatly appreciated...

 

Here is a short synopsis of our story--  My DD was born almost 8 weeks ago and has never latched.  It was a natural birth with no problems (though it was precipitous).  This is my first baby.  The first night she didn't really latch, but I didn't think much of it.  I knew I would just keep working on it.  But, the next morning her billi level was abnormally high and they were thinking of admitting her.  So, I started pumping and finger feeding to avoid this.  We did this for a week and I kept trying to latch her with no success.  I then saw a lactation consultant who suggested a nipple shield.  We did this for 2 weeks and then something changed-- she was getting upset and frantic-- I knew she wasn't transfering well or my supply was going down and I was right.  She didn't gain enough so then we went back to pumping and feeding (I am now using mostly bottles).  Pumping and feeding is so difficult.  It takes almost every minute of my day.  And more importantly I really, really want to nurse!  This is like my worst nightmare.  I've always wanted to nurse.  I'm even a lactation counselor and have helped many other moms with their babies.  Please, any advice would be so appreciated.  I've tried just about everything anyone has ever suggested-- nursing while sleepy, in the bath, while moving, after pumping, while expressing, while she is full and content, hungary and upset, etc.  Is there something that I'm missing?  Some other tip?  I'm afraid we are never going to get this.  And I'm scared at 8 weeks we are at the point of no return.  It just makes me feel so discouraged and depressed :-(

post #2 of 22

IS there any chance your baby has a tongue tie? Here's a link to my blog entry with pics of my DD's tongue tie before/after having it revised. If you click on "Posterior Tongue Tie parts 1 and 2 you can read a little about our symptoms and how thigns got resolved...the biggest thing is she absolutly could not transfer milk until after we got the tie released.  http://birthboobsandbabes.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/tongie-and-lip-tie-pictures/

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

I have seen a lactation consultant that didn't mention that.  She admitted she didn't have a lot of experience with posterior tongue tie.  I have appointments coming up with the Pediatrician  and also a family medicine doctor that is also an IBCLC so I will ask them too.  She transfer milk ok with a bottle it seems?  She does stick her tongue out past her lip and also when she smiles she sometimes holds her tongue up to the roof of her mouth-- does that mean she's ok?

post #4 of 22

My DD was assessed by 3 IBCLCs, a pediatrician, and an ENT before she finally got diagnosed (my another ENT and a 4th IBCLC...at least she admitted that PTTs are not her strength!)

 

Most babies do better with the bottle than breast, a lot do jsut fine with the bottle (mine didn't, but, I think the norm is that they feed pretty well with a bottle - even mine did much better with bottle than breast). Remember the milk from a bottle drips out, so baby does not need a good suck to get it out.

 

She needs to be able to lift her tongue (on her own), at least half way with her mouth WIDE open. A lot of babies with PTTs can stick their tongues past their lips...mine could.

post #5 of 22
Your story is very similar to mine. My daughter got diagnosed with tongue tie at 9 weeks old, and got it fixed a few days later and now, at ten weeks old, is nursing. She was seen by two pediatricians and four lactation consultants before the fifth lactation consultant caught it.

After the tongue tie was fixed, she would still scream when I tried to get her to latch on. The LC tried lots of things and finally, after a lot of crying (and, I should note,in the past I had always stopped trying once she started crying, so this was different), she latched on and nursed to sleep. Since that one success, she latches on and nurses like a pro.

My daughter also had an upper lip tie.

Good luck! Eight weeks is not too old!
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for the input!  I have an appt with an IBCLC wed and I will see a doc/IBCLC the next week and I see my ped then too so I will ask him.  I will also see if he will recommend an ENT doc. 

 

LilMom~ I will watch to see if she can lift her tongue half way when wide open.  When she does her big open mouth grin she touches the roof but thats not wide open.

 

Thank you both for the encouragement.  This is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard for me and it makes me depressed sometimes.  I will keep you posted and please if you think of anything else let me know.

post #7 of 22

I'm so sorry!  I don't have any input on tongue tie, but have you used a SNS?   It might be worth a try, although I know it's just one more thing to add!  If it works, she could at least stimulate more milk.  Hope it works out, soon!!
 

post #8 of 22

Just wanted to chime in about posterior tongue tie. My son had a strong latch but was not able to keep suction at the breast or a bottle (constantly popping off with each suck), and was basically chewing at me instead of sucking. Very, very painful after a while causing completely raw nipples and nerve pain, and I was forced to pump and bottle feed. SO many professionals told me he was not tongue tied but it didn't make sense to me. FInally I found out about a pediatric dentist an hour from me who specialized in this condition. Right away he said that the tongue was very tied, and snipped it right there in his office (DS was 8 weeks), and I nursed immediately. A few drops of blood and my son did seem sore later that day (wouldnt nurse or take a paci or bottle) so I gave one dose of tylenol and he was fine. It took some time to re-train him to suck properly, but we are still nursing now at 16 months!! :)
 

I have read/heard that many ENTs will recommend general anesthesia for posterior ties. If this bothers you (it would have me), you could try looking for a dentist. While Im sure it was a bit painful and I hate that he had to go through that, it only took an instant and he really didn't cry much after. I'm not sure I would have put my 8 week old under general anesthesia. Just a thought. Good luck!!!

post #9 of 22

I can't comment on the subject of tongue tie, because my dd didn't have that issue, but...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessimaca View Post
 I'm afraid we are never going to get this.  And I'm scared at 8 weeks we are at the point of no return.  It just makes me feel so discouraged and depressed :-(

You are NOT at the point of return, if my experience is any indication.  My daughter did not figure out how to latch on until she was three months old, and after that, she went on to be a very strong nurser until the age of three years old. I understand the stress that you are feeling with that one worry because I felt it.  I was very lucky.  I had an extremely experienced lactation consultant, and one day, I asked her point blank if there was a point of no return by which if my dd didn't figure out how to nurse, she would never nurse at all.  The lactation consultant reassured me that this is not true.  And, it turns out that she was right. Just knowing that little fact lifted a huge weight from my shoulders and gave me the strength to do what I had to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessimaca View Post

Any input, tips, encouragement, any help at all really would be greatly appreciated...

 

Here is a short synopsis of our story--  My DD was born almost 8 weeks ago and has never latched.  It was a natural birth with no problems (though it was precipitous).  This is my first baby.  The first night she didn't really latch, but I didn't think much of it.  I knew I would just keep working on it.  But, the next morning her billi level was abnormally high and they were thinking of admitting her.  So, I started pumping and finger feeding to avoid this.  We did this for a week and I kept trying to latch her with no success.  I then saw a lactation consultant who suggested a nipple shield.  We did this for 2 weeks and then something changed-- she was getting upset and frantic-- I knew she wasn't transfering well or my supply was going down and I was right.  She didn't gain enough so then we went back to pumping and feeding (I am now using mostly bottles).  Pumping and feeding is so difficult.  It takes almost every minute of my day.  And more importantly I really, really want to nurse!  This is like my worst nightmare.  I've always wanted to nurse.  I'm even a lactation counselor and have helped many other moms with their babies.  Please, any advice would be so appreciated.  I've tried just about everything anyone has ever suggested-- nursing while sleepy, in the bath, while moving, after pumping, while expressing, while she is full and content, hungary and upset, etc.  Is there something that I'm missing?  Some other tip?  I'm afraid we are never going to get this.  And I'm scared at 8 weeks we are at the point of no return.  It just makes me feel so discouraged and depressed :-(

I was there once. 

 

My dd didn't latch when she was born, so the nurse taught me to try to finger feed her.  The next morning her billi level was still high, and the hospital admitted her into the NICU for ten days. All during the NICU stay, I tried to latch with the SNS and nipple shield.  Nothing. Baby wouldn't even open her mouth, let alone drop her tongue.  We finally went home from the NICU by feeding formula with the Haberman feeder to try to avoid nipple confusion. (Milk still hadn't come in because- what- baby hadn't latched on at all.)  I pumped and fed with the Haberman feeder for three months. After we got home from the hospital, it took me two weeks of round-the-clock pumping to build up my supply by pumping, because dd didn't do a thing to help.

 

Yes, it was an awful nightmare to pump and feed exclusively.  Unfortunately, I had to do it for three months. I felt like I was in a merry-go-round from which I couldn't disembark- the unending cycle of pump/feed/diaper.  Oh yes, and on top of that I tried latching on with the SNS and nipple shield.  All the things that you've tried, I tried. It was especially exhausting trying to keep the SNS and nipple shield clean after each feeding.  No sign of latching on for three months. 

 

I got so exhausted from sleep deprivation of trying to latch every feeding with all of that equipment that I called the lactation consultant in desperation.  I asked her if my chances of success would diminish if I just fed the baby with the Haberman feeder and skipped trying to latch on (with SNS and nipple shield) for an indefinite period of time so that I could get some sleep.  She said it would be fine as long as I could prevent the nipple confusion.  So I would take a break and not even try to latch on for a couple weeks, just pumping and feeding.  Even after that, I didn't try to latch on at every feeding.  I would just try every once in a while, just for the heck of it, every few days or so, to see what would happen.  Nothing.

 

Then, one magical day, the baby latched on and started sucking.  Yes, it was with the SNS and the nipple shield, but it was clear that the baby started to suck.  After a couple days, I removed the nipple shield.  Then I removed the SNS.  Within a week, everything was fine.

 

Part of the problem was that the baby was incredibly sleepy all the time when we got home as a result of the jaundice, but that couldn't have been the only reason.  To this day, I'm not really sure what happened.  All I know is that I kept trying, and one day, she started nursing.

 

HANG IN THERE! It will work out in the end!  And let's hope that your son figures it out far sooner than my dd did.

 

On the bright side, I never had to wean dd from a pacifier because dd never used one.  I was so worried about avoiding nipple confusion that I used my pinky finger, instead of a pacifier.  By the time my dd learned to latch on, it seemed pointless to introduce a pacifier.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Emily'sMama~  Thnak you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Just hearing your story gave me hope love.gif  Thank you so much for sharing it with me.  I'm in the same position and my DD is 11 weeks now-- so very close to where you were when your DD latched.  It sounds like we have such similar stories!  I am pumping and feeding-- with bottles though.  What is a haberman feeder?  It is this crazy merry go round that I feel like I will never get off.  I am offerring my breast to my DD when I can and when she is in the right frame of mind (she is also a very needy baby).  I would once every day to every couple days with no success as of yet.  But, it makes me happy to hear that your IBCLC said it can happen at any age!!!  I really, really hope I can get there.  I planned on nursing for a long time, but if I have to continue to pump in feed it will be hell to make it a year :-(  I will keep you posted.  If you think of any other tips or tricks please send them my way.  I will keep trying!

post #11 of 22

Just wanted to tell you to hang in there and keep trying.  

 

I myself have been there (still am!).  My son turned four months old today.  I am still pumping and feeding him, it seems never-ending. But, my son has a hard time latching because he has hypotonia due to him having down syndrome.  He also has a heart defect which makes him tire easily.  I have been going to the local LLL meeting and it has given me so much support and so much hope. 

 

I also have low milk supply, so that doesn't make it any easier.  

 

I just try to latch him in the mornings before feeding him, while we have our skin to skin time.  Today is the longest he's ever stayed latched on, and it made my day!

 

There is no point of no return, just keep trying!!

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Momma~  Thanks so much for the words of encouragement.  Feeling depressed about it today-- my husband says that he thinks she will never get it.  That's the first time he's said that.  I'm starting to agree with him.  She just seems so far from it.  She never latches, not even for a few minutes.  In fact, most of the time she screams when I attempt :-(  I feel like I have to keep pumping and feeding cause I really want her to get the benefits plus I have breast/ovarian cancer in my family so I need the benefits too.  It's just hard, I feel so confused because as a lactation counselor this was a BIG deal to me.  I really looked forward to it.  And I've helped so many other people succeed at it.  It also kind of shaken up my future/goals.  I was hoping to take the IBCLC exam next year and really focus my career on that.  Now I feel pretty lost...  Not sure where to go from here.  And we are undecided if we will have other children.  The thought of succeeding with the next one and being able to enjoy a nursing relationship makes me want to, but the thought of doing the pumping and feeding all over again if it doesn't work scares me.

 

Its amazing that your LO is doing well with attempts with the hurdles to overcome.  Good for you!  It's awesome that he is getting the benefits of BM.  Do you have other children is this your first?  I have a 6 year old stepson, but this is my first child.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessimaca View Post

Momma~  Thanks so much for the words of encouragement.  Feeling depressed about it today-- my husband says that he thinks she will never get it.  That's the first time he's said that.  I'm starting to agree with him.  She just seems so far from it.  She never latches, not even for a few minutes.  In fact, most of the time she screams when I attempt :-(  I feel like I have to keep pumping and feeding cause I really want her to get the benefits plus I have breast/ovarian cancer in my family so I need the benefits too.  It's just hard, I feel so confused because as a lactation counselor this was a BIG deal to me.  I really looked forward to it.  And I've helped so many other people succeed at it.  It also kind of shaken up my future/goals.  I was hoping to take the IBCLC exam next year and really focus my career on that.  Now I feel pretty lost...  Not sure where to go from here.  And we are undecided if we will have other children.  The thought of succeeding with the next one and being able to enjoy a nursing relationship makes me want to, but the thought of doing the pumping and feeding all over again if it doesn't work scares me.

 

Its amazing that your LO is doing well with attempts with the hurdles to overcome.  Good for you!  It's awesome that he is getting the benefits of BM.  Do you have other children is this your first?  I have a 6 year old stepson, but this is my first child.

 

Please dont lose hope, Momma!!! Keep on trying..shy.gif

post #14 of 22

Your story sounds very similar to my experiences with my first daughter.  Let me start by saying that we overcame our difficulties, nursed until she was over 2 years old -- and she is now an awesome 14 year old!

 

Like you, I felt like I was at the end of my rope and out of options -- I was seeing an IBCLC almost daily, finger feeding, experimenting with shields, experimenting with positions, visiting ENTs. . . .  I was scared that I would be exclusively pumping forever. . . .  I felt really cheated because nothing was working. . . .

 

What finally did the trick for us was taking my daughter to an osteopath with lots of baby experience for a craniosacral adjustment.  I was skeptical, but willing to try anything at that point.  And it worked!  She took to the breast within a few hours of that treatment.  I was so relieved.  Is there anyone in your area with that kind of expertise?

 

Also, I don't know if this applies to you. . . .  But I ended up feeding her in the football or clutch position.  I have large breasts and the football hold made it much, much easier to see what was going on and to make sure she got a good deep latch.

 

I'm wishing you luck.

post #15 of 22

I also agree w/ searching for a cranial sacral/bodywork therapist in your area. There is also a very active tongue tie group on Facebook that might be helpful: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/tonguetiebabies/?bookmark_t=group

 

Good luck to you! Your baby girl is very lucky to have you for her mama :)

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessimaca View Post

Momma~  Thanks so much for the words of encouragement.  Feeling depressed about it today-- my husband says that he thinks she will never get it.  That's the first time he's said that.  I'm starting to agree with him.  She just seems so far from it.  She never latches, not even for a few minutes.  In fact, most of the time she screams when I attempt :-(  I feel like I have to keep pumping and feeding cause I really want her to get the benefits plus I have breast/ovarian cancer in my family so I need the benefits too.  It's just hard, I feel so confused because as a lactation counselor this was a BIG deal to me.  I really looked forward to it.  And I've helped so many other people succeed at it.  It also kind of shaken up my future/goals.  I was hoping to take the IBCLC exam next year and really focus my career on that.  Now I feel pretty lost...  Not sure where to go from here.  And we are undecided if we will have other children.  The thought of succeeding with the next one and being able to enjoy a nursing relationship makes me want to, but the thought of doing the pumping and feeding all over again if it doesn't work scares me.

 

Its amazing that your LO is doing well with attempts with the hurdles to overcome.  Good for you!  It's awesome that he is getting the benefits of BM.  Do you have other children is this your first?  I have a 6 year old stepson, but this is my first child.

Jessi,

 

Do you go to any breastfeeding meetings?  I would encourage you to go if you don't.  It's the support I needed to keep going.  My husband is less than supportive, he thinks I should have quit a long time ago.  But, I know it's important for my baby, he needs that breastmilk!  

 

I have a 14 yr old son from before I was married.  He was my high school baby, I half heartedly 'tried' to breastfeed in the hospital, but didn't fight the nurse when she gave him a bottle.  There wasn't as much support then as I had this time around.  I have inverted/flat nipples, and they're small, compared to my large breasts, so that makes it more challenging.  

 

Our original plan was to get pregnant soon after this baby was born, to have several kids in quick succession.  I sort of want to wait now, and concentrate on the baby's health needs as well as establish breastfeeding.  So, we will see.  Right now, he has three appointments a week, in addition to the therapy I do with him every day.  After he was born (csection), I got an infection in my stomach.  I was on cipro, so I had to pump and dump for a week.  Then, the infection got worse, to the point where I couldn't do anything, not even take care of my baby (my MIL had to fly down to help us), and they were talking surgery to remove the infection.  They ended up draining it and I was on three antibiotics, as well, as lortabs and vicodin, for two weeks, again, pumping and dumping.  I was encouraged on more than one occasion to quit...

 

I want to encourage you to keep trying.  Especially since you're pumping, what's the harm to keep trying to put her to the breast?  Our best times started with our morning routine.  It's just me and baby at home, so we have skin to skin contact in bed.  Just relax, talk, laugh, cuddle.  When he was on his back, I offered the breast.  My LC said not to do that, but I really think that's what helped us.  After a while, he would latch and suckle.  Only for tiny amounts of time.  I couldn't get the hang of using the boppy or the breastfriend pillows.  I eventually just laid him across my lap, held on to his neck/head, and offered the breast that way.  And, little by little, it seems to have worked.  Now, it's been three days since he stayed latched, but, I keep trying.  

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all your responses.  I truely appreciate the support.  Here is the short of it-- I will never stop trying while I'm pumping.  I attempt when her mood is good and we are both patient.

 

Heres the long story-- I have tried everything.  I'm starting to come to grips with the fact that she may never latch.  It's seems further and further from a possibility.  She gets mad when I try most of the time.  Its' crazy you know?  I used to think with bfing that if you tried hard enough it would work (when people used to tell me they tried and couldn't get it to work I would think-- sure, you didn't try hard enough-- is that karma?), but now I'm realizing this is bigger than that.  I cannot control this little girl-- no matter how hard I try.  I don't know, I ask myself all the time-- why is this happening to me?  When I care more than most?  When this has been a dream of mothering to me for a long time...  I have tried EVERYTHING anyone has ever told me.  And, if I hear skin-to-skin one more time, I swear.  Guess what?  That does not solve everything.  I know because i try it all the time.  I have worked with 4 IBCLCs and consulted with another 3 over the phone and I am a CLC and I've consulted with another CLC and LLL leaders.  I have gone to 2 different cranial sacralists and I chiro that specializes in children.  I had her assessed for tongue tie and had a posterior tie clipped (which didn't make a difference because she isn't latching-- if she was maybe I would have noticed a difference).  I have tried nursing her every single way except for on my head-- in the tub, when shes sleeping, when shes awake, when shes hungry and not hungry, happy, sad, with a nipple shield, with a SNS-- I could go on and on....  I've scoured the internet for other ideas and posted to differnt groups.  I have attended LLL meetings.  My friend who is nursing attempted to nurse her-- she freaked out just the same.  I've talked to her about her birth (which was unmedicated and fast and went well I think).  I am probably forgetting something.  Anyone got anything else. 

 

I still hold on to the hope that she may get it someday because that will keep me pumping.  This whole experience has put my career goals into question-- I thought I would get my IBCLC and help women and babies... now I just don't know.

post #18 of 22

Jessimaca:  I don't have any more advice for you from my personal experience. . . .  I just wanted to send you love and best wishes.  I hear that you have been through all of your options and continue to try.  I'm so impressed with you and I really hope it gets easier.  If it doesn't. . . maybe that is even more reason to become an IBCLC?  You'll be able to offer struggling women such a level of commiseration and empathy because of your own experience. . . .  And, although I wouldn't wish this on you or any other woman, maybe you'd also be able to help those grieving their own breastfeeding relationships.  That loss does sometimes, sadly, happen.

 

Take good care of yourself.

post #19 of 22

I am so sorry for your frustrations. I hope this will resolve soon.

I had similar problems at the hospital and then at home and I know how hard it is.

What helped me was a suggestion of an experienced mother who watched me to

nurse.. and it is amazing how it did the trick.. she said.. oh you are doing it all wrong..

you are trying to put a boob into her mouth .. you shuld try to do it the other way around,

you put a child onto a breast once she open her mouth..

 

I was like bigeyes.gif what do you mean?

 

So she showed me.. she helped me to tickle her with my tip of the niple around her mouth

and once she opened her mouth she quickly shaved literarly her open mouth onto the breast..

 

I was like.. wow! and things changed immediately. It worked miracles.. I had no idea this can

be a difference, there is a difference?.. how this is done but apparently there was one.

 

NO lactation specialist in the hospital mentionned that seeing me how I do it and 4 of them saw me..

and this mom saved my life.

 

Also whenever you nurse make sure your nipes are not too hard.. I know. I know.. but

if hte niple is too hard and there is TOO much milk in your breast then little tinny baby has

problem with it.. so try to pump a bit to take edge off to see if it makes a difference before

you nurse?

 

Good luck and hugs.

post #20 of 22

Have you tried craniosacral therapy (some chiropracters do this)? First it helps the baby get full tongue mobility after the revision, second, even if it doesn't help get her to latch they can have restrictions from the tongue tie that go throughout their entire body.. Not kidding at all, my daughter was behind in her motor skills and stronger on one side of the body than the other (so I thought), after several sessions of craniosacral therapy she "evened out" and then she started meeting and surpassing the milestones for her age. I highly recommend it to you if you have not done it yet

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