How to get DS to open mouth wide enough for good latch? - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding > How to get DS to open mouth wide enough for good latch?
mt_gooseberry's Avatar mt_gooseberry 09:26 AM 09-12-2011

My DS is 6 days old, and I am in agony!  I am at the tail-end of the engorgement phase, and my nipples are SHREDDED.  I can't get DS to open his mouth wide enough to get enough of a mouthful of breast.  Further, his lower lip is pursed inward, but I could deal with that if I could just get him to open his mouth wide enough to latch well.  Any tips on getting a wide-open mouth?



Mom31's Avatar Mom31 12:23 PM 09-12-2011

I had a terrible time getting ds latched in the early weeks. First off I would say to pump some or express some first to get your breasts not so full and tight for him.

That helped me.

If that does not work I have more ideas and am sure other moms do to.


tincia 01:03 PM 09-12-2011
I had nurses tell me 'that's just him' and that I'd just need to get used to it! Rediculous! I sometimes use one of the fingers on the hand that is holding my breast to nudge his chin down as i am about to go in. Another one that sometimes helps is to get the bottom areola to match up with their bottom lip in the right spot, then in a downward motion at the same time they r opening, press the bottom that u matched up down onto their lip to open it wide then kind of turn the top down and in (if that makes any sense..hard to describe!). I still REALLY struggle with this, but those two strategies do help.
foreverinbluejeans's Avatar foreverinbluejeans 01:49 PM 09-12-2011

The vast majority of babies are born knowing how to breastfeed. If latch problems are happening it could be because baby has gotten artificial nipples, baby has had painful things happen to his mouth, anatomy problems with the baby, anatomy problems with the mother, or positioning issues. Since you have been trying for so many days and are having so much problems I encourage you to have a LC or LLL Leader watch you nurse.

 

You might want to watch some of the videos about laid back breastfeeding and read some of the info. One idea behind laid back breastfeeding is that in the past few decades we have cause problems like sore nipples and reflux by teaching mothers breastfeeding positions.

 

http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html 


foreverinbluejeans's Avatar foreverinbluejeans 01:50 PM 09-12-2011

What do you mean by shredded nipples?


Mom31's Avatar Mom31 02:53 PM 09-12-2011

I would also get the book by LLL the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. was your baby early or induced. My first child was and I do feel this affected breast feeding.  We did make it and nursed for 4 years.  Hope to you. We fed ds with a dropper of expressed breast milk as I did not want to give him a artificial nipple. we also went to the LC daily for the first two weeks.


Mom31's Avatar Mom31 02:54 PM 09-12-2011

She would regularly put her fingers in his mouth gently and massage his lips.


mt_gooseberry's Avatar mt_gooseberry 04:52 PM 09-12-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

If latch problems are happening it could be because baby has gotten artificial nipples, baby has had painful things happen to his mouth, anatomy problems with the baby, anatomy problems with the mother, or positioning issues. Since you have been trying for so many days and are having so much problems I encourage you to have a LC or LLL Leader watch you nurse.

 

You might want to watch some of the videos about laid back breastfeeding and read some of the info. One idea behind laid back breastfeeding is that in the past few decades we have cause problems like sore nipples and reflux by teaching mothers breastfeeding positions.

 

http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html 


DS hasn't gotten any artificial nipples or anything, and I don't think we have any anatomy problems (I didn't have any anatomy issues w/DD, anyway).  I live in a rural area and only have access to an LC/LLL Leader via phone, which hasn't helped a lot.  I've often wondered why humans seems to have so many problems with something so natural, so the idea that we need to "unlearn" to breastfeed is interesting!
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

What do you mean by shredded nipples?



I mean they are badly abraded and cracked.  Owwwiiiieeee....

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilie2 View Post

Was your baby early or induced....  we also went to the LC daily for the first two weeks.



Nope, DS came naturally at 8 days late.  As mentioned above, I don't have access to an LC except by phone which hasn't helped a lot.

 

 

Anyway, I appreciate the suggestions and will keep trying.

 


PatioGardener's Avatar PatioGardener 05:52 PM 09-12-2011

My DS had those issues too - he was lip-tied and slightly tongue-tied. Neither were obvious to his midwives or doctor.

 

We got the lip tie clipped (long story), but until then I had to nurse with him either lying beside me or sitting up facing me (the usual cradled in arms position did not work) and I had to work at getting a really deep latch.

 

I had to squish my breast a bit (like a sandwich) and help him to get a good deep mouthful when he latched. I also had to flip his lips out as much as I could.

 

Lansinoh helped too.

 

Good luck! (We're still nursing at 16 months)


jruck's Avatar jruck 05:22 AM 09-20-2011

We had a similar problem. Our LC suggested an infant occupational therapist. That made all the difference. She relaxed his jaw muscles and did a bunch of other work as well. Good luck. 


Baby_Cakes's Avatar Baby_Cakes 06:02 AM 09-20-2011

I'm of the let them open as wide as they can and shove method.  Basically, let him get is mouth open as much as he naturally can, and don't miss a beat -- shove his little face onto your bewb.  Bring him toward you, don't bring the breast to him.  And don't let him slurp that nipple in at ALL.  Press lightly but firmly down on his chin to see if his jaw will open up a bit more.  Flange out that lower lip EVERY time.  That's crucial!


mt_gooseberry's Avatar mt_gooseberry 09:03 AM 09-23-2011

Just wanted to thank everyone for their responses.  They all helped me in one way or another.  It turns out DS did have a tongue tie, as well has a maxillary lip tie.  We're now working on those issues.  Again, thanks!


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