how to teach baby to latch and suck? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-15-2007, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm at my wit's end here.

my son was born at 38w

didn't latch on right after birth.
was taken away from me because he was 'big,' had blood sugars tested, given formula, etc. Yes I'm rolling my eyes.

So he never latched, they kept giving him formula. Then he got jaundiced and I decided to pump him full of it so we could go home sooner (my other son was in the hospital for a week with it, didn't want to do that again) Milk hadn't come in yet.

I tried to latch him every feeding, but he wouldn't. Those bottles they give them require no work at all.

He can suck, he sucks pretty hard on my finger. He does okay with bottles. I am pumping. Supply is NOT an issue for me.

So now I'm trying to get him to latch on. I've decided to stop bottles and I'm nursing, or will feed with a medicine syringe if I stop getting wet diapers.

Problem is, he does not do that wide open mouth thing. If I get him latched, he pushes the nipple to the outside of his mouth and sucks that way, but not strongly. then he gets mad. Then I push the bulk of the nipple in past his gums. Sometimes I get a latch but he never keeps it too long. I'm trying compressions to motivate him and sometimes it works, sometimes not.

And then when I think I got a nice long session with long sucks and some swallows, he comes off screaming in rage and dry diapers later.

Any ideas?? (I don't think an sns will work, any other ideas?)
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#2 of 10 Old 10-15-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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I didn't want to read and not respond. (I was going to suggest a SNS. )

Have you met with a lactation consultant - a real IBCLC, not a nurse "trained" to offer advice?

I just met with an LC today to fix the latch issues with my newborn, and it was fabulous.

Best of luck to you. I hope it gets better soon.
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#3 of 10 Old 10-16-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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NAK.

INDUCING LACTATION, RELACTATION &/OR TEACHING BABY NURSING SKILLS

Regarding Inducing Lactation or Relactation, there are two components to Inducing Lactation. The first is the mother’s supply and the second is the baby’s nursing skills. Nursing is very instinctive in the first hour or so after delivery. After that it is a complex set of skills that need to be learned. The younger the baby is the easier it should be to bring in a supply and teach baby to nurse but it will take patience and effort.

Below are a number of links. The last link is to an article on the re-lactation protocol developed by Newman. The second to last link is to his page at “The Birth Den” website. See the far right column for videos on latching.

I periodically post these links and find that the addresses often change. As of the writing of this post all of the links should be current since I checked them all and updated the ones that were inactive.

Finding a current link is usually a simple matter of copying/pasting the article name into the search field of the meta search engine of your choice and the article you're looking for will usually be one of the first results. You may need to look carefully since occasionally some of the results will be for related resources linking the article in question but that is often a dead link as well.

I have learned the hard way it is usually more efficient to search using a meta search engine rather than the site the article comes from. Note, you can tell the source of the article from the link/address. Unfortunately, some of the search features on these various sites are unreliable, notably Kellymom.com, so even if you have a "Key Word" from the article you can't be guaranteed to find it by using that site's search function.

If it turns out that some of these aren’t working please PM me and I'd be glad to track it down.

LINKS
MDC thread on the “Breastfeeding Challenges” board: “can I relactate after 5 weeks?”
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...on#post9371460

La Leche League article: Phoebe's Journey (re: a Mom that re-lactated for a 10 1/2 month adopted Chinese girl)
http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBJulAug06p166.html

I would like to resume breastfeeding after an interruption. How do I relactate?
http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/relactation.html

Relactation and Induced Lactation Resources
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/adopt/rel...resources.html

Adoptive Breastfeeding & Relactation
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/adopt/index.html

Relactation and Adoptive Breastfeeding: The Basics
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/relactation.html

Help -- My Baby Won't Nurse!
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

Re-Birthing: Help For Latch On Problems
http://www.lactationconsultant.info/rebirth.html

When a Baby Refuses to Nurse
http://www.mobimotherhood.org/MM/article-refusal.aspx

Helping a Mother with a Baby Who Is Reluctant to Nurse
http://www.llli.org/FAQ/strike.html

My Baby Just Doesn't Get It
http://www.wiessinger.baka.com/bfing...e/babyget.html

Dr. Jack Newman – The Birth Den
http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html

The Protocols for Induced Lactation A Guide for Maximizing Breastmilk Production
http://www.mamadearest.ca/en/info/ne...-lactation.htm
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#4 of 10 Old 10-16-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnmom View Post
I'm at my wit's end here.

my son was born at 38w

didn't latch on right after birth.
was taken away from me because he was 'big,' had blood sugars tested, given formula, etc. Yes I'm rolling my eyes.

So he never latched, they kept giving him formula. Then he got jaundiced and I decided to pump him full of it so we could go home sooner (my other son was in the hospital for a week with it, didn't want to do that again) Milk hadn't come in yet.

I tried to latch him every feeding, but he wouldn't. Those bottles they give them require no work at all.

He can suck, he sucks pretty hard on my finger. He does okay with bottles. I am pumping. Supply is NOT an issue for me.

So now I'm trying to get him to latch on. I've decided to stop bottles and I'm nursing, or will feed with a medicine syringe if I stop getting wet diapers.

Problem is, he does not do that wide open mouth thing. If I get him latched, he pushes the nipple to the outside of his mouth and sucks that way, but not strongly. then he gets mad. Then I push the bulk of the nipple in past his gums. Sometimes I get a latch but he never keeps it too long. I'm trying compressions to motivate him and sometimes it works, sometimes not.

And then when I think I got a nice long session with long sucks and some swallows, he comes off screaming in rage and dry diapers later.

Any ideas?? (I don't think an sns will work, any other ideas?)
You poor woman! I have been there and done that. Much of what you described above about yourself happened to me. There is nothing more frustrating than presenting a breast and watching a baby that doesn't realize that he/she should open his/her mouth, let alone knows how to suck. It's demoralizing when you see other itty-bitty babies instinctively know how to nurse, and mine just didn't know what to do.

Sucking on a breast is totally different from sucking on a regular bottle.

As far as teaching baby how to latch on. First in the hospital we stuck adult pinky into baby's mouth, pad side up and nail side down. Fortunately for us, baby's suck on pinky was very vigorous. That was a good sign. I think you mentioned that you have the same result. This is good.

We didn't use any regular bottles at all. But we did have to get milk into her because we would have these nursing sessions that resulted in constant dry diapers. We used what Medela calls a Special Needs Feeder (http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/speci....html#haberman). This is a special type of bottle in which the flow is regulated. If you turn this bottle upside down, the liquid doesn't automatically dribble/drip out like a regular bottle. The harder the baby sucks on this type of bottle, the more milk will flow out of the feeder. In this way, I taught baby how to suck more like on a regular breast, was able to easily feed the baby either expressed breast milk or formula as my pumping supply allowed, get plenty of wet and poopy diapers, and avoided nipple confusion. At first, when the baby hasn't learned to suck, you can hold the bottle so that it's easy for the baby to get the milk out. As the baby gets better at sucking, you can turn the bottle a little bit and make it harder for the baby to get the milk out, and in this way train the baby to learn to suck harder and harder. For us the Special Needs Feeder was a godsend.

After about a week of the Special Needs Feeder, I started working with a nipple shield and an SNS (same as the above link) in combination with the Special Needs Feeder. This meant that I would try to alternate feedings between the Special Needs Feeder and the breast (with nipple shield and SNS).

Many women go directly to the SNS without needing the Special Needs Feeder. I, unfortunately, was not one of them, and not through lack of trying. (I tried the SNS before I even heard of the Special Needs Feeder, and that was decidedly unsuccessful because my baby didn't know how to latch on. The Special Needs Feeder trained the baby to suck correctly so that I could eventually get to the point where the SNS had a chance of working.)

Even once the baby was being fed with the Special Needs Feeder, my many attempts with the SNS were unsuccessful for many weeks. When I look back in hindsight, I think she just wasn't yet ready to use the SNS. In those days, I often decided to take a break from the SNS for a few days and just stick with feeding baby with the Special Needs Feeder, and that was just fine. I usually held off of the SNS a few days, and then returned to try the SNS again a few days later on. So for me, the SNS was useful eventually, but only right before she was ready to latch on her own. There were many weeks where the baby was just in a holding pattern with the Special Needs Feeder because she didn't have any idea what to do with the SNS.

Then I just had to be persistent and wait it out until one magical day, something clicked for my baby. There I was, sitting on the floor with the SNS and a baby, and I suddenly felt very tiny, but definite sucks on the breast, and I just knew that we had done it. From that point on, everything just came together. With each passing day, the sucks became stronger, and even when I weaned the baby off of the SNS, the many wet diapers continued.

The good news: In spite of this difficult start in breastfeeding, from that point onword, my daughter was a very good nurser. She nursed until she weaned herself at age 3.

The potentially bad news: It took me three months to teach her how to latch on. My hope for you is that your baby will be a much faster learner than mine was. And I'll bet yours will be. Every baby is different, and perhaps mine was just strange.

Some suggestions. Find yourself the right lactation consultant. I went through 4 different lactation consultants before I found one who could outline a definite plan of what to do. All of the other lactations consultants had book learning, but only had experience with very easy young newborns. You need a lactation consultant that knows how to handle the difficult problems, not just one that runs from delivery to delivery shoving nipples into babies' mouths.

I was in a state of panic when I left the hospital because I mistakenly assumed that if a baby does not learn how to nurse within X number of days, then the baby will never be able to nurse. My lactation consultant assured me that this is not true. And indeed, my daughter finally latched on for the first time when she was 3 months old, older than I would have thought possible. It took more persistence, stubborness, and hard work than I thought I possessed, but it must be possible, because I did it. Just make sure to avoid nipple confusion.

I get so mad when people blithely say, "Just get rid of the bottles offer the breast constantly," or "Just use the SNS". That works for many women because most women have a baby that at least knows how to suck. Mine didn't, so the solution was much more complicated than that.
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#5 of 10 Old 10-16-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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http://www.llli.org/NB/NBMarApr02p48.html

This is my story of breastfeeding Lakshmi, who I breastfed until she was four. Hope it inspires you to try some different approaches. You'll see my actual name in that story.

Good luck!

Vegetarian Hindu, mother to L,P and R. 
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#6 of 10 Old 10-16-2007, 10:40 PM
 
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Jyotsna,
Thanks for sharing your story.
~Cath
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#7 of 10 Old 10-16-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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You got some great advice here. I have nothing to add, just to reinforce the suggestion to meet w/ an IBCLC. Click the link to find one near you:
http://gotwww.net/ilca/
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#8 of 10 Old 10-16-2007, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I enjoyed you story, Jyotsna and thank you!! emilysmama for typing that out.

I didn't think he'd get the sns because he takes so little of the nipple and doesn't seem to like "big" things in his mouth. He doesn't even like my finger too far back in there.

I shouldn't be a stranger to this, I went through it with my daughter but it's just so hard and you don't always know there's an end in sight, and what works for one kid won't work for another!!

I saw that special needs bottle and it's exactly what I'd been trying to picture in my head. I saw it on the medela site when I was looking at helper products but had no idea what it was, so thanks for the details

I think however one of the linked articles hit home re: oral aversions and I will have to stop the "forced latch" I'd been reading so much about.

Sorry for my scattered thoughts, just rambling. You've all give me some things to think about, and the boy is making a little progress - we had a couple good feedings today - I still need to get food into him non-nursing but we're getting there.
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#9 of 10 Old 10-16-2007, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Blondimom728 View Post
You got some great advice here. I have nothing to add, just to reinforce the suggestion to meet w/ an IBCLC. Click the link to find one near you:
http://gotwww.net/ilca/

Thanks for that, I'd been wondering! I called 2 of my local LLL leaders but haven't heard back yet. No idea if they are certified though.
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#10 of 10 Old 10-17-2007, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jnmom View Post
...
I think however one of the linked articles hit home re: oral aversions and I will have to stop the "forced latch" I'd been reading so much about.
...
jnmom,
NAK. I don't have actual experience in this area but from everything I've read the key is creating a relaxed low pressure environment and giving DC opportunities to "help himself": co-sleeping, skin to skin contact, baby wearing (e.g. with a sling), taking a bath together, etc. are good ways to accomplish this.
Good luck, ~Cath
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