Late latchers-- share stories please! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 08-12-2012, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm curious about this because I hear stories here and there about babies who "get" nursing eventually after being bottle fed for a length of time-- for example, I know someone who's baby got it at 5 months and I just heard about a toddler the other day that asked to nurse after seeing baby sister nursing and then he got it.  I know a woman with twins and one started nursing at 7 weeks and the other at 8 weeks.  I'm asking for people to share stories that they've heard or your own story to give me hope-- I need it :-(  and to give other EPers hope as well.  My full story is in the EP thread if you're interested, but to make a long story short my 3 month old is not nursing and has never really latched so I'm EPing.  I hold out hope because of these stories though-- it gives me motivation to continue with the pumping even though its stressful and awful.  Please if you have heard any examples share them here:

 

bow.gif Thank you all in advance! 


Me = Healer, yogini, lactivist, step-mom, and wife to my dream come true joy.gif So grateful-- baby #1 April 2012

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#2 of 18 Old 08-12-2012, 07:38 PM
 
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My first started latching consistently at 4 months.  He spent 6 weeks in the NICU and latched sporadically there, but I mostly pumped.  Once he came home, I just tried to put him to the breast at least once a day with no pressure.  Eventually he got the hang of it and was exclusively breastfeeding by 4.5 months.  :)


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#3 of 18 Old 08-14-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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We were only attempting to nurse about once/day for the first 8 weeks and I pumped around the clock and we gave bottles.  After about a week of transition time (so he was 9 weeks), I was no longer pumping but we were using a nipple shield.  We got rid of that around 4 months.  I felt like at 5 months, we were finally really getting the hang of nursing.  I delt with nerve pain until I finally got that resolved around 7 months.  I always loved hearing stories of babies nursing normally after a prolonged rough start.  Now my son, at 18 months, is a booby-lover!


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4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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#4 of 18 Old 08-15-2012, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for sharing!  These stories give me hope!  I would like to get a big, on going collection for inspiration :-)  I hope we can keep it going. 


Me = Healer, yogini, lactivist, step-mom, and wife to my dream come true joy.gif So grateful-- baby #1 April 2012

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#5 of 18 Old 08-16-2012, 05:01 AM
 
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My healthy, strong, almost 8lb baby girl didn't latch in the hospital at all. She was full of mucus (despite a vaginal delivery) and actually stopped breathing twice and scared the life out of us. After some suction and a night in the incubator it cleared up and she was good to go - except she still wouldn't latch. I started pumping. One nurse, when she heard I planned to pump said I'd last two weeks. I didn't appreciate that at all. We came home and that night DH had a medical emergency. Life turned upside down and actually I was grateful I was pumping since I could easily leave baby with grandparents and take DH to specialists, etc. by about week 8 or 9 things settled down and pumping was getting on my nerves. I made an appointment with an experienced LC at 10 weeks and with her help got DD to latch! Once she latched and I started using paced bottle feeding, DD transitioned to the breast exclusively in about 3 weeks. We used a nipple shield too and for many weeks DD wouldn't consider nursing without it. I'd try to ditch it and she would scream. Then one day it fell off and she took the bare breast. Now she is 16 months old, going strong, and you'd never guess we had a rough start.
If you're interested, I can post the strategies that worked for us. As pp said, offering in a no pressure way is the way to go. I was rejected many times in those early weeks and I'd just let her have the bottle. You do not want baby to associate pressure and frustration with the breast. Good luck! There is hope for sure. I highly recommend seeing an LC, a good one can make a huge impact!
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#6 of 18 Old 08-19-2012, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow Sky your DD sounds like mine-- similar starts.  I would really appreciate you posting all your strategies!!!!!  I'm always looking for tips.  I feel like we've tried everything and I don't feel like I'm any closer.  In fact, nursing seems further away :-( 

 

Keep the stories coming!


Me = Healer, yogini, lactivist, step-mom, and wife to my dream come true joy.gif So grateful-- baby #1 April 2012

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#7 of 18 Old 08-19-2012, 06:47 PM
 
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Im sorry you're having a tough time, jessimaca. I apologize but with a sick toddler I don't have time to look for your post in the EP thread so forgive me for not knowing your background. Here are the important things that made a difference for us:


1: find a good LC. If you saw one that wasn't helpful, ask around and get a second opinion. They aren't all equal in qualifications or experience and sometimes just not clicking with their personality can have an impact on your interaction. Make sure you can follow up every week or two for a while so as baby changes and you progress or experience, she can help you on to the next step.

2: maintain/boost supply. Since you EP, this shouldn't be a big problem but if you need to supplement with formula, you may need a boost to ensure lots of milk to entice baby to the breast. For instance, I was starting to fall about a bottle short each day and my LC put me on short term to help me meet DD's needs and ensure there was lots of milk available.

3: make it easy and familiar. For us that meant giving bottles slower and in a breastfeeding position and using a nipple shield to make the breast feel more like the bottle. I also hand expressed a few drops onto or into the nipple shield to give her an instant reward for putting it into her mouth. Expressing also meant that I was close to letdown so she would get a faster reward. If you haven't already, get an LC to show you how to put them on; there is a trick to it. You also may be able to see it on you tube if the LC isn't an option.

4: keep it low pressure. I never pushed it. I offered a few times a day ALWAYS with a bottle nearby and would try for a minute at most to get her latched. If she started fussing after just five seconds, I ended it and offered the bottle. There were many times when she wasn't into it at first. It's hard to not take it personally but it's very important. She needs to learn something new and it's crucial that she feels no tension or pressure from you.

5: timing. For the transition I found it crucial that I offered when she wasn't hungry. Some people have success right after a feed or halfway through it. I found that an hour after a feeding worked the best for us. She wasn't very hungry yet but also wasn't very full anymore but was willing to have a suck. Some people also have great luck with a drowsy baby. For us sleepy nursing came later.

Ok that's the gist of it. I hope maybe I had a tip or two you haven't tried yet. It took us a few weeks of intense work to make the transition. I wish you good luck. Let me know if I can help :-)
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#8 of 18 Old 08-19-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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Forgot to add: for nipple shields, make sure you get the largest size medela one. Other brands are too thick and don't work well.
Also, an SNS (supplemental nursing system) may be helpful to feed baby expressed milk while latched on to the breast. The instant reward can coax a baby onto the breast more easily.

I apologize if you've tried all I have to offer. Keep trying, you never know when baby might surprise you.
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#9 of 18 Old 08-23-2012, 01:59 PM
 
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My twins started nursing around 8 weeks old.  I tried and tried in the begining but they would not latch and stay on ( I also had low supply) and my midwife suggested pumping to take the pressure off trying to teach them the nurse and also to cancel out the idea that my boobs did not have milk.  After getting my supply up, I casually offered it one day and the little buggers latched right on like they had been doing it all along. 

 

There is hope, hang on.  I thought I would pump forever but now it seems like such a short time.  We are still nursing at 14 months old!

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#10 of 18 Old 08-23-2012, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Sky!  Your tips are so helpful :-)  Some of those things I've done and some I have not.  You inspire me :-)  I will keep you posted on my progress.  I'm just really nervous about the fact that my DD  is 4 months already.  I've heard that may be too old to get it.  I hold out hope though even when it seems impossible.  I will post how its going.

 

Thank you everyone for keeping me hopeful.  I had such a down day yesterday-- I actually cried myself to sleep.  I just can't believe I've been helping others for years, taken so many trainings, spent so much time encouraging and helping others-- its so ironic and so heartbreaking.  Nursing is so important to me.  And now my whole life I feel is coming into question.  Feel lost.  So, thanks everyone this thread give me hope.


Me = Healer, yogini, lactivist, step-mom, and wife to my dream come true joy.gif So grateful-- baby #1 April 2012

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#11 of 18 Old 08-25-2012, 08:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skycheattraffic View Post

 I started pumping. One nurse, when she heard I planned to pump said I'd last two weeks. I didn't appreciate that at all.

I totally understand your annoyance. EP'ing IS very challenging but it can be done. I EP'ed for my second child for 13 months and he never had a drop of formula after we left the hospital. He did not latch either and the hospital was very "breastfeeding unfriendly". My first child did not latch either (we found out later due to an anatomical problem) - same hospital, and I lost most of my milk supply due to lack of support and poor information about pumping. Sometimes I think women are lucky to get out of the hospital breastfeeding at all!!!

 

To those waiting for babies to latch - I've heard from mothers in my local LLL group that lying down skin-to-skin and trying to latch in that relaxing setting is sometimes helpful - also, trying to latch when baby is drowsy.

 

Good luck to all...

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#12 of 18 Old 08-25-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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We had to use an sns for two months, then we kept using our nipple shield until four months. I had been advised to try nursing w/out the shield at each session. I couldn't handle the rejection so I didn't try and at four months I saw his latch on the shield was really strong, I took it off and he was a real nursing champ... You can do it!

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#13 of 18 Old 08-25-2012, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikandgregsmom View Post

I totally understand your annoyance. EP'ing IS very challenging but it can be done. I EP'ed for my second child for 13 months and he never had a drop of formula after we left the hospital. He did not latch either and the hospital was very "breastfeeding unfriendly". My first child did not latch either (we found out later due to an anatomical problem) - same hospital, and I lost most of my milk supply due to lack of support and poor information about pumping. Sometimes I think women are lucky to get out of the hospital breastfeeding at all!!!

To those waiting for babies to latch - I've heard from mothers in my local LLL group that lying down skin-to-skin and trying to latch in that relaxing setting is sometimes helpful - also, trying to latch when baby is drowsy.

Good luck to all...

See I delivered at a breastfeeding friendly hospital with a breastfeeding clinic right on the maternity floor. The LC there was good but most nurses were clueless about how to help. When I buzzed for help with latching (as I was instructed to do) I got a nurse grabbing my breast without warning or permission, grabbing the crying baby and squishing them together. Thanks, that was very helpful and baby just went from mildly unhappy to completely freaked out. eyesroll.gif I could have done that if I thought smushing baby into breast would accomplish anything.
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#14 of 18 Old 08-30-2012, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by skycheattraffic View Post


See I delivered at a breastfeeding friendly hospital with a breastfeeding clinic right on the maternity floor. The LC there was good but most nurses were clueless about how to help. When I buzzed for help with latching (as I was instructed to do) I got a nurse grabbing my breast without warning or permission, grabbing the crying baby and squishing them together. Thanks, that was very helpful and baby just went from mildly unhappy to completely freaked out. eyesroll.gif I could have done that if I thought smushing baby into breast would accomplish anything.

 

Seriously..........

I was grateful if I even got someone to try smushing.......mostly what happened was each nurse on the new shift sat at my bedside for a few minutes watching my baby(ies) not latch and told me to "keep trying" and to "call if I needed help". Then they left..... Hello.......I AM trying and I DO need help right now.....at this point one would occasionally smush to no avail. Each time I left the hospital with reassurances that they would do fine with a bottle. Thanks a bunch......

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#15 of 18 Old 09-01-2012, 08:59 PM
 
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My first baby never latched but I did not have as much support. I pumped forever. This time I insisted on getting help and I found an amazing Doctor/LC. She encouraged me and suggested the baby led latch.

https://breastfeedingusa.org/content/article/baby-led-latch-how-awaken-your-babys-breastfeeding-instincts

.

This worked for us. After a couple of weeks my baby finally started to nurse. We also used a long bottle nipple that would go fairly far into her mouth. My doctor also said she had patients who's babies latched as late as 6 months.

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#16 of 18 Old 09-04-2012, 04:56 PM
 
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Wow! Just posted a question on this forum and then saw this post. Below are some more details on my situation. My baby ( at three months) after not being able to latch despite offering the breast every day, decided over the weekend he wanted to breastfeed. He latched perfectly, no screaming or fussiness. So far, we have been almost three days nursing. Of course, I am petrified that he will "quit" and go back to the bottle. I now know he can latch, which is comforting. I am HOPING that we can continue this momentum, but only time will tell :) 

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1362426/very-unusual-nursing-situation-need-help

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#17 of 18 Old 09-06-2012, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nafta~ Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I hope your baby continues to nurse well :-)  I'm still in the same boat-- not even close yet.  So depressing.  I love reading these stories though, it gives me hope


Me = Healer, yogini, lactivist, step-mom, and wife to my dream come true joy.gif So grateful-- baby #1 April 2012

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#18 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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My cousin was a very, very determined mama and had very good support. She never gave up trying to latch although baby was bottle fed and she EP'd. He latched correctly at four months for the first time!!! and they never used another bottle There was never a clear reason why.

 

My sister's third baby was a bit of a premie and wasn't strong enough to latch. My sister pumped and fed her by syringe for the first two or three weeks so she never had a bottle. When she got stronger she was able to latch easily and my sister thinks the syringe feeding made all the difference.

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