Why won't he latch? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is driving me crazy. My milk is definitely in now, it's leaking from at least one breast.

 

Jasper has latched successfully about three times since Friday. Each time he got in a good 45 minute session. He has had plenty of diapers (6 yesterday, I think, but fewer today). He is alert. So that's the good news. The bad news is outside of those three or four times, he seems to forget everything he knows about latching. He knows the nipple is there, he can find it, he can open his mouth, he hasn't got a tongue tie, he can get his mouth on it, he licks it and mouths around it, but he either can't or won't latch. And then he *very quickly* gets very frustrated and starts screaming and turns bright red, arching his back, etc.

 

He was born Friday at 9lbs 3oz. My midwife has been over every day since then. She weighed him this morning and he is down to 8lbs 4 oz. She is not being alarmist about it, but definitely says we don't want him to lose any more. His skin is looking a little dry and wrinkled. Late Saturday I started expressing colostrum and spoon feeding it to him, probably about a teaspoon at a time. I have no problem at all expressing, there's PLENTY there for him (and like I said, I'm pretty sure it's milk leaking out of at least one breast now, they feel heavy and full). I've been expressing and spoonfeeding on a pretty regular basis, every one to three hours. I've kept trying to latch him on, too, but he just gets so angry and out of sorts. I have a pump, too, but my midwife says to stick with hand expressing for now.

 

She thinks he may need a craniosacral adjustment so we are taking him in for that in an hour.

 

She gave me the number for La Leche League, because the IBCLC she usually works with is full up right now with some moms with NICU babies. I called, and got numbers for the two LCs in my area, and called both of them. One number went to a voicemail with no message on it (I left a message anyway), the other just rang and rang.

 

I don't know what to do. On the one hand, my midwife doesn't seem terribly alarmed. But I'm mostly doing this craniosacral thing because I'm just willing to try whatever, not because I have a huge amount of faith in it. I think I need an LC but I can't find one and it's a holiday week. I'm afraid the closer it gets to Christmas the less likely I am to get one, and surely at some point here my midwife is going to tell me I can't keep letting him lose weight?

 

Any advice?

 


mama to jasper (12-17-10) and theodora (11-13-12)

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#2 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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Even though your MW said that the IBCLC she works with is busy, did you try calling her/him, perhaps they could squeeze you in, or at least a phone appointment.  Did the MW say that he is not tongue tied?  Perhaps trying different positions to breastfeed will help like the football hold.  I have heard great success stories with craniosacral therapy so I will keep my fingers crossed for you both.  What about LLL in the area, perhaps they have a reference for you.

 

It sounds like once he gets that latch going you two will doing very well.  Thinking of you.

 


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#3 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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sorry pregnant overdue brain...you said you contacted the LLL in your area 


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#4 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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he may be getting frustrated with you're let down. have you tried pumping a little before you nurse him?


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#5 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

he may be getting frustrated with you're let down. have you tried pumping a little before you nurse him?



truedat.gif

 

I've known this to help with several mamas lately with strong letdowns...babe gets overwhelmed! Hand expressing/pumping a bit might be very helpful. 


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#6 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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Definately seek out LLL and IBCLC.   You are doing everything right, hang in there!!  I had problems getting my 1st baby to latch and it is sooooo frustrating!  I ended up using a nipple shield for about a week and then we were able to wean off of it.  I hope you are able to find someone that can help you.  I do think you should pump if he's not latching because your milk supply will not be well established but hand expressing alone.  Also, try nursing after spoon feeding him and when he's sleepy, he will be less likely to resist.  This sounds really similar to my DD, she just wouldn't latch it was so completely frustrating!!  I hope you get in touch with and are able to meet someone tomorrow.   Another thing to try is to look for a pediatric chiropractor.  I hope things correct themselves quickly and you go on to have a glorious nursing relationship!!!  Our start was very difficult and then we battled yeast for months but we nursed for 4 years and I've never regretted how hard I worked to get it going.  Keep at it, give yourself permission to be frustrated, disappointed, angry, etc and then keep going.  Many good thoughts for you!!

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#7 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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Can you call the local hositals to see if you can meet or at the very least speak with an LC over the phone? 

 

You two will get the hang on things!  Hang in there, mama!


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#8 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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Wow, how completely frustrating and scary. I had so many problems with my son's latch, and I was terrified he wouldn't get it and I'd end up having to formula feed, argh. Anyway, will he suck your finger? If he will, try letting him suck for a little bit and then kind of working your nipple in. Sometimes my son seemed to forget what to do with the nipple (I had to use a nipple shield, too) but sucking on a finger, and later, a pacifier, would "remind" him.

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#9 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 10:32 PM
 
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i had a licker too for the first few days. the milk would be DRIPPING into his mouth and he'd just lick and slurp and not latch. i worried he was too sleepy. (we'd have to do full infant puppet shows with his little body to wake him up to nurse in the first place). i worried his mouth wasn't big enough! my milk came in quickly and then i worried i was too engorged for him to take enough of my nipple in. 

 

pumping before feeding helped a lot. hand expressing helped my comfort but pumping off 1-3 ounces is really what gave him enough room to latch on. (it also gave me a stash!) mine was born friday night at 9 lbs 3 as well, and by monday night the pediatrician said he'd lost nearly a pound as well. (this was on her admittedly different-than-the-hospital home visit scale, so she wasn't alarmist either, but still.) 

 

she said we had to, had to, had to wake him every 2-3 hours to feed, even though he would rather sleep. maybe allow him 4-5 hours at night. she said pump off enough to give him room to latch. we did this and the following monday he was back to birth weight, my breasts were no longer as hard as melons, and things were progressing nicely. 

 

keep calling until you find someone who can see you or counsel you over the phone. 

 

you can do it! and so can he! 

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#10 of 16 Old 12-20-2010, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone, so much. It is so great to have this community. I've been crying all night. This is just so frustrating, and now painful too, since my milk is in but not going anywhere! I pulled out the pump for the first time and got two ounces in short order. We have all this family here in the house and *everyone* is giving me "advice" and that is driving me totally nuts as well. I really hope I can find an LC tomorrow, I got two more numbers I'm going to try.


mama to jasper (12-17-10) and theodora (11-13-12)

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#11 of 16 Old 12-21-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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oh mamma, I've so been there...

If in your shoes I'd continue pumping off before you nurse him and once you give him a little by spoon, try nursing again..it was my only saving grace with dd once my milk came in and she couldn't latch. That and nipple shields were necessary until she figured it out.  And keep calling around for someone who can help you out...

 

Try as best you can to ignore all the advice from well meaning family members....even though some of it may be great, it's hard to know who to listen to when everyone has an opinion that may or may not be reasonable. 

 

hang in there...you are doing everything so right. 

 

blessings for a beautiful nursing relationship (regardless of this rocky start)... 

 


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#12 of 16 Old 12-21-2010, 06:10 AM
 
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If at all possible, kick people out!  Having guests around can be so overwhelming and overstimulating and stressful!!  Try to get everyone (except your husband and someone that will help cook and clean) to leave and give you a couple of days to work on this in peace.  Many good thoughts for you!!!

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#13 of 16 Old 12-21-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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Mine wouldn't latch the first day at all and then only sporadically for the next few days.  It was horrible because I had *so* much milk I could pump 6 oz a sitting. 

 

This is what worked for us:

 

I'd stimulate let down before I put him on.  Mine hated the milk flowing so fast.

If the breast is firm I'd express off enough to soften the nipple.

'Sandwiching' the breast.  I don't have flat nipples by any means but he seems to prefer the breast sandwiched for the first minute or two.

Trying different positions.  I have to use versions of the 'saddle hold' occasionally.

Cold packs & Ibuprofen!  The cold packs were great for the pain and the ibuprofen helped a lot with the swelling.

 

I hope things get better for you.


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#14 of 16 Old 12-21-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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DDDC. I'm so sorry! I went through something very similar with my last baby. My suggestion is to start pumping in earnest and then, feed the baby with a cup or spoon or whatever, but don't let your milk dry up! Mine started to dry up so quickly and by the time we got pumping seriously, my supply was so small I had to supplement with formula for two days.  I had two lactation consultants and two mws try to help, but nothing did. We later found out that he had a clavicle break at birth that went undiagnosed and he was in pain and unable to latch.  He didn't nurse without effort until he was 4 wks old (when the clavicle was healed).  It was SO hard.  But please, get pumping, whatever happens.  And best of luck!


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#15 of 16 Old 12-22-2010, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Again, thank you all so much. Your responses have been so encouraging. Especially because I've been really disappointed to not have received a call back from any of the *four* LLL LCs I've called! (I know, holidays, but still...).

 

My midwife suggested we go ahead and get a nipple shield, even though it's obviously not ideal. She told me her daughter had latching problems for a full two weeks and the shield was the only thing that got her through, and she was able to wean off it eventually and had a great 1.5 yrs of nursing afterward. So we got one yesterday, and sure enough, it must be made of unicorn dust or something! I put it on my left nipple (which he had NEVER latched on, not even once) and he popped right on without a moment's hesitation and started sucking ferociously. My pump (Medela Pump in Style Advanced) also arrived in the mail from my SIL right in time, because my breasts were almost to the rock hard stage. I can easily pump 3 oz from each side every couple of hours, it's crazy how much there is!

 

My midwife left us her newborn scale so we could keep weighing Jaz, and he was back up to his birth weight yesterday. (Amazing, as a side note, how quickly they can gain and lose weight!). So thank the gods, I think we are on an upward trajectory, and now I just have to work the details out. My nipples are *really* sore and tender, though, which I know is normal but I'm thinking his latch also isn't perfect. So I'm still hoping LLL will get back to me one of these days...

 

So I'm basically working on offering him the breast every 2-3 hrs, and if he isn't interested (sometimes he just doesn't seem hungry, he'll latch for 2-3 min and just pop off contentedly) then I pull out the pump. I'm not really sure how long to pump for? I usually stop around the 2-3 oz mark since my breast seems to feel softer at that point ...there is so much guesswork in this breastfeeding thing!


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#16 of 16 Old 12-23-2010, 05:20 AM
 
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i cant believe they havent called you! im pissed.

 

At least he's getting adequate milk from the breast and don't worry you're milk will settle out around 6weeks, then you will be worrying there isn't enough b/c you had so much before! lol that's what happened to me anyway.

 

I think you have to do whatever you need to right now and worry about the rest later. people successfully wean nipple shields all the time.

 

joy.gif I am so happy for you. be strong mama.


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