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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I had a perfect homebirth on thursday and our daughter is amazing! We are having big problems breastfeeding though
and I need some advice, tips, tricks...etc...

I am so committed to this and did so much research, reading etc...

My baby seems to have a lazy latch I think... my milk hasn't come in yet, it is still colostrum but my breasts have gotten HUGE... they are still *soft* though so my milk is still coming in.. (it has only been 3 days)...

Anyway, her sucking reflex is great (tested with my pinky) but she will NOT latch on!!
I am doing everything, different holds, different positions, squeezing colostrum out on my nipple then kind of rubbing it on her lips or just sticking my breast in her mouth with colostrum on it... basically a lot of stuff... I put her to the breast probably every 1-2 hours....

She has latched on *occasionaly* but for only about a minute at a time and that is being generous...

My midwife said at the 48 hour check up that she wasn't dehydrated at all.. she only lost 2 ounces (which is normal) and she honestly doesn't appear at all to be suffering--- she is the best baby, but she does get frustrated when we have our *sessions*...

Should I worry? What should I do? Is this normal?

I know that breastfeeding doesn't come easy to every mama or baby but I guess I was just optimistic that it would be a breeze (ha)...

My husband has been so supportive though which is a big help... he keeps telling me that a lot of women would have given up by now etc...

I DO NOT WANT TO GIVE UP!!

Help! Reassurance? Tips?

Thanks to anyone in advance!

ETA: she is not showing any signs of jaundice either... and still pooping meconium... (if that info helps)
 

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If she's not dehydrated, not jaundiced, and not losing too much weight, you have nothing to worry about.

Some babies actually can get enough milk in just a minute or two, some take half an hour each side! Latching on to your pinky doesn't mean a thing if your nipple is bigger than that, though. My oldest could latch on to a pinky no problem, but was physically unable to latch on to my breast (or even a bottle nipple) properly because of tongue-tie.

My guess would be that you just aren't real comfortable with breastfeeding yet. Try to relax. Baby will catch on to your feelings if you are nervous or anxious or if you aren't sitting in a comfortable position. So get comfy, use as many pillows and props as it takes to get baby up to the level of your nipple without having to hold her weight in your arms (just use your arms to position her, but not to support her weight). Pull baby to your breast, rather than leaning towards her. And take some deep breaths. The same relaxation techniques you used during labor help a lot with nursing, too.

ETA - have you tried the "nipple sandwich"??? That is very important at first. Hold your nipple between your thumb and fingers, like you are holding a sandwich, and sqeeze it flat so more of the areola fits into baby's mouth. The latch shouldn't be dead-center, either. Try rolling your fingers to point the nipple up at the roof of baby's mouth, so more of the lower part of your nipple is compressed by baby's lower jaw.
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/bas...resources.html
 

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Do you know any other BFing mamas in person who can come and help with your latch? If not, you need to see an Lactation Consultation. It might be a good idea to go ahead and see one even if you do have someone who can help you. Call your midwife and see if she can help you get your baby latched on. Has she had anything by mouth? If she's still peeing and pooping, then she is getting something during those little latch sessions.

Some babies have issues with latch. Are your nipples round? Do they poke out? Does your baby open her mouth wide when she's hungry?

I know how hard BFing troubles are, and perhaps some of the mamas here will have better advice for you.

Congrats on your birth!
 

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Can your midwife recommend a lactation consultant or LLL leader to help you? Is your midwife able to help you latch her at all? I'd be concerned about a baby not latching really at all on day 4 - sometimes babies get sleepier and have an even harder time at breast if they aren't getting enough calories.
A technique that have worked for me with sleepy babies, or babies who don't latch, is to keep the baby naked (except for diaper) and skin to skin with the mom all the time. Sometimes, this encourages baby to start rooting, and you are sure to not miss even the smallest cue. Be sure there aren't outside distractions, too. Sometimes everyone wants to see the new baby, and being handled by a lot of folks can cause babies to shut down and sleep right through hunger. Feel free to tell folks if necessary that you are working on feeding and aren't taking visitors yet.
Climbing into a warm tub together may help, too.
Also, making a "nipple sandwich" as a pp siad may help. Basically, you hold the breast, about 1 - 1 1/2 inches behind the nipple, with your thumb on top and 4 fingers on bottom, and compress the breast tissue firmly to make a more graspable area. Then, point the nipple at the roof of baby's mouth, and pull her on when she opens wide. Sometimes, if baby is alert but doesn't seem to know what to do, you can have baby suck on your finger, fingernail side down to the tongue, and then take your finger out and transfer baby to the sandwiched breast.
If baby is really latching that infrequently and for such short times, you may need to start getting milk into her another way. Before the milk comes in, hand expressing colostrum into a tiny container - like a medicine cup or even a small spoon, and dripping it into baby's mouth works well. A LLL leader would have a copy of the LLL tear off sheet on hand expression (or if you have a fax, I could send you one.) I'd start making it a goal to get some colostrum into her at least every 2 hours.
If your nipples are large in diameter, or flat, very occasionally using a nipple shield as a last resort will help baby latch. I'd see a lactation consultant first, though.
If your midwife can't recommend someone, any large hospital probably has some on staff and they may have a policy of seeing outpatients - or if not, they may know who's available in the community.
- I know it's scary when you feel like your baby isn't eating. Hopefully, this is just a bump in the road and you'll have it all worked out soon.
 

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I don't know about where you live, but the majority of LC's near me are not too helpfull. There seems to be a common theme of telling moms to feed the baby formula so it's not hungry & work on latch issues later - which makes them worse and leads to even more problems.... I'd recomend calling a LLL leader in your area if your midwife can't help you. Getting one on one mom support is awesome, and LLL is free, and in my experience, more helpfull & experienced. A lot of "LC" s actually only took a 40 hour course, and LLL leaders go through FAR more than that and have all breastfed at least one baby for a min of one year! Whatever you do, keep at it & don't give up!!!!!!!!!!! It;s the most rewarding relationship, even if you have a hard time at first. Here's a link to finding your local group & leaders... Good luck & congrats on the new sweet baby.

http://www.lalecheleague.org/leaderinfo.html
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AmandaBL
I don't know about where you live, but the majority of LC's near me are not too helpfull. There seems to be a common theme of telling moms to feed the baby formula so it's not hungry & work on latch issues later - which makes them worse and leads to even more problems.... I'd recomend calling a LLL leader in your area if your midwife can't help you. Getting one on one mom support is awesome, and LLL is free, and in my experience, more helpfull & experienced. A lot of "LC" s actually only took a 40 hour course, and LLL leaders go through FAR more than that and have all breastfed at least one baby for a min of one year! Whatever you do, keep at it & don't give up!!!!!!!!!!! It;s the most rewarding relationship, even if you have a hard time at first. Here's a link to finding your local group & leaders... Good luck & congrats on the new sweet baby.

http://www.lalecheleague.org/leaderinfo.html
I'm going to respectfully disagree with you on this one. It all depends on the LCs and LLL leaders in question. I received some of the absolute worst advice from LLL here in town when I was having difficulties nursing my first. Though an IBCLC is usually a much better choice than a hospital "LC" nurse, but not always, it really all just depends. You sometimes have to really search out good help. I went through three lactation consultants (two IBCLC, one LC, and that's not counting the two LLL leaders I called) before I found one who was much help to me. Experience breastfeeding a baby or two or three without any problems does not mean that woman knows anything about overcoming difficulties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone...

I dunno what to do... I have been using literally all your suggestions and it doesn't seem to be working... she does know how to latch because she has latched different times (crap, she would have to even by accident with the frequency I am trying to nurse!!!) ... I think my breasts might be overwhelming her or something, I dunno... they have gotton HUGE...

She is very alert so that is not a problem... she is acting exactly as textbook as any baby should at this age except she is not nursing well
... Maybe I am overreacting and have this idea she should be latched for 15 minutes or something... I know she is getting something because we try for about 1/2 hour every 2 hours and during that time she always latches at least a few times for a very short time... and also during all these tries to latch I am expressing colostrum and sort of shoving it in her mouth with my nipple...

She has had not artificial nipples (only my pinky to test sucking reflex and to try to get her going a bit) ...

We bought a pump today, I will probably do that...do you guys think a dropper would be better at this point than any artificial nipples? (we bought a dropper too)

MY BABY WILL BE BREASTFED DARN IT!!!! Even if I am pumping for 2 (or more) years!!!

Thanks again for all the help...

Oh, just FYI... my midwife helped me a lot at the 48 hour check up-- we worked for over an hour (just on bf'ing) and she seemed to think *I* was doing everything right and that my precious daughter was just having trouble getting the hang of it... so that is why I am kind of worried because if I were doing something wrong (and I still may be) I could fix it... but my sweet one is just doing her thing ya know?
 

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I don't have alot of time to write at this moment but just thought I would share that my second son is now 5 weeks and for the first week or two he would latch and stay on for maybe 4 minutes. Not very long but he was pooping and peeing and no jaundice so I just went with it and now he stays on longer but nothing like my first who would nurse for about 45 minutes every time he nursed!
 

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i do know that when my milk came in with my daughter, she suddenly had a really difficult time latching. I know it's different for you because she had had trouble since birth, but if your breasts are really engorged, you might try pumping for a minute or two before offering the breast to soften them up. then, you'd also be able to store the milk in the event that you do need to offer supplemental feedings.
 

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I would use a method other than an artificial nipple to get milk into her if you can. Either dropper or cup feed, or you might try "finger feeding" which is using a narrow tube held on your finger (your midwife would have to help you get a feeding tube.) Some babies who struggle with latch seem to get worse and worse at it until they get a good feeding or a two by some method which then helps them be more aggressive at getting more food.
It would be great if you could get a home visit from a good IBCLC. We're all guessing out here in cyber space! An IBCLC could hopefully also do a pre and post feed weight for you, and you could find out if she's able to move milk with those brief latches or not. I have met moms who had such good supply and letdown that even a baby who barely latched could get enough in a brief time. It would still be good to get the latch issues corrected, though, so that your supply won't wane over time. It's hard to tell you what to do without being able to do an in person assessment, because you'd hate to supplement (with pumped milk even) too much and thus make baby even less interested in latching, but on the other hand rule number one of breastfeeding problem management is "Feed the baby" so if baby isn't getting enough you need to get it into her somehow.
By day 4, most babies have started to clear their meconium and are having transitional stools which look like a middle ground between meconium and breastfed baby poop. They are usually still not having the output that they will in a few days - 6 or more wet diapers, and 4-6 or more stools a day. They are usually cueing to feed at least every 3 hours, although more frequent would be more normal, and usually appear satisfied after a feed. Cluster feeding - or times when baby seems to want to nurse constantly, or very frequently for a period of several hours is normal. Baby should look alert when awake, and lips shouldn't appear dry. Weight loss of more than 7% over birth weight is a red flag (I dont mean it's always abnormal - some normal babies lose that much - but it would raise concern in a baby who isn't latching well especially.)
Any lead on finding some in person help? And above all, follow your intuition - you can see this baby and know her better than anyone else - so if any of our suggestions sound wrong, forget 'em!
 

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DD had latch issues while we were in the hospital (among other nursing issues). The most awesome nurse though helped. She'd have me try and get her to latch. When that didn't work she had me get as much of my nipple in her mouth as possible and cup my breast with my hand in a C shape. While I held it there she would take her finger and rub it under her chin fllowing the shape up towards her ear. She'd do it kind of fast but soft so it wasn't rubbing her skin roughly. For some reason that would make DD want to swallow but in such a quick reaction time (kind of like it startled her) that she would "accidentaly" latch. It would take doing that multiple times during a session but it worked (DD now does it to herself when she's tired lol). Maybe try that.....
 

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Again, it matters what your choices are where you live, but if you can't get an ILBC, I'd stick with your midwife or LLL. (You've probably put in nearly 40 hours on your own "traning" at this point
) Of course, weigh the info they give you with common sense - I'm sure there's bad info with even the "best" sourses. Glad to hear your midwife is willing to help you - hopefully things will improve soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks so much for the info...my milk hasn't come in quite yet, and thanks to all your help and some research today... I learned that newborns only get about 1 teaspoon of colostrum per feeding (this varies of course but that is a good *average*) ! I wish I'd had known!! ... her latch is still a bit funny so I am pumping colostrum and I know she is getting at least that with the dropper! ( I am still putting her to the breast too before feeding with the dropper)

Guess that's why it is called liquid gold (among other reasons!)

Thank you all so much though!
 

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You've gotten a lot of great advice. I would also encourage you to seek "professional" help of some sort. You CAN do this & so can she. You just have to get over the hump. I went through something VERY similar with my dd. She wouldn't latch on for the first week of her life, it took 7 days for my milk to come in, etc. We did everything, saw everyone, etc. She finally just figured it out at 5:00am on her 8th day of life. We never looked back. I hope you have similar luck.
 

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Hi there! I too had a TON of problems breastfeeding but my dd is now three-months-old and it gets soooooooo much better!!! I know everyone keeps telling you that but TRUST them because it really does! I went to three lactation consultants before I found someone who solved all of our problems(incorrect latch, cracked nipples, blistered nipples, bleeding nipples, eating too little, etc...). She has been doing this for over 20 years and is amazing. Her website answers a lot of questions!!! Here it is - hope this helps! Hang in there!!!

http://www.breastbabyproducts.com/
 
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