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Pregnant, bad latching toddler, weaning

586 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  hunnybumm
Ok I have a couple issues that I thought I would post in one message. First off I am 3 months pregnant and my DS has been self weaning for about 3 or so weeks. He went from nursing 5 - 6 times a day to 2 - 3 times a day. He is now down to 1 nursing a day, he nurses about 2 - 3 hours before we wake up for our day. If I offer it he just refuses, but everytime I see signs that he may want to nurse I offer.

Now, I think my DS has a lazy latch. I posted this a few times in the beyond infancy board, but never got a responce, so I am hoping I can get one here. EVERYTIME DS nurses he leaves teeth marks on my areola. Luckily it isn't too painful, but it is a little uncomfortable, and I feel like he isn't latched properly. I tried to fix this when he was still nursing 5 - 6 times a day but after I unlatch him 2 - 3 times he gets upset and refuses to nurse. Sooo, now that he is only nursing once a day I don't want to upset him and have him completely wean.

Any advice? I am hoping that when the colostrom (sp?) comes in he will pick up again, but I am trying not to get my hopes up just in case he is truely weaning.

*side note* if anyone feels the urge to say something alone the lines of "You are not CLW because you got pregnant" then don't even waste your time. My body decided when it was time to get pregnant, we tried for 7 months. Thanks.
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First of all, as a mama who is nursing through pregnancy for the third time (tandem nursing through pregnancy for the second time) and is dedicated to child-led / natural weaning, I would never make a comment as you mentioned!

As far as the latch brought up a really good point - not wanting to interfere too much and cause your child not to want to nurse. What a difficult situation to be in! One thing that worked for me was reminding my nursling that he's nursing, not drinking from a sippy cup and that he needed a big mouth for a proper latch before he latched on. (That and getting rid of sippy cups!) If he didn't latch properly, I'd "need" to adjust my postion and ask him to de-latch while I readjusted myself and then have him try again. This way it was a mommy-related issue, not a you-need-to-fix-your-latch issue. My ds also got discouraged when I asked him to try latching again.

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The only issue I have with explaining to him to relatch is that I am afraid he won't really understand what I am saying. I know they understand a lot more than we give them credit for, but he is only 18 months. Luckily, the latch issue isn't too bad, I mean it can be uncomfortable, but I am past the sore nipples part of pregnancy so it really isn't too bad. I do try and relatch once, maybe twice. I just wasn't sure if it was just something that toddlers go through, etc. And since he is nursing so little I think I will leave well enough alone. I really would hate to have his one daily nursing session distrupted.
When my toddler had latch issues, I had good luck with telling her to "open wide and say aaahhh!" prior to latching, and demonstrating a nice wide open mouth with tongue over the bottom teeth. She loves to imitate me, so would say "aaahh!" and latch on nicely. Now, she's 2 and usually latches well on her own, but if I see her coming towards me with her mouth not open wide, or bottom teeth not covered, I can just say "aaahh!" and even in her sleep she will stick her tongue out and open wide before latching.
It helped to practice this in between nursings, and at times when she wasn't exhausted or having a meltdown and being desperate to nurse.
None of my kids ever developed a "lazy latch"- I addresses latch problems early on and nothing ever became a habit (that, or I was just lucky!)

It's possible that your child is weaning, and it's also possible that he's just on a "downswing" and will pick up nursing later. Only time will tell.

I'd suggest that you ignore the latch issue for the time being. If he's still nursing when the baby (and the milk) arrives, you can address it then.
Last night, right after I posted my above message he deicided he wanted to nurse. As he was going to latch he started to close his mouth, so I just opened my mouth wide and said "ahh" he thought it was so funny, and of course copied me. But he didn't really nurse, only for a couple of seconds. I didn't even think about making sure my tongue was down over my bottom teeth, and didn't even to think about his tongue either. However, the teeth marks are only on the top of my areola, not the bottom.

Also, this morning when he nursed he did fine on the left side, but was only half awak for the right. He had a bad latch on the right side. Along with the teeth marks. I am going to try and pay more attention (in my half awake state) and see if it is just one side, or only when he is almost done nurseing, etc.

But for now I am going to just let the issue slide since, like I said, it really isn't bothering me and I don't want to ruin the one nursing session we have a day.
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