Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Improving shallow latch?

  1. #1

    Default Improving shallow latch?

    Our new baby, Nolan, is almost two weeks old and has quite a shallow latch. He seems to suck in his bottom lip after latching on which makes him not get enough of the areola to be comfortable for the duration of the nursing session for me. Are there any tricks/techniques to fixing this? I'm not so thrilled with the sore nipples I still have as a result of his little habit...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,944

    Default Re: Improving shallow latch?

    When the baby sucks in a lip, the thing that most moms do is to gently reach in and flip out the tucked-in lip. If that doesn't work, let us know- there may be another way to attack the problem.

    (PS: Your screen name makes me wonder if you're in North Dakota. True? If so, cool- love your state!)
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Improving shallow latch?

    I am in ND! It's not so great today though--had 10" of snow and a blizzard yesterday. But we do love it here, despite the winters! Are you in/from the area?

    I do try to flip out his lower lip while nursing, but his suck is so darn strong that it's almost impossible. Plus that just seems to make him stop sucking and pinch his gums or purse his lips together, which makes his latch even smaller, kwim? i've tried pulling down gently on his lower jaw too, but he just stops, waits til I'm done and then resumes his shallow sucking. I'm starting to wonder if he's a bit tongue tied? Not sure how to check for that though.

    Thanks for your help! I nursed my daughter for a year successfully and loved every second, so I want to make sure this is as great an experience.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Northern BC, Canada
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Improving shallow latch?

    I might get shot for this one, but have you thought about using a shield? It would protect you while LO learns how to nurse. You wouldn't want to stop nursing just because LO has destroyed your nipples. This is just my opinion.
    July 30, 2010-6lbs 2oz- 41w 4d (emergency c-section.) Known dairy, eggs, dogs and cats allergies, eczema, and asthma
    Bonus June 22, 2006 (is 50/50 Custody ) (born 32w) Sensitive to changing temps.
    We BF, BW, Co-sleep and use cloth diapers/pull-ups!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,944

    Default Re: Improving shallow latch?

    Okay, if the lip-flip doesn't work, maybe there's something else going on. Tongue-tie is a possibility, and something to see your pediatrician about. I'm equally curious about the possibility that your baby is adjusting his latch due to a strong letdown of milk. Clamping down on the nipple is a great way to control the flow. Does the baby ever choke, gag, cough, splutter, or make a clicking sound at the breast? If he unlatches, do you ever see milk squirt or stream from the breast? And when he's done nursing, what is your nipple shaped like- is it elongated and symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or elongated and asymmetrical, like a new lipstick?

    Hope you're having a nice warm day today. ND winters make me happy to live in PA, and only visit ND during the lovely summer months. My husband and I spent a couple of weeks doing fieldwork out in Slope County. It was awesome!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6

    Default Re: Improving shallow latch?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*codepink View Post
    I might get shot for this one, but have you thought about using a shield? It would protect you while LO learns how to nurse. You wouldn't want to stop nursing just because LO has destroyed your nipples. This is just my opinion.
    I do have a shield, and have tried it just once so far--but it didn't seem like he was getting much that way. I will say it didn't hurt when I had it on, but when I took it off it was the same pinching sort of feeling. I'm open to trying it again though, if it will help re-train him somehow...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Okay, if the lip-flip doesn't work, maybe there's something else going on. Tongue-tie is a possibility, and something to see your pediatrician about. I'm equally curious about the possibility that your baby is adjusting his latch due to a strong letdown of milk. Clamping down on the nipple is a great way to control the flow. Does the baby ever choke, gag, cough, splutter, or make a clicking sound at the breast? If he unlatches, do you ever see milk squirt or stream from the breast? And when he's done nursing, what is your nipple shaped like- is it elongated and symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or elongated and asymmetrical, like a new lipstick?

    Hope you're having a nice warm day today. ND winters make me happy to live in PA, and only visit ND during the lovely summer months. My husband and I spent a couple of weeks doing fieldwork out in Slope County. It was awesome!
    I wonder about the letdown too, but figured if that were the case, halfway through the feeding when I relatch him it would be better--? Unless he's just learned that this is the way to suck and he thinks it's this or nothing. No clicking sound really, and I haven't squirted him in the eye or anything yet (I remember doing that to Meredith!) so I don't think I have an oversupply issue...

    Naturally we were in to the pediatrician on Monday and I completely spaced out asking about any tongue tie. I could call the L&D unit and see if I could bring him in for a LC to take a look, I suppose. Thing is, it's not horrible, so I don't know if it's somethign that will just correct itself or if I need some sort of intervention...! I'm not going to give up nursing, no matter what though; I can suffer through a little nipple soreness if need be. Just seems like it doesn't need to be!

    Oh, forgot to say, my nipple does have the new lipstick shape when he's done, which I know is a sign something isn't quite right with the latch.

    And Slope County--the Badlands area, right? That's beautiful scenery. My dad and a friend of his go camping in Teddy Roosevelt Nat'l Park frequently (and just went this weekend in 20 degree weather, sleeping in tents if you can believe that...crazy!). We are in Minot.
    Momma in the frozen tundra to Meredith (7-31-08) and Baby Nolan (3-10-11

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Northern BC, Canada
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Improving shallow latch?

    I don't know if it will help to retrain him but I know that it saved my nursing relationship with my LO. I had flat nipples and it took three months of nursing with a shield (the whole time) to get my body ready. I just thought of it in your case because you can practice rolling his bottom lip out without it hurting you. Once you get used to it with the sheild and have established a good relationship you could attempt without. I had way more success at night, because my LO will nurse in her sleep and just not notice there was no shield.
    July 30, 2010-6lbs 2oz- 41w 4d (emergency c-section.) Known dairy, eggs, dogs and cats allergies, eczema, and asthma
    Bonus June 22, 2006 (is 50/50 Custody ) (born 32w) Sensitive to changing temps.
    We BF, BW, Co-sleep and use cloth diapers/pull-ups!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,944

    Default Re: Improving shallow latch?

    I think that calling the L&D LC is a great idea. Your local LLL, too, if there is one in Minot. What you describe doesn't really scream oversupply- there's no clicking, no gagging, no squirting. The baby may have learned to adjust his latch so completely that letdown speed is not an issue for him, but if so you really want a professional to take a look and help you find ways to combat the letdown so that the baby doesn't have to clamp down. And if oversupply isn't the issue, then there's something going on that would likely benefit from the hands-on approach!

    Lipstick nipples are generally a sign of a latch that is too shallow. This can happen intentionally, when the baby learns that compressing the nipple slows the flow of milk, or unintentionally. When it happens unintentionally, the issue is often that the baby has something going on with his mouth that prevents him from using a deeper latch. He could have a tongue tie, or just a small mouth or high palate or short tongue. Again, all things that can benefit from someone taking a professional look. If the issue is a shallow latch due to a tongue-tie or small mouth, the technique described in this link may help: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/NippleSandwich.htm

    Just a word of caution about shields- they can reduce/slow milk transfer. If the baby already has a latching difficulty, a reduction in milk transfer can culminate in reduced supply. This is why it's generally recommended that shield be used w/ guidance from a LC.

    Obviously not everyone has the same experience with shields! But enough people have negative shield experiences that I think it pays to be careful.

    And Slope County--the Badlands area, right? That's beautiful scenery. My dad and a friend of his go camping in Teddy Roosevelt Nat'l Park frequently (and just went this weekend in 20 degree weather, sleeping in tents if you can believe that...crazy!). We are in Minot.
    Slope Co. is badlands, cows, friendly people, fossils, oil drilling, and the Little Missouri River. It's a beautiful place except for the oil drilling- but if it weren't for the oil I don't know that there'd be but a handful of people living out there. Man, this is all making me so sappy and nostalgic!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Improving shallow latch?

    Alas, we have no LLL in Minot anymore. There used to be one, but it disbanded about the time my daughter was born. There is a severe lack of BFing support people in this town--the hospital included, unfortunately--which is sort of a personal crusade for me. I actually give quite a bit of hands-on help to friends/family with newborns myself, just because I am so passionate about BFing! Of course, now I'm the one with a pesky nursing problem!

    I will give the L&D unit a call this week and see what advice they have to offer. I tried to get a good look at Nolan's tongue when he was yawning earlier today, and not being an expert on what a tongue tie looks like, I have no idea if he has it or not. He does have a rather small mouth, and it almost looks like he has a bit of a short tongue, but it's hard to tell with my untrained eye.

    Is finger suck training him something I should consider? I've read about that in my limited Google researching on shallow latch...

    And mommal--have you ever been to Medora, the musical, etc? It's a fun little tourist trap if you haven't ever been--next time you make the trip, check it out! And you're right about the oil; it's really taken off a bit north of there in the Williston area (the Bakken Formation) and out towards Minot, which is a blessing and a curse. Brings in a bit of an interesting crowd, causing a massive housing shortage, overcrowding schools...but it sure brings in revenue!

    Oh, and the friendly people--pretty much the only thing that makes up for the crummy, endless winters we suffer through!
    Momma in the frozen tundra to Meredith (7-31-08) and Baby Nolan (3-10-11

  10. #10

    Default Re: Improving shallow latch?

    Forgot to say that baby is gaining weight beautifully, so at least I know he's getting what he needs. He came home on March 12th at 7#2ozs and at his first pediatrician appointment on March 21st, he was 8#4ozs and had grown an inch.

    So that's something at least...right??
    Momma in the frozen tundra to Meredith (7-31-08) and Baby Nolan (3-10-11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •