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Thread: 2 Frustrating latching problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Question 2 Frustrating latching problems

    Hi all, any help you have would be great! I am haveing two frustrating latching problems with my little girl.

    [Background: I’m a first time mom trying… Samantha is now 1 month old but did not begin nursing until recently. We were cup feeding until she was 2 weeks but she kept loosing weight and her doc insisted that we use a bottle. I was upset because I had been trying every single feeding to get her to BF and I worried the bottle would ruined my chances of ever having her BF. A week after being on the bottle she began to BF! She defecates about 8 times a day and urinates about 13 times per day.]

    [B]Problem 1:[/B] My daughter keeps trying to include her hand (or more specifically the mitt on her shirt sleeve) in the latch. I struggle to hold her hands away while trying to latch her but she tries to sneak the hand up there while feeding as if to hold the breast. She then begins pushing her hand on the latch and somehow slips the sleeve into the latch without ever breaking the suction. I have tried to let her continue to nurse like this twice now thinking to my self “At least she is nursing now.” My nipple is supersensitive to her shirt sleeves to the point that if she touches it I jump in pain.

    Problem 2:
    While nursing she will decide that she sees or hears something on the other side of the room (this is my guess of what she is doing). While still latched she will quickly try to turn her head or pull back taking my nipple with her. She is only a month old but has a very strong jaw and sucking power. I can only imagine this will get much worse as she gains even more control of her head. I try to hold her head still but I am afraid to hold it too tight because her skull is so soft and fragile. I have tried nursing in the closet to rule out any possible distractions but she still did it.

    I am mostly using the cross cradle and football hold. I can't seem to firure out the laying down one yet. Now that I finally have her nursing I do not want her to stop but it is frustrating and quite painful. Thanks in advance for any wisdom you have to share.
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: 2 Frustrating latching problems

    Congratulations on getting your perserverance and getting your lo to the breast! Concerning your first problem, the best I can probably do is offer the assurance that it won't last long--she'll grow out of it. DS always had his hands up to his mouth when I was trying to get him latched on and it took three hands to get it accomplished. Here's what eventually worked for me. I would get him latched using cross cradle, then switch to cradle holding his bottom hand/arm between my arm and body. I could then use my free top hand to hold his top hand. This took some time and work, and was easier after this arms relaxed some as he got older and I could get him latched on in the cradle hold.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2 Frustrating latching problems

    Hi there!
    Congratulations on getting your baby to the breast. It sounds like she's definitely getting plenty to eat
    My daughter keeps trying to include her hand (or more specifically the mitt on her shirt sleeve) in the latch. I struggle to hold her hands away while trying to latch her but she tries to sneak the hand up there while feeding as if to hold the breast. She then begins pushing her hand on the latch and somehow slips the sleeve into the latch without ever breaking the suction. I have tried to let her continue to nurse like this twice now thinking to my self “At least she is nursing now.” My nipple is supersensitive to her shirt sleeves to the point that if she touches it I jump in pain.
    If I'm understanding you correctly, she likes to touch the breast while nursing and the sleeve gets "sucked in"? Have you tried just taking her shirt off or pushing the sleeve up? Baby's touching the breast is actually a GOOD thing--it aids in the let-down. Some babies will even knead, like puppies or kittens will
    While nursing she will decide that she sees or hears something on the other side of the room (this is my guess of what she is doing). While still latched she will quickly try to turn her head or pull back taking my nipple with her. She is only a month old but has a very strong jaw and sucking power. I can only imagine this will get much worse as she gains even more control of her head. I try to hold her head still but I am afraid to hold it too tight because her skull is so soft and fragile. I have tried nursing in the closet to rule out any possible distractions but she still did it.
    Hmm, this doesn't sound like distraction to me since she'll still do it in a dark closet. Plus, one month is still a bit young for that. Is it possible that you're touching the back of her neck or her upper back while you're holding her? Babies have a reflex that makes them arch their back if stroked in this area, and some babies are very sensitive to it. When you're holding her to nurse, hold the back of her head and try to avoid touching her neck and see if that solves the problem.

    HTH!
    Jen
    Last edited by LLL LactoJen; October 27th, 2006 at 09:04 PM. Reason: Grammar :D
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: 2 Frustrating latching problems

    I would try swaddling her while nursing. If you start with her swaddled and she relaxes and is nursing well you can loosen the blanket otherwise just keep her swaddled. I find that sometimes I need 4 hands to get my LO to nurse and swaddling has helped us tremendously at times!

    GL!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: 2 Frustrating latching problems

    Thanks to each of you for the reply. This is helping.

    The swaddling worked and I unswaddled her after she started nursing to keep her awake. I unbutton her shirt for skin to skin contact but keep her hands covered because she tries to scratch at her face while feeding (breast or bottle).
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    33

    Smile Re: 2 Frustrating latching problems

    My first one liked to put her finger in her mouth while she nursed. I got her to stop by kissing her hands while she nursed, and then she started sticking her finger in my mouth. So, I ended up with 4 fingers in my mouth at every feeding. Ironically, I learned later that my husband always nursed with his fingers in his mom's mouth!
    My current nursling has a mouth full of teeth and when he turns his head, he takes my nipple with him, too. Talk about pain! My hubby knows that when I'm nursing, he's gotta keep the 4-year-old quiet or out of the room so there's no sudden noise.
    You should be proud of your perserverance. Correct her latches now, though, and it will be better for you both in the long run. I got stuck with a nipple shield with my first child because at first I was just happy she was nursing. I never got her off it and it led to so many different problems.
    You're doing a good job, Mom!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    109

    Wink Re: 2 Frustrating latching problems

    Quote Originally Posted by maryberan View Post
    Hi all, any help you have would be great! I am haveing two frustrating latching problems with my little girl.

    [Background: I’m a first time mom trying… Samantha is now 1 month old but did not begin nursing until recently. We were cup feeding until she was 2 weeks but she kept loosing weight and her doc insisted that we use a bottle. I was upset because I had been trying every single feeding to get her to BF and I worried the bottle would ruined my chances of ever having her BF. A week after being on the bottle she began to BF! She defecates about 8 times a day and urinates about 13 times per day.]

    [B]Problem 1:[/B] My daughter keeps trying to include her hand (or more specifically the mitt on her shirt sleeve) in the latch. I struggle to hold her hands away while trying to latch her but she tries to sneak the hand up there while feeding as if to hold the breast. She then begins pushing her hand on the latch and somehow slips the sleeve into the latch without ever breaking the suction. I have tried to let her continue to nurse like this twice now thinking to my self “At least she is nursing now.” My nipple is supersensitive to her shirt sleeves to the point that if she touches it I jump in pain.

    Problem 2:
    While nursing she will decide that she sees or hears something on the other side of the room (this is my guess of what she is doing). While still latched she will quickly try to turn her head or pull back taking my nipple with her. She is only a month old but has a very strong jaw and sucking power. I can only imagine this will get much worse as she gains even more control of her head. I try to hold her head still but I am afraid to hold it too tight because her skull is so soft and fragile. I have tried nursing in the closet to rule out any possible distractions but she still did it.

    I am mostly using the cross cradle and football hold. I can't seem to firure out the laying down one yet. Now that I finally have her nursing I do not want her to stop but it is frustrating and quite painful. Thanks in advance for any wisdom you have to share.
    In regards to problem number one, try a nursing necklace. I know someone who does an excellent job if you need a link or email address let me know. This may distract your baby. If you see her reaching for the breast, put the necklace in her hand instead or place her hand ON the necklace while it's on YOU. This should solve that issue. Worked for me. Otherwise, another thing I did when my DS did this was to hold his hand in my hand (the hand I use to hold up my boob while feeding him). I think this should solve problem number two as well. Also try talking to her while feeding or cooing or singing. This should get her attention.

    Insofar as the side lying hold while resting, try latching her on while she is in your arms and then easing both of you down onto the bed. Make sure her body is turned inward towards your chest when she is latched though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: 2 Frustrating latching problems

    I have never heard of a "nursing necklace." I just googled it and to my surprise - I received two of these from a colleague as a gift but I thought they were for my little girl for when she gets older! Ha Haa, I thought it was odd to give a gift that she would need to wait many many years to wear!
    I will try this when she wakes up to feed again.

    I saw Breastshells in the store the other day. If I wear them under my bra will they help with tenderness or sore nipples. My left one is killing me and I'm sure it is from bad latching but it is getting to the point that it hurts to nurse.
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: 2 Frustrating latching problems

    Hi. Try getting someone to help with the latch. When you are both doing it right, it stops hurting instantly. My nipples were very sore until someone showed me how to latch him on correctly & even though I was crying in pain only a few hours before, when he nursed correctly, it didn't hurt at all... his mouth was "past" that part. His latch was shallow at first, so when he went on "deeper" it didn't hurt at all.
    Good luck! (I have the same problem with my son- he uses his hands. I'll have to give that necklace a try!)

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