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Thread: Shallow Latch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    13

    Default Shallow Latch

    I've posted several times here trying to figure out my sore nipple problem so I apologize for seeming all over the board with my questions!!

    Quick background - LO tongue tied, clipped at 4 weeks following bleeding cracking nipples. Nursed well for about 1 week, then for previous 3 weeks slurping at nipple.

    After carefully watching LO nurse lately I am fairly certain that my nipples are sore due to a shallow latch and I can't seem to consistently correct it! Every once and awhile I get that deep latch and am so excited but can't get it again. I've tried the nipple sandwich link. Any other suggestions? Does a nipple shield help teach baby to latch?

    I'm not sure if I have OALD but with my other children there was definitely alot of gulping, slurping and choking and they were typically able to finish nursing in about 5 minutes on one side. This one nurses much longer with less of the choking.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,360

    Default Re: Shallow Latch

    If you're not seeing fast nursing times and choking, then I doubt that OALD is the issue. I'm thinking that the baby must just still be too small to routinely achieve a good latch, or that the tongue tie wasn't completely severed... Either way, time should help fix the problem, and I know it's cruel to tell a sore mama "just wait, it will get better" because it's not my nipple that is going to get chomped, but I really do think that time fixes most latch issues.

    A nipple shield does not really teach a baby to latch. If the baby will suck on the breast, he's latching and the only issue is the quality of his latch. A nipple shield can reduce pain, but it can also lead to slower milk transfer and reduced supply, particularly if the latch is already shallow. It doesn't generally improve the latch at all. It just makes it possible to wait the pain out. I personally would use one only if nursing was unbearable or if I had guidance from a LC.

    Hang in there, mama!
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Shallow Latch

    From a user of a nipple shield, no it does not help deepen the latch ... When we try to not use the shield his latch is usually pretty shallow.

    (LO will usually latch without a problem at least at first, except with pp I can't seem to consistently get a good latch, though once in a while I get that aha! Moment. But I'm wondering if I'm more dependent on the shield than LO. Should I try for a good latch but settle for a shallow if that's all we get? Or let time pass using the shield until his mouth is more ready? Does it matter since he's healthy? Being told soreness is no good I think I am a chicken any time I start to feel uncomfortable, thinking it must be my fault). Sorry to Partially hijack but I am trying to understand getting thru shallow better & perhaps it could help original poster & other readers?)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    13

    Default Re: Shallow Latch

    Question to mommal - do you unlatch and try to relatch with the shallow latch or just let LO nurse? I'm wondering if the unlatch/relatch is what is causing some of my soreness.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Shallow Latch

    Are you having any success getting a deeper latch? I am having the same issue. Baby was tongue tied, got it fixed and he's still not latching correctly because I am in serious pain still and physical damage to the nipples doesn't seem to be getting any better - but not any worse either. Would appreciated any helpful resources you may have found. Thanks,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    94

    Default Re: Shallow Latch

    Bump
    Mother to Seth, born 4/1/11: 5 lb. 13 oz.
    5/2/11 - 8 lb 12 oz. 6/1/11 - 11 lb 12 oz.
    7/1/11 - 14 lb *unofficial* 8/1/11 - 16 lb 3 oz
    10/3/11 - 18 lb

    Good job, growing boy!

    Weaned from a nipple shield in late July!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Shallow Latch

    My baby likes to not latch on properly as well. I've found that letting him nurse with an improper latch hurts for longer (like still hurting the next day) than unlatching and trying again. I try twice for a good latch, then he usually gets upset, so I'll try soothing him and trying again, sometimes on the other breast. If he doesn't get a good latch by then, I go to the nipple shield in order to avoid both our frustration. He's been getting better, but we're still occasionally using the shield at night.

    Another tip someone on here mentioned, was if baby has a pretty good but not perfect latch, you can try to use your finger to pull his jaw down to get more tissue in his mouth, and make sure his lip is flanged out (and gently pull down on the chin on his skin to flip his lip out if it's not). You have to do this pretty soon after baby is latched on though, otherwise he won't move.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,360

    Default Re: Shallow Latch

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*baseballmom View Post
    Question to mommal - do you unlatch and try to relatch with the shallow latch or just let LO nurse? I'm wondering if the unlatch/relatch is what is causing some of my soreness.
    this is a tough one. If you can usually get a better latch when you relatch then yes. But sometimes you can't. I mean, with my first I could have relatched her all day long and still not gotten a perfect latch. Her mouth just wasn't big enough and my nips were too short/flat.
    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!"

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