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Thread: Freakin' out for no reason...

  1. #1
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Freakin' out for no reason...

    Okay, I am a first time mom. Been breast feeding 14 weeks, no bottles just a paci, which I think may have been a mistake, but I am not sure. Should I take it away if it contributes to a poor latch? Baby is gaining well, (9oz in 2 weeks, current weight 12lbs 3.5oz) but has a poor latch. Was recommened to me to by Dr. Newman, to take Domperidone (via email) for a poor latch. Of course I can't get Domperidone here, so that is another issue, I have started fenugreek though, but I am not sure if I need it. I have no pain when she feeds, but I understand that you can have a poor latch and no pain (I do have "lipstick nipple" instead of "pencil eraser nipple". I also understand that babies can "seem" fine with a poor latch until your milk levels out around 3-4 months at which point the poor latch doesn't support the transfer of milk and you milk levels can go down. My greatest fear is that I will have to stop breastfeeding. I have been so stressed about my percieved problem that I am making myself and my poor husband sick about it AND I have wanted to quit just from the stress--it is just not worth it. I have been in tears for days, and I feel stupid, because she IS gaining, but I dread every feed cause she gets fussy sometimes and WILL not latch well. Also, sometimes she does not seem quite content after a feed, and I just freak out that my baby is still hungry. I often feed in sidelaying, does that position make poor latch more likley? She fights me and hates it if I try to "put her on" the nipple, so I just end up letting her get on anyway she will. I don't know what I am asking for here, just wanted to put it out there. I am guess I am just afraid of getting low milk for having a poor latch and my baby crying and being hungry and there is nothing I can do about it. From what I understand, there is not too much you can do for a poor latch at this point.

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Freakin' out for no reason...

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! If she is gaining weight and the latch is painless, it really does sound like you are freaking out for no reason. Generally a latch is good as long as it feels good, provided that the baby is gaining weight. Yes, you might have lipstick nipples, but as long a you aren't in pain that's probably okay and probably something your baby will grow out of. As a baby grows and her mouth grows, her ability to latch on deeply and do so every time generally improves. So theree is absolutely no reason to think that there's nothing you can do at this point. Also, there's no reason to worry that your baby will be unable to sustain your supply in the future based on latching issues right now.

    Even if you have some awful problem which I am not picking up on from your post, there is no reason to think that you will have to stop breastfeeding. Yes, some moms end up in situations where they have to supplement or pump in addition to nursing, but I just don't know that I get that vibe from your post!

    Can you tell us more about why you suspect a problem? Aside from some lipstick nipples and fussiness, is there anything else going on?
    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
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Freakin' out for no reason...

    Thank you. I guess I feel this way, because she refused me last week, and every time I would try to latch her on, she would fuss and scream, but would take her paci. Last week, from 4:00pm to 12:00am she ate one time for 20 minutes (at 4) and then for 5 min at 6:00. Then only 10minutes during the night 2x. I emailed Dr. Newman and he thought it might be low supply from poor latch (I know, they clearly state it is EXTREMLY difficult to diagnose problems via email). I think I have gotten lazy with my latch (I though we had it down and just stopped paying attention to it) and now that I am paying attention to it, I it is not very good. I feel hopeless about her learning to latch better because I just haven't seen much positive info about getting a baby this old to relearn a good latch, also when I watch her drink, I can see that it is not very efficient, now that I know what good drinking looks like. It might be suck x 8, swallow, or just weak looking. But I do hear swallowing semi-often. I am going to go see a lac. consult. tomorrow. She said that if it came to it (my worse case scenario), that a baby this age should go from bottle to breast just fine, is that true? I can't imagine why a baby would want to go back to breast when they figure out food comes out faster from a bottle. I guess just the thought of any interference with my nursing relationship just tears me up. And as I mentioned, I have not seen anything very positive that including hearing from breastfeeding authorities that a baby will successfully relearn a good latch. Should I stop breastfeeding in side laying if I am not getting a great latch? It is my favorite way, but she doesn’t seem to be on the nipple great. Should I take her paci away? Does that reinforce a poor latch? Oops, and no, there is nothing else going on, besides me just watching her not drink efficiently.
    Last edited by @llli*Phoebe.s.mom; August 17th, 2011 at 05:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Freakin' out for no reason...

    The funny thing about a latch is that it can look bad and be good, or look good and be bad. The difference between a great latch and a poor one is really all about how it feels when the baby nurses and whether or not you're seeing normal diaper output and weight gain. Weird behavior during latch-on can have a lot of causes besides low supply. The baby may not like the speed with which the milk comes out (either too fast or too slow), she may not be hungry and is trying to let you know that, she may even be beginning to teethe (yes, it can start this early), she could have an ear infection, she could prefer a different nursing position, she could be uncomfortable from gas or reflux... This is why it's so hard to diagnose a problem over the internet, and why I am glad that you're going to see the LC. Most likely everything is totally fine! But most moms would be happy to pay the price of a consult in order to ditch the anxiety. Your LC is correct that at 14 weeks your baby should be quite able to go back and forth between breast and bottle. The danger of a baby developing bottle preference is greatest when the baby is under 4-6 weeks old, and is not yet a particularly good breastfeeder and is also not yet all that emotionally attached to the breast. Again, I don't think you're going to need to use a bottle unless you want to!

    One thing which I have to say is absolutely not true is that a baby can never relearn a good latch. That's totally false. As time goes on, most babies have their latching skills improve. (Bigger mouth, baby develops better head and body control, etc.). If you hang around here, you will see that the are lots of moms who have seen huge improvement in their babies' ability to latch- moms who have started out using nipple shields, moms who have ended up cracked and in horrible pain from poor latching, moms who started out nursing with flat or inverted nipples, moms whose babies would not nurse at all but who managed to eventually get their babies to the breast, sometimes after months of bottle-feeding!

    The suckling pattern you're observing may be totally normal. You can expect a baby's suck-swallow pattern to change over the course of the feeding, from rapid sucking with little swallowing as the baby tries to stimulate a letdown, to sucking with tons of swallowing during a letdown, to relatively shallow, weak-looking sucking with little swallowing at the end of a feeding as the baby enjoys some leisurely comfort nursing. Suck-swallow patterns are an indicator, but they don't tell the whole story about how breastfeeding is going. You want to look at weight gain and diaper output in order to get a more complete picture. If you don't mind, could you post your baby's complete weight history (birth weight, lowest weight, weight at each checkup)? We may be able to ut you more at ease if we have the whole story.
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Freakin' out for no reason...

    First, I think eating only once or twice between 4pm and 12am can be perfectly normal at this age. Are you 100% positive she isn't eating efficiently? Often around 3 months babies get more efficient at eating and change their eating habits a lot. Eating for only 5 minutes at a time isn't abnormal. And going 3-4 hours between feedings even during the day is perfectly normal too. My 5 month old baby often eats at 6pm and 3am with nothing in between and rarely for more than 5 or 7 minutes unless I wake him up and feed him in his sleep and he's too tired to eat quickly. He's also never had the best latch. I continue to pull his bottom lip out often because it curls under while he's eating, but it's gotten lots better as time goes on and I still have enough milk for his huge 18 pound body. Try trusting your baby. Usually they will let you know if they aren't getting enough. My baby also lets me know when I'm trying to feed him too often which is new, my other three liked using me as a pacifier, but he turns his head away from me and cries if he's not hungry. Fair enough. He'll also spit out his paci and whine when he is hungry. Watch your baby. She'll tell you what she needs. Don't psych yourself out. Someone told me this week that breastfeeding is a game of confidence and I agree.Don't go looking for problems if there's no reason to. Sounds like she's gaining weight, sleeping well and you're not in pain. If she's really not latching great, maybe it's something as simple as she's eating so often, she can afford to be lazy about it and still get plenty of nutrition. Good luck. All will be well. Don't give up or think you have to. I'm sure you'll get through this just fine.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Freakin' out for no reason...

    Thank you so much for you time and advice. It is amazing how a calm tone comes through in writting. I guess Dr. Newman's videos, were what I was basing my thinking on. He would say, this is good, and this is poor, the baby can be on all day like this, and come off hungry, and if/when I saw it in my nursing, (see the wiggling baby video, that one reminded me of Phoebe sometimes). Phoebes birth weight was 7lbs 5.5 oz. I believe she dropped about 6 or 7 oz by the time she came home or on the two day check up, not sure (we had a lot of trouble getting latched in the hospital). Sorry. Having trouble finding weights. Aug. 1 she was 11.lbs 10.5 oz Aug 15 she was 12 lbs. 3.5oz. She is gaining well, the Dr. even said she is slightly above her weight curve, but the thing that is causing me the anxiety is that I feel like it is just recently that we have started having "troubles". Hence all the latch fear. Thank you for telling me about babies getting a better latch as they get older, I didn't know that.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Freakin' out for no reason...

    Those videos can be really helpful- or they can freak you right out! We had a mama here who posted a message about how her nipples didn't look like the nipples in the videos, and therefore she was sure something was wrong... But nothing was! She just didn't have the same super-long nips the lady in the video had. Based on the weights you posted, I'm thinking that everything is really just fine. A baby who isn't latching well is not likely to maintain their growth trajectory as steadily as yours has.

    Just one thing to be aware of- breastfed babies typically gain weight rapidly in the first few months, and then begin to drop down the percentiles around 6 months as they devote increasing amounts of calories to motion instead of packing them on as fat. This is a very different growth pattern from that of formula-fed babies, who tend to gain slowly at first and then gain relatively more weight in their second 6 months (my pediatrician says it's because they can have a bottle hanging out of their mouth all day long, unlike the breast!). Since most pediatrician's still use charts developed using data from formula-fed babies, breastfed babies can appear to be growing abnormally fast during the first 6 months and then abnormally slow during their second six months. So if your LO suddenly drops a few percentiles, maybe even a lot of percentiles, it's not a red flag. Just the normal "leaning out" process.
    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!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Freakin' out for no reason...

    Okay, everyone keeps telling me everything is fine. It is just hard to believe when it seems something may be wrong and I know with breastfeeding it is easier to catch problems and fix them, then let them become chronic, so I feel driven to figure out if my milk could be decreasing due to a poor latch. I still wonder about the paci, am I enforcing a poor suck by letting her use it? We are going out of town this weekend, so I feel aprehensive about taking it away. I am going to try to take it down a thousand, it is just so hard to relax. Maybe after I see the Lac. consult. tomorrow, I will feel more at ease. This whole anxiety ordeal about her feeding has made me think I made a mistake thinking I could care for a baby, and not want to have more children. It has been so tough, I don't want to feel like that, I want to want have more children, it is just so stressful. Again, thank you so much for taking the time with me. I am grateful. Also, from what you said about latching getting easier as babies grow, does that mean nursing will become, dare I say, easy?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Freakin' out for no reason...

    I know, it really is hard to believe that everything is okay when the culture at large is working very hard to convince you that it isn't. I mean, there are so many moms who shake their heads sadly and tell you how everything failed for them, and they had to formula feed, and that little worm of doubt burrows in and makes you feel like you're going to fail, too. But I am with the PP: breastfeeding is a confidence game! Feed on demand and have faith in your body and your baby, and 99% of the time that's really all you need.

    A paci can screw up a baby's latch-, but the biggest danger is in the earliest days of breastfeeding when baby is just learning how to nurse. Once breastfeeding is well-established, most moms find that pacis don't impact nursing. And there was a recent study that showed the same result- that use of a paci did not effect the duration or success of breastfeeding.

    Mama, it sounds like this whole thing has made you tremendously anxious and worried. Have you considered seeing someone about that? And I don't mean a LC. A lot of mamas have issues with anxiety or depression in the postpartum period- I'm not saying that you do, just that it's a possibility. Even if you have never experienced anything like that before. Caring for a new baby is stressful, and the postpartum hormonal rollercoaster and the sleep deprivation can really throw you for a loop, emotionally.

    If you stick with it long enough, nursing will almost certainly become easy. New babies are tough to nurse, even when you know exactly what you are doing. They are tiny, so their latch is marginal even at the best of times. They can't control their heads or their bodies, so they thrash and bob and need you to hold and position them. They are sleepy. Their nursing abilities are driven more by instinct than experience. They aren't even that rewarding to nurse, because all they do is suck and cry. But all that changes. The babies grow. They get stronger and gain physical control. They become increasingly alert and aware. Experience helps them maximize their nursing effectiveness. They start to relate- and that's a big one. Once your baby starts to smile up at you... That's when you know you're doing okay!
    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!"

  10. #10
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Freakin' out for no reason...

    Crap, I sound nutty don't I. I tend toward the anxious side :-). I have a great support system around me though, made up of my house church, friends, family and of course, husband--people I can be totally real with. I know that I am just going to have to learn how to trust and let go. It's just really tough, and when it comes to my daughter I have found that it multiplies exponentially. Thank you both for your support and insight. I will update tomorrow about what the lac says.

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