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Thread: Does a shallow latch really get better?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Does a shallow latch really get better?

    Okay, just need a little encouragement. My little one is almost 15 weeks and has a shallow, non-painful latch, her lips are flanged most of the time, she is just not taking much of the areola into her mouth and I don't feel a strong suck. She also comes off quite a bit and acts frustrated. It has gotten to point that I just hope I don't have nurse away from the house because she seems to nurse best laying down on the bed. We had to travel this weekend and it was aweful, because when I would try and nurse her in the backseat, we just couldn't get comfortable and she didn't eat very well at all. I have been trying to do the things that the LC said, but bottom line is she fusses and goes on anyway she wants and I let her cause I want her to nurse. I just dread nursing her. I have heard that the latch does improve over time as they get older. When might that be? 6 months? I just can't do some of these things that I read about, like the nipple flick into the mouth, or try to get her as close to me as I can because she pushes back out, or nipple sandwich. It seems like it shouldn't be this hard, I mean I am sure tribal women in Africa aren't freaking out if they don't have an asymmetric latch.

    Thanks!
    Amanda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Does a shallow latch really get bett

    Dr. Jack Newman is my breastfeeding guru, and he sure is passionate about the asymmetric latch, but he also says that if the mom is comfortable and the baby is getting milk, then it's a good latch, and not to worry about it.

    You say it's non-painful, and it doesn't sound like you're worried about her intake. Am I reading this right? If so, I'd say, don't worry about it. Lot of moms have distractable babies and don't do well nursing in non-routine situations. 15 weeks is still young, and time may help as well as working here and there without freaking out or making nursing unpleasant for your LO.

    It can be hard to feel stuck at home so that your baby will nurse well, but you're definitely not alone in that, and just because it's that way now, it doesn't mean that it's forever. I'd just try to be happy and enjoy those opportunities to lie down on a bed during the day.

    Does that help at all?
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

  3. #3
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    19,894

    Default Re: Does a shallow latch really get bett

    If nursing is painless and the baby is growing, the latch is good. Even if it doesn't appear textbook perfect. Seriously.

    Breastfeeding gets so much better as time goes on. When my first daughter was a newborn, her latch looked okay on the outside. But on the inside- ouch! I literally screamed in pain when she latched on, and by the time she was a couple of weeks old I had massive gaping wounds on each nipple. And the baby wasn't gaining weight because the latch was so bad that it had affected her ability to maintain my milk supply. We eventually got things back on track, and by 6 months breastfeeding was much easier. By a year, you would have had to fight me to get me to quit, because by that time it was so much fun and so useful and so easy that I couldn't understand why I had ever thought it "weird" for a toddler to nurse.

    It all gets easier, mama. I promise. When it's going to happen is different for every woman. For some, it gets easier after just a few weeks. Many mamas find that the turning point comes at around 6 weeks, which is why you will often hear people say "it all gets easier at 6 weeks". For other mamas, it takes longer- sometimes months. But I do not think you are going to be one of those people who is going to be struggling for months. You are not in pain. Your baby is growing. This means that you and your baby have the basics of breastfeeding down pat, and all you need to do is work on the fine points, like nursing in public and nursing on the go.

    You are doing great. Don't let the worry get to you.
    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!"

  4. #4
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    Aug 2011
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    25

    Default Re: Does a shallow latch really get bett

    I think the PP's have said good stuff. It will get easier - especially as your baby gets older and starts moving on her own. It can become more like a gymnastics routine

    I just want to address one tiny point. It sounds to me from this post like the latch is less of an issue than feeling like you have to be lying down every time you feed (which is my favorite way too, but doesn't work so well with 3 other LO's running around or when you're in the car). Have you tried getting her going while lying down with one arm under her head and then slowly moving to a sitting position without breaking the latch? Then all you have to do is slide another arm under her bum. Or, do you have a nursing pillow like a boppy that makes her feel like she's lying down on the bed while you're still sitting up? I love those things. Those are just a couple of ideas off the top of my head. Just think baby steps as you try new things. Often baby steps means you'll take two steps forward and one step back. That's normal. Nothing to worry about. Sounds like this weekend was your one step back, that's okay. You'll get it. You won't be grounded forever, I promise. ♥♥
    Mamma to: DS 1 (6/1/2002) DS 2 (1/12/2004) DS 3 (8/24/2006) DS 4 (3/12/2011)

    And still smiling!

  5. #5
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Does a shallow latch really get bett

    Thank you all for your encouragement and taking the time! It really does help, all of it. I feel stupid for saying this, but I just didn't think it was going to be this hard and this stressful. In some ways, it feels more stressful now than even a month ago. It is nice to come here and get encouragement.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Does a shallow latch really get bett

    One of my favorite breastfeeding articles is "Doing it Right" by Diane Wiessinger. The gist is basically that it doesn't matter if the latch is "right," what matters is whether it works.

    The signs of a good latch are 1) mom is comfortable and 2) baby is gaining well. Everything else is details.

    You might try experimenting with different positions to see if there are any that work better for you than what you've been doing. It must be really stressful to feel like you can't leave the house.
    Karen
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Does a shallow latch really get bett

    I agree with the PPs. If you aren't in pain and baby is gaining well... the latch is fine.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

  8. #8
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    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Does a shallow latch really get bett

    LOL - you LITERALLY could BE me... I feel very similar and my LO is named Phoebe, too!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*Phoebe.s.mom View Post
    Thank you all for your encouragement and taking the time! It really does help, all of it. I feel stupid for saying this, but I just didn't think it was going to be this hard and this stressful. In some ways, it feels more stressful now than even a month ago. It is nice to come here and get encouragement.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Does a shallow latch really get bett

    That is the nice thing about these forums, on one hand, you can drive yourself crazy searching and looking things up and awaiting responses, but on the other, you find out that you are pretty normal for worrying! :-) It is so hard to trust God and relax!!! I haven't come across another Phoebe, you are the first! Do you call your daughter Pheebs as a nickname?

  10. #10
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    Jun 2011
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    Kent, OH
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    Default Re: Does a shallow latch really get bett

    yep - Pheebs, Pheeber Beeber, PheeBee, BeeBee, Phubber.... plenty o' nicknames for my little one. Her middle name is Grace so she's PG, too!

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