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Thread: New Mommy with Latch Issues

  1. #1

    Default New Mommy with Latch Issues

    I am a first time mom, having just delivered on Wednesday of this week
    a beautiful baby girl.
    I began breastfeeding as soon as Chloe was born and continued in the hospital as much as I was able. My dilemma is that my body was so filled with fluid due to the Iv from my epidural that baby did not want to and could not properly latch on, despite all efforts I made. I had to break down and give her formula supplement
    because my supply was not enough for her demand. She was born 9 lbs 7
    oz, and had such a strong suck that what my body could produce again
    was not enough for what she needed. Needless to say, she lost 8
    percent of body weight before we left hospital on Friday. I am sure
    this is due to excess fluid in her system too, however it did have
    more to do with me.

    We brought her home and i continued to attempt to nurse her, but was
    still so swollen with fluid that we had to give her formula because
    she became so fussy because she couldn't get satisfied from my breast.

    It is now early Sunday morning and I am up past my bedtime, exhausted,
    emotional, and have engorged breasts that I have attempted to hand and
    pump express so my milk supply would come in soon. I pray it will
    come in within the next day. I am using hot compresses and have taken
    showers to help release some of the fluid.
    I am sitting here with cabbage leaves in my nursing bra as I type
    this. This is helping

    I have called a lactation specialist however I am sure I wont hear
    from her until Monday.
    I've also purchased fenugreek and mothers milk tea from whole foods.
    Have taken the required dose today.

    I partly feel like I am giving up by giving her formula, but I am sure
    you understand that everyone's situation is different. I want to
    breastfeed but need some advice as to how to get over the hurdle that
    is engorgement and get my milk in full force do baby is finally
    satisfied with my breast. Tonight's early am feeding I will express
    each breast for 10 min, will attempt to feed her, but know that she
    will get fussy because I have nothing to give and will have to give
    her bottle.

    I've contacted a lactation consutant and hope they'll call tomorrow.

    At this point, and the reason for my post l is to get some quick advice
    for the weekend so i can get past the engorgement issue.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,599

    Default Re: New Mommy with Latch Issues

    Hey mama- I have to go cook dinner so I just want to give you a quick welcome to the forum and let you know that your problems are fixable. I'll be back with details later. Hang in there!
    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
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: New Mommy with Latch Issues

    Look up reverse pressure softening. That should help.

    And this is very fixable. I'm also in the middle of stuff and hopefully can also come back later.

    Your bedtime, though....go lay down with baby.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4

    Default Re: New Mommy with Latch Issues

    Well I am up and available so I will jump in. Please excuse novella length post.

    First let’s look at what you don’t need to worry about at this point: 1) There is no reason at this point to think you have low milk supply. So there is no reason at this point to try to increase milk supply. Very few moms actually have low supply, but lots of moms think they do. There is no way to tell in your situation, at this point, so let that go for now. IMO the last thing you want to do while engorged is attempt to increase your milk supply.

    2) Let go of any guilt about giving your baby formula. The first rule is, feed the baby. If the baby cannot nurse, and you can't get any milk out to give the baby, you have to feed him something. Relax about that. It is possible that you think you are not getting "enough" and you are actually are, because in the first few days babies need very very small, very frequent feedings, and their behavior (and initial weight loss, within reason) is not always the best indicator of whether they are getting enough. In fact, behavior is a pretty poor indicator at this age. Babies get fussy for all kinds of reasons. But at this point, let’s assume the supplementing is needed and appropriate, as it sometimes is. It’s OK!

    If you are engorged at this point, your milk volume is increasing-as it should. Yes you are absolutely right, engorgement is caused in large part by excess fluids and swelling, leading to congestion of the milk sinuses. But it is also your milk “coming in” and NOT going out, likely due to this congestion. So your problem at the moment is not too little milk, but, much more likely, enough milk that is not going anywhere. You need to get the milk out. If pumping is not working for you, can you hand express? If you get in the shower and gently massage or squeeze your breasts, does the milk flow? When you pump, pump on a very low setting, be gentle, and do not pump too long. If it hurts, stop. If no milk is coming out, stop, and try again soon-in an hour or so. Don't worry about how much is coming out, but how it is feeling, as in, are you feeling any relief at all after pumping or expressing? Pump or otherwise get the milk flowing frequently! If you can’t manage pumping or hand expression frequently, if you have to express by massaging & leaking into a towel or in the shower, do it. Yes, you will ‘lose’ that milk. But you will protect breastfeeding long term by relieving your engorgement, keeping the milk flowing and, consequently, your supply appropriate.

    For comfort measures and to relieve swelling, great the cabbage leaves are working. In the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, (8th edition 2010-which you can also get at many Whole Foods, as well as any bookstore online and real) it is also suggested moms use cold compresses, such as a bag of frozen peas, 20 minutes on 20 minutes off, as much as it helps. Heat may or may not help the milk flow, but cold will likely reduce swelling in between expressing times. Other things to try-lying on your back, gravity sends the fluid out of your breasts. A mild otc anti-inflammatory could help.

    While you get the milk flowing, you can keep trying to bring baby to the breast. Do it after expressing, so baby has a softer breast to latch onto. Yes, definitely try reverse pressure softening. Try biological nurturing aka laid back positioning. A baby that can latch and suckle is better at getting milk out than any pump, so if you can get baby to latch, it will likely help with the engorgement. But you want to get the milk flowing FREQUENTLY, SOMEHOW, at the very least 10 times in a 24 hour day, but not on any schedule, just keep expressing as frequently as you can, for example, every hour or even more often if you like while you are awake, and at least every 3 hours or so overnight, (just for now, because with engorgement, you don’t want to go too long without expressing at least a bit.) Then you will be in good shape to work on latch with the LC. (Again, stop worrying about how much milk comes out at this point, it may not be much, it’s not supposed to be much! Even big babies have tiny tummies.)

    You are going to be fine. This is a common issue, I talked to a mom yesterday with newborn twins, exact same issue. She found standing in the shower, deep breathing and relaxing helped get the milk flowing. She is also going to see an LC to help with latch, but now that her milk is flowing at least she feels so much better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: New Mommy with Latch Issues

    What you are describing is very common. And the best treatment...get the milk out. Preferably by nursing. You have enough for your baby. By being at the breast all the time, she is doing what shenisnsupposed to do..bring in your milk. But now it sounds like latching is the problem. Reverse pressure softening will help get your breasts so she can latch on. Once she latches, go to bed and nurse on demand. Just hang out and let baby nurse.

    Something to know about weight loss...current research -- so current many peds are probably not familiar with it -- says that because of the issues with modern birth, like the IVs and the drugs and all that many hospital births have, perhaps taking baby's weight at 24 hours old as a starting weight and then comparing subsequent weights to that might be a better indicator of how breastfeeding is going. So many babies are born waterlogged from IVs and sleepy from epidurals that they are heavier than they really are, but so many moms are spooked by what looks like excessive loss.

    Finally, if you can, consider giving any supplemental feeding in another way than by a bottle. My first baby got a bottle when he was a couple hours old while I was in emergency surgery, and we struggled with nipple preference for 8 weeks after that. Every feeding was a battle because he had learned that quickly that there is an easier way to get food. I wish I had insisted on syringe feeding or spoon feeding that one time.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,599

    Default Re: New Mommy with Latch Issues

    I should do this more often- go and cook dinner and wait for LLLMeg to jump in and say everything I wanted to say! She gave great advice.

    Just a few questions-
    - Is your baby latching on to the breast?
    - Is she nursing at least every 2-3 hours?
    - What makes you think she's not getting enough when she nurses? Can you describe the behavior you're seeing?
    - When you express, what comes out? Clear, yellowish fluid (colostrum) or creamy, whitish, translucent but not transparent fluid (milk)?
    - How does nursing generally feel? Is it comfortable?
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: New Mommy with Latch Issues

    My baby is 11 weeks now. I remember that first week so well with the exhaustion and emotional turmoil. I was so sore anyway and especially when I was engorged the pain was horrible having her try to latch on and it took forever. It seemed she was chewing on me trying to latch on and the pain was inbelieveable. When she would finally get latched on, I would not dare move afraid she would lose the latch and have to go through it again. I would be afraid to breath, afraid she would lose the latch. The breasfeeding sessions were very painful and stressful, not the good experience I had anticipated. My LC recommended the nipple shield and it totally saved our breastfeeding. My baby would definitely be on formula without it and now breastfeeding my baby is a joy. Ask your LC about it. I used it first in the hospital with the advice of the hospital LC, then tried to stop using after getting home. Going without it was very painful and emotionally trying, I was crying from the long painful latch on attempts and ready to quit. I talked to an independent LC who also recommended going back on the shield and going back on the shield ended the problems. It may not be for everyone or every problem, but it worked a miracle for me.

  8. #8

    Default Re: New Mommy with Latch Issues

    I should do this more often- go and cook dinner and wait for LLLMeg to jump in and say everything I wanted to say! She gave great advice.
    I have had fun coming back to the forums after a long hiatus, and seeing once again all your insightful posts, mommal. I have to take a break again for several days and so glad you and all the other smart mommies are here!

    going back on the shield ended the problems. It may not be for everyone or every problem, but it worked a miracle for me.
    I am glad a nipple sheild helped you so much mydreamscametrue. 8 years ago I used a shield for a few weeks because baby would not latch without it (even after seeing two LCs) so I definitely know what you mean. But I have to point out that the majority of the moms who call me are unhappy with thier experience with a sheild. Some moms have difficulty maintaining supply, others find it very hard to wean off & find that frustrating. And a recent unofficial discussion of Leaders in my area found much more dissatisfaction with sheilds than otherwise.
    Nipple shields can be a very useful tool, but they are way overused. Moms are given shields indiscriminately or buy them at a box store without understanding the potentional drawbacks or even how to put it on or use it properly. And they are used in circumstances outside their purpose.

    I think if a mom has tried everything else, and a shield is the only way to get baby to latch (technically, sheilds are supposed to be used for situations where baby cannot latch, not for latch pain.) But in either case, if that is the only way baby will nurse (or mom can nurse baby) and all other avenues have been tried (and continue to be tried) then certainly a shield is often a far better option than baby not nursing at the breast at all.

  9. #9

    Default Re: New Mommy with Latch Issues

    Hello ladies!

    I am back after a couple of weeks of being a new mom to a beautiful baby ... sorry for the delay. I am surprised i even have this time to write. I'm chowing down on my simple dinner of Cheerios and a banana as I got a little break from baby duties (DH has her right now)...

    So the breastfeeding is going OK, and the engorgement has passed, thank goodness. It did just take a little longer for the uncomfortable symptoms to pass. Now that my milk is in, I have been nursing as long as I have been able, and as long as baby wants to nurse. Latching is not a problem... I do notice her suckle on one particular part of nipple, but that doesn't happen all the time.

    So it goes like this: I begin my session, and i try to do like 12 min on each side, as pediatrician suggested. I tried timing my sessions at first but ended up just waiting for her to a) stop on her own or b) wait for her to fall asleep. I have been reading a lot about foremilk and hind milk, and found that the hi calorie hi-fat content hindmilk doesn't come until later on in the feed... So I tried letting her nurse for longer than 12 min on one side... I let her go as long as she wanted until she stopped, then switched to 2nd side until she stopped (or fell asleep). Average feeding times last about 20 min. and are spaced apart every 2-3 hrs.

    If she falls asleep on breast OR stops on her own, both scenarios yield a result that ends up with me giving her a bottle. This could be due to a number of things: Perhaps I've simply run out OR my flow is not as heavy as when she begins OR she's not reaching my hind milk...

    Either way, 5-10 min. after session, she screams for more food. UGH.

    I would like to get to a point that my milk is flowing like Niagra Falls for her, so I don't need to give her a bottle of formula afterwards. Sometimes she nurses for a good length of time and she only needs an extra ounce of formula. I keep bottles of 2.5 and 1 oz in the fridge. I'd like to be able to get a pump and pump my milk and store it for her to drink out of bottle rather than formula.

    One good thing is that she is not having any sort of nipple confusion issues, as she always latches on when I nurse her. And only at my 3AM feedings does she purely want the bottle because she's so sleepy and wants nothing to do with nursing. That and I'm so exhausted too I just can't handle it that early.

    I've taken fenugreek and drink the mothers milk tea and not sure if that's helping much. I also don't think I'm drinking enough fluids to warrant a healthy milk supply. It is so hard to make sure I take care of myself when 99 % of my time is devoted to her. It's hard enough to make sure i eat 3 meals a day...

    Anyway, I guess my long term goal is to nurse her as long as I am able when I am home with her this next month before I go back to work. I would like to be able to store a lot of milk to give to the babysitter in Mid January and work my way out of buying and using formula.

    The past three days I have tried to exclusively nurse, aside from the 1 oz extra I give her after a feeding session. But I don't want to have to give her that extra 1 oz of formula. It should be coming from me... I do not know what it will take to get to that point. Do you think though that with the assistance of a that my supply will increase? If so, when should I pump if I'm nursing her every 2.5-3 hrs?
    She's not a tiny baby, almost 10lbs, and she really needs nutrition and to be satiated at this point. Otherwise, she will wail like a banshee if she isn't satisfied.

    I know I'm all over the place here, but again, i'm a new mom of a 3 wk young little girl, and want to do what's best for the both of us.

    Thanks ladies!! I appreciate your comments.

    Hillary
    Last edited by @llli*chloesmom2011; December 15th, 2011 at 09:37 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: New Mommy with Latch Issues

    [QUOTE]
    If she falls asleep on breast OR stops on her own, both scenarios yield a result that ends up with me giving her a bottle. This could be due to a number of things: Perhaps I've simply run out OR my flow is not as heavy as when she begins OR she's not reaching my hind milk...Either way, 5-10 min. after session, she screams for more food. UGH. I would like to get to a point that my milk is flowing like Niagra Falls for her,
    I'm not getting something.

    If your milk flows like niagra falls for her, what is happening that makes you think she is not gettng enough? What, at this point, is making you concerned you have low milk supply? Her out put? (poops?) Her weight gain? If you are nursing frequently (at least 10 times in 24 hours) then poor output and slow weight gain could indicate low supply. But baby being fussy or hungry again during, after or in between feedings are NOT a reliable indicator of low milk supply. A baby taking a bottle after nursing and drinking it is, again, not an indicator you do not make enough or that there is no more milk in the breasts if you just let baby nurse again, even if it is only 5 or 10 minutes later. It is normal for a baby to want to be 'topped off' shortly after a feeding, and/or, further comforted by nursing at the breast.

    In fact, the symptoms you describe could just as easily be OVERSUPPLY and forceful letdown, but I don't know what is happening output or weight gain wise, need that info.

    She may simply be screaming because she wants to nurse again, or otherwise be comforted. What happens if you let her just nurse again? If you are sceduling, maybe to find time to pump (understandable, ) just know there is generally no reason to have your baby on a feeding scedule. Feeding schedules interfere with the normal 'mechanics' of breastfeeding. Many babies prefer to cluster feed-feed very frequently for part of the time with longer breaks in between. If baby is the one only wanting to nurse every three hours, try offering the breast more often, anytime you like. More frequent feedings at the breast are good for just about every breastfeeding 'problem,' including low supply, oversupply, and forceful letdown (that causes the not enough hindmilk/too much foremilk scenario, which is actually is not a huge issue in many cases, (both kinds of milk are good for baby) but a severe imbalance can sometimes cause baby a great deal of gastrointestinal discomfort.
    I suggest these two articles:1 on low supply, http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html (Read the first part about how to tell a mom has low supply especially!)

    And 1 on forceful letdown. http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; December 19th, 2011 at 12:59 PM.

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