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Thread: Tips to improve the latch?

  1. #1

    Default Tips to improve the latch?

    My son was born late preterm at 36w4d and is now 4 weeks and 5 days old. We nursed right from the beginning, but because he was so little and light we had to syringe feed him with formula for the first 3 days as well. I started pumping right away and as soon as my milk came in we used that instead of the formula. Because he was born early, he also had trouble latching on correctly, so we used a nipple shield (recommended by the lactation consultant) which worked great.

    I am trying to wean him off the nipple shield now and he is doing okay. His latch is not great though, so my nipples look flat like a lipstick after he eats and they get pretty sore. I tried to pull on his chin to get his bottom lip curled, but it only works for a few seconds before he wiggles around again and goes back to his bad latch. I am pulling him off frequently to let him latch new, but it's not really working, so I end up letting him eat with the bad latch (after fighting him for 5 mins or so) even though I know I am not supposed to do that.

    Do you have any tips for me that I could try to correct his latch? I don't want to go back to the shield just yet, but my nipples won't take this much longer. If I won't get it worked out by Sunday, I'll call the LC Monday. TIA!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Tips to improve the latch?

    betti have you tried different positions? What have you tried? This kind of issue is one I usually hope moms see an IBCLC about, because you may need an observer to assess the situation and give suggestions. A LLL Leader may be able to do this as well but if you have an IBCLC you trust that is likely a good idea.

    BB may simply still need the sheild to latch properly. If that is still working well, maybe try taking him off again next week, when his mouth is a bit bigger. But I am concerend it is possibly just masking the issue and you still need more hands on help or to make adjustments.

    Here are some videos & info I send to mom struggling with poor latch:

    Ameda Latch-On video–about 5 minutes long, partly animated this video illustrates what a “good” deep latch is and offers some simple steps for getting there. Latch video: http://www.ameda.com/resources/video

    Laid Back Breastfeeding Video (see more on Laid Back below): http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Laid back positioning: Every mother and baby are unique and fit together in their own unique way. Play around and find the positions that work best for you & baby.


    and http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/...stfeeding.html

    pictures: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/pages/recipe.html

    Healing sore nipples: http://www.llli.org/FAQ/heal.html

    *Excellent* article on what is normal and expected in the early days with a breastfeeding baby. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Tips to improve the latch?

    Great advice from LLLMeg! Please see the lactation consultant ASAP. Don't wait for Sunday to roll round. It's much easier to prevent nipple damage and supply issues stemming from a poor latch than to fix them once they have occurred- ask me how I know!

    You can do this, mama.

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