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Thread: 9 week old with latching problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    11

    Default 9 week old with latching problem

    My 9 week old has started having problems latching. She has very bad reflux, and has been fighting nursing since the issues started about a month ago. She has good days and bad days. Now suddenly, in the last week or so, she is acting like she has forgotten how to eat. She will latch perfectly the first time, but then when she comes off (which she does regularly now due to the reflux), she can't seem to get latched back on without problems. Instead of opening her mouth wide, she just sticks her tongue out and starts crying. All the while, acting frantic as can be. I have to wait for her to cry so that her mouth is open so I can get her latched again. Any thoughts? I hate to have every feeding end up with her crying. I want to go back to peaceful, happy nursing. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,149

    Default Re: 9 week old with latching problem

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby and on making it to 9 weeks of nursing! That's great!

    I wonder if your baby needs her reflux meds adjusted? I've heard that as babies grow their medication dose needs can change a lot.
    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
    Nov 2009
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    652

    Default Re: 9 week old with latching problem

    One thing I did with ds was kind of push his chin down with my index finger to help him open to latch on. I had to do it for the first few months until he figured it out on his own.
    Ds 9/09 nursed for 20 months

    Dd 12/11 nursing a toddler again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,610

    Default Re: 9 week old with latching problem

    Babies don't forget how to nurse unless they have been given botttles. Does she get supplemental bottles or bottles due to a separation? Otherwise, for late onset latch issues I would suspect 1) forceful letdown, (check for the signs here) http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html
    2) mom delaying feeds (sceduling) rather than cue feeding, 3) some pain based issue like the GERD getting bad again or possibly earache? Has baby had a cold lately? longshot-very early teething?

    I suggest offering the breast often but not pressuring bb to nurse, and experimenting with different positions that may be more comfortable for baby. laid back positioning may eliminate the need to make baby is "Open Wide" everytime, as it may encourage baby to self attach naturally. Laidback is also good for forceful letdown as is sidelying. If you are giving baby bottles or a pacifier, if possible, eliminate those until the issues resolve.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    11

    Default Re: 9 week old with latching problem

    Thanks for the replies and the welcome! Had her 2 month appointment today and talked to the doctor about it. She wasn't entirely sure, but we did end up increasing her reflux meds. I tried something new that seemed to work pretty well. When she was getting ready to latch, I said "open wide" and opened my own mouth very wide. She followed suit and opened up for me. I do worry that bottles have something to do with it, but I can't really stop giving her an occasional bottle, as I go back to work in about 3 weeks, and she doesn't really care for bottles much so we keep trying to get her used to taking them. I wish I could just stay home with her, but unfortunately, that can't happen. Hopefully between the increased meds and my new trick, this will get better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 9 week old with latching problem

    I said "open wide" and opened my own mouth very wide. She followed suit and opened up for me.
    Ha! Cute. Good thinking!

    Here is a bottle feeding method that may help to minimize the potential for bottle caused nursing issues, just FYI. Also keeps baby from being overfed with bottles, a common issue. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; January 9th, 2012 at 10:39 PM. Reason: forgot something

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: 9 week old with latching problem

    Thanks for the link! I had previously read an article about better bottle feeding, but this one has some different things that I'm going to try. I'm not really worried about overfeeding (at least not right now) because usually we have to work hard to get her to even take an ounce, but I am always worried about making sure that the bottle won't interfere with nursing, so I try to make the routine as similar as possible. The one thing I'm a little unsure about though is the part about keeping the leftover milk. I was under the impression that you can only reheat milk once. If I keep the milk she doesn't drink in the fridge I would need to reheat it before she drinks more. Is that ok?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,610

    Default Re: 9 week old with latching problem

    If I keep the milk she doesn't drink in the fridge I would need to reheat it before she drinks more. Is that ok?
    Yes. "reheating" is most easily and safely done by simply submerging the bottle or bag in a bowl of warm water or running it under warm water. Frozen breastmilk can be defrosted and warmed this way as well. No need for microwave or stovetop heating of breastmilk which can cause the milkfats to break down (still better then formula but you lose some nutrients) and also hot spots, which could burn babies mouth.

    Also the overfeeding is more likely to be an issue when you return to work. (it may never be an issue at all for you, of course. but it's a common one.) If its breastmilk, it is not really so much a health issue for baby but what can happen is mom has a hard time "keeping up" when pumping because baby is taking/being given so much more from a bottle than she needs or would otherwise take when nursing.

    Also the typical botttle feeding methods (baby held on back with bottle propped in such a way milk is contantly flowing) basically force a baby to suck and swallow and some babies resist this sensation! So paced bottle feeding, which gives baby more control (like baby has when nursing) may also help a baby who is not feeding well at the bottle take more.

    The reccomendations on human milk handling and storage have changed over the years. Previously, much of the reccomendations for expressed breastmilk were adapted from formula use reccomendations, but we now have much more info about expressed breastmilk itself and how it is very different.

    These are up to date tips on safe milk handling : http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf (It's on the 2nd page)

    And storage: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...toringmilk.pdf

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