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Thread: Latching

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Default Latching

    My little guy had a posterior tongue tie cut at one week old (4 days ago). He has also had craniosacral therapy. His latch is still painful. We were given exercises to try and retrain the latch as well as massage techniques to help his jaw. How long before his latch is no longer painful (if at all...) and is there anything more I can do for him? My milk supply is plenty, so he shouldn't be struggling for that.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,894

    Default Re: Latching

    Question, you say your supply is plenty. Does that mean abundant or just enough? I ask because if you have a large supply or OALD your baby may be compensating with a poor latch. Meaning, he is clamping to slow the flow down.

    I also think that it just takes a bit of time. Assuming latch seems fine, you have adequate diaper output, he may just need to grow. It took my son 3 weeks to even latch after having his tongue clipped. I think he just needed time to grow and make it work. Have you seen an IBCLC?
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Latching

    It's has been more than enough. He usually only nurses on one side and is finished, but just recently (yesterday) started nursing from the other side in addition to the one he emptied. He doesn't empty the second breast, usually falls asleep or takes himself off. I've had to pump the other side to get relief and have been getting between 3-4oz. He has great diaper output. I have seen an IBCLC, and she said it would take time, but it's always nice to know there are other people who have gone through it and may have more suggestions.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Latching

    I know it's hard to hear time as the answer. Stick with it though. It is worth it. Also, be careful with the pumping. That's how you create an over supply and with a baby so young you could be giving yourself problems. Just let baby regulate for now.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,175

    Default Re: Latching

    Your baby is still so teeny-tiny, and therefore has a tiny mouth. That makes it hard for a newborn to generate a good latch even when everything is lined up perfectly. But newborns grow really fast and if you can just hang in there long enough, it's going to get better. When it gets better is an open question, though, since the turnaround point is different for every mama-baby pair. Most people see marked improvement within the first few weeks, but some mamas have to wait until 6 weeks or even longer.

    Can you tell us a few things about your situation? For example:
    - when baby unlatches, what shape is your nipple? Elongated and symmetrical (like a pencil eraser) or elongated and asymmetrical/creased/wedged, like a new lipstick?
    - when do you have the most pain- when baby first latches on, at certain points during the feeding, throughout the feeding, at the end of the feeding, or when the feeding is over?
    - any cracking or blistering on the skin of the nipple?
    - do your nipples ever turn white or bluish purple after nursing?
    - is the pain more of a stabbing or more of a burning?
    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!"

  6. #6
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Latching

    When he unlatches, my nipple is elongated and symmetrical. Typically, the most pain is when he latches (a 4-5 out of 10) and usually subsides when he is nursing (2-3). Sometimes the pain will increase at the end, but I think it is because he is finished nursing and is suckling for comfort and clamps down sometimes. Fortunately, I do not have any cracking or blistering. The tip of my nipple is usually a slightly lighter color when he's finished but never white or bluish purple. I don't know that the pain is stabbing or burning but just very sharp. I've been making sure his lips are flanged when he latches, and I can sometimes feel his tongue flutter, but his nursing is still painful. I understand it will take time; I just want to be sure we're on the right path.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,627

    Default Re: Latching

    It sounds like you're doing a lot of things right. It really does get better when they get bigger. My IBCLC doesn't think nursing should be painful but I sure know many moms who have had pain while nursing in spite of everything looking proper. I'm glad you had the posterior tongue tie clipped, we had my daughter's clipped around 7 weeks. I think it did allow her to latch more deeply then but didn't change her milk removal abilities. Yes make sure his lips are out and not tucked in when he nurses. Keep up the good work!
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #8
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Latching

    If you're seeing symmetrical nips after nursing, you're not cracked or blistered, and the pain mostly subsides after latch-on, I think you are on the path to nursing pain-free, and probably all you need to do is wait for the baby to grow into a deeper latch. (Bigger baby = bigger mouth = deeper latch) The latch pain you're describing sounds a lot like the "30 second sizzle" (which can last more or less time than that) associated with latch-on, when the baby pulls the nipple from its shallow landing spot into the ideal position at the back of the mouth. Pain often returns at the end of the feeding, when baby is sucking lazily for comfort and relaxes his mouth, allowing the nipple to slide back into the shallow zone.

    The one thing that makes me is the lighter color on the nipple tip at the conclusion of a feeding. That could be vasospasm due to compression: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...blanching.html
    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!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    17

    Default Re: Latching

    Okay, so we had another craniosacral appointment on Tuesday evening and was told things were looking good. She said that she adjusted his palette a bit because one side was lower than the other which was causing some problems with the nipple being unable to be drawn into the correct place. Yesterday, we had a difficult day nursing. He was struggling to latch quite a bit. It seems like he has regressed in his ability to latch properly (he seemed like he was progressing until the appointment). Today, he is not struggling as much latching, but he is clamping down to the point that I am able to identify that he is clamping (my nipple is compressed when he unlatches). It is becoming very painful, but fortunately there is no damage (yet). HELP!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    11

    Default Re: Latching

    My little one also had a frenulectomy at 8 days. However, latching was painful to me until exactly 4 1/2 weeks, when it was suddenly fine. Constant adjustments etc. along the way, but it can take a while. And then all of a sudden...easy as pie!

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