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Thread: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

  1. #1

    Default 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    My son will be 2 weeks on Thursday. He is my first and was born at 37 weeks, and was 6 lb, 6 oz at birth. While at the hospital, I couldn't get him to latch at all. I worked with an LC and she suggested a nipple shield, but even with that, he wouldn't/won't latch. His sugar levels got low so Drs said formula was needed. I started pumping then so I could give him as much breastmilk as possible. He had maybe 4-5 days with supplemental formula before my milk caught up with him, and now he's getting 100% breastmilk from bottles.

    While I'm absolutely thrilled to be giving him all breastmilk, I still would like to get him to latch - the feed/pump/sleep schedule has started to wear on all of us. When I try to get him to latch, he will suck a few times, then push my nipple out of his mouth, arch his back and start screaming. Sometimes he'll come back to the breast, sometimes not. I've tried to catch his early feeding queues, nurse before he wakes us, etc. and he still won't latch on. I'm at a loss. I have a call in to the hospital LC, but wanted to look for other support. Also, we've been using Nuk bottles/nipples with a slow flow - are there better ones out there? I can't help but feel like part of the problem is the bottles just dumping milk into his mouth vs. him having to work for it at the breast.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to give up on breastfeeding - especially since I have more than enough milk for him.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    California
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    Default Re: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    My son is also a "late preterm" born at 35 weeks. We had the same difficulties you described above. At 2 1/2 weeks our lc introduced the nipple shield. It allowed us to nurse but he still struggled to hold the latch because he was tounge tied. We got that clipped and he was immediatly able to position his tounge correctly to hold the latch. Remember momma that your lo might still have been in your belly would he have made it full term. Even babies born at 40 weeks have difficulty latching on. Be patient:-) it took us 2 different lc's and many appts after that to get were we are now, ( he was 6 weeks 2 weeks corrected age when he finally took the breast!) I hope to hear your appt goes well!
    I am so blessed!

    08-31-01
    02-13-12


    2 's in heaven

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,894

    Default Re: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    Welcome to the forum and congrats on your baby! There are a few things you can try, like an SNS, cup feeding or finger feeding. I would simulate birth and spend all day doing kangaroo care and let nature takes its course. And I'm sure someone will be by with some fabulous links for you (I'm on my phone so I can't right now) so I would like to offer you hope. My daughter was born 7 weeks early. It took her 2 months to latch. It took my son, only a week early, 3 weeks to latch. And what I think worked the best, besides my determination, was time. Something needed to click in each of them. For my preemie it took her until her EDD. Definitely get to an IBCLC to see you. But I think your baby needs time...and lots of patience.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,911

    Default Re: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    This is an excellent article on helping baby come back to the breast. http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/ It takes persistence, but since your baby can nurse some of time, no reason to think he cannot nurse all of the time. Sometimes in these situation is the biggest barrier is mom having a lack of confidence. Remember both you and your baby were 'born to breastfeed.’

    Feeding with a lactation aid would be the most effective way to give supplements without causing further so-called nipple or flow 'confusion.' It is not for every mom, however. You could fashion a home made one to try it out and if it seems to work at all, consider buying one if needed.

    This webpage contains a video for using a lactation aid, and one for cup feeding. http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...id=6&Itemid=13

    general article on using a lactation aid: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17

    Paced bottle feeding may also help cut down on flow confusion and other bottle feeding issues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    You had a tough start but have done amazingly well to bring your supply in so well with pumping, that is hard! So you are ready for the next step to fully breastfeeding. It can be frustrating, try not to get discouraged! My oldest was also born at 37 weeks and we had all kinds of issues, but we got through and had a long and satisfying nursing relationship.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    I would suggest an SNS. This way he gets milk right away for any sucking effort, but you aren't giving a bottle.

    Find an IBCLC not associated with the hospital. Those hospital LCs may or may not be board certified -- sometimes, they are RNs with just some extra training -- and usually, they are so overworked they don't have the ability to spend as much time with you as you need. Usually a consultation should be 90 minutes.

    The links are excellent
    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
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    i agree with pp. Just wanted to say my 36 weeker did latch but it was poor and took a couple of months before BFing wasn't the most stressful thing. I realy think it was the time that made the improvements.
    Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
    DS born 1/7/12 at 36 wks after PROM and Gestational diabetes happy and healthy ~

    Taking it one day at a time.

    Currently and !!!

  7. #7
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    My baby was also late pre-term and had a hard time latching. Ignorant question but is this more common with babies born early?

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*wendy300 View Post
    My baby was also late pre-term and had a hard time latching. Ignorant question but is this more common with babies born early?
    Yes. A baby born early has so many obstacles. They must learn to suck/swallow/breath. Their mouths are tiny and they are often too weak and tired to work at it. My LC when my daughter was born, who was also our pediatrician incidentally, said that while she encouraged me to continue to try nursing that it was her experience that a preemie didn't "get" it until at least their EDD. In my case she hit the nail on the head. My daughter latched for the very first time on her EDD. It was miraculous. It took another 2 months to get it all perfect, but I started nursing from that point on and could ditch most bottles.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    45

    Default Re: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    Hmm, that's certainly been the case with us. That's interesting to know!

  10. #10

    Default Re: 2 week old "Late Pre-Term" - still won't latch..

    Ok, so I went to an IBCLC who was wonderful. My LO was patient and cooperative and we left with him latching on a nipple shield, but not necessarily sucking appropriately. She wanted me to nurse with the shield every other feeding until he seemed comfortable. Problem is at home he won't even try to latch on, and when I do manage to coerce him to, he pulls away almost immediately and screams. So back to the LC we go, hopefully.

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