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Thread: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    How did I know it was the Haberman? Because when we got the all clear to try regular bottles post-op (he was unable to eat from a regular bottle pre-surgery) he wasn't sucking. He chomped. It was a distinct action different than nursing or sucking. I tried to nurse him, and he chomped there too. I felt in his mouth, and he didn't bring his tongue up and around but chomped away. That is how cleft babies learn to get milk out of the Haberman, as any motion with the mouth will get milk out, and he had had to use a Habermand with the slit turned to the easy position.

    In your situation, I would probably start backing away from bottles and try to nurse as much as possible.

    The moms who are struggling are the ones who come looking for help, so probably 95-99% of us here had some sort of problem with nursing at least one of our children. When I started nursing, the forums didn't exist, or I'd have found my way here then (I went to a IRL LLL meeting). The ladies here kept me sane through my fourth son's first year and onward with his birth defect when we found he couldn't nurse and I had to EP.
    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!

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    46

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    Oh, that's not good I was hoping the Haberman might be the answer but now I'm worried, he does tend to bite on my nipple and I don't want him to lose his ability to suck. Would we be better using the Breastflow bottles, or are there any better ones? I just can't seem to find an acceptable way of giving him expressed milk. I really do try to nurse as much as possible, but when he can't or won't latch for long enough, or my nipples are red raw, I have to feed him somehow.

    Is the SNS really the only acceptable way to give expressed milk?

    If we carry on using the feeder/bottles, are we doomed to fail? Is there anyone on here who had latch issues, used bottles and went on to successfully breastfeed? Given we introduced bottles early (week 2), have we already ruined things? I am trying to stay positive but am feeling quite down today

  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,341

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    The SNS has some advantages that other supplemental feeding methods don't- it keeps the baby on the breast, it helps baby associate the breast with food, it reduces of does away with the need for bottles. It's a useful tool,but not the only tool. Plenty of moms use bottles and plenty of moms introduce them early and everything works out just fine. Don't het too down- when we talk about the potential drawbacks of different ways of feeding your baby we're not saying anything is guaranteed to happen. We just want you to be informed about potential risks, because we have too many people come here with problems that would never have arisen if someone had given them complete information about risks and benefits.
    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!"

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    If I had known how bad the Haberman was for my baby, I would have cup fed. Or fed with an eyedropper. I used an SNS too, but he couldn't suck, so I had to alter it and it dripped all the time as a result. But I wish I had persisted with it, even for the 10months it would have taken to get to where he could nurse. However, I was overwhelmed with special needs baby, toddler, two preschoolers, pumping, hubby at work for 16 hours a day, various activities for my kids, homeschooling, my horses, a sick dog, oh, and a paying job too.

    Just be cognizant, and I would probably switch off and do something else myself.

    I just went nd looked....are you using the soft Cup feeder, which looks like a spoon thingie, or a Haberman, which is more like a turkey baster? I used both. The SoftCup is not associated with chomping. Haberman is recommended for cleft and heart babies.
    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!

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    It's been a long time since I was last here, but I came back hunting for information since I'm struggling with my new baby and I found your post. Much of what you are describing sounds so familiar. My older son had both a tongue and lip tie but I didn't know anything about it until he was 18 months old...I thought that because the tip wasn't tied and he could get it past his gum that meant he wasn't tongue tied. Things had improved enough by 6-8 weeks that I was able to keep going for a long time, but finally I was at the end of my rope when I came across info from Dr. Kotlow about it and I traveled to have him treat my son. He was already a toddler at that point and had been nursing that way for so long, that his latch never was great but it bought us 4 more months before he finally weaned due to my new pregnancy, but it did completely resolve the other issues that he had of gagging on solid foods, slow weight gain, only using vowel sounds in his speech, and the gap in his front teeth.

    My new baby is 6 weeks old and was also born with a tongue and lip tie. This time I thought I was armed with all the right information and we took him to Dr. Kotlow to have them revised at 10 days, as soon as I was sure we were having major issues. Healing seemed to go well at first but he regressed. I have tried different ways of latching, different positions, a chiropractic adjustment, and so far one craniosacral therapy session (I think that is what your cranial osteopathy is?) and some things have brought some improvement for a few feedings or even a couple of days, and then he regresses again. Nothing has brought consistent change. He either latches but not deeply enough, and then clamps down on the nipple with every suck, or has a shallow latch and then falls asleep, or clicks constantly and tongue thrusts the nipple forward in his mouth (this one I *really* can't tolerate, it makes me crazy and if he won't stop this one despite relatching several times, I'm now taking him off and bottle feeding). I'm seeing some signs of hope as he has hit 6 weeks and had a big growth spurt, but the pretty good feedings (meaning some minor pain, and still pinched/bruised nipples, but tolerable enough for me to let him stay on long enough to really be satisfied) are still few and far between. I have been an emotional wreck and struggling to not slip into postpartum depression, and even my wonderful, supportive husband has suggested bottle-feeding full time...although he doesn't understand that it's just trading one kind of insanity and hard work for another.

    Emotionally it is SO hard because all those thoughts creep in, like maybe I just wasn't meant to breastfeed my babies...maybe we are just too messed up and broken for this to ever work. That it's not fair, there is nothing I want more than to just feed my baby and have it be comfortable and enjoyable, and I will fight tooth and nail to have that, yet some other mom who really doesn't care has an easy time, and throws it all away early because she just couldn't be bothered.

    I keep hanging on because I gave my firstborn everything I had to keep him breastfeeding, and I feel I owe this second precious little person at least as much as I gave his brother. And my older son has food allergies...I don't want to set my baby up for those risks with allergies already in the family.

    One IBCLC that I spoke with on the phone asked if it was possible he has a high palate. I knew nothing about it so I did some searching and it sounds familiar, and apparently it often goes together with a tongue tie because the movement of the tongue in utero is involved in palate formation. One place I read said it tends to improve around 8-10 weeks as the mouth grows, another said it eventually resolves naturally once the tongue tie is clipped. Several places say craniosacral therapy is supposed to help. I'm still hunting for information. Dr. Kotlow also said that in some cases it can take 3-4 sessions with a craniosacral therapist to see a difference, after clipping a tongue tie. I'm also considering taking him back to see if there is reattachment of the tie or scar tissue, but it's quite a drive. I will definitely take him back if there is no consistent improvement after another CST session or two.

    It's encouraging though to find someone else in the same boat and still hanging on!
    Sharon
    SAHM to my boys:
    Z, my land-lubber born 11/09
    Nursed for 22 months, 18 of those with a tongue and lip tie
    Allergies to peanuts and tree nuts

    E, my water baby born 05/12
    Currently nursing through the aftermath of a tongue and lip tie revision, still trying to work it out

    We , , and !

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    I may have said this already and it's going to be brief because I can't type much on my phone. My first was tongue and lip tied we started pumping and bottle feeding at 2ish weeks. I EPed for two months because I couldn't stand to latch him. Once we got the tt clipped at 6 weeks things improved but I was still almost EPing. Then one day I decided we were going to make it work no matter what. We ditched the pump completely for a while and made it work. I had to change my expectations of what breastfeeding was going to be for us. Even at 13 months when I weened him my nipples were sore and red, not horribly, not enough that we couldn't nurse but nursing was necer exactly pleasant. I decided though that I could live with that to give my son my milk. Some days were egged than others but we made it work. Fast forward 20 months to his sisters birth and we had similar issues but for the most part we've worked them out and things have been much better. No sore nipples and no having to pump but I still constantly have to watch her latch It's still not what I ever imagined breastfeeding to be like but it is what it is.
    Married to my High School sweetheart 5-15-04

    SAHM to:
    born 6/1/10 tongue and lip ties nursed 13 months with sore nipples and mutually agreed it was time to quit!
    born all natural 1/27/12 nursed for 16 months and lost interest
    1/1/14
    born all natural 11/4/14 nursing like a champ and growing like a weed!

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    I was finally able to have a hands-on visit with a very experienced IBCLC today. She said his mouth looks good, his palate is not particularly high. But he definitely has an uncoordinated, dysfunctional suck, in large part due to a loose jaw. His jaw is falling open mid-suck and taking the tongue with it, and his suck becomes disorganized as he tries to compensate for it. His jaw is also slightly misaligned. She said the palate and jaw, like the skull, also mold during the birth process and sometimes needs a little help to open and align correctly. The CST can really help with this. She showed me how to use a technique that is often used for preemies, called a dancer hand, to support his jaw and keep it from opening too wide, while working to *really* get a deep latch with as much breast as possible in his mouth. It really did help him to maintain a good suck pattern and he got SO much more nutritive sucking in. He actually finished a feeding satisfied, without me having to latch and relatch a million times! I still had some pain, but it was tolerable and should improve as we practice, he gets bigger (the LC commented he does have a small mouth and I have rather large nipples), and we have another CST session or two. She also recommended an adjustment for his palate and jaw with a pediatric chiropractor if the CS therapist isn't confident in that area. She commented that this was the first in a long time she had come across a full-term baby with this issue, but that it's not as uncommon as one might think and although it's a fairly complex issue, it can definitely be resolved with some focused work.

    I don't know if this is the OP's baby's problem, but I hope this helps and gives you another avenue to explore!
    Sharon
    SAHM to my boys:
    Z, my land-lubber born 11/09
    Nursed for 22 months, 18 of those with a tongue and lip tie
    Allergies to peanuts and tree nuts

    E, my water baby born 05/12
    Currently nursing through the aftermath of a tongue and lip tie revision, still trying to work it out

    We , , and !

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    Thanks for the replies, and sorry to hear you have been having problems llamas.mama. I'm glad things are starting to improve for you. We actually have the opposite problem of a loose jaw, Toby's is too tight and this (along with a slightly recessed jaw and possibly some bad habits) means he can't/won't open his mouth wide enough, so he ends up nipple feeding. I get sore and we have to supplement him with bottles, as he doesn't get enough at the breast.

    Browncow, was your baby able to get enough at the breast, even though the latch wasn't right? I can put up with sore nipples to some extent, but it's no good if he can't get enough milk.

    I decided against a SNS as Toby is able to get some milk despite his latch, and I was concerned this would make it even easier for him to get milk at the breast without having to latch deeply, and it might make his latch worse. Also, the Lact Aid isn't available in the UK and the Medela one doesn't look that good. So we are continuing with bottles and trying to get him to open his mouth as wide as possible.

    There has been progress to some extent. Thursday was a good day - there wasn't much pain, and he had several decent feeds where he stayed on for a long time and drank deeply. We had an appointment with the IBCLC the following day, who watched him feed and said his latch looked much better! We also had another appointment with the osteopath who said there is still some tension but it is improving.

    Unfortunately he hasn't maintained things today and we are back to a shallow latch and sore nipples, which is frustrating. I do think things are getting better but progress is very very slow - I am trying to be patient but I get quite fed up as it feels like I am permanently attached to my pump, and I can't really go out anywhere for more than a couple of hours It seems to me if he is tired/too hungry/not hungry enough, he isn't able to latch deeply - does this make sense? Can babies have 'good days' and 'bad days'?

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    Forgot to say - I think what made a difference on Thursday was that I tried the cross cradle hold, so I could get his head in the right position, shape my breast and help it into his mouth. I'm not sure why it hasn't been working today though

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: 6 weeks & struggling - poor latch, tongue tie *LONG*

    Yes, they can have good days and bad days, and the idea is to keep working on it.

    What you are noticing is the little known secret of EPing. Many moms say it is "easier" but they fail to mention that you are chained to the pump. How is that easier? Keep working on things with nursing. There have been moms here who pumped and messed with the bottles and tried nursing for months before succeeding.
    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!

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