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Thread: Latching, but not moving milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    98

    Default Latching, but not moving milk

    My son is 2 weeks and 4 days old.

    He latched just fine in the hospital, but when we brought him home is when everything went down hill.

    He lost 10% of his body weight (extreme end of 'normal' range) by his 2 day well baby check with the lactation consultant.

    He just now is back up to his birth weight. It turns out.. he isn't moving milk as well as he should be. He latches just fine, it's just that he can't move milk. He was spending a massive amount of time at the breast (in excess of 40 minutes, at one point 2 hours) getting minimal milk (1/2 an ounce after 30 minutes) and so he wasn't putting on weight as well, either.

    Anyway, the lactation consultant can't for the life of her, figure out why he still isn't pulling in milk from my breast, and is considering an SNS.

    (We've been through a breast shield and are currently exclusively pumping and bottle feeding him expressed breast milk for the sake of getting his weight back up.)

    Is there anyone else out there that maybe had something like this go on with their LO?

    I really don't want to go around feeding my kid with an SNS. :/ I just want him to be happy, healthy, and at the breast!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Latching, but not moving milk

    Anybody check for a tongue tie or submucosal cleft palate?
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Latching, but not moving milk

    Sorry to hear of the difficulties! You asked if anyone else had experienced similar stuff with their LO, and I can say, yep!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Anybody check for a tongue tie or submucosal cleft palate?
    to checking for this. FWIW, although our baby had some similar issues, a specialist we saw did not think tongue-tie was the cause.

    Our LO latched great in the hospital (except under the care of one of the nurses who seemed to have no clue how to latch a baby properly and caused painful issues for me on her shift, grr), and he lost something like 10% of his body weight as well, and he took weeks to get back up to his birth weight (longer even than your LO, which was stressful to say the least!). He seemed to have trouble removing milk from the breast (did lots of flutter-sucking instead of swallowing, often fell asleep quickly) which caused issues for my supply and led to a variety of issues in the early weeks. We rented a baby scale to see how much he was getting at each feeding, which is good info but can also stress you out ...

    Anyway, I'm rambling but wanted to say that having to use an SNS now doesn't mean things won't normalize later. We did end up using an SNS for a while (french-tube syringe thingie), which yes, is a huge PITA, but the advantages are that it keeps baby practicing and removing milk at the breast rather than from a bottle. (I understand needing to use a bottle if baby simply isn't getting enough in other ways, of course, and we did start to supplement 1x or 2x/day with breastmilk in a bottle later, when he was over a month old. I always pumped when he got a bottle so as not to compromise supply.) But giving the baby access to nursing at the breast with the SNS rather than switching over to the bottle was to our advantage later as he got more and more experienced at nursing, and his mouth got bigger, and he eventually was able to do it w/o the SNS. I don't remember when we were able to ditch it completely but he was still quite young, probably before 2-3 mo. I still had to pump a lot in the beginning after feedings to keep my supply up, for the first couple of months at least. But it gets easier!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Latching, but not moving milk

    Was the lactation consultant IBCLC?
    I ask b/c those women study long and hard for their credentials so it is unlikely she would have no idea why your lo is not transferring milk adequately.
    Although the nipple shield could be the cause for poor milk transfer!
    So after your lo takes his next bottle feed, lie him naked on your naked chest and let him suck and lick and taste you. see if he will root and offer him the nipple when he is not hungry! He might begin to latch and even if he fusses and cries you can tolerate his frustration b/c you know it's not hunger driven, just confusion at re-learning a skill.
    Now that his weight is up he might be better equipped to transfer your milk.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Latching, but not moving milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*esthervegan View Post
    Was the lactation consultant IBCLC?
    I ask b/c those women study long and hard for their credentials so it is unlikely she would have no idea why your lo is not transferring milk adequately.
    Although the nipple shield could be the cause for poor milk transfer!
    So after your lo takes his next bottle feed, lie him naked on your naked chest and let him suck and lick and taste you. see if he will root and offer him the nipple when he is not hungry! He might begin to latch and even if he fusses and cries you can tolerate his frustration b/c you know it's not hunger driven, just confusion at re-learning a skill.
    Now that his weight is up he might be better equipped to transfer your milk.
    to all of this! Good advice and certainly easier to start with than all the stuff I said!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Latching, but not moving milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Anybody check for a tongue tie or submucosal cleft palate?
    Yeah. In the hospital the nurses said he'd never be able to latch or breastfeed with his tongue tie. I wanted everything natural, so at first I decided not to get it clipped. But last week I brought it up to the lactation consultant and she said it was borderline and we ended up getting it clipped.

    Not sure about the submucosal cleft. I assume the eent guy would have mentioned itwhen he was snipping the frenulum.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Latching, but not moving milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lilpats-mama View Post
    Sorry to hear of the difficulties! You asked if anyone else had experienced similar stuff with their LO, and I can say, yep!



    to checking for this. FWIW, although our baby had some similar issues, a specialist we saw did not think tongue-tie was the cause.

    Our LO latched great in the hospital (except under the care of one of the nurses who seemed to have no clue how to latch a baby properly and caused painful issues for me on her shift, grr), and he lost something like 10% of his body weight as well, and he took weeks to get back up to his birth weight (longer even than your LO, which was stressful to say the least!). He seemed to have trouble removing milk from the breast (did lots of flutter-sucking instead of swallowing, often fell asleep quickly) which caused issues for my supply and led to a variety of issues in the early weeks. We rented a baby scale to see how much he was getting at each feeding, which is good info but can also stress you out ...

    Anyway, I'm rambling but wanted to say that having to use an SNS now doesn't mean things won't normalize later. We did end up using an SNS for a while (french-tube syringe thingie), which yes, is a huge PITA, but the advantages are that it keeps baby practicing and removing milk at the breast rather than from a bottle. (I understand needing to use a bottle if baby simply isn't getting enough in other ways, of course, and we did start to supplement 1x or 2x/day with breastmilk in a bottle later, when he was over a month old. I always pumped when he got a bottle so as not to compromise supply.) But giving the baby access to nursing at the breast with the SNS rather than switching over to the bottle was to our advantage later as he got more and more experienced at nursing, and his mouth got bigger, and he eventually was able to do it w/o the SNS. I don't remember when we were able to ditch it completely but he was still quite young, probably before 2-3 mo. I still had to pump a lot in the beginning after feedings to keep my supply up, for the first couple of months at least. But it gets easier!!
    I'm sorry about your troubles. Baby and weight stress me out. To the point that I really don't let other people feed him.
    The SNS is just something I'm really not wanting. I'm sure you can sympathize, but I feel like I failed. I feel like it should be easier to make the connection between baby and breast. Like it should come naturally.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Latching, but not moving milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*esthervegan View Post
    Was the lactation consultant IBCLC?
    I ask b/c those women study long and hard for their credentials so it is unlikely she would have no idea why your lo is not transferring milk adequately.
    Although the nipple shield could be the cause for poor milk transfer!
    So after your lo takes his next bottle feed, lie him naked on your naked chest and let him suck and lick and taste you. see if he will root and offer him the nipple when he is not hungry! He might begin to latch and even if he fusses and cries you can tolerate his frustration b/c you know it's not hunger driven, just confusion at re-learning a skill.
    Now that his weight is up he might be better equipped to transfer your milk.
    She is. I just said that because she can't offer me any direct explanation. She said it could be many different factors and all we can really do is rule them out as we go.
    I'll try that next time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Latching, but not moving milk

    OH. He had a TT! That changes things! Often they need to learn to use their tongue after having a clip. There is another thread going right now with a mom who has a TT baby and a link to some exercises to help them with it.

    It is also possible the clip isn't far enough or they have a second type of TT called a posterior tie.

    There are MANY women here who had TT babies who succeeded with determination and time.

    ETA: an SNS is a TOOL that you use to teach baby to nurse with. Nothing wrong with trying one. Sometimes they cause baby to have a lightbulb moment and start nursing. Nursing is way easier than bottles.
    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!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Latching, but not moving milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    OH. He had a TT! That changes things! Often they need to learn to use their tongue after having a clip. There is another thread going right now with a mom who has a TT baby and a link to some exercises to help them with it.

    It is also possible the clip isn't far enough or they have a second type of TT called a posterior tie.

    There are MANY women here who had TT babies who succeeded with determination and time.

    ETA: an SNS is a TOOL that you use to teach baby to nurse with. Nothing wrong with trying one. Sometimes they cause baby to have a lightbulb moment and start nursing. Nursing is way easier than bottles.
    I am so jealous when I hear people say that nursing at night is so much better--because you can just latch them while lying down and go back to sleep. :/
    Desmond Ringo Payton [5.31.12|8 lb 14 oz|22 in.|blonde|blue|beautiful|BACK TO BREAST 6.25.12]

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