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Thread: Shallow latch and no support

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    36

    Default Shallow latch and no support

    Hi all,

    My second born is 2 weeks old tomorrow. We are majorly limping along in the breastfeeding dept and I'm turning to you for help. I just got over cracked/scabbed nipples. Her latch seems to be better and less painful but, it is still shallow and she will either a.) not stay awake for feedings or b.) scream hysterically and not latch when she IS awake and hungry. She was 8 lbs 15 oz at birth. Lost 14 whole ounces in 2 days but has regained 9 oz of that. I'm encouraged by that but, unfortunately, I have given her 2-4 oz of formula via bottle for about a week at night or in the afternoon. I have a history of low supply and I guess I'm afraid that she will lose a lot of weight or not gain appropriately or that when she cries, she's starving.

    I guess I'm just wondering if there is help for me. Have I ruined everything by giving her formula to quieten her and get some rest? I have been to see a LC and she seems to think we will be ok but, I have very little support at home. I have a 23 month old demanding all my attention and a husband who does not understand that I need to have this girl on my boob almost at all times. It's very discouraging and I feel like giving up.

    Like I said, I have a history of low supply (I think my first girl had a slight tongue tie even though her ped was adamant that she didn't) We have an appt with an ENT to check out a possible posterior tongue tie on Tues.

    I've also been on domperidone for 2 days and have seen no change. LO cries all the time unless she's asleep. I miss feedings sometimes so that she will sleep and I can get some peace.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. And sorry if this is super rambly. I'm out of it. Kind of depressed and obviously sleep deprived. I just want to enjoy my newborn but, that's hard to do when overcome with breastfeeding problems.

    Thank you!
    Stacy

  2. #2

    Default Re: Shallow latch and no support

    My husband is the same way. When we on skype talking hes like your feeding him again and I have tried to explain it to him and he just cant understand it. Its hard when you feel you are lacking support. Dont give up though. I had issues with my first child when it came to breast feeding so like you I had a lot of the same fears of is my DS getting enough why is he all ways crying well come to find out my son just loves to be against my chest and I got a moby so I could do other things just around the house. I would only offer the formula though after you let her breast feed if shes still hungry after words so your milk supply wont be affected. Also if your letting her sleep though a feeding I would either pump or hand express that milk to use for a bottle later on. Heck I was so scared this time around I would have issues that I bought me a electric pump for just in case. I ended up using it on a long road trip and when I was sick to help keep my supply to drop. I also over formula would try pumping or hand expressing milk between feeding granted you wont get as much as your DD would but a little is better than nothing and you can start using it for bottles if you feel she still is hungry also she might just want to nurse for comfort. Sorry if I seem all over my DS and DD are having a squawking competition and laughing about it hopefully that helps sorry if it isnt much help Dont give up hope though you can do it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Shallow latch and no support

    Man does this sound familiar! We had such a difficult time getting the latch right with my LO for the first month. The thing that saved us was seeing a LC multiple times and using a Moby. The Moby really helped with the crying. The first time or 2 that I put her in it she was still a little fussy but once she got use to it she loved it. She seemed very content in it and took many, many naps in it. I too gave my LO formula 2 nights because I was in so much pain from a shallow latch and just needed a couple of hours break. I still produced enough milk but I was also still nursing at least every 2 to 3 hours. As long as you're still having some discomfort, I would use nipple butter all the time to help heal quicker. The pp has some good advice so I won't restate all that. I just wanted you to know that I feel your pain. My biggest advice is to do everything you can to get the latch better even if it means unlatching and putting her back to the breast multiple times. A shallow latch can affect the amount of bm that the baby gets. So when LO doesn't get as much bm because of the latch, your body will think that's all LO needs and not produce as much. The more she gets, the more you will produce. There were many nights when I would just give up on getting the right latch because I was so exhausted from the constant struggle and depressed that bfing wasn't how I envisioned it to be in the beginning. Hang in there! It will get better. Hugs to you mama!
    Mom to TRH born 2/16/11 - 8lbs 7oz., 21in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,735

    Default Re: Shallow latch and no support

    Nothing you could have done in the first two weeks would “ruin” breastfeeding. This is still early days, no reason at all you cannot get back on track. Here are some suggestions:

    Is the latch shallow looking, or actually painful to you? Some babies can nurse fine with a shallow looking latch. If it is painful for you and/or baby cannot extract milk well, then you need to keep working on improving latch.

    Nurse extremely frequently. You cannot nurse too often. Nursing very frequently (a MINIMUM of 12 times a 24 hour day) is how babies get enough at this age and get milk production where it should be and this does have to happen around the clock at this point. No mother with a new baby gets long sleep stretches; it’s all about naps at this point. Taking a galactagogue may help but is very secondary to very frequent milk extraction when building milk production.

    If your husband can not or will not help with your toddler, call in reinforcements. Family, friends, hire a mothers helper, whatever you can do. This intense time is temporary but it is vital for maintaining breastfeeding going forward.

    When you are alone, if you cannot yet nurse while moving around or with baby in a sling, find one handed or no handed games you can do with your toddler. Singing songs, telling stories, simple guessing games like I spy require no hands.

    If your baby cannot nurse effectively, consider pumping with a very good pump. But generally a nursing baby will do much better at milk extraction than any pump.

    If you supplement try to do so with your own milk as much as possible. No mater what you supplement with, try not to “miss" feedings at the breast. This will kill supply faster than anything else especially in these early days. If your baby requires supplemental feeding, consider giving baby one or at most two ounces of expressed breastmilk or formula and Then nursing, this allows baby to 'finish at the breast’ which is usually better for both supply and baby continuing to nurse going forward. When supplementing, as long as ltch is good, you could consier using a lactation aid. But at least supplement in a generally more breastfeeding friendly way. See http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf for some ideas.

    If your baby has tt get it treated ASAP and make sure you get good follow up assistance and instruction. A baby who had tt may need to relearn how to nurse with a released tongue and you also may need to prevent scar tissue from forming and tightening things up again.

    Try laid back breastfeeding aka biological nurturing, does wonders for latch and mother's overall comfort and also usually allows a mom to nurse with at least one hand free.

    Links: Laid back: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/ (watch the video)

    feeding cues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,249

    Default Re: Shallow latch and no support

    Nothing you did is going to ruin breastfeeding. I am especially in agreement with LLLMeg's advice that you do not want to "miss" feedings and that if you supplement, you want to make sure that you're doing it with your own pumped milk. Do you have a sling, and if so, can you nurse baby in the sling? That way you can move around the house and get things done while nursing- not that I think you should be doing anything but sitting on the couch and nursing the baby! But I know that your toddler needs you, too, and if your DH won't step up and help you then sometimes a mama does end up multitasking. But please don't let your DH off the hook here! He should be doing everything he can to help you.
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Shallow latch and no support

    Thanks everyone. I, in no way, meant to throw my hubby under the bus. He has been a tremendous help to me with our 23 month old while on paternity leave. What I meant by "no support" is that he just doesn't understand how important it is for me and baby to EBF. He wants to give her a bottle so that I will not constantly stress about whether or not she's getting fed and so that I can get some sleep and not be crazy. So, in that way, I do feel alone.

    I don't know why I haven't supplemented with my own breast milk much. I guess it takes a lot of time but, I have started pumping more today in the hopes that I can get 2-4oz every day for supplementing purposes. I usually only get about half an oz (from both breasts) She sleeps a LOT and I hate to wake her up constantly and fight with BF so, that's the route I'm going for now, I guess.

    For anyone who has had posterior TT babies..were you able to breastfeed without problems after clipping?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Shallow latch and no support

    It doesn't actually sound like your baby is having any problems breastfeeding. It just sounds like you are having problems with the normal amount a newborn wants to feed. Which is around the clock. It's totally normal for a newborn to spend all of their awake time at your breast. That is normal. And it usually begin to get less overwhelming somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks. But NOW at the 2 week point she is still working to establish your supply. So she has to be at the breast all day or your body won't know how much she needs. I don't expect you to wake her to feed her. But I do expect that you would feed her at your breast as often as she will eat. And if she comes off crying give her your other breast. And then again. So your body gets the message to MAKE MORE. The issue with the formula supplement is that is throws off your ques. Because it's harder to digest and that takes longer. It has nothing to do with being more satisfying. Breast milk is just more quickly and more completely absorbed. Since LESS of formula is actually being absorbed it takes longer digest and more WASTE (POOP) is created. So instead of your body getting the que every 1-2hours like you normally will with breastfeeding, your body has to wait for the 3-4 hour point to get the que. THAT throws off your production. THAT makes you make less milk. So by all means pump when the baby sleep if you are so inclined. So that at least your top offs will be absorbed at the same rate. But remember as overwhelming as it is, it's super tiny fraction of time that it's going to be like this. 6-8 weeks in the 1st year of her life? To ensure your success at breastfeeding? And decrease her risk of a ton health risks? YOU CAN DO IT! There is light at the end of the tunnel. Wake up in the morning with the goal of feeding the baby. Get a wrap or sling so that you can move around and are hands free to deal with your older one. Set up a nursing station on the couch and an "art station" for your older little one right next to you. Bring lots of books to your nursing station. For both of you! Watch Tv and fun videos. Think in terms of making it as easy as possible to stay in one spot with both your kids for as long as possible each day. And then go for a walk. Feed the baby. Have your DH bring home take out. Wait until the weekends to try and clean when you have support. It's really only a short time that you have to hunker down. You can do it. And you will never be sorry you did.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,735

    Default Re: Shallow latch and no support

    I agree with pp, I would only add, sometimes very sleepy babies DO need to be awoken to nurse frequently enough, especially in the first two weeks or so. Also babies can and do nurse IN their sleep.
    Since you baby was tentatively diagnosed with PTT, that is certainly something to follow up with. If your baby has ptt, no reason to NOT do the procedure, that I can see. IS it always a fix? Frankly, No. But if tt is the issue, NOT clipping will mean your baby will probably never be able to breastfeed, a serious health concern. Sometimes the procedure alone is all it take, other times, can increase your chances of a good outcome by doing any follow up exercises etc. and some follow up with your LC will help to, it’s not always an immediate fix and sometimes baby needs to relearn to nurse with the released tongue. But since your nipples are healing and (I assume?) latch is getting more comfortable for you, no reason to not nurse more now, way more. You cannot nurse a baby too often. Also IF you are able to nurse without pain and baby can transfer enough milk when nursing frequently enough, that would indicate the issue is not tt. Even if the issue is tt, your baby will need to nurse very frequently post clip at this age, all babies do.


    Someone on here a month or so ago had a ptt issue and suggested this as a good source of tt info: http://kiddsteeth.com/articles.html

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Shallow latch and no support

    Thanks, ladies. I guess my problem is not how much she wants to feed but, that she is never settled/satisfied after a feeding. If she ate and seemed settled even for 45 mins, I wouldn't be worried.

    When she is attached to my breast and doing pacifier sucking with just a few swallows here and there, it isn't really transferring that much milk, right? So, that is when I feel perplexed.

    Thanks again.
    s

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,249

    Default Re: Shallow latch and no support

    Yes, when the baby's sucks are shallow and fluttery and you're not hearing much swallowing, she's probably not transferring much milk. It sounds like she's a pretty sleepy baby, and sometimes the sleepy babies make up for very short periods of effective feeding by feeding almost constantly. You might want to try the following to keep her alert and active at the breast:
    - Breast compressions
    - Keep her cool when nursing- strip her down to a diaper or dress her lightly, and keep a fan blowing in the room you're nursing in. A cool baby is often a more alert baby.
    - Annoy her- tickle the soles of her feet or rub against the grain of her hair using your hand or a cool damp washrag. An annoyed baby is often a more alert baby.
    - Try switch nursing: when baby seems to be dozing off at the breast, take her off, change her diaper, burp her, and switch her to the other breast. When she dozes off again, repeat the process and keep repeating it until she will no longer wake.
    Hopefully the above tricks will keep baby feeding actively for longer, shortening the time it takes for her to get a full meal.
    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!"

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