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Thread: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    Hello again!

    I took the advice from those of you here, and had a home visit from a LC today, thinking the one on one help would help us get back on track with breastfeeding.

    The LC said that everything I am doing is right, but that the baby is "tight.". She showed me that his legs go one direction when his head goes the other while laying on his back. She also had me feel the muscle that run down his spine and how right it is. She said that because of this, he cannot transfer milk correctly, despite our latch, positioning, and hold looking textbook.

    I have never heard of this before, and she wants me to go and see a specialist who is trained in loosening infants. This specialist is going to cost somewhere around $300. This is after I paid $120 for her visit today. Is this something you have ever heard of? I feel like calling bs, but only because I can't find any literature on it. My husband is very leery about paying for anything else to try and help me with breastfeeding. I'm just feeling very defeated today, and can't stop crying. It feels like there just isn't help available for me. I've seen three IBCLC's, called local LLLI leaders, posted on numerous breastfeeding support boards, and talked with anyone who will listen, and we still aren't able to breastfeed. I going to my local LLLI meeting tonight to see if those women have any advice or insight to the baby possibly being tight. But, I'm not sure where to go from there.

    Thanks again! I appreciate all of the advice I've gotten here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    I've never heard of that. However my knowledge base is limited, so that doesn't mean anything. Maybe do an internet search on "infant massage" and give that a try. I don't know that it will help, but it is nice for baby anyway.

    Hopefully others here will have some better suggestions for you.

    You're doing a great job! Hang in there...
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    i havent heard of that but just wanted to say you are doing great. you are breastfeeding mama.

    was it an IBCLC? maybe call her back and ask for a more details and just say you have never heard of it and want to know exactly what she is talking about.

    also, how does she know the milk transfer isnt good??

  4. #4
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    I understand that this is overwhelming and feels like just one more roadblock. You and your LO can overcome this challenge too, mama.

    I believe she is describing your LO as being hypertonic, and yes, that can impede his ability to breastfeed well.

    Some suggestions:
    -Checking into craniosacral therapy
    -Nursing in the football hold
    -Avoid, avoid touching the top of baby's head while latching or nursing. Touching the head will only trigger baby to arch even more.
    -Nurse in a room with low light and no noise. Breastfeeding is often overstimulating to hypertonic infants.

    How is your baby latching and transferring milk right now? What condition are your nipples in? Did your LC suggest a need for suck training for your LO?
    JoEllen married to Jason 10-29-2005.

    Mama to Logan 12-26-2007
    Breastfed for 2 years and weaned on his own terms


    Our Lincoln 6-11-2011 to 9-12-2011
    my homebirthed-water baby, who was born with a broken heart




    And our special blessing, Leonidas 9-5-2012. A toddler who loves his "boops!"

    Come visit our blog here!

    SURPRISE!!! We caught the first PP egg and are currently baking baby BOY #4! Due to arrive late-Jan/early-Feb

  5. #5
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    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    Default Re: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    JoEllen if the baby is hypertonic shouldn't a pediatrician be involved? It can impact more than just nursing right?
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    Yes, a medical evaluation is typically done to rule out any other underlying issues.
    JoEllen married to Jason 10-29-2005.

    Mama to Logan 12-26-2007
    Breastfed for 2 years and weaned on his own terms


    Our Lincoln 6-11-2011 to 9-12-2011
    my homebirthed-water baby, who was born with a broken heart




    And our special blessing, Leonidas 9-5-2012. A toddler who loves his "boops!"

    Come visit our blog here!

    SURPRISE!!! We caught the first PP egg and are currently baking baby BOY #4! Due to arrive late-Jan/early-Feb

  7. #7
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    Jun 2009
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    5,612

    Default Re: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    The LC said that everything I am doing is right, but that the baby is "tight.". She showed me that his legs go one direction when his head goes the other while laying on his back. She also had me feel the muscle that run down his spine and how right it is. She said that because of this, he cannot transfer milk correctly, despite our latch, positioning, and hold looking textbook.
    Huh. Certainly I have heard of various therapies for sucking issues, such as infant chiropractic, bowen therapy and cranial sacral, and have talked to moms who were referred to such practitioners by IBCLCs some of whom went for it and found it helpful and others who did not, and some who were skeptical and either found another way or gave up. But a couple things concern me-

    1) The terminology or lack thereof- Saying baby is "tight" and needs "loosening" by a "specialist" with no further elaboration of what the issue is or the therapy is called, and

    2) referring you to ONE practitioner. I always am leery when only one person is suggested for a therapy. Even if the only other practitioner is 100 miles away, retired, or costs a thousand dollars. IMO it looks like bad practice professionally to refer people to ONE therapist.

    3) You saw two other IBCLCs-but neither ever mentioned a physical barrier to breastfeeding, therapies, tightness?

    How long was the appointment? Did the LC watch your baby nurse? Were you given any latch or positioning assistance, was a before and after nursing weight check done, were you given assistance with pumping or was any thing discussed besides what you describe here?

    I wonder if there is anything about your babys’ condition or the therapy that is being suggested to you in any lactation text books, like Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple or Supporting Sucking Skills in Breastfed Infants. Of course without a proper name, I cannot even look it up. (and I only have BAMS anyway.)

  8. #8
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    Neither of the other two IBCLC's mentioned a physical barrier. They both said that he just needed to grow (they work together at the hospital I delivered at).

    The appointment lasted for a little over an hour. She did watch him nurse, and said that everything I was doing was "textbook." she said she wishes she could teach other moms to position and latch their babies so well. We did do a pre and post feed weight. He actually lost a tenth of a pound after "feeding" for twenty minutes. The therapist she referred me to specializes in Bowen Therapy, if that helps, but she did not give me a technical term for her "diagnosis."

    I have yet to call the specialist (mainly because my husband would kill me for spending that kind of money on it), but I have tried nursing with a nipple shield, and he seems to be transferring some milk with it (not all that he needs), but my pumping output is a little more than an ounce less than it should be right after he nurses. He does take about an hour to nurse, but I can tell he is finally swallowing, and definitely getting milk with it. He still isn't transferring milk without the shield. I keep trying to latch him on, and he tries sucking, and ends up pushing the breast away within a minute or so, and starts crying. With the shield, he latches on, sucks, and then slows his sucking down within 20-30 seconds. I assume that's after my let down. I can also see milk in his mouth at this point.

    Could he finally be getting big enough (he will be 6 weeks old next Wednesday)? Will he transfer more eventually (he definitely isn't getting enough this way)? I am letting him nurse as much as he wants, and then pumping when it has been three hours since the last time I pumped. If he gets hungry while I am pumping, I give him his bottle, but only enough to keep him from hysterically crying. He ends up back on my breast about 15 minutes after I finish pumping, and is pretty much there until it's time to pump again (he falls asleep a few times, but wakes up minutes after he is put down).

    I get about 2 1/2 ounces when I pump after this, when I usually would get 4 ounces without him breastfeeding at all. He is probably at my breast for two hours of the three hours in between pumping sessions.

    Is there a better way to do this? I don't mind all of the time he spends at the breast right now, but I go back to work full time in two weeks, so we really don't have much time to figure it out together.

    Thanks again for all of your help!

  9. #9
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    i am still unsure of the "being tight" but i was wondering why you are pumping/giving bottles and using the sheild.

    is his weight gain normal? diaper output normal?

    is there a reason you are giving the bottle instead of just keeping him at the breast? six weeks is a standard growth spurt and it would be normal for him to be at the breast what seems like constantly.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Trouble breastfeeding . . . LC says baby is tight?

    The baby does not transfer milk when breastfeeding alone. In fact, he didn't transfer milk with the shield before either, so the milk being transferred with the shield is a new thing. I have done three pre and post feed weights, and with the shield, he is transferring only 1/2 - 1 ounce after an hour of feeding. Without the shield, he gets frustrated after about 20-30 seconds, and starts pulling off and screaming (even after getting my let down to come from pumping), leading me to believe that he just can't transfer the milk. I try latching him again, but after the third attempt or so, he just screams, and won't try to breastfeed anymore.

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