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Thread: baby latches and unlatches over and over and over

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    rockford,il
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: baby latches and unlatches over and over and over

    My lo did this all the time as a newborn. Sometimes he is trying to stimulate a let down. I have plenty of milk. He just wants it faster. Sometimes he's had enough and needs to burp. Sometimes he's getting too much milk to relax and needs help in another way to fall asleep. He likes laying on my shoulder and being patted. So if he's doing it at the beginning of a session, I'd try breast compressions to get the milk flowing faster. My lo only tugs once or so and makes a little cry and my breasts start flowing now that he's older. He's got them trained pretty well.
    Oh and he really disliked my right side until the growth spurt around twelve weeks. Then he started asking for both and now likes to nurse to sleep on that side.
    Nursing is definitely not always enjoyable. How old is your lo?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
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    945

    Default Re: baby latches and unlatches over and over and over

    It seems that there are so many possible causes for popping on/off and/or pulling/tugging on the breast.

    I've not found any sure fire way to stop it. Best measure is before you flip out completely, take a break and try another activity (or let daddy take baby for a short spell) before coming back to nursing.

    I've experienced the baby who has decided they liked the immediate flow from a bottle start pulling on the nipple in an effort to get the milk out by pulling with brute force.

    I've also experienced the pulling on/off seemingly to stimulate a let down or increase in milk supply, I'm wondering if this might be an instinctual reflex that babies do to try to stimulate milk supply (especially when it is a newborn doing it) My LO liked to slurp the nipple in/out of his mouth as a newborn and that tended to really hurt.

    I'm now experiencing the distractable 5 month old (been happening since sometime close to 4 months though) where he will pull off more interested in what is happening over there, and he often doesn't let go first. I guess I'm lucky to have rather stretchy and I suppose tough nipples since through all the abuse I've not experienced the cracks or bleeding that seem common to many people. I've just had to deal with the inflammation/bruising.

    And then there is the "teething Pain" fussies that involve wanting to nurse for comfort or hunger but because of the pain he pulls off and crys/fusses because sucking makes the pain worse (this is the worst one for me since he is hungry but eating hurts so it is really hard to comfort but sometimes after some teething gel or chewing on something cold he will be soothed enough to nurse to sleep.)

    I've also experienced the pulling off because of gas or needing to pee or poop.

    And I've even found that sometimes I have to go to another room to get him to nurse.

    At night in bed when he starts doing it in his sleep it usually means either, time to roll over that side isn't flowing enough OR time to get up, time to get up usually also includes general flailing and kicking. (He doesn't seem to pee much in his sleep and when we get up he will often totally flood a couple diapers in short order, 5 oz of pee in one this morning.)

  3. #13

    Default Re: baby latches and unlatches over and over and over

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*zaynethepain View Post
    How old is your lo?
    He's now 6 weeks old and he has been doing it since his third week. At first I thought it was a growth sprut but this has been going on since then. He usually is not fussy during the night, only during the day and mostly on my right side as well, which always looks fuller and has a faster let-down I would say. It could be any of the reasons you mentioned or all of them, but it's really stressing and sometimes I consider giving up, specially because when he latches and unlatches my nipples get irritated and hurt.
    If anyone comes with a solution I will be forever grateful.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    583

    Default Re: baby latches and unlatches over and over and over

    I think the solution to this behavior, assuming all else is otherwise normal, is typically time. Most of the breastfeeding moms I know experience pop-on-pop off behavior--myself included!

    What's NOT normal is that you are experiencing hurt and irritated nipples. This suggests that you might have a latch issue. Even with constant on and off behaviors, I never experienced any soreness or irritation. Have you experience any pain or soreness prior to the third week? Is your pain constant? Any issues with weight gain?
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  5. #15

    Default Re: baby latches and unlatches over and over and over

    Thank you all for your answers

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sonogirl View Post
    What's NOT normal is that you are experiencing hurt and irritated nipples. This suggests that you might have a latch issue. Even with constant on and off behaviors, I never experienced any soreness or irritation. Have you experience any pain or soreness prior to the third week? Is your pain constant? Any issues with weight gain?
    Yes, at the very begginning I had cracked nipples due to a bad latch, but it improved quickly and I nursed for about 15 days without any pain or further problems.
    The pain is very strong when he latches and also after nursing. Sometimes just the touch of a t-shirt can hurt. He's gaining weight really fast, so no problems with that.
    I will appreciate any help. I'm thinking of trying nipple shields. what do you think?

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    rockford,il
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: baby latches and unlatches over and over and over

    http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17
    There can be some major downsides to nipple shields, though they are useful in certain situations. In your case I'd try to avoid them for now.
    Do you have access to a pediatric chiropractor in your area? We had one as a guest speaker at our local LLL meeting this weekend. He spoke of a common condition called torticollis, which I understood to be a tightening of muscles in the neck. He said it was often caused by baby's position in the womb and sometimes by labor. He described it as a common cause of baby refusing one side or the other. This really resonated with me as I'd noticed my lo always held his head cocked to the right, and he stopped doing this at the same time he started nursing on my right breast. I just didn't put the two events together until now.
    Otherwise, what sort of positions do you nurse in? Perhaps some fine tuning there would help. My friend's baby refused to nurse on one side for weeks until I convinced her to get in person help from our LLL leader. The simple suggestion to try football hold had baby happily gulping down milk.
    Suggestions for positioning in the link as well as an explanation why nipple shields may not be the best choice.

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