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Thread: Finally got baby to latch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Finally got baby to latch

    HI there,
    I have posted a few times with my troubles about low milk supply and getting baby to latch. I had a reduction in the past and also have flat nipples. Have gotten some great advice here about ditching the nipple shield and persistence getting baby to latch. I am happy to say that baby finally latched yesterday bare breast no shield. Now there is a whole new set of problems! Baby fusses and screams for about 5 minutes before latches. Once he latches though he is on like crazy and will suck and sleep and I have left him on for up to 30 minutes sleeping while still sucking. I don't think he is getting a lot of milk because I don't pump that much but I left him on just because I was so excited to finally have him on with no shield. I had to use my finger to finally get him off because his latch was so strong. So now a couple of new questions if anyone has any advice....
    1) How to get him to not scream and fuss and get angry before he gets latched.
    2) should I just let me sleep and suck even though he is not getting much milk
    3) my milk supply has seem to gone down when pumping (makes sense if he is transferring milk via breast feeding) but even 3 hours after nursing my volumes are lower when pumping - basically I need to get my supply up but have had no luck
    Oh and by the way baby boy is 4 weeks old now

    Appreciate any advice or thoughts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Paris, France

    Default Re: Finally got baby to latch

    Firstly, well done on getting him to latch! So here are my thoughts - others will chime in no doubt too.

    1) How to get him to not scream and fuss and get angry before he gets latched.
    Is he giving you cues before getting to the crying stage? If so I'd offer him the breast as soon as he starts fussing. If not I found that when DD fussed a bit too much while trying to latch I had to walk around a bit cradling her to calm her and she'd latch on fine (more often than not!). Make sure you are in a clam environment, too.

    2) should I just let me sleep and suck even though he is not getting much milk
    By letting him suck even when he's finished will stimulate your breasts to make more. And it is comforting for your LO to just suck for a while. However, a balance has to be made as if you leave him on for too long you may end up with sore and/or cracked nipples. Your LO is still very young and I did the same when DD was that age. DD generally took about 15-20 mins to transfer all milk from one breast so I'd latch her onto the second side, she'd nurse again for 15-20mins and once she'd finished I let her suck for another 15-30 then would take her off. Mostly she was sleeping soundly enough not to be disturbed.

    I need to get my supply up but have had no luck
    What is your nursing/pumping routine? You have to be sure your supply has really decreased before taking measures to increase it. What is your LO's weight gain like? How many wet/dirty diapers does he have a day? How many times are you nursing him in 24hrs? These are all questions you should ask yourself to see if you supply is low. If you then find that it is you could always one of the following: try fennel tisanes, taking fenugreek, blessed thistle, alfalfa, eating oatmeal (or lactation cookies if you don't like oatmeal). But once again make sure your supply really is low. Here are few good links that you might find helpful


    There are loads of other articles on kellymom that you can sift through, too, to help.
    HTH and keep us posted.

    Married 28 july 2005
    Mummy to my DS , born 30 july 2008
    proud to have BF him for 8 months
    Now a Mummy for the 2nd time to my DD , born 15 june 2012 for 15 1/2months! Still whenever we can and

    DS Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 15oz - 19.5inches
    4 yrs: 35lbs 4oz - 3feet 5.5inches
    5 yrs: 40lbs - 3feet 8inches

    DD Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 13oz - 19.5inches
    6.5 months 12lbs 14oz - 26inches
    9 months 15lbs 13oz
    15months 20lbs 11oz - 30 inches

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Finally got baby to latch

    So glad you got baby to latch! I think that's a wonderful achievement, and I am so glad your patience and persistence paid off!

    To get baby to latch without fussing- well, there's no sure-fire way to make that happen. But you can try attempting to latch him on before he's really hungry, when he's still somewhat calm. That may mean he'll have more patience for repeated latch attempts. If he gets frantic, offer him your pinky finger to suck, nail held down towards his tongue and not up towards the delicate palate. A couple of seconds of finger sucking may remind baby why he's at the breast- to suck, not to fuss! You may also want to try expressing a few droplets of milk prior to attempting to latch, since the immediate reward taste of milk in baby's mouth may inspire continued sucking.

    Since you've had a reduction, I would be very careful while transitioning to nursing. I don't mean this to be hurtful, but there's a chance that the reduction means your capacity to produce milk is not what nature intended. So while I encourage you to nurse baby as often as possible, I also think that allowing long periods of sleepy sucking probably needs to be coupled with very careful diaper counts, lots of pumping, and maybe some supplementing. If you need to supplement, there are ways to do it at the breast. As baby gets better at latching, I would try to get him to nurse a little more actively. Sorry this is such a wishy-washy answer!

    Pumping volume going down could be a good thing, if it means baby is nursing better and getting the milk before the pump can. But if supply is really tanking, here are some things to try:
    - Pump more frequently. When I had supply problems, I pumped every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night.
    - Use a better pump- and here I am thinking hospital grade pump with correctly sized shields.
    - See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for in-person help.
    - Herbs: fenugreek, blessed thistle, ordinary oatmeal. All said to be good for supply.
    - Drugs: Reglan (in the US) and Domperidone (EU and Canada) are gastric emptying drugs which have the side-effect of increasing Prolactin (the milk-making hormone) levels. Both have additional side-effects and are not right for all moms, so talk to your midwife or doctor before taking either one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Finally got baby to latch

    Darn it I just wrote a long reply and then lost it.... Basically baby is doing much better at latching now today. I dont think he was screaming because he was frantically hungry but rather he was frustrated at getting the latch and the nipple. The reason I dont think it is hunger is because once he has established the latch he will suck suck and suck and I know I dont have that much milk. I would think he would come off screaming because of little or no milk transfer but he stays on sucking until most times now I have to break the seal (30 minutes on one side). I was only pumping 4-5 oz a day and little piglet eats about 30 oz a day so I do not think Not having to supplement will ever be an option for me. But as much as I can do I will try and hopefully my supply goes up.. maybe just maybe he is able to get more milk than the pump and that is why he stays on??

    I am on domperidone, have tried the herbs (though not consistently), oatmeal, water, only thing is I guess I should pump more frequently just doesnt seem to be enough time in the day especially now that he is BF for so long.

    Right now we are nursing/bottle feeding/pumping every 2-4 hours depending on how much he will take in one feeding from the bottle after we nurse.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Finally got baby to latch

    he may be getting more than you think, but of course the sucking is comforting even without much milk.

    and yeah, the nurse/pump/bottle cycle is really brutal. kudos to you for doing it.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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