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Thread: Can we fix a 6 weeks old latch?! (Intro/rant included)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Portland, OR
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    4

    Question Can we fix a 6 weeks old latch?! (Intro/rant included)

    Hey Mama's,

    I'm new to the forum so hello! I'm a brand-new, first-time Mom to a beautiful (almost) 6 week old little girl.

    She and I have had MANY ups and down already with breast feeding. In the hospital we simply could not figure things out, she just didn't want to latch properly, at her 4 day old wellness check the pediatrician told me I NEEDED to go home and give her a bottle because she obviously wasn't getting what she needed. She'd dropped the appropriate amount of weight (was 9lbs 9 ozs at delivery, 9 lbs 3 ozs at discharge and was 8 lbs 14 ozs at her 4 day wellness check) but you could tell she was just hungry, the night before her wellness check as well I was up FOR THREE HOURS with her attempting to feed, after that three hours she woke up an hour later wanting to feed again. So I gave her bottles for a day and a half to get her back to being well fed. I went to a lactation consultant after that day and a half because I was unwilling to give up on breast feeding. We did lots of work, I bought myself a support pillow and we FINALLY got her feeding well! At her 2 week wellness check they weighed her and the scale said 9 lbs 6 ozs, the pediatrician was not satisfied with that weight so told us to go home and feed regularly but supplement a little extra at least 2-3 times a day out of a little syringe inserted in while she sucked on a finger. *Mind you I pumped and gave her expressed milk, she's NEVER had formula!* The pediatrician told us to return the next day to see if she gained a little weight and to see if we were going to have to supplement with formula or not (which I really did NOT want to have to do), the next day when we returned my daughter had SUPPOSEDLY gained a whole 6 ozs! The scale read 9 lbs 12 ozs...this seemed not right to me, so I call the lactation specialest (who I'd seen at least twice by now) to see if we could come weigh our daughter with her scale, she offered to let us drop by whenever, even if we just wanted to weigh her, so I took the offer because, even as the pediatric nurse said, "6 ozs in one day is pretty unheard of" - i thought that ONE of those scale readings was WAY off. She had been weighed at 9 lbs 12 ozs on a Wednesday, on Friday according to the lactation specialist's scale she was 9 lbs 15 ozs, ALMOST 10 LBS! In my heart, I KNEW that that first reading was off. She was successfully back to her birth weight and THEN some!

    My daughter and I have visited the lactation specialist a number of times since her birth (probably 4 or 5) for various issues, mostly having to do with latch, and feeding positions and whether she's gaining enough...I feel like the lactation consultant is PERSONAL consultant at this point...and hoping she's not annoyed with me yet.

    The last time we visited the consultant she said "don't worry about timing your feedings anymore...just feed on demand"...this i had no problem with...until recently I've started feeling like something isn't right, baby doesn't ever TRULY seem satisfied to me. She's TOTALLY a cluster-feeder, which makes me wonder if I tried to schedule feedings again would that help her be more satisfied and with an improved latch if she'd seem more satisfied? - Like maybe we're not truly ready to JUST be going to on-demand feedings? *Also, baby has a VERY strong intolerance to certain foods I eat, I've had to drastically change my diet so as not to give her gas, we've also had to give her gas drops because of it*

    After extensive reading and online searching I've pretty well determined babies latch is shallow and "lazy". My husband has tried helping me help her fix it, but I feel like we're just not getting their and it almost seems like baby prefers a shallow latch, even though it's probably preventing her from getting all she needs.

    I have a call out to the lactation consultant to help assist me (REALLY hoping she doesn't think I'm some over-zealous, crazy, over-worried new mom...) but I'm just hoping that we can fix babies latch, or if it's "too late". I feel like with everything we've gone through with breastfeeding, I can't be defeated by a bad latch and SOOOORE nipples...any insight from Mom's that have had similar issues?

    Another side note, she does take a pacifier, which the consultant told us at this point is fine...everyone who's seen her (pediatirican and consultant) has determined she's a "non-nutritive sucker"...my only issue with having introduced this though is that I do believe its created some confusion for her...there will be times where she's showing hunger signs, I go to latch her and she starts crying/fussing either as soon as I try to position her or as soon as the milk starts flowing, then we give her the pacifier and she calms down...then sometimes I'll take the pacifier as soon as she's calm and slip the boob in and she seems fine!

    Basically...I need some assurance that we can get this issue fixed and baby and I can start TRULY having a good breast feeding experience, where I know FOR SURE she's getting everything she needs.

    Thanks for listening to my rant, ladies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    17,467

    Default Re: Can we fix a 6 weeks old latch?! (Intro/rant included)

    You know your baby is getting enough based on diaper output and weight gain. As long as you are getting at least 6-8 wet diapers in a 24hour period of time and your baby is gaining, your baby IS getting enough to eat. I just read your whole post and see no real actual problem. Just a new mother dealing with self doubt based on what breastfed babies NORMAL feeding patterns look like. Which is to feed around the clock. A new born's stomach is the size of a grape. So if they are exclusively breastfed, that amount of food is absorbed very quickly and it needs to be replenshied quickly. Even what you describe as a huge problem on day three is totally normal. It's totally normal for a newborn to feed frantically and nonstop as they work to get their mother's milk to come in. ON day three my son was at my breast nonstop from midnight until 6am and ANY TIME I tried to unlatch him his eyes flew open and he made an O with his mouth. This is how it works. And in an almost week five your child is still working to regulate your milk supply. There is no problem with nonstop or clusterfeeds. Everyone here spent the 1st 6 weeks in their PJ's on the couch feeding their kid. That is how it is in the beginning. Your job, your ONLY job is to feed the baby and their job is to get you to make milk. That's it. somewhere between 6& 12 weeks in they are able to hold a bit more milk and can go longer in between feeds. But the idea that breastfeeding starts out as this wonderful experience is....an assumption. That's mostly wrong. It can be very overwhelming in the begining. Because mother nature designs the process to keep mother and child together constantly the 1st 3 months. A child's chance of survival goes up exponentially by staying with their mother 24/7. So a babies natural instincts keep them attached to you. Feeding is the easiest way to do this. So relax. Take a deep breath and plan to spend the next week or two AT LEAST in one spot for most of the day feeding. I got up to change diapers, pee and get more food. That's it. Feed the baby. As often as the baby will eat. Count diapers. If it goes in, it comes out. You are doing fine.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Can we fix a 6 weeks old latch?! (Intro/rant included)

    Thank you, Djs.Mom! I really appreciate hearing that. I also had a friend who said the same thing, that it's an assumption that breast-feeding is "easy"...it's not! - Baby is DEFINITELY putting out at least 6-8 wet diapers, and at least 1 poopy (which I was told 1 poopy a day at a month old is normal?)

    Is it normal to still have very sore nipples (that are also red?) at 6 weeks?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,259

    Default Re: Can we fix a 6 weeks old latch?! (Intro/rant included)

    Very sore and almost red? That's not entirely normal. The most common causes of soreness in new moms seem to be 1) a shallow latch, 2) thrush, and 3) bacterial infection. Red nipples would point more to thrush or bacteria than to a latch issue. If you have or have had any of the following, that would also point to thrush/bacteria: burning pain, itching, dry or flaking skin in the breast area, cracking (particularly slit-like cracks), pain in between feedings, a recent vaginal or other yeast infection, recent treatment with antibiotics (including antibiotics during your birth).

    How does the baby's latch feel? Forget for a moment how it looks or whether you're seeing the "right" suck-swallow pattern and all that jazz. Just how does it feel? Is the latch-on pain-free or do you get a 10-60 second "sizzle" of pain? And how does the nipple look after the baby is done nursing? Is it symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/wedged/creased/ridged/shaped like a new lipstick? Does the skin of the nipple ever blanch (turn white) or perhaps white and then bluish-purple before returning to a normal color?

    I am with the PP that everything you describe sounds very normal, and that your biggest hurdle may be self-doubt. I just want to encourage you to be persistent- most breastfeeding issues can be solved with time and patience!- and not to schedule feedings unless scheduling would cause you to offer the breast MORE often than the baby would otherwise demand. Schedules that result in mom spacing out her baby's feedings are the enemy of successful breastfeeding, because supply is created by demand and altering that supply = demand equation by reducing demand means reduced supply. Schedules that space out feedings do NOT result in a baby being "more satisfied", because of the tiny tummy issue. You can't force a breastfed baby to take in more milk than she wants/needs (i.e. "meals" rather than "snacks) because her tummy won't hold it.
    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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