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Thread: 3 week old with latching issues. Help please!

  1. #1

    Default 3 week old with latching issues. Help please!

    My daughter is 22 days old today and I've had latching issues with her since day 1. She was born at 37.2 weeks weighing 6.2 pounds. At 20 days she was 7.6 pounds so she is gaining wonderfully! I have been pumping several of her feedings a day because of her latching issues and I get full and fear my supply will drop. I have 6 other children I BF from 8-26 months and never had any issues so Im baffled. I had her checked for tongue tie and she isn't. In the hospital the LC came in and got her to latch, but then she pulls off quickly after or falls asleep. She checked her sucking with her finger and said her tongue likes to go up instead of down when sucking / latching. I notice this when getting her to latch as well. If I hold her head once she is on she gets mad and pulls off. I mentioned about getting a nipple shield and she quickly said no those where only for cracked nipples and were only to be used temporary. She also said not to pump at all because Im creating nipple confusion. I pumped with my others from day one and they never had any confusion.

    Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: 3 week old with latching issues. Help please!

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    So right now, how many feedings per day are bottles and how many are at the breast? And if you were to ONLY nurse, what would baby's nursing frequency and diaper output be (if it's possible to estimate)?

    The LC gave you good advice about shields, pumping and bottle-feeding. I know you pumped successfully for your other kids, but as an experienced mom like you knows, every baby is different. When the baby has a latch issue, you want to resolve that issue before you introduce a bottle into the mix. It's like learning to dance: much easier to learn with just 2 partners (mama and baby) than with 3 (mama, baby, and bottle) or 4 (mama, baby, bottle, shield).

    Now, if you feel like there's a supply issue you can certainly pump in addition to nursing, and you can supplement with that milk if the baby is not able to transfer milk well enough to get enough when nursing. But it's definitely best to master breastfeeding and THEN introduce the bottle and pump.
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: 3 week old with latching issues. Help please!

    Thanks for responding! I pump / bottle feed on average twice but no more than three times a day. The other four or five feedings are from the breast.
    She has many wet and dirty diapers.

    Like yesterday I was determined to not pump and didn't all day. I was a mess all day because I knew she wasn't eating enough as she was suck for less than 5 minutes and fall back asleep. I strip her down and it helps some , but not enough to make it right since she will still pull off. It could literally take an hour or more to feed her.

    I also can feel her moving my nipple when she does latch on so I know its not a good latch. She has never opened her mouth real wide IMO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: 3 week old with latching issues. Help please!

    I'd be interested to see what would happen if you just nixed the bottles for 24-48 hours, nursed as much as possible, and watched diaper output very carefully. It is possible that baby gets all she needs at the breast in 5 minutes- some babies are just very fast feeders!

    One thing I notice about your current routine is that the baby is feeding 8 times a day, max. That's generally not enough for such a young baby- most babies that age are nursing at least 10-12 times a day. That frequent demand keeps milk supply abundant and gives baby lots of chances to practice nursing. I have a feeling that the bottles are allowing baby to go a little longer between feedings than she otherwise would. How much is in the bottles?

    Feeling the nipple moving doesn't necessarily mean a bad latch. A pain-free latch is generally a good latch, and you don't say that the latch hurts. And WRT the baby's mouth opening wide- again, if it doesn't hurt it doesn't matter what it looks like.

    Is baby excessively sleepy?
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: 3 week old with latching issues. Help please!

    She is still jaundiced and sleeps quite a bit. In her bottles she drinks 2-3 ounces. At the breast Id bet she only takes an ounce.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,819

    Default Re: 3 week old with latching issues. Help please!

    Tips for waking a sleepy baby:
    - Keep her cool. A cool baby is usually more alert. When it's time to nurse, strip her down to a diaper or onesie and keep a fan blowing in the room you're nursing in (not directly on baby, of course!).
    - Annoy her. Tickle the soles of her feet or rub against the grain of her hair using your hand or a cool damp washcloth.
    - Keep the lights dim. New babies sometimes close their eyes in response to bright lights.
    - Use breast compressions to speed the flow of milk to the baby.
    - Try switch nursing. Every time suckling slows and baby is falling asleep, take her off the breast, burp her and/or giver her a diaper change, and the switch her to the other breast. Repeat the process as may times as possible, until baby will no longer wake.

    If you feel like the baby is not eating enough at the breast, I suggest seeing the LC again and discussing doing a weigh-feed-weightiest to gauge intake. Renting a professional scale for home use, and doing your own weigh-feed-weigh measurements, can help you determine when baby has had a good meal and doesn't need a supplement, and when a supplement might be a good idea.
    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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