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Thread: Inefficient latch and increasing supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Inefficient latch and increasing supply

    My month old son had a lot of problems with his latch when he was born. We saw an LC and while he gets latched on now, he doesn't always open his mouth wide enough.

    I can hear him swallowing every 2-3 sucks, but after nursing for a total of 40 minutes (about 20 min a side), he still isn't satisfied (he must not be transferring the ideal amount of milk). Due to his poor latch, I have cracked nipples and so I can barely stand to nurse longer than that. So, I usually detach him, supplement him with 1-2 oz of formula and then pump 1-2 oz (sometimes I get as little as 0.5 oz).

    I really want to move him to 100% BM, but I don't think that will happen until his latch issues are resolved. I've tried brushing his chin downwards when he is latched on, but it doesn't seem to budge. Does anyone have any ideas regarding encouraging a better latch and increasing my supply.

    P.S. I did try to wean him to 100% BM when he was about 2 weeks old, but he wasn't gaining enough weight. Also, he has NEVER had more than one dirty diaper a day (he often goes 2 days without one). While I recognize that some of that could be due to the formula supplementation, he never even had multiple stools on the 3 days when I didn't supplement him. He always has plenty of wet diapers (8-10 day).
    Last edited by CDENNINGJ; November 20th, 2006 at 07:08 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    130

    Default Re: Inefficient latch and increasing supply

    Hi there. It sounds like you're really working hard to make sure your new son gets off to a good start. It sounds as if you might benefit from talking to a La Leche League Leader by phone or in person. She would likely have several questions for you and would be able to work through this with you. You can find the closest Leader in the U.S. at http://www.lalecheleague.org/WebUS.html.

    If for some reason that's not possible, can you start by telling a little more about his latch? For example, what did the LC seem to think was the latch problem early on? Do you think it's the same issue now? What was his weight at birth and what is it now? Also, what was his lowest weight after birth?

    Good for you for working to resolve this. You've come to the right place!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Inefficient latch and increasing supply

    Hi Sue,

    The LC agreed that he had a poor latch. He frustrated easily and would simply scream if we didn't allow him to latch on right away. Also, she felt that he had a weak suck and so she had me using a Haberman Feeder with him for a while to teach him that he had to suck to get milk. In the beginning, he could barely get on the breast at all. Now he latches, but typically only grabs the nipple despite my best efforts to get him to take more into his mouth.

    He weighed 6lbs 13 oz at birth and then decreased to 6lbs 3 oz. By 10 days (following advise to supplement), he was back to 6 lbs 13 oz and now he weighs (at 4 weeks) 8 lbs 3 oz. In the beginning, he screamed a lot, which is partly why the pediatrician advised me to supplement. Recently, we discovered that he has reflux, however, and now that he is on Zantac, he is just fine (though he still does not seem satisfied after 40 minutes of nursing).

    Will it be possible to increase my supply to a level that will support him at this point? The most that I have ever been able to pump in a given session is only two ounces. I am wondering if I should ask for a prescription of Reglan in addition to working on his latch.

    ~Courtney
    Last edited by CDENNINGJ; November 20th, 2006 at 02:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Inefficient latch and increasing supply

    hi, I can see how dedicated you are and it is encouraging to me. Thanks for posting.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Inefficient latch and increasing supply

    Quote Originally Posted by CDENNINGJ View Post
    Will it be possible to increase my supply to a level that will support him at this point? The most that I have ever been able to pump in a given session is only two ounces. I am wondering if I should ask for a prescription of Reglan in addition to working on his latch.
    2oz/ session is a totally normal pumping amount. Pumps are not as good as babies, your baby can get much more out than a pump, especially once you get his latch perfected.

    You said you try and brush his chin down... really stick your finger in there and gently flip his lips (both of them) out. I still do that sometimes w/ my LO (especially her top lip) and she's 3 mos. You should probably go back to the LC and have her show you again. The $$ for a LC still beats $$ for formula.

    I'm not a doc, but personally... I don't think screaming a lot seems like a good reason to supplement. Newborns cry a lot and for no reason sometimes! Mine did. Just feed him every time you even suspect he might be hungry. I know it feels like doing nothing but feeding, but that's ok. It's normal. The first couple of months are just like that sometimes. And it's the best way to get your supply up. Supply and demand!

    HTH.
    Lynda
    Tree-hugging, queer-loving, liberal, feminist Mommy to L August 2006


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    869

    Default Re: Inefficient latch and increasing supply

    Quote Originally Posted by CDENNINGJ View Post
    Will it be possible to increase my supply to a level that will support him at this point? The most that I have ever been able to pump in a given session is only two ounces. I am wondering if I should ask for a prescription of Reglan in addition to working on his latch.
    Hi Courtney,

    I just wanted to tell you that I wasn't able to get my baby latched on at all for the first week, and not consistently until 2-3 weeks. During that time, I was only able to pump 1.5 ounces (and that's without nursing first). I was able to get to exclusive breastfeeding without formula supplimentation. For us, I HAD to cut out the formula, because when my ds would eat it, he would go 4 hours between feedings. The key to increasing your supply is frequent nursing. I know it's tough when baby likes to eat for 40 minutes. But keep in mind that he's getting older and more efficient - and his mouth is getting bigger too. My son used to nurse for 45-75 minutes; now, at 10 months, he finished in 10-20 minutes.

    Hang in there Mama - you're doing a great job!

    Jennifer

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