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Thread: Trying to get my premie to latch on inverted nipples

  1. #1

    Default Trying to get my premie to latch on inverted nipples

    Hi this is my very first thread and I'm hoping I can get some help. I had my daughter at 35.5 weeks. Since she is my first and was a premie, I had no idea really what would happen after I gave birth. Ideally, I wanted to keep her with me and breast feed, but the hospital pediatrician took her right away to the nursery and immediately gave her a little with formula.

    By the second day, she was in my room and i had a lactation consultant try and help me have her latch. I had two problems: she is a premie and therefor her mouth and suction strength is not strong enough and i have inverted nipples so i needed a nipple shield to help her. After several attempts in the hospital for her to latch unsuccessfully, I have to give her expressed milk through the bottle.

    I have a feeling she has already gotten used to the nipple on the bottle but I keep trying to have skin to skin therapy with her as well as latching exercises right before her feeding which lasts about 4 minutes (she doesn't latch four minutes straight, she sucks for about 3 seconds and then let's go.)

    Is there anything additional I should try and do. I also try and pull the nipple shield off in the middle of the breast feeding, I avoid getting her frustrated so she doesn't reject my nipple.

    She is only 10 days old, should I have more patience? I don't know what else to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,611

    Default Re: Trying to get my premie to latch on inverted nipples

    Hi Mahyfamily! welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new baby.
    Yes have patience. Some babies take many weeks to latch correctly. Just because your baby does not latch well (or at all) now, does not mean she never will. In all likelihood, if you keep trying, she will.

    But I am confused about something. Is you baby able to latch and nurse with the shield? Or not? Because if baby is able to latch and nurse with the shield, that IS latching and nursing, and it is probably much preferable to bottle feeding for several reasons. Shields can be problematic, but when a baby can latch and nurse, but only with a shield, that is usually the time to use a shield. That is what they are for. You can wean keep trying to wean off it but no major hurry.

    If baby is not nursing at the breast, are you pumping at least 8-10 times a day? What kind of pump?

    have you seen a board certified lactation consultant specifically for latch assistance since leaving the hospital?

    When you try to nurse baby, try to start at her earliest, most subtle cues. In fact, no need to wait for a cue. A calm baby nurses best.

    Here are my favorite latch and "early days" articles and videos. Even if you have tried these things already you can try again, often it takes several tries to 'get' something.

    Tips with pictures on latch and different positioning ideas (includes side lying) http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

    Laid back position http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Laid back video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Here are two simple pictorials, you want the one on latch. Notice that the mother is in a “slightly” laid back position, looks like on a couch? This is a very “adjustable” position, play around to find how you and your baby are most comfortable. http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

    latch and 'Breast sandwich' article http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar04p3.html (probably only needed if baby cannot latch or latch is hurting mom)

    What is normal in the early weeks with a breastfed baby http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

    Feeding cues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

    Diaper log (for tracking poops) http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...diaper_log.pdf

    Waking a sleepy newborn: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...py_newborn.pdf

  3. #3

    Default Re: Trying to get my premie to latch on inverted nipples

    Thanks for the wording encouragement; the he latches with the shield but its only for 3 to four sucks at a time, then lets go. I usually try these exercises with her for about 4-5 minutes.
    I will definitely take these trickles into consideration . I hope to come back in several wells with a success story!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,611

    Default Re: Trying to get my premie to latch on inverted nipples

    Make sure you are putting the shield on correctly. The directions should have come wiht the shield. You have to turn it almost totally inside out, place the tip over your nipple, then kind of smoosh it down on your breast while manipulating your breast tissue to smoosh into the shield. You know you have it right it you feel your nipple pull slightly into the tip (this is subtle) and you can take your hand away and the shield stays put. It may slip off as you try to latch baby, it can take some fiddling.

    Also you can try "instant reward" techniques for keeping baby interested. With my oldest, I used a shield and I would use a very thin, curved syringe to put a few drops of expressed milk inside the shield tip. You could also try simply hand expressing a little milk, to let baby know "keep trying! this is the place!"

    more ideas for encouraging baby to nurse: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    more on nipple shields http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/wean-shield/

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