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Thread: Very new baby advice on latching please

  1. #1

    Default Very new baby advice on latching please

    Hi there.

    I had a baby on Monday morning and have had difficulty getting him to latch on. He was 9 days over and we had a difficult birth ending in forceps. He is completely gorgeous and I want to breast feed but we are struggling a bit because he's not taking enough breast into his mouth and is biting down on my nipple and not getting any milk.

    Every midwife on the ward plus the breastfeeding co-ordinators had a go at getting him on and on Tuesday I thought we had turned a corner as several times he suckled and I felt it and his cheeks were full etc but then we had the issues with puckered cheeks and he started using his front palate.

    Because he was desperately hungry, he got wound up and made himself a little ill so we decided to express (colostrum at this stage as my milk only came today) and feed him with this and top up with formula and this is how we've worked for 24 hours but I want to get back on breastfeeding from the morning (we have just got home from hospital). What can we do to get him to take more breast in and not bite down. What can we do to get him to latch on without coming off and it not being shallow.

    I appreciate any advice on this and feeding in general. It is all new to us and we are trying to figure out what to do with this and about demand versus routine feeding.

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,322

    Default Re: Very new baby advice on latching please

    There are many many many ways to get a baby to latch. The trick is finding what works for you and your baby. When the issues are to the point baby needs supplements, It is really best to get an in-person helper to sit with you and work on it with you. I know you did this in the hospital, but for several reasons it may be very helpful to see someone else, a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) in your home if possible, now that you are home.

    Here are some ideas to help a baby latch. There are many others but this is where I would suggest starting.

    Get in a comfortable spot, on your bed or on a couch or whatever. Lean back from an upright sitting position a bit so you are comfortable and well supported on some pillows or the chair or couch back or whatever behind you. Put baby on you, snuggled up onto your chest. If you are comfortable being "skin to skin" with baby , do that. That means your top off and baby only in a diaper, snuggled close to you. If you prefer light clothing on you or baby that is ok.

    Relax and snuggle your gorgeous newborn baby. Let him sleep on you. When he wakes, he may start to root. He may even give rooting signals prior to waking. As soon as this happens, gently slide baby down your body or otherwise position him so his nose is at your nipple. If baby tries to latch, help him on as you like. If baby does not try to latch, try caressing his cheek or lip with your nipple or finger. If baby still will not latch, or tries but gets frustrated, try dribbling a small amount of formula or expressed breastmilk on your nipple.

    If baby gets frantic, stop and calm baby and try again. If baby gets too frantic, give baby a very small amount of formula or expressed breastmilk (a half ounce to start) and try again.

    If the latch hurts YOU, gently unlatch and try again. Sometimes it only hurts for a minute, so you may not need to take him off. Go by how you FEEL. If it is not hurting you leave baby be. He is learning and you are learning. There is no need to strive for perfection at this point, many times babies get milk just fine with a latch that does not look good. But you do want to try to avoid nipple injury.
    Because you are already supplementing there is more urgency to get help for this right away. So if this does not work very soon, like by tomorrow, I strongly suggest, call an IBCLC and have an in person appt with an IBCLC who is experienced with helping a baby latch. If this is not possible, call local LLL volunteer. Or do both. If neither is possible, let us know.


    Important-baby latches better when baby is calm. Nurse at earliest cues or prior to cues.

    Newborns typically nurse at least 10 times a 24 hour day. many newborns nurse WAY more often. baby may want to nurse several times in an hour even! This is normal.

    A newborn in the hospital would not be transfering much becasue by natures brilliant design, there is not much to transfer-at first. yet it is still all baby needs.

    Once milk comes in, 4 day old baby is still only needing tiny feedings. A half ounce to an ounce and a half. By two weeks, this goes up to one to three ounces per feeding.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,322

    Default Re: Very new baby advice on latching please

    I really this simple pictorial for latch: http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

    This short video helps you see how the nipple 'fits' in babies mouth for a deep latch. http://www.breastfeedingmadesimple.c...atedlatch.html

  4. #4

    Default Re: Very new baby advice on latching please

    Thank you so much. The midwife is visiting this morning so I will find out where my nearest register breastfeeding person is. We will get there I know...we are just learning.

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