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Thread: 2 latch questions

  1. #1

    Default 2 latch questions

    HI all: This is my first post. I'm a second time mom and am having a very different nursing experience with this one (better, more painful). Baby is 10days old

    2 questions:

    1. My baby is a great nurser but almost always curls her lower lip under at latch. I try to un-curl it but that's painful. Are there any ways I can latch while pulling her chin down?

    2. Sometimes when I unlatch and try to relatch, she just refuses to open her mouth at all. I don't mind this during the day but at night, I really want to fill her tank. Anyway ideas? Ideally we'd get a great latch the first time but honestly, it takes me about 3 tries.


  2. #2

    Default Re: 2 latch questions

    Does nursing hurt when baby is curling her lip, or only after you try to uncurl it?

    Trying three times to get a comfortable latch is not so bad for this early. I understand it is frustrating, but just know that is not so bad!

    One thing that often helps is to nurse at baby's earliest cues, (assuming baby cues often enough) or even before any cue. A calm baby is often a more cooperative baby when it comes to latch. A 10 day old baby needs to nurse frequently day and night. At least 10 -12 times a 24 hour day.

    Have you tried laid back positon and/or otherwise encouraging baby to more or less "self-latch?" I say 'more or less' because while laid back facilitates self latch, it is fine and sometimes needed to still help baby latch while doing laid back.

    Have you tried breast sandwich technique (Shaping the breast so baby can get a better "mouthful?")

    Here are several links on position and latch I like.

    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)

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2 latch questions

    Thanks! In answer to your questions, I am nursing often enough and given diaper wets and soiled, I am sure she's transferring enough.

    I feel pain, however, every time I nurse and almost always when I'm not nursing, I feel tenderness in my breasts and nipples.

    That last link was particularilyhelpful and I will try to play with positioning.

    Do you have a link on how best to un-latch? My baby's latch is quite strong and de-latching her hurts. Thanks again.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 2 latch questions

    Do you have a link on how best to un-latch? My baby's latch is quite strong and de-latching her hurts. Thanks again.
    I don’t know about a link, but here is how I was taught to unlatch baby if the latch was hurting:

    Cut your fingernails short (helpful in general when handing a new baby.) Put tip of your pinky or pointer finger into the corner of baby's mouth and pull back on the lip to break suction.

    If that does not work, press tip of finger in between baby's gums and twist-think of using a screwdriver to open a paint can. If it is too difficult to get your fingertip in there, keep a glass of distilled or otherwise safe for baby water by you when you nurse, and dip your finger in the water prior to unlatching.

    Only unlatch if the latch is hurting you or if for some reason you have to suddenly stop nursing. If baby is allowed to finish nursing on their own, baby will unlatch herself.

    I feel pain, however, every time I nurse and almost always when I'm not nursing, I feel tenderness in my breasts and nipples.
    How long have you had pain?

    What do your nipples look like after nursing? Normal, Lipstick shape, creased, etc? Is there a white blanching or purple look?

    are your nipples injured? Cracked, bleeding, Bruised? Were they cracked but are now scabbing? Do your nipples look flaky, shiny, red or very pink? Is the nipple pain worse if clothing or anything else brushes against you?

    Are you engorged? Any plugged ducts? (lumps in breasts.) Any redness on the breast and are you feeling ill or feverish?

    Is the breast pain shooting, aching, burning...How would you describe it?

    Are you using a nipple cream and what are you using?

    Nursing should not hurt. If you cannot resolve this on your own, would you be able to see an IBCLC or contact your local LLL --or have you done this already?

    Thanks! In answer to your questions, I am nursing often enough and given diaper wets and soiled, I am sure she's transferring enough.
    Frequency may not be part of the issue in your case, I do not know. But just because your baby is gaining well and pooping enough does not mean baby is nursing often enough or well enough. Why? Because breastfeeding is a two way street. Nursing must be frequent and effective enough for both mother and baby. Many moms experience latch pain, engorgement, forceful letdown and other breastfeeding issues because baby is not nursing often enough for MOM despite baby getting plenty of milk.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 2 latch questions

    Thanks for the unlatching advice.
    Currently my nipples look fine. about half of the time I nurse, I try for good latch, finally give up and end up with flat or creased nipples at the end with blanching. I have seen a lactation consultant but I don't think she was very helpful. I am considering another LC or support group. Do LLL meetings help with latch? I've had pain since day 2. I got rid of it by giving my breasts a 12 hour break...one each breast, different days, pumped and fed pumped milk to baby. I did have blood, cracking and pealing but now they look fine. I am using lanolin on them, and occasionally cooling pads. the pain is worse when anything brushes against them so I live topless or in a bra. Engorgement passed, I unplugged all plugged ducts. Could I have had mastitis and it resolved without antibiotics b/c I did have a lot of the symptoms but not the fever. I don't have a yeast infection b/c I've had one and that pain is memorable.

    I should mention that I have flatish nipples. I did nurse one child for 18 months so they have been ex-verted but they tend toward inversion when left alone. The pain is so bad that I"m pumping tonight rather than nursing. I cried at half the nursings today and this time couldn't even bring myself to sit down. I had pumped earlier b/c I didn't think I let baby empty one breast and wanted to be sure to empty it.

    Regarding frequency: Baby sleeps for 2-3 hours at a time. During the day I nurse one side when she wakes and then an hour later the other side as I settle her back down. during the night, I nurse one side, change her, and do the other side. Most of the time this lasts 30 minutes but sometimes 20. IN the last 24 hours, I nursed 10 times (I'm keeping a log b/c I favor my right and am trying to make sure that doesn't get out of control).

    There are meetings near me on both Wed and Th. I am hesitant to spend more money on a non-helpful LC but maybe I just got an inexperienced one. I tried some of the position techniques mentioned in #1 to no avail.

    thanks for taking the time to help with this.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 2 latch questions

    A LLL meeting is a support group. Whether the LLL Leader there is going to be able to help you work on latch issues depends on a few factors-experience of that particular Leader, how big the meeting is, are there other Leaders at the meeting, etc. For example, I personally feel comfortable working one on one with a mom but if I am alone Leading my pretty large daytime meeting, it is difficult to give a mom with difficult latch issues the one on one attention needed.

    I would suggest, call the Leaders holding each meeting (assuming they are different,) or any other Leaders in your area and discuss your issues and see what they might suggest for getting one on one assistance. Besides what they can do for you, (which may be quite a lot) they may have suggestions of IBCLC's or even know of low cost options to get professional help in your area.

    Certainly I strongly suggest also attending one or both LLL meetings because you get the benefit of the experience not only of the Leader(s) but the other moms at the meeting.

    FYI here is info on what to reasonably expect at a professional one on one consultation with an IBCLC: http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html

    Did the IBCLC check for tongue tie or lip tie?

    This pain you are having is not normal and would not be explained only by flat nipples in my opinion. Please keep seeking one on one help.

    Other thoughts:

    ever try a nipple shield? these are very controversial but, on the other hand, are often used for flat or inverted nipples and are pretty cheap if you wanted to give them a go.

    APNO instead of lanolin? http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...ename=doc-APNO

    breast shells to prevent your clothing from brushing your sore nipples?

    it sounds as if you certainly were engorged and maybe had at least mild mastitis. Yes it CAN resolve without antibiotics, however, if you required treatment and did not get it the infection is more likely to flare up again.

    It sounds as if the nipple injury was severe in the early day but is now healing. THAT indicates an improvement in latch, but your pain does not.

    All I can say about nursing frequency is it is impossible to nurse a baby too often. Many moms who are experiencing pain when nursing very understandable limit nursing sessions (length or frequency) at least somewhat. But doing so is frequently counterproductive.

    I strongly suggest keep trying different latch and positioning techniques, and try the same things several times. Your baby’s abilities can change very rapidly in the early days.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 2 latch questions

    Thanks Meg. I think I'm going to try to see the LC I saw with #1. The issues were different (no latch at all, no transfer) but she was amazing and as I mentioned, I nursed #1 for 18 months (while working full-time). I'd like to do the same for #2. This LC is very experienced compared to the one I started with.
    nobody has mentioned tongue tie but nobody has said no tongue tie either.

    To be honest, I have limited duration of feeds and I"m also pumping now b/c I can't take the pain. I cry when baby cries...not normal, not sustainable. I tried to nurse on right breast last night and cried through the entire thing. I could feel baby responding to tears by not sucking. Weird think was, latch looked good when I un-latched.

    Final question (I HOpe). Should I wait until nipples heal a bit before seeing LC? I'm in an area where there are no cheap LCs but I do have insurance and that might help. Or should I see one now. Consults are about 200 in my area and this will be #2.

    Thanks again for all your help. I think i did have mastitis and should have sought treatment...but I didn't have a fever and that led me astray I think.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 2 latch questions

    See an LC ASAP. Don't wait for healing to take place- if the LC sees the damage that is there, she'll probably have a better idea of how to fix 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!"

  9. #9

    Default Re: 2 latch questions

    I very much agree with mommal. This is just not right that nursing is hurting you this much. Also discuss with the IBCLC your concerns about cost and what insurance will and will not cover. Then she can keep that in mind when figuring out how to proceed esp. if followups may be needed.

    With my oldest child it took 3 appts with 2 different IBCLCs plus the cost of renting a pump to get breastfeeding on track-all out of pocket, as no insurance covered lactation services 10 years ago. Getting the right help when at all possible is well worth it as you know from your exp. with your older child. Maybe a grandparent or something can help with the cost as a baby gift.

    I also still encourage you to contact your local LLL.
    please let us know how it goes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 2 latch questions

    One thing to consider, if you're feeling sticker shock about the LC visits, is how much formula costs. I spent around $800 getting nursing on track with my older kid- that was 3 months of pump rental, 2 months of scale rental, and lots of accessories (supplemental nursing system, pump parts, bottles, etc.). Luckily the LCs gave me help pro bono. And I felt like I came out ahead, because a year's worth of formula then, 7 years ago, would have set me back around $1500-2000. I have a good friend who is feeding her kid formula, and she is constantly running out and having to run to the store at the last minute, and trying to hunt down coupons so that she can get a deal on a can. $26/can... That adds up fast!!!
    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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