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Thread: 5 day old: Possible poor latch and other problems

  1. #1

    Default 5 day old: Possible poor latch and other problems

    I'm five days postpartum at the moment, a first time mom and I know it hasn't been long and both my new daughter and I are still learning but there are some developing issues that I worry if I don't fix them now it may result in bad habits and be unfixable in which case I will have to pump and bottle feed.

    First, she doesn't have a very good latch on either breast, it seemed she was getting better on the right breast but there is another problem with that that I will cover later. I know her latch is not good because it hurts. She frequently will take both the nipple and a little of the areola into the mouth but spits most of it back out until she has just the nipple. I wonder if maybe because she's so small and her mouth is small, plus I have very large areolas so it's difficult for me to judge aside from feel also she's very squirmy, that this is why she may be having trouble latching but I'm just fishing. Also there is a clicking sound frequently when she does latch on for an extended period. There are other signs of bad latch as well, leaking milk out her mouth and sometimes I can't see the pink of her lips. I don't know how to
    Second, she has recently been favoring the left breast, the nipple on the left is slighty better, my right is a bit more flat but she's fed perfectly fine on it before. She will suck on the right for a second or two then let go and I have to put the nipple back in her mouth constantly
    Also, she fights me sometimes for feedings, she's spit the nipple out but then look for it so I know she's hungry but she squirms and only latches for a few seconds and I can't get her to feed for more than a few minutes. She has been falling asleep at breast too, which also results in a short feeding.
    Am I misreading her hunger signals? Is she fighting because she's not really hungry? It will have been 3 or more hours since her last feeding so she should need to eat.

    These are the main issues. I may be forgetting some but these are what I feel need corrected the most. I want to contact my local support group or the lactation consultatant at my hospital but the holidays are putting everything on hold and I worry the longer I go the worse it will get as she starts to learn improper feeding techniques. Any advice from anyone on how to fix some of these issues or what may be wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 5 day old: Possible poor latch and other problems

    Why are the holidays putting everything on hold? Are you in the US or not? Assuming you are- LLL Leaders are volunteers and 'work' out of their homes. We are there for help calls weekends and holidays! If the first one you call is not there, call another, and if you cannot each anyone locally pm me and I will give you my number and you are welcome to call me.

    Also, I strongly suggest call the professional IBCLC tomorrow (Monday) am. Also look up any other IBCLCs in your area and call them. You are right, you want to address issues earlier rather than later.

    The reason I want you to get local help is the latch pain. We can give you things to try but you are right, a painful latch needs addressing and the fastest way to fix such an issue is to get in person help or over the phone help.

    Meanwhile- I suggest don’t worry about how the latch looks. Go by how it feels. Of course how much areola a baby will take in depends on moms & baby’s anatomy and even a 'nipple nurser' is fine and not painful in some cases and even a ‘perfect’ looking latch hurts in some cases. But going by feel, you may be able to move baby around to be more comfortable.
    Leaking milk and clicking can be entirely normal and fine. They often indicate a fast flow but that is not really a problem in and of itself. Yes it could possibly mean a poor latch specifically tongue tie. this you would have to see an IBCLC about.

    all the behavior-squirmy, fighting, falling asleep, latching for short time and then rooting again arte all entirely normal. baby is just learning and so are you! There is no way your baby is going to learn improper nursing techniques, your baby knows what to do instinctually (and so do you, more than you know) but sometimes it takes a few days or weeks to get to where is feels comfortable and then a little while longer to feel natural. All normal.
    How often do you nurse baby (how many times a day?)
    what position(s) do you use?
    How many times a day does baby poop and what do they look like? (right now-today)
    Weight check history?

    A newborn will typically nurse 10-15 times a day-or more. Your milk production should be starting to ramp up now if it has not already, and you will want baby nursing very frequently or you may get engorged. Where is baby (typically) when baby is not nursing? If you are not already doing so, I suggest, hold baby most of the time and bring baby to the breast as soon as baby gives even the tiniest cue-or no cue, just when you feel like it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 5 day old: Possible poor latch and other problems

    I am in the US. My mom told me to look up La Leche and I found the forums first and was going through common questions and decided to make a post. I suppose I hadn't really realized that there would be someone local I could call. I had planned to call my local hospital lactation consultant but they told me before I left after giving birth that they are open week days and would be unavailable on holidays. I'll definitely have to make a call tomorrow now that I know I can.

    She nurses about every 3 hours, whenever she wakes up to eat or shows she's hungry while awake. I supposed that would be about 8 times a day.
    I've tried various positions, cradle, cross-cradle, football, and side-laying. Cross-cradle is usually my default and the most comfortable but if she resists too much in one position I try another to see if it makes her more comfortable.
    Typically she poops once a day and today and yesterday they were a seedy, yellowish color and loose. But also today she pooped a second time and it was orange and loose.
    She was 5lbs 15 oz when born and when we went in for her first wellness check at 3 days she was 5lbs. 8.5 oz
    If not nursing she is usually being held by me or someone else, most often me or dad. She may be in the crib during the day if we are doing things around the house and at night she will either be asleep in the crib or with me if I'm trying to get her back to sleep after a feeding.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 5 day old: Possible poor latch and other problems

    OK got it. I hope they are not counting tomorrow as a holiday! There may be other ibclcs near you too who are private practice and may be more available this week. You can look names up here http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3432

    You might find baby will nurse more often in the coming days. This is normal. You can expect a newborn to nurse 10-15 times a day. More nursing is good, it even helps with painful latch. So I would suggest encourage slightly more frequent nursing if you can.

    I am going to post my favorite latch and positioning links and a few other articles I think are very helpful in the early days. You will see lots of info on laid back nursing. this position is now considered optimal for many reasons. You can nurse in ANY position that works for you, of course. There is no way to do it 'wrong." It's just that this one seems to work for many many moms and helps with painful latch and a host of other issues. It will probably feel awkward & fumbly at first that is ok. Adjust it any way you like so it works for you, you do not have to lie way back. You can be almost sitting up or anywhere in between. Baby can be in any position. Tweak your positions so they work for you and baby.

    Also I suggest the breast sandwich article. For breast sandwich latch, You want to gently squeeze your breast with your hand (thumb on one 'side,' fingers on the other) in order to shape it so it makes an easier mouthful for baby. When you put your hand around your breast, try to remember to keep your fingers well back from the areola to give baby room to get on there. Also, it can be hard to remember which way to place your hand in orer to squeeze the right direction for different baby positions, so just remember-your thumb should align with baby's nose.

    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

    This video is not in English but it does not matter. Shows the versatility of laid back nursing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SZ3zb5OYMA

    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

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