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Thread: Too late to fix latch? long!!

  1. #1

    Default Too late to fix latch? long!!

    Hello. FTM to a 10 week old baby boy. I have many questions but I'll try to be as concise as possible.
    Lo was born at 39 weeks, not induced, with epi. No health problems known then or now, uneventful labor and delivery.We did skin to skin and tried nursing right away. First attempts at nursing were unsuccessful. I tried laid back nursing, clumsy at best. The nurse brought in a nipple shield and lo latched with it. Mind you, we only tried for maybe 10 minutes before she did this, and there's no anatomical reason for it. I was too overwhelmed/tired to know to care or argue. I nursed constantly while in the hospital And it was very painful, even with the shield. The nurse tried to help but couldn't and i didn't see the hospital LC until right before I left for a rushed consult. It didn't help.
    I did a lot of research and we were able to achieve a painless latch with the shield. LO gained weight just fine, was about a pound over birth weight at his 2 week check (from 7 lbs 6 down to 6 lbs 10 up to 8 lbs 8 at two weeks.) Output has never been a problem, he currently poops once a day and has about 8 wets. Poop is yellow/orange and wet/seedy.

    However, now at 10 weeks we're facing some continuing problems and I'm feeling anxious because i return to work in two weeks.

    We still use the shield about 60% of the time because his latch still hurts without it, However he is not efficient with it. With the shield, nursing takes upwards of an hour, and he still eats every two hours at most. I think it takes a long time for let down and that's part of the problem, he gets bored and falls asleep. Aside from trying to keep him awake, I also try relaxation/visualization to encourage let down. It doesn't seem to make it much faster. Without the shield it's faster, but latch is painful, nipple gets flattened, and he falls off easily. He also sucks in his bottom lip and pulls back so he's fairly shallow. I'll try and adjust his lips and jaw but in a couple of sucks it goes right back in.

    I did see an LC but let's just say it didn't help. She wasn't an ibclc. Her and pedi both checked for tongue tie and didn't find a problem.

    Other issues that may or may not be related: he is VERY fussy and was since day 1. He is restless and has trouble sleeping (hardly even slept in the hospital). At night he'll sleep at most 3 hours but usually it's between 60 minutes and 90 minutes. Then he wants to nurse again and takes about an hour to nurse. We don't (and won't) co- sleep (it didn't help when i tried). I tried lying down nursing but struggled to latch in that position. He sleeps swaddled with white noise in a mamaroo next to our bed.
    He has short periods of alert happy time but much of his waking time is spent crying and being soothed. It works to soothe him (bouncing, pacing) but the second you stop he often starts crying again. He hates being put down so i baby wear when i need to get something done.
    Developmental milestones are being met fine.
    He also has a full body rash, started on his face and spread. With the pedi's suggestion of lotion we got it under control but if we stop the lotion, the rash returns. Pedi wasn't worried about this.
    He's never gotten over his newborn congestion.
    He doesn't seem gassy and almost never spits up.
    I am a vegetarian. 2 days ago i made the switch to dairy and soy free in case that was contributing.

    So i guess here are my questions:
    How do I improve his latch? Is it too late?

    Does it sound like a dairy intolerance? If so, what changes might I see in him to know it's making a difference and how long will it take? Is there anything else i might be overlooking?

    Off topic, but what if daycare can't handle him? We are using a home based provider who will have other kids at the same time as him. He is very high needs.

    TIA. I'm an overwhelmed FTM and appreciate any help...!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Too late to fix latch? long!!

    yes imo one can always improve latch. But after struggling this long essentially on your own without result, i would strongly urge you to seek professional help again. Are you able to see an IBCLC? Are there any in your area and could you afford it (or would insurance cover?)

    aside from that, what have you tried for latch?

    how is baby's weight gain?

    also If you are switching to an essentially vegan diet due to eliminating dairy the recommendation is that breastfeeding mom needs to take b12.

    i don’t know about the rash, would it clear up with lotion if it was food allergy related? I am just not sure. But it being gone may make it harder to figure out if the dairy elimination is doing anything. the frequent night wakings and general fussiness could be from allergy, possibly. If the problem is dairy, you should see some improvement pretty quickly but the suggestion is to try elimination for 2 weeks. If nothing changes, go back to eating dairy before elimination another suspect (gluten/wheat maybe? or you will end up with nothing to eat.

    Off topic, but what if daycare can't handle him?
    I think if your day care cannot handle your child, for his safety and that of the other children, you will have to find another option. What other options do you have, financially and job flexibility wise? This will vary from family to family so i just don't know. You can try teaching baby wearing to your provider.

    i cant look it up right now but if you find the academy of breastfeeding medicine website they have a protocol for allergic proctocolitus in the breastfed infant. read that for good info on food allergy issues.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Too late to fix latch? long!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Are you able to see an IBCLC? Are there any in your area and could you afford it (or would insurance cover?)

    aside from that, what have you tried for latch?
    I'm not really sure what my options are with an ibclc. I started searching today and it looks like the ones near me are associated with other pediatric clinics, so i guess I'll have to look into switching practices as long as my insurance will cover them. I'm really not sure how that will work yet but hopefully at least i have a lead on where to go!

    What we've been doing so far is i try and offer the "breast sandwich" and bring him in to try and get a deep latch. He doesn't open his mouth wide, I've never been able to get him to. Then I have to spend time fussing with his bottom lip trying to get it pulled out. He usually ends up sucking his lip right back in. Also, a lot of times he'll pull away to a more shallow latch and i either start over or just give up and deal with it.

    He's been gaining ok, the pediatrician hasn't been concerned about his weight.


    Currently we're looking at an in home day care provider. In my state and with her license, She would have my baby among with up to 5 or 6 other kids of various ages (although he'd be the only infant). I'm just worried about her being able to meet his high needs and the needs of the others. My work is not flexible, although I guess my backup plan could be center based care. At least they have more staff and resources. But they're really extensive and we'd really have to dig into our budget and make serious cuts. My mom is available but told me she would need help if watching him full time. That shocked me because she had four kids, it's not like she is inexperienced!
    Is it common that a daycare would turn away a difficult infant? Am i worrying too much? The provider we chose has 18 years of experience and an early childhood degree. I need to figure out how to bring this up to talk to her about it.


    Thanks! I will check the allergy info out!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Too late to fix latch? long!!

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