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Thread: Ineffective suckling

  1. #1

    Default Ineffective suckling

    Hi, my daughter is 1 month today. She was born 16 days early weighing 7lbs 10 oz. At first she could not even latch and we gave colostrum in a cup and spoon. Since she has been able to latch, but painfully because she clamps down with her teeth. We went to a lactation consultant who identified a posterior tongue tie. They said latch was fine, but she was weakly sucking, using her gums to clamp, no audible swallows, and only consumed about an oz of milk over SEVERAL minutes before fatiguing. She also hadn't returned to birth weight.

    Since then I have been pumping, bottle feeding, and still offering breast. We also got her tongue tie fixed via laser on Wed. She is 8lbs 7oz now, and I hoped once we past her due date and birth weight it would click, but to no avail. She still often cries or rears back from the breast, gently sucks while using her gums, or just falls asleep at the breast. I have big breasts and nipples on the flat side. It is so sad to me that we can't just nurse together effectively, and the time it takes to pump, nurse, and bottle feed every two hours is draining. I want to nurse badly, but not if it strains our relationship and my sanity. Any advice on improving milk transfer when you can't exactly see what's going on in that little mouth?

    I do have nipple shields but I am hesitant as milk supply is a concern. But we have used them, but even then, no audlble swallows.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Central FL
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    1,575

    Default Re: Ineffective suckling

    have you tried breast compressions while nursing?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,290

    Default Re: Ineffective suckling

    Can you get your hands on a professional scale? I found that extremely helpful, because with the scale ai could measure my baby's intake at the breast by weighing the baby before and after feedings and subtracting the before from the after. Doing that consistently helped me identify when we were having a productive feeding, and then I could replicate what I had done for the good feeding at the next feeding.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    9,335

    Default Re: Ineffective suckling

    The tongue tie was corrected only three days ago? It can take time before that makes a difference in milk transfer. Is baby's latch feeling better for you?
    Meanwhile, Have you seen the IBCLC again (or another) since the laser? Or do you plan to? Were you give exercises to do, any follow up care at all?
    When a baby is tongue tied it can cause other issues such as with palette shape. Also baby may need help learning to suckle effectively now. These are usually situations where continuing hands on assistance is very valuable.

    Maybe it is time to consider if nipple shields would help if you have not already. I would also suggest thinking about a lactation aid if baby continues to need supplements. These are options you can explore on your own but it is MUCH better if it is something you explore with the assistance of a lactation consultant. In both cases you would still need to pump, but if your baby is unable to latch well due to flatish nipple,s a shield may help. And if you can supplement at the breast, that takes away the work and possible nipple confusion effect of bottles.

    lactation aids info: http://cwgenna.com/smartnothard.html
    nipple shields info: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/wean-shield/

    Because what happens when baby requires supplements, is it is very hard for baby to have much desire to nurse normally. Without more info I do not know how much baby is getting via a bottle, but it almost sounds as if that is what is mostly happening. Yes, you need to feed baby. But if that means more & more bottle and less & less nursing that is taking you in the wrong direction. Babies learn to nurse by nursing.

    What you are doing is really, really hard. But these are temporary measures that will (it is likely) get you to exclusive nursing. Life gets WAY easier then.

    some info on tongue tie and lip tie and aftercare: http://feedthebabyllc.com/tongue-and-lip-tie-2/

    also may help to keep going back to the basics of latch and positioning http://feedthebabyllc.com/latch-and-positioning/
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 24th, 2014 at 09:49 PM.

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