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Thread: 7 week old and suddenly not latching

  1. #1

    Default 7 week old and suddenly not latching

    I have an 8 week old baby girl who latched on to my breasts with no issues from day 1, but all of a sudden, I have issues getting her to latch on last week. She was hungry and cried and cried and my nipple was literally at her mouth but she just would not latch on and suck. Almost like she was too upset/agitated to feed. It takes a while for me to soothe her and most of the time, the only way she'll latch on now is if she sucks on a pacifier and I quickly pull it out and put my nipple in her mouth right away. She has acid reflux and have been on meds since she was 4 weeks old. Anyone experienced sometime similar? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I spoke with a lactation consultant through her pediatrician and she had said it's unusual for a baby this old to suddenly have issues latching on and they attributed it to her reflux issues and switched her on to a different medicine this week.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 7 week old and suddenly not latching

    Hi. So this may be somewhat unusual but not unheard of. Some questions.

    When exactly did the issues start?
    When was baby diagnosed with reflux and placed on meds
    What criteria or tests were used for the reflux diagnoses
    Prior to the issues, was baby getting bottles or pacifiers? If so, how often, when, and why?
    How many times a day did baby typically nurse?
    Have you been pumping? If so, how often and why and how much milk is extracted each time approximately?
    How is baby's weight gain been? Normal, fast, slow etc?
    Is there any reason to think your milk production is particularly abundant and/or milk flow is very fast?

  3. #3

    Default Re: 7 week old and suddenly not latching

    The issues started over a week ago when she was about to turn 7 weeks old.
    Her ped and I suspected reflux since she was about 3 weeks old but also not ruling out colic at that time. The ped did not want to put her on meds then because she was too young so she started Zantac when she was 4 weeks old. We agreed on giving her probiotics and gas drops to see if it helped prior to medicating her, but those did not do much for her.
    No tests were done on her, the diagnosis was based on her behavior. She was miserable most of the day, screaming and crying and could not be put down to sleep. We would lay her down and she would wake up 5-10 mins later screaming. She would cry after feeding, was spitting up a few times a day with hiccups. Zantac helped for about 2 weeks but then it seemed she had a downturn again...this was around the time the latching problem occurred.
    She was getting one bottle during the night starting at 3.5 weeks old so that I could rest and my husband fed her. When she started Zantac at week 4, we upped the bottles to two a day because Zantac was given twice and day and we put it in a bottle.
    She starting taking the pacifier around 3.5 weeks, prior to that she would not take it. She has been using it more though because my mom and MIL were watching her for a few weeks and they would use it quite a bit.
    She typically nurses 8 times day. Since last week, I've been trying to feed her more frequently but smaller feelings since I have read that it helps with the reflux so on some days, it's 9 times a day, 10 times one particular day.
    I have been pumping to fill the bottles twice a day (I don't get to do it more often than that - she is very fussy and I just can't find the time). The volumes are not consistent, depends on when I pump. When I pump late at night a few hours after I nurse, I get about 2.5-3 ounces. During the day, I try to pump about 30 mins after I nurse her so that I have enough for the next nursing session...I get anywhere from 1-2 ounces.
    She weighed 6lbs 13.5 oz at her two week appt, and 7lbs 11oz at her 4 weeks appt. We for the 2-month appt this coming Monday.
    I don't think my milk is too abundant....not sure about the milk flow. She would cough occasionally at when feeding, but that could be her gulping too fast?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 7 week old and suddenly not latching

    Ok thanks for answering my questions.
    First lets look at weight gain. In the 2 weeks between 2 and 4 week checks, baby gained 14 ounces. So that indicates normal gain for this period of about an ounce a day, which is neither particularly fast nor at all slow. It's normal. So this does not indicate overproduction. But knowing how baby has gained since will help. I forgot to ask how poops have been which would also give a clue.
    She would cough occasionally at when feeding, but that could be her gulping too fast?
    Both coughing and gulping 'too fast' are signs of a fast milk flow. But unless the flow was more obviously causing the breast refusal, or in the presence of more rapid weight gain, I think we can pretty much rule out fast flow as the main issue even if it is a contributing factor.

    You may have heard that it is typically suggested to avoid or limit bottles and pacifiers in the early weeks with a breastfeeding baby. The reasons are many, but one is that both can lead to baby being inadvertently trained to use those 'nipples' for their needs- bottles for food, and pacifiers for comfort- rather than the breast. Overtime, this can cause breast reluctance or even breast refusal.

    If you think this may be happening, I suggest first, no pacifiers except in emergencies (such as, you are driving or in the shower and literally cannot nurse) Explain to your mom and MIL that instead of giving baby a pacifier, please bring baby to you to be comforted by nursing. So called comfort nursing is an important part of breastfeeding and it may be helpful to encourage this, not discourage it with too much pacifier use.

    Bottles: The potential issues with bottle use are complicated. One is that a baby may become used to the ease with which they can get milk from a bottle. The other is that baby may be overfed with a bottle (common) causing baby to not wish to nurse as much. Also, something both bottles and pacifiers can also cause is a longer-than-otherwise length of time between nursing sessions. (In the worst cases of this, a baby may actually not gain adequately due to too much pacifier use.) But even if that is not happening, lengthening the time between nursing sessions with bottles or pacifiers may cause other issues, including making the milk flow to quickly for baby by the time baby nurses.

    Medications do not need to be given in a bottle. They can be given with a syringe or eyedropper. If they need to be mixed with your expressed milk, they can be mixed and then given with those. But even if you need to give the meds in a bottle, you can use as little milk as possible and then nurse baby at the same time. As far as a bottle at night so you can sleep, that is your call. But if you are not pumping at about the same time as the bottle, your milk production may be impacted, and even after a bottle, baby may wish to nurse for comfort as is normal. So for all these reasons, many moms find bottles given at night to get more rest are simply more trouble than they are worth. If baby gets a bottle, it is less likely to be impactful if they are given with paced bottle feeding technique and positioning. Links below.

    Encouraging more frequent nursing is a good idea. Again, bottles and pacifiers may prevent baby from wanting to nurse with normal frequency.

    I have had two children diagnosed with reflux. The oldest we did meds (first zantac then prevacid) and the younger we decided to not medicate. In both cases what I found helped the most was:
    Nursing frequently
    Holding baby upright (head above tummy) most of the time, and always after nursing for at least 30-60 minutes. Babies slept best cuddled on my chest or my husbands, but the same was true of my third baby who did not have reflux.
    Wearing baby in a sling

    Newborn babies expect to be held most of the time. It is normal for a baby to protest if they are not being held. A sling or wrap or other soft carrier where baby can be held head above tum, snuggled closely to you, can make these early months much easier. It is never too late to start wearing baby if you have not already. I did not start using a sling with my oldest until he was 4 months old and at the height of his reflux issues.
    The first few weeks post partum are fairly early for the diagnoses of reflux, but if you feel confident that is what is going on, meds are usually helpful when there is painful reflux.
    Severe reflux may cause breast refusal (baby would probably not want a bottle either, as the reason for this is that eating hurts.) But probably more typically, babies with reflux want to nurse MORE often, because nursing is comforting and breastmilk is soothing for the pain.

    Hope this helps.

    Links: Paced bottle feeding: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs

    article on GER I think is pretty good: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/hea...t-what-do-faqs
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; December 19th, 2014 at 04:34 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 7 week old and suddenly not latching

    Yes, We waited until almost 4 weeks with the bottles and pacifier because we were concerned about baby refusing the breast because of using those.

    And no, of course the bottle did not just contain medicine - it was medicine and breast milk. She is on Prevacid this week, so we are down to one bottle a day as before. We were giving the Zantac in a bottle with breast milk. I do pump when she's being given a bottle.

    She has at least 6-8 poopy diapers and wet diapers a day, sometimes more.

    I do wear her in a sling quite a bit. It's the only way she will calm down sometimes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 7 week old and suddenly not latching

    we were able to give all meds in a syringe with a wide opening but if a bottle works best for you why not. We put the prevacid suspension in distilled water I think? The prevacid was sweet. http://www.ehow.com/how_2062868_give...at-reflux.html

    Unless things have changed in the last 11 years, liquid Zantac tastes irredeemably gross. This is a little out there but maybe mixing it with breastmilk caused baby to associate breastmilk taste with zantac taste?

    Just FYI More on the possible impact of bottles and pacifiers on breastfeeding http://www.normalfed.com/continuing/tripnip/ and http://www.carrielauth.com/breastfee...-syndrome.html

    For encouraging the reluctant nurser in general, here are many ideas: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

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