Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Does a huge latch really matter?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12

    Default Does a huge latch really matter?

    Hello all

    I have a 7 week old little guy who has been exclusively BF since birth. When he was born he had an AWESOME latch. As time went on, maybe a week later, his latch became much smaller and he started clicking with every suck/swallow. We have been to lactation appts, had his tongue and lip lasered, tried all sorts of nursing positions, cranio sacral, chiropracter, and been doing suck training. I can see him swallowing air when he is latched on so nursing can take quite a while with the crying and burping. I don't really know why this change happened....

    His weight is FANTASTIC. He is 7 weeks and has gained almost 4 pounds. At our lactation appts, they weight him first and usually ask me, "well, his weight is great, so whats the problem" (like I'm making this all up in my head) and then they watch him nurse and are puzzled at how he is gaining so much. I think seeing all the breastfeeding videos and pictures and lactation specialist telling me his latch isn't big enough stresses me out. I sometimes feel like we aren't doing this right but then my husband says, but look at his weight gain! You are doing it!

    My question is, does latch really matter? My guy doesn't have a huge latch, his upper lip is tucked in no matter what I do, and he clicks. I have never felt any pain, and my nipple is never misshapen after a nursing session. Sometimes I really stress out about his latch and then I remember he is gaining weight fine... any thoughts? Anyone have a similar experience?

    Thanks mommas
    Last edited by @llli*elisabethtara; December 20th, 2015 at 08:16 PM.
    Momma to Miss Elisabeth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Does a huge latch really matter?

    Hi, welcome and congrats on making it so far!

    There's nothing more frustrating to feel like you have an issue only to be blown off by people because "but oh his weight is fine!"

    That said, if you're not feeling pain, his latch doesn't have to look like anything. If he's gaining well, and you don't hirt, then it's ok! The extra air intake might work itself out as his mouth gets bigger. In the mean time, maybe try to keep him upright as much as possible to help the air escape? This might be the only potential issue, since it can lead to a stressed out mom and an upset baby.

    My son never had a text book latch. He's always been shallow bit I've never felt pain and he has gained well. He's almost a year! If you feel that he's gaining well and you don't mind the latch, let it be. If the air swallowing bothers you, push your doctors into finding you someone who might be able to help with that. Good luck momma!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Does a huge latch really matter?

    What a latch looks like means little to nothing. What it feels like, and how well the baby transfers milk while nursing- that means everything! A latch that looks wonky but which results in plenty of milk for the baby and doesn't hurt mom- that's a good latch. If you have any doubts, you watch diaper output and weight gain, and as long as those 2 things remain normal you don't have to worry.

    Are you noticing any of the following:
    - frequent feelings of fullness of engorgement
    - strong letdown sensation
    - lots of leaking; one breast may leak heavily while the baby nurses on the other side
    - baby getting full from just one breast
    - baby feeding very rapidly, perhaps in as little as 5-10 minutes
    - baby being a fussy nurser, acting reluctant to latch on or not wanting to be nursed to sleep or comforted with the breast
    - baby pulling off the breast during a letdown, at which point you may see milk spraying or streaming from the breast
    - ability to pump a lot of milk very quickly

    Also, what position do you generally nurse in?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Does a huge latch really matter?

    His weight gain and diaper output is good.

    We usually nurse cross-cradle and sidelying at night. We have tried the others, but I feel like he has the best latch in cross cradle. (yes, we have tried the breast-crawl/laid back, his latch is even smaller that way....)

    I do often times feel too full and that i need to pump out the excess milk, but I also pump because I am scared that his "bad latch" won't help me produce enough. He does get a lot of milk quickly. We have done weigh feed weights and I swear he has only been on for 30 seconds and he gets an ounce, I am always surprised. He doesn't pull of the breast during letdown but he does seem to swallow air. I am not able to pump a lot of milk quickly, I actually usually can't respond to the pump at all unless I have him latched onto the other breast.

    As I said above, he had a fantastic latch but I don't know what happened, I have no idea why it has become smaller. Again, it doesn't hurt.

    He does nurse very frequently, and falls asleep at the breast a lot, but I think that can be normal for a 7 week old, right?

    His older sister was a horrible nurser, and the experience has given me a lot of anxiety. She had a tiny, painful latch, horrible reflux and hated nursing. We did all of her feedings in her sleep and lots of pumping and bottles in her sleep. This was a huge commitment and despite being told numerous times by "professionals" that I could not breastfed, I did. Around 10 months, she enjoyed it and we continued until she was about 15 months, i cherish those sweet times with her.

    I think because of her experience, I have a lot of anxiety. I feel anxious when lactation appts tell me that he is not latching well but they don't know how to help, or when they say to bottle-fed instead,or when they say I can't go on feeding him so long and so frequently. I feel anxious when I watch videos of women breastfeeding and see these ENORMOUS latches that we can't seem to get. I feel anxious when i read about latch and how mother will dry up without a good one. I think because of her experience, I know how wonderful breastfeeding is but I feel a bit damaged from her experience. I wonder why my babies don't have these big latches....?

    Surely, just because we aren't textbook doesn't mean that we can't breastfeed too, right? I often times hear him clicking and feel like we are failing. I think i just need to know that we are okay, and that we are making it work the best we know how.

    WOw. Geez, can you tell this stresses me out?? haha. Thank you!
    Last edited by @llli*elisabethtara; December 21st, 2015 at 12:29 PM.
    Momma to Miss Elisabeth

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Does a huge latch really matter?

    Gosh, it is nice to hear from a mom like me. Thank you for responding. Congrats on almost making it to the year point, that is such a victorious feeling
    Momma to Miss Elisabeth

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Does a huge latch really matter?

    How many before and after nursing weight checks have you had done and what was the result?

    Also, laid back nursing or biological nurturing has nothing whatsoever to do with "breast crawl." This is a misconception. Of course you can use whatever positions you like, but I want to point this out for general information.

    The research on laid back very specifically did not involve baby crawling up the mother's body and self attaching. Babies who were studied were usually assisted by mother in latching or at least in finding the nipple. All laid back means is that mom and baby are in what research and comparison with other species indicates is a biologically natural position for nursing- mom is leaning back- NOT lying flat on her back. She can be in any amount of lean, from a lot to a little. Baby can be in any position at all as long as baby's front or some of baby's front is against mom. In fact one of the benefits of laid back positioning is that baby can more easily approach the breast from any direction.

    Also, interestingly, the researcher who did the research on laid back mentioned at a lecture I attended that there is no evidence supporting the idea that a "good latch" must be large, "asymmetric, " or mean baby has some specific amount of the breast in the mouth. What makes a latch good is baby is gaining normally, transferring milk normally, and mom is comfortable when nursing, and also that milk is being transferred well enough to prevent breastfeeding problems- engorgement, plugs, mastitis and/or low milk production. Of course well enough also means frequently enough- frequent nursing (10 times a day or more) is the norm in the newborn period.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Does a huge latch really matter?

    Thanks for the response!

    We have done about 4 weigh-feed-weighgs. Transferring has been from half an ounce to 2.5 ounces. The 2.5 took an hour!

    That is awesome you were able to attend the conference and thank you for clarifying that information with me. We did laid back breastfeeding and it just felt sooo awkward. Maybe we were doing it wrong. We did it at a lactation appt as a last result and then scrapped the idea as soon as she saw it made his latch smaller.

    As for the latch info, that is nice to hear. Although I worry about him preventing breastfeeding problems. I have already had mastitis and I pump because Im scared of my supply dropping.
    Momma to Miss Elisabeth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Does a huge latch really matter?

    Hmmm. Well, the two numbers (intake per session and overall gain) do not match. When were these last done? How many times does baby nurse in 24 hours typically?

    Because your before and after nursing weight check results indicate a possible problem with transfer. Some sessions being under 2 ounces is fine, but overall it would be more reassuring to see a 2 ounce transfer over 20-30 minutes or less as an average. BUT the measured per session transfer sounds oddly low considering how baby is gaining. 4 pounds in 7 weeks averages to a little over a half pound a week, which is normal weight gain (although not fast enough to indicate overproduction) although that depends on when that gain was, exactly. For example, if baby lost weight at first, as is typical, then regained to birth weight by 2 weeks, then baby gained 4 pounds in 5 weeks, that is fast enough that it might indicate OP. OP and a fast letdown is likely to lead to baby clicking and gulping, and for that as well as other reasons, may result is a more gassy than average baby. The easiest cure in this case is to help baby handle the flow with different positions, one being laid back, the other being sidelying, and also to encourage baby to nurse frequently overall.

    There truly is not wrong or right way to nurse laid back. It is a very adjustable position and can be done numerous ways. Again all it really means is mom is not sitting ramrod straight (or sidelying) and baby is more or less "on top." This is why it can help in slowing a fast flow. If you want to learn more about it, look at Nancy Morhbacher's blog and the biological nurturing website. But also, there is no right or wrong way to nurse in general. There is what works best for you and your baby, and whatever that is will probably change over time.

    I tend to agree with your husband- baby is gaining well so all looks good. HOWEVER, just to cover all bases, it really is not ONLY about initial weight gain. Sometimes there is a latch or transfer issue of some kind, and the breast is not being emptied well, but because mom has terrific OP and a fast letdown, baby gains great- at first. But after a while, milk production is impacted and you start seeing a problem with production. But after all you have been though and all the specialists you have seen, I cannot imagine that is still the problem. Still, what I would like to know is how those before and after nursing weight checks fit with the rest of the picture. Because something there seems off.

    Whatever you do, don't let anyone talk you into block nursing to decrease your milk production until you are more certain all is fine with babies ability to transfer milk. See this article for more on that: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog?tag=Block+Feeding

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Does a huge latch really matter?

    Thanks for the response.

    It was actually last week, two consecutive days, that we did two of our weighs. The first day he got the 2.5 and the second day he got the .5. Im not exactly sure how many times baby nurses in 24 hours. We co-sleep and it seems like he is latched on all the time during the day. He may be off the breast for about 30 mins at a time.

    Maybe his weight is good because he nurses so often? Just small amounts all day? I too am always surprised to see his weight going up. I think that he might get the milk he does because i have a slight oversupply-which I do on purpose for him.

    Maddie, I don't know what to do. I wish my baby just ate larger amounts and didn't do all this weird clicking but I feel like I have no more ideas. I'm out of them. I actually feel quite helpless. As I said, I don't know why my kids are like this, and I wonder if i am doing something to cause this.

    Breastfeeding is not easy. Its not more convenient. Its hard.It is stressful. It doesn't get better at 6 weeks for us. I want to give up so many times but even if I did, my baby does not know how to take a bottle, which might be to my benefit so I dont give up. I would go see anyone, I would pay the little money we have to help, but we have exhausted our resources. I don't know who else to turn to. Its just puzzling to everyone.

    I guess even if my baby is different, he is mine. We will make it work. I did with my daughter and I will with him, I was just hoping for a different experience.
    Momma to Miss Elisabeth

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Does a huge latch really matter?

    Oh my goodness, I am watching Nancy's videos on youtube. This is so foreign to me. THIS MAKES SENSE!!!!! Im going to keep watching and update you!
    Momma to Miss Elisabeth

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •