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Thread: Shallow Latch, Clicking and Slipping

  1. #1

    Default Shallow Latch, Clicking and Slipping

    LO is 8 weeks old. I have saw three separate LCs (I am stationed in Germany, so no LLL meetings or teachers here) and none of them have been able to help. I have already tried lay back positions, expressing before feeding and "sandwicing" the breast" Here are the issues
    1) LO doesn't seem to have a wide gape no matter what I do, so I basically HAVE to sandwich and stuff. As he sucks (even w/ me holding) he clicks and slips further down (also, he roots ok but when he finds breast, he'll nibble on the nipple but won't naturally latch- suggestions on this?)
    2) I think it might be bc of the gape, but I have to HOLD the breast the entire feeding time. If I don't, he will slip down to the nipple (telling me again his latch is not good- but how do I fix that?)
    3) I had a very strong over-supply but have now regulated, this helped w/ several issues that were present at the beginning, but still think I have OALD. I have tried all the lay back positions but it's near impossible since as soon as I lay back, even w/ holding the breast, he slips even worse to the nipple
    4) He is only eating for about 5-10 minutes total and only on one side at a time. Is it possible that that is still ok if I have such a strong let down? He is a big, healthy growing boy w/ all the right amount of diapers. Should I assume it is ok even though it isn't the "15-20 minutes per side" situation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Shallow Latch, Clicking and Slipping

    Welcome to the forum!

    Lack of wide gape: several possibilities to explain this. Baby could simply have a small mouth. Baby could have some sort of physical restriction that makes it difficult for him to open his mouth wide (think tongue tie). Or this could be a learned thing- maybe he has learned that keeping his mouth semi-closed allows him to latch on at his preferred depth. I would try the following:
    - Be patient. He may simply grow out of this.
    - Be patient in the moment, when he is latching. Sometimes mom will try to stuff her breast into baby's mouth, but if she waited maybe he would open a bit wider and latch on better by himself. (Seems like this will not work for you, but I would try it from time to time anyway. As baby grows and develops, his latching skills will probably improve.)
    - Try to latch baby on before he is actually hungry. When a baby is already hungry, he may do the frantic "open-close-open" thing that prevents a wide-open mouth.
    - If baby is frantic, try offering him a clean pinky finger to suck on, with nail held down towards his tongue. A few seconds of sucking on mom's finger may calm him enough for a repeat latch attempt.
    - Google "asymmetrical latch" and "flipple" for some more techniques for getting maximum breast into tiny mouth.

    Slipping down on the nipples, clicking: hard to say why this is happening. As above, may be a result of baby being small and young. Almost surely a result of oversupply and fast letdowns, at least in part! Clicking (breaking suction) and a shallow latch to help control milk flow. Suggestions for fixing it, and the problem where you need to hold the breast throughout the feeding:
    - Keep trying the laid-back positions. You may need to lay back really far to take advantage of gravity- you're aiming to let gravity pull the baby's heavy head forward, so that he cannot pull back and "slip up" on the nipple. You're also aiming to enlist gravity to slow the flow of milk to the baby.
    - If laid-back positions don't work, try using a supportive nursing bra to hold the breast up. Sometimes babies slip up on the nipple because the breast is heavy. A supportive bra can keep it from dragging down on baby's mouth. I found that a soft cup bra with an underwire was what worked for me- and while under wires are not generally recommended, they are okay for some moms.
    - Use lots of pillows to position baby and breast in a way that prevents gravity from pulling baby off the breast or pulling the breast away from the baby.
    - Try propping the breast up using a rolled-up washcloth tucked under the crease of the breast.

    OALD: takes time to fix! Your baby stil eats in 5-10 minutes and only from 1 breast, which is absolutely fine as long as his diaper output and weight gain are on track. But it does imply that you still have a large supply and that is probably what is causing a lot of your other issues. Suggestions for fixing this:
    - Time, patience, more time, more patience!
    - Avoid pumping, if you are pumping, as any extra milk removal/stimulation will increase/perpetuate high supply issues.

    Your baby is just 2 months old, and it sounds like you are actually doing really, really well considering how young he is. I think these problems will probably vanish in another month or two, so just hang in there!

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