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Thread: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    Dear tonica,
    I've read your thread last night and was thinking about your case since.
    First of all, you sound so frustrated! This breastfeeding adventure seemed very difficult, and you are a great mom for making it that far!
    We often think that we're the only ones struggling with BF and that everyone else just glides through it easily.
    SO. NOT. TRUE.
    Truth is, so many moms just stop doing it when it's not working and switch to formula and bottles, that we don't even imagine how many people have difficulties breastfeeding. You have done a great job making it to 6 months, I'm sure the majority would have already given up. You seem settled on stopping now and it is fair enough. If breastfeeding struggle is making you terribly upset and tired, this would be a right thing to do. After all, the baby needs his nurturing from happy mother, and it's better to feed with the bottle and a smile than with the breast and tears. Just make sure that this is REALLY what you want to do, because weaning is a one-way door, so if you get in, make sure you won't regret it few weeks later.

    I'm just a first-time mom of a 6-months-old girl, so not the most experienced person to give advice, but my breastfeeding journey was terribly hard as well (very slow gain, nursing strike, supply tanking up at 3 months, Motilium, constant pumping, baby refusing breast because of slow flow, plus I have a bottle refuser), so I do have a few thoughts if you want to consider trying something new...
    What I'd do if I were you (based on pretty much what I've done) is to try and establish a positive relationship with the pump... A good double pump and a hands-free bra, this is what will allow you to pump regularly, not waiting for you son to fall asleep and hopefully nurse then. Just establish a regular pumping schedule.
    I'd also try feeding him this milk with SNS and not a bottle. Sounds crazy since your son refuses breast, but if the breast is nearly empty after a pumping session, you won't have an overactive letdown, what if he'll like it? Also, his (possibly) bad latch won't matter, because drinking from the latex tube is easier. At the same time, this is still nursing, meaning that your breast gets the stimulation, and this is better for your supply than just pumping exclusively. And if he refuses while awake, I'd feed him using SNS in his sleep (for breast stimulation reasons again, even if you successfully pumped just before).

    I don't know to which point it is true, but they say that babies have a memory of last 3 days only. Hopefully this means that gradually your son might stop associating breast with unpleasant experience and will be happy nursing with SNS. From there, you may consider other things.

    Ok, what's the worst that can happen in this scenario? If he won't take the breast with SNS you'll just turn into one of these exclusively pumping moms. And even if your supply will go down eventually, there are always things to try: supplementing with formula (better than 100% formula!), Motilium (works wonders for those who already had a good supply once), and eventually, gradually, baby-led weaning as well, because he'll be soon eating solids!

    Just if you decide to give it a try, try it with a positive attitude. Pumping can be tedious, but don't make it tedious. Hands-free pumping is actually fun: you can fold the laundry, play with your older son, eat breakfast, pay the bills, etc. And you can have a great satisfaction, because you'll be calmly, without stress, providing your little one with the milk he needs - despite all the troubles you had earlier.

    In any case, whatever you decide, good job already for making it work till 6 months. And good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tonica.mom View Post
    I think I can not do this anymore. For months focus of my life has been his naps and sleeping so that he would nurse. And as he is older he is sleeping less and resisting more and more to sleep.
    I have also a 3y old son at thome. He needs mom also who is not focused only on his brother's sleep, pumping and wathching on clock.
    My younger son got 6m of exclusive breastfeeding from me. I can not have his eating as my responsibility anymore. He will have formula and bottle. And it will be up to him how much and when he will eat.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tonica.mom View Post
    Thank you for the clarification about the issue of deep latch.
    I forgot to say, he is nursing lying down flat or little bit proped up on his back. And I just lean over him.
    I'm not a specialist at all, but I just looked up laryngomalacia on wikipedia, and it says that the condition is often the worst when lying on the back:
    "It is often worse when the infant is on his or her back, because the floppy tissues can fall over the airway opening more easily in this position."

    I know, you probably tried everything and this is what works best for nursing, but are you sure there's no position he'd like more?

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    Me leaning over him is the only position he will accept nursing when awake at this moment. Sometimes, but rarely, he will accept nursing side-lying on bed or cradle hold while walking. But these two he will usually accept minute before he goes to sleep. So it is not something I can count on when he is awake and playful.
    Before our nursing strike, which would be 4 months ago, we nursed cradle hold, sidelying, him sitting on my tighs and being vertical. We did try laid back position, but he did not like it, and I felt he had troubles with really shallow latch at that position.
    Football hold and cross cradle is something that I never felt comfortable with.
    We also did some nursing in sling and ssc but since his head goes down to grab breast, he usually starts coughing after few swallows.

    And about pumping. Thank you. But I hate it very much. Maybe if this was my only child I could arrange my life around pumping. But with toddler running and screaming and tantruming around- I will pass it.
    SNS is no go. When awake he grabs tubes. When asleep I can never hit the right moment when he will get hungry and nurse.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    Football hold and cross cradle is something that I never felt comfortable with.
    Yes, many people find these positions uncomfortable. These are "old" recommendations. Now of course they work great for many, but in general the thinking on positioning has moved away from those positions unless they are needed to help with some specific issue. Again, such positions tend to put baby on their back, or at least, with pressure being applied to the back.

    Unlike foot ball or cradle or cross cradle, Laid back is not a nursing position, but rather a general idea or nursing style. All it means in mom is reclined- it could be a very slight recline to a lot, any degree. Also you can recline and turn to any degree to either side, rather than leaning "straight" back. Baby can be in ANY position at all that is comfortable. The breast is round, baby an "come to" the breast from any direction. With an older baby like yours, positioning is going to have to take into account baby's size as well. So again, there is a wide range of mobility with this positioning idea. So experimenting may be helpful. It may be easier to think about what laid back is NOT than what it is. Basically all it means is baby is not having pressure applied to their back and mom is relaxed and supported. So when you nursed your baby before the strike, some of the time, you were already doing "laid back."

    Now my rule is, do what works. If baby lying on their back and you leaning over is what works, then that is what works. I was just trying to explain why that positioning itself might be creating some of the issues you are seeing when baby nurses.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    I understand.
    Side-lying usual works the best for most LM babies. We use it in sleep too.
    However the trouble is that he likes to curl into foetal positin next to me which leads to tucking his chin down.
    And about laid back position... Well, when I was advised by few LCs on this position, they also told that from theirs experience many babies do not like that position. So I really wonder is there some mismatch between theory and practice on this position.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    Ok, so if sidelying is usually working best, maybe there is a way to modify sidelying so you can do it when you and baby are not in bed? Or maybe I am loosing track of your goal, sorry if that is the case.

    So I really wonder is there some mismatch between theory and practice on this position.
    I agree, there is a mismatch, and that is that in practice LCs are not understanding what laid back means.

    What we have come to (usually) refer to as "laid back breastfeeding" was originally researched by a nurse and lactation consultant in the UK named Suzanne Colson. Colson videotaped nursing mothers and babies for many years in both France and in the UK (and maybe other places, I forget) and came to identify several things that led to more comfortable and more effective nursing- "more successful" nursing. So it was not based on theory- she used what she discovered in practice to identify the aspects of what she then called biological nurturing. She also researched nursing positions in other similar mammals to see if there were similarities in what she was seeing in human nursing pairs. (What I have written there is a very brief and incomplete summary of Colson's research.) Since Colson began talking and writing about what she found, other lactation consultants have done their own practice based research into the area, most notably Nancy Morhbacher who is an extremely well established and well respected LC who writes the most commonly referenced lactation textbook "Breastfeeding Answers made Simple."

    What Colson found in her research was that there is no one "right way" to breastfeed- or a "wrong" way. What works is the right way. At the time she first published her findings, this was a very radical viewpoint because LCs and doctors had been teaching mothers "how" exactly to nurse for many years, with specific positions (like cradle and cross cradle) that were not based on any research, but were in fact mostly mimics of how babies were usually (at the time) bottle fed.

    I have found many moms feel uncomfortable when they first try laid back and/or the baby squirms at first. But with adjustments, usually these problems are eliminated. I am sure there are some nursing pairs who never find a workable position that could ever be called laid back, but I think that is going to be the minority.

    What I suspect is that when an LC says many babies do not like "that position", they do not fully understand Colson's research, because again, laid back does not in any way refer to any one nursing position. In fact what Coulson found was that when mothers were "taught" specific positions they were more likely to be uncomfortable nursing their baby. What seemed to work best usually was to allow mothers and babies to figure things out on their own, with assistance from the LC as needed, mostly of the reassurance variety.

    I have heard or read some LCs who think laid back requires skin to skin (skin to skin has its own research backing up its use as a tool, but skin to skin is NOT needed to nurse "laid back." Others think it has to do with having a baby "self latch" and while there is some indication that laid back positioning helps a baby "self latch," it is perfectly ok and natural for a mom to help a baby latch while still "doing" laid back.

    Also I have read over what I wrote before and something I said about cradle and football holds was misleading. Actually, with a few adjustments, both cradle (or cross cradle) and foot ball holds can be used when mom is nursing "laid back."
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 6th, 2017 at 06:31 PM.

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    Wow Maddieb, I am amazed by your knowledge.
    Can you tell me more about "rules" that baby should finish breast/emtpy after each nursing, or that at each feeding baby should be offered both breasts.
    I find it hard to offer both breasts at same feeding. He can hardly finish one breasts before he looses his interest. Sometimes it worked in the evenings when breasts were more empty.
    And I find it hard to even remember which breast was offered last time (like I got some kind of mommy amnesia, I wasn't like that with my first child).
    I am asking this because some LCs told me I can mess up my supply if I am not careful with these things.
    By the way, for day and half we have been nursing in side-lying position when awake, between naps! No more biting and shallow latch. Once I even managed to get him nurse like a kitty I was mostly on my back lying on bed, he was beside me, with his front on bed. He just lifted his head and nursed without fuss or any sign of instability. However, he still looses his suction. Which results in huge air swallow. This kind of things scarry me a bit because I remember that air swallowing was one the things that made his nursings uncomfortable before our nursing strike.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    Can you tell me more about "rules" that baby should finish breast/emtpy after each nursing, or that at each feeding baby should be offered both breasts.
    Neither of these practices is necessary and in fact few babies nurse this way.

    As an example, think of two moms, each with a nursing baby. One has an ounce of milk in each breast at the start of a particular feeding, and other has 4 ounces in each breast. If each baby only "wants" two ounces at the moment, that is all they are going to take. In the case of the first mom, baby will nurse until mom has another letdown, or will take the other side, or will switch back and forth, or will request to nurse again a few moments later, etc. Whatever it needs to to get what it needs.
    The second baby will nurse on one side, NOT empty it, NOT be interested in the other side, baby will be done and that is that.

    Both babies got what they needed, so in neither case is there any problem, although the mom with the fuller breasts may experience some discomfort if baby does not nurse again soon.

    So these "rules" are useless as general "rules." Where trying to get baby to nurse on both sides each nursing session comes from is if baby is gaining poorly, because this is a practice that tends to increase milk production. Same with "emptying" the breast. But even in cases of slow gain, these are techniques to increase milk production (along with nursing frequently) and not "rules" that every nursing session has to be that way.

    I find it hard to offer both breasts at same feeding. He can hardly finish one breasts before he looses his interest. Sometimes it worked in the evenings when breasts were more empty.
    So, you can see it makes sense that the "emptier" a breast is, the more likely baby will want both sides. But always remember baby nurse for comfort as well as food, and will sometimes want to nurse longer even after they have had "enough" and other times will get what they need quickly and not nurse longer.

    And I find it hard to even remember which breast was offered last time (like I got some kind of mommy amnesia, I wasn't like that with my first child).
    It is very common to forget this. What I did is I "hefted" each breast and offered the one that felt fuller than the other. If that did not work, I basically offered one and saw how baby felt about it. Some moms use a safety pin reminder on their blouse, but I do not think in most cases this is needed. It is not the end of the world if baby nurses from the same side for two feedings in a row.

    By the way, for day and half we have been nursing in side-lying position when awake, between naps! No more biting and shallow latch. Once I even managed to get him nurse like a kitty I was mostly on my back lying on bed, he was beside me, with his front on bed. He just lifted his head and nursed without fuss or any sign of instability. However, he still looses his suction. Which results in huge air swallow. This kind of things scarry me a bit because I remember that air swallowing was one the things that made his nursings uncomfortable before our nursing strike.
    It really sounds like you are making progress. I think if you keep playing around with it you will find positions or tricks to help baby hold a better latch. If baby swallows air, baby may need to burp, and you can help baby burp if needed.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    I just want to chime in and say I had a clicker. It wasn't a bad latch situation. It was a coping mechanism my son used to control my milk flow. Which was plentiful. It sounds like your baby is nursing plenty. I hope you keep at it!

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Latch better at full breast - help!!!!!

    It is not just clicking. It is gulping of air. I mean, you can hear how it travels and hits stomach. And it is huge put off for him for nursing. Sometimes I feel it is due to poor seal, sometimes that he takes breath at the wrong moment, sometimes his eyes become watery, sometimes it is when there is let down. And it is happening more often again and again. I am afraid we are heading to another nursing strike. Maybe it was 6m growth spurt that made him nurse again when awake. But we are now over with that growth spurt and it is harder and harder to get him to nurse nicely. Sometimes he manages it. He pulls on breast tissue nice, pulls it deep in his mouth and has no troubles finishing nursing without excessive air gulping. But that happens once in few days. Other times it is just shallow super quick sucks. And then it happens again and again that gulping of air. And nursing is finished until you can count to three.
    Last edited by @llli*tonica.mom; November 13th, 2017 at 05:55 AM.

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