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Thread: My newborn challenge, lol

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default My newborn challenge, lol

    This is my third baby, he will be 7-weeks tomorrow. I nursed my other two to 4 years and 3 years, 7 months, so I am not exactly new to breastfeeding. But this guy is different and he can make breastfeeding difficult.

    In the early days I though he was not opening his mouth wide enough. That may still be the case occasionally, but I am not totally sure what his deal is. If the nipple is not put exactly where he needs it, he will not latch. It's like he needs it just on the right spot on his tongue or his palete or he doesn't sense it. This makes breastfeeding a fight,a lot of the time.

    Also, if the nipple or his mouth gets too wet, he loses the nipple, and we have to dry off and start again. Both of these issues make nursing in the dark very hard, so often I have to turn on a light in the middle of the night.

    Another thing is it seems sometimes he may want to comfort nurse, but he gets inundated with milk and starts to get mad, pulling off, latching on (or trying), etc. Every few days I have sore nipples again, which could be freom bad positioning or him nursing more frequently, I don't really know.

    His weight gain and output is fine. I imagine these are normal things moms deal with, but I have never dealt with them before, and within my realm of nursing experience, they are foreign to me. It would just help to hear from those who have been there, done that, so I know this too shall pass.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: My newborn challenge, lol

    My first-born was a big comfort nurser. I had an over-abundant milk supply.

    These 2 facts were not very compatible! So for a few months, she sucked on clean pinky fingers (not hers). This worked well, so my supply regulated a bit, and she was soothed, without the extensive milk leakage and spitting up.
    It's an option for those times when baby wants sucking but no food (like those times when I like to chew gum!)

    Gotta run and brush little people's teeth!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: My newborn challenge, lol

    I had a similar problem with my son, I had tons of milk and I actually didn't stop leaking until he was about 9 months old!! So he could not really comfort nurse because any amount of nursing would result in me letting down. So, like Virginia's baby, he sucked on our fingers for a while, until we were comfortable enough that breastfeeding was well enough established that he could try a pacifier. (He never really warmed up to the pacifier, although he uses it for sleep now.) We also had latch problems and I had to keep repositioning him, and he was very wiggly so we used the clutch hold exclusively for the first month or so.

    He is 14 months old now. These things did resolve eventually for us!

  4. #4

    Default Re: My newborn challenge, lol

    I could have written a post about similar problems with my now 7 month old!

    Have you tried an assymetrical latch?
    Line the baby's bottom lip up with the bottom edge of the areola, with the nipple pointed up toward the baby's nose. Quickly bring the baby's mouth up and over the top of the nipple, almost folding it into the mouth (It will look like you're almost not going to get that nipple all the way in). You may have a little areola showing above the baby's upper lip, but there shouldn't be any showing under the bottom lip unless you have very large areolae. Baby's head will be tipped back a little farther than a "traditional" latch.

    It would be easier to show you in person, but that's the best description I can give

    Here's a site with pics (it's not a LLL site):

    LLL LactoJen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: My newborn challenge, lol

    Hi Jebs!

    Congratulations on your new baby! Getting the babes figured out in the early days can really be challenging since they are changing so fast. Good for you for being persistent in trying to figure him out!

    I wonder- was your baby born prematurely? Sometimes, when babies are born early, their sucking reflex isn't as strong as a full-term baby.

    I would wonder too, about some sensory issues. You have been very observant to notice that if your nipple isn't in just the right place in his mouth, he doesn't seem to feel it. I second the suggestion of asymmetrical latch. You may find that nose to nipple, head back like a pez dispenser and then down over your nipple near the roof of his mouth will do the trick for you.

    I would also suggest comfort nursing on the least full breast. You can reduce your milk supply, if you feel you need to, by doing some block nursing. (nurse on one breast for a period of time, 3 to 4 hours; then switch and do this for several days) Some mothers who have huge milk supplies will nurse on one side during the daylight hours and the other side during the nighttime hours. You may have good luck getting together with your local LLL Leader who can watch you nurse.

    Have you had him suck on your finger to see if you can figure out what is going on? The loosing grip while nursing seems to indicate their may be something with the latch going on, as you have observed.

    Keep us posted! In any event, you are doing a great job with being patient with him and nursing on his terms. Good for you!


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