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Thread: need some advice: change in latch?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    72

    Default need some advice: change in latch?

    Hi everyone. I hope someone can help me out.

    We've made it 3.5 weeks breastfeeding -every day I've wanted to quit. I thought things were slowly getting better, but we've hit another bump in the road and I'm getting very frustrated.

    We started out with flat nipples, which have come out a bit with breast shells and pumping. But the initial week left me with deeply cracked nipples. They were starting to get better when the LO's latch improved, but now she's changed her latch again.

    I've noticed in the past couple of days that her lower lip isn't protruding, and she is scraping at the areola with her gum line instead of milking it with her tongue-very painful! Also, she has started fussing at the boob, tearing her head back and forth. She hasn't had a full feeding in days (the kind where she spits out the nipple in glorious drunkeness). Mostly, she tears herself off and won't latch again, or I have to take her off because of the pain. Then, of course, she wants to eat again in 30 minutes because she never finished.

    Has anyone experienced this kind of latching problem? How do I correct it? I've tried to pull her lower lip out while she is eating, without much success. I've found that sometimes she will latch well at the start, but then switch to scraping after a few minutes.

    Also, any thoughts on the fussing? I thought maybe it was OALD, but she mostly does it only on the left side. I don't have oversupply (that I know of, anyway).

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Things are supposed to be getting better by now, and I feel like we are going backwards!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: need some advice: change in latch?

    It is possible to have OALD only on one side. If you take her off when your milk letsdown, does it spray or drip fast? If so, you can let that initial letdown spray into a cloth, then put her back on. (If that seems to be the problem, there are other "fixes", too.) Hang in there! I know it's hard when the first weeks are rough going, but it will get better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    152

    Default Re: need some advice: change in latch?

    i know how you feel...my son had latching problems from beginning. i didn't recognize it until it was too late. i had deep cracks on both my nipples and blood and scabs and cried everytime i brought him to my breast. my son also would tuck him lower lip and gum me instead of using his tongue. i found it difficult to untuck his lip, so my husband would do it for me.

    what really helped with the painful nipples were those medela shields that you can wear tucked in your bra. they keep air circulating so they can heal faster. they help with flat nipples as well. i also occasionally used "soothies" (i bought them at walgreens) that i kept cold in the fridge.

    somewhere around 6-8 weeks, things clicked in our nursing relationship. we stuck at it, his mouth grew bigger, we worked on the latch, etc. i know what you're going through makes you want to quit, but you're doing great and this stage will pass. set yourself little goals. and get to a lll meeting if you can. it really helped me to be around supportive women who had gone through what i was experiencing.

    my son is a year this month and i can't imagine not nursing him. it's the best thing in the world! you will get to this point, i promise.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    72

    Default Re: need some advice: change in latch?

    Thanks so much for your replies! I think the fussing is OALD... she has started doing it on the other side as well, now. I have tried to let the flow out on a cloth, as you suggested. It seems to help a bit. We also tried feeding "uphill" with her laying on top of me, but she still choked and sputtered.

    How did your LO get over the OALD? Do they adjust to the flow eventually? Or will this always be a problem?

    Also, what did you do to correct the latching problem? And how long did that take? I've been trying to get more boob into the mouth, and I've been making small changes in positioning her head, but nothing seems to click. It gives me hope that she does sometimes latch correctly -I just wish I knew what the difference was.

    Thanks so much! We're getting through this on a day to day basis. Poor dad is miserable watching us. He wants me to give her pumped milk, but I think that will just make things worse (supply, nipple confusion, etc).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: need some advice: change in latch?

    Have you talked to a LLLeader or IBCLC? Some in person help with positioning and latch can make a huge difference. As they get older, they just get better at dealing with the OALD and your supply will eventually even out which also helps. It won't be like this forever!

    I know it's hard on DH right now and he just wants to make things better, but exclusive pumping presents a whole other set of issues and in the long run, direct bfing is MUCH easier!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    72

    Default Re: need some advice: change in latch?

    I just wanted to say thanks for the replies!

    I tried to call all the local LLL numbers on Friday, but they were either wrong numbers or no one picked up. So, I did the next best thing... Started from the beginning again.

    We reworked our latch over the past couple of days. We just went back to the absolute basics and latched step by step. In doing so, I discovered that I was getting lazy in making my U "sandwich", and I wasn't holding it until she started sucking. Adjusting those two things has made a world of difference. I'm much less sore, and the cracks are starting to heal again. Every feeding, we're getting better! And now I'm feeling optimistic again.

    As for the OALD, I've noticed that she chugs it down during her midnight feedings without any complaints. It just seems that she's fussy about it during the day feedings. Hopefully she will grow into this, too.

    Thanks again for your thoughts. This place is a haven for new moms!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: need some advice: change in latch?

    Glad to hear things are getting better! I think it's pretty typical for lo's to do better with OALD at night than during the day. Hope things continue to improve. Good job sticking with it.

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