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Thread: Tips to help with Latch?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    55

    Default Tips to help with Latch?

    Hi guys,
    my lo is now 6 weeks and his mouth is still pretty tiny for my plus-sized "feeders". I do the sandwich thing with my fingers to get as much nipple in the mouth as possible, but it's still pretty hard for him to get a good latch and to stay latched (without pain to mommy, that is). I do different positions, football hold works really well on the right, but for some reason it hurts like crazy on the left, and I've tried pumping beforehand (I have oald). Anything else I can try?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Tips to help with Latch?

    I have had the same problem. My lo is now finally opening his mouth wide enough. It started around three months and has gotten progressively better. I'm no longer sore either which is a big plus. THe doctor told me to just give him some time to grow and it really helped. There are still times that I do the sandwich thing if he is not latch on right. Good luck and don't give up. Get help if you have someone any your area that provides it, I have benefited from this quite a bit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,965

    Default Re: Tips to help with Latch?

    Have you tried nursing in the side-lying position? I found that my baby tended to slip up on the nipple when my breast wasn't really well-supported. When side-lying, the bed supported my 40DD breast, so that it didn't drag down on my baby's mouth and tire her out. Alternately, a rolled-up washcloth or clean cloth diaper beneath your breast can help give you some support. HTH! If not, just hang in there- it gets a lot easier as they grow!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,959

    Default Re: Tips to help with Latch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycie1 View Post
    Hi guys,
    I do the sandwich thing with my fingers to get as much nipple in the mouth as possible, but it's still pretty hard for him to get a good latch and to stay latched I do different positions, football hold works really well on the right, but for some reason it hurts like crazy on the left, and I've tried pumping beforehand (I have oald). Anything else I can try?
    Hi! The sandwich trick is useful! You can also try lip-tickling to encourage a wider mouth, and then jam it in Some physical therapists say that if you put pressure against the direction you actually want a limb to move, you have greater luck. You could try and put a finger on babies chin and gently close. You might find that baby pushes against the finger and goes wider on you.

    A side note about oald, is that pumping unfortunately isn't going to help. If you have a strong let down reflex, your milk ducts will expand at the same rate, not matter how much milk you have. In other words its going to rain milk no matter how much you pump. In addition, excessive pumping will only serve to increase the amount of milk your breast thinks your baby needs. pumping=increased demand=more milk production.
    So you might be thinking to yourself, "well, so what- I have extra milk... whats the big deal?" Well, in truth it isn't a huge deal, but it makes you baby have more milk to drink before it can get to the fat-rich hindmilk. The first milk the baby gets is thinner, and as the nursing session goes on, more fat is available. You want the hindmilk- it makes for nice yellow/orange and mustard seed poops! Too much milk, and your baby will fill up on the foremilk and never even reach the best stuff!

    Sounds like you guys are off to a good healthy start! Some nipple slipping can start to make your nipples tender and a mama that hurts, is a sad mama. You want to do what you are doing now, which is keeping a close eye on the integrity of your skin. A abraded nipple can impair the whole breastfeeding relationship. Have you called your local lll leader? I have mine on speed dial!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Tips to help with Latch?

    I had the same problem--bigger "feeders" and a boy who didn't want to open his mouth any wider than 40 degrees when they recommend a 140 degree latch.
    Geeze.
    Once your lo is latched on, try gently pushing down on his (her? sorry, I can't remember) chin to increase the latch. Sometimes this would help.
    We met with a cranial sacral therapist to help with my son's latch. She recommended running my finger along his gumline from the back to the front. When reaching the tongue, run your finger under his tongue and make sure you get him to lift it, then proceed through to the other side of the mouth.
    This was very difficult for my son. He would attempt to keep his tongue pressed down.
    Doing this before each feeding helped his latch, a lot.
    It encouraged him to lift and extend his tongue, which ultimately widened his latch and enabled him to get more of the breast in his mouth (not just nibbling on the nipple--ouch).
    It took us a while, but the pains seemed to diminish around 2 1/2 months---
    it seems like forever, but keep working on it---
    it will get better.
    ... mama to alasdair jonas, fifteen days late and (finally) born all natural on june 24, 2007.

    check out my organic baby goods: www.inkpony.etsy.com
    and coming along with using cloth dipes.yay.

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