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Thread: Re-teaching latch...?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re-teaching latch...?

    My son is 7 weeks old, but we've only been ebf for the past 2-3 weeks. When he was 2 days old, I was told I needed to supplement (wish I hadn't listened) and at that point my little guy refused to latch once he discovered the bottle. We kept trying, and finally in week 3, he realized that bf was just as easy .
    Then the thrush kicked in .
    Now that we've mostly resolved that issue, I'm still experiencing nipple pain. I believe it's from a bad latch, which I've created in my persistance at convincing my lo to latch. Rather than wait for him to open wide, I started assisting him by using a finger to help him open his jaw. We're effectively feeding this way - he's getting lots of milk - but this method means his tongue isn't positioned correctly, my nipples are getting squished, the tips turn white, and I feel a burning pain during the feeding. My question - how can I re-teach my little one to open his mouth and stick out his tongue, rather than me opening it for him?
    Hoping to one day have pain-free feedings :-)
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    866

    Default Re: Re-teaching latch...?

    The best way to teach LO to latch I found was the nipple tickle. Tickle the underside of LO's nose with your nipple...this should have LO opening wide. Repeat until the mouth is wide enough of a gape to latch on.

    This link should help, there are articles on the left side, and video clips along the right side of the page. Dr. Newman is fantastic. It is worth taking a few to go through.

    HTH!

    http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html#Video%20Clips
    Leslie- Momma to Aiden 02/28/06 AND Owen 2/28/08...What timing

    Older and wiser voices can always help you find the right path, if you are only willing to listen.--Jimmy Buffet


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Re-teaching latch...?

    Thanks for the suggestion!
    I've tried the tickle, but all he does is look up at me and smile, as if to say "haha mom, nice try" lol. I probably need to try for longer, and hopefully, just like the breastfeeding, one of these times he'll figure it out :-)
    In the meantime, I'm continuing to use the creams I was given for thrush (an anti-bacterial and an anti-fungal) after each feeding as these seem to help ease the pain... I'm leery of going to the lanolin because I'm afraid that it'll trap in any remaining bacteria/yeast while I finish healing. Am I worrying unnecessarily? Do you think it's safe to start using lanolin to allay some of the pain?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    866

    Default Re: Re-teaching latch...?

    You could use Lanolin sparingly prior to nursing to help the pain of initial latch. IF you are then cleaning with the vinegar solution afterwards that should somewhat clean that off. Or warm compresses after feels good. Another thing that might help latch (sounds funny) is to use your own saliva to moisten the nipple. Sometimes latching on to a dry nipple is like cracking a huge smile with really dry lips...KWIM? The thing that helped my nipples the fastest I think is sitting in front of my bedroom window 10m 3x a day in the sun. The warmth is soothing and the sun really fights the yeast.

    You can PM me if you have any other ?'s...I'd be happy to give more advice =)
    Leslie- Momma to Aiden 02/28/06 AND Owen 2/28/08...What timing

    Older and wiser voices can always help you find the right path, if you are only willing to listen.--Jimmy Buffet


  5. #5

    Default Re: Re-teaching latch...?

    Sunning the nipples is not recommended and could lead to further nipple damage

    OP--are you able to see a LLL Leader or IBCLC in your area?

    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Re-teaching latch...?

    I left a voice message for a LLL leader this past week, but still haven't heard anything back... I've seen a couple of LCs, but I think each time we were more focused on the other issues my LO and I had - not latching and then the thrush. There's a breastfeeding doctor available here, so I'm going to go see her this coming week and see if we can't get everything figured out once and for all. I have a feeling the thrush isn't completely gone... Can't wait till I experience pain free nursing!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Re-teaching latch...?

    I am bringing my baby back to the breast after bottle feeding, too. Dr. Jack Newman talks about pointing your nipple towards the roof of the mouth. Then stroke the nipple horizontally from one side of the top lip to the other. He says this usually gets a wider response then tickling up and down vertically from nose to lips. Dr. Newman has a video clip online that you can watch. Just go to his website.

    My son also wants to take only my nipple. Once he has latched and I realize that he is not "on", I can get between my breast and his chin and give a hard push to his jaw while pulling him into my breast to help the latch without taking him off the breast.

    All the "off, on, off, on" is enough to drive a mom to tears without thrush. Yeowch!!!

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