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Thread: Tongue/lip issue with latch on?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Tongue/lip issue with latch on?

    My son is three weeks old and so far bf has gone pretty well. When he was just a few days old we saw a lactation consultant who said he had "a picture perfect" latch. Despite that, I still have had a lot of questions as a first time mother (it's so hard to know if my experience is "normal"!). These forums have been great at answering most of my questions, but there are two things I'm still not sure about.

    First, when my son initially latches on, I think his tongue is raised so that my nipple is underneath it. He sucks a couple of times and either breaks the latch and we retry, or he manages to flip his tongue underneath. This isn't a major problem, but it does bother me--sometimes just mild discomfort, sometimes it's painful. Once he latches correctly he nurses fine (although I'm still a little sore at times, I think it's just the typical soreness and it seems to be lessening over time). Is this something I can correct? Will he outgrow it? I don't think he started doing this until 7-10 days ago.

    Secondly, how important is it that his lips are flared out when he nurses? He doesn't usually automatically latch on that way. If it's not making me uncomfortable, can I leave his lips flat against my nipple? I can usually get his lips flared out (at least the bottom one), but if I don't have to do this I would like to know. I have continued to do it because I didn't want to learn any lessons the hard way (i.e. cracked nipples, low baby weight, etc.).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Tongue/lip issue with latch on?

    If his tongue is humped up, he won't get a good latch. When this happens, try to break the suction and try again. You mention this is a recent occurance, has anything changed before that time?

    It's best to have the lips flared out. It assures baby has a good strong hold on the breast. Otherwise, he will likely be breaking the suction and possibly even gripping your nipple with his gums (ouch!). Again, if the latch is painful or bothersome, do break the suction and try again.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Tongue/lip issue with latch on?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie
    If his tongue is humped up, he won't get a good latch. When this happens, try to break the suction and try again. You mention this is a recent occurance, has anything changed before that time?
    Not that I can think of.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,492

    Default Re: Tongue/lip issue with latch on?

    with the upper lip (probably also with the lower) there's a chance he's sucking on his own lip rather than you. i scooched dd's lips out as she nursed until she started latching better.

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