Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: 7 Mo Old Latch Gone Bad, Nursing Strikes & More!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,931

    Default 7 Mo Old Latch Gone Bad, Nursing Strikes & More!

    My 7 month old DD's latch has gone from nearly perfect to horribly wrong. And it seems to be just getting worse. I am in PAIN and I can't get her to correct her latch. I apologize for the length of this post ahead of time, I'll try to keep it condensed, it's 7 months of problems all tumbling out at once. A little background before I explain our current problem ...

    DD came out ready to nurse ... perfect latch and suck, she actually latched onto the outside of my gown a minute after being born and was nursing the next minute ... see here.

    Then I found I had overactive letdown and an oversupply. Then at 3 weeks DD was diagnosed with reflux.

    Bad advice from an LC who had me using cross cradle hold and never explained I shouldn't keep using it ... thus, my girl HATES it when I try to nurse her in cradle position. I have to do the "no-no" and use a pillow in my lap to support her (with my arm behind her back) or we just side lie nurse.

    And the worst thing that makes me want to cry just thinking of it is that she had me FORCING my little girl's head into my breast those first couple months when she would try to pull away. She was most likely reacting to the OALD, oversupply and reflux combined. And we both had severe thrush for 3 months. My motherly instincts told me that it was WRONG to be holding her head there when she'd try to pull away, but the LC said she was just trying to be "lazy" and slide down to the end of my nipple to make it easier on her, and told me to be aggressive in forcing her to stay (and I was a new mom and trusted that the "professional" knew better than me). I did this for a couple weeks until I just couldn't bear doing that to her any longer, it just felt really wrong to hold her head so forcefully (the LC took my hand several times to show me how hard to hold her head there).

    This same LC contributed to my oversupply by telling me the third day of my baby's life to start pumping 3-4 oz. of milk out of each breast before nursing every time ... this just created a monster oversupply that caused my DD to gag, choke and projectile vomit at every other nursing (I finally got the oversupply under control with the help of my LLL leader).

    Next came the nursing strikes starting at 3 months. She developed an "aversion to nursing." I mistakenly went back to the same LC because I didn't know any better. She told me that my baby was just "being a brat" when she saw her scream and cry as I attempted to nurse her. I told her that I sensed that something was "wrong" with her and she told me again that she's just being fussy and said, "if that baby wasn't so cute I'd send her back."

    I cannot describe how emotionally painful those months of my baby refusing to nurse were. Every day revolved around trying to coax her back to nurse. Every time she refused (and she did so violently), it broke my heart a little more. I felt like I was failing her and like she was personally rejecting me. She would start crying when I just began to lay her down to nurse. And she was starving, clawing at my chest, but the second she saw my breast she'd lose it again. To watch us you would think I was poking her with needles she was so scared. The number one question family asked was, "Did she nurse?" and I found myself in tears right along with my baby every day. Thank heavens for our nights, since her poor little mind seemed to forget about being afraid to nurse and she would come to me peacefully to get comfort and nourishment throughout the night.

    Now she still has bad days when she'll only nurse once or twice during the day, but we're also having many good days where she LOVES to nurse once again. So, one of my questions is now ... how do I work on correcting her latch? It started slipping when her teeth cut through, and with her new, heightened distractibility. She opens wide, but then clamps shut at the last second, and her bottom lip ends up right under my nipple. This is made worse by her habit of tilting her head up while nursing. "Sandwiching" my breast with an asymmetrical latch helped a tiny bit. But because of our history she won't go for repeated attempts to re-latch and get it right.

    I have fought so hard to maintain our BF relationship - it is so precious to me and my DD. She's still an EBF baby and has never had a bottle in her mouth, and has stayed in the 80th percentile in height and weight since birth, despite our problems. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by @llli*paint.the.moon; July 19th, 2006 at 01:06 AM.

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,048

    Default Re: 7 Mo Old Latch Gone Bad, Nursing Strikes & More!

    nice picture! so sorry about the crumby LC. I'm trying to think back to 7 months. The latch changes a lot as they grow.

    It seems she'd sometimes get a better latch if I offered it to her cheek or chin and she'd have to turn her head to get on it. I also remember that it was not good to wait until she was crying to offer the breast. My dd didn't cut her first tooth until she was 11 mos, but around seven months she started to experiment with biting. I ended up just ending the nursing session when she'd do that - putting her on the floor to cry for under a minute did the trick. But in your situation I can see how you don't want any frustration during nursing time. And it doesn't sound like she's testing limits anyway.. just a little off in her technique. Is it really bad or can you wait another two weeks? She may be cutting more teeth and once they get through things may clear up on their own.

    Also in a few months you'll be able to turn new nursing positions into a game; come up with silly nursing situations like standing over her or sitting across from her. This could lead to a reintoduction of the cradle position.

    My baby learned to unlatch and relatch due to overactive letdown. I didn't realize that this was what she was doing until it was almost not an issue anymore. I wonder if your baby is using that latch as a way to slow the milk or brace herself for it. I understand that you don't want to unlatch her, but I'll throw this out there for a thought: If you could get her to suck a little - til letdown, then distract her pleasantly or take her off and giver her kisses or tickles or whatever, then get her back on, maybe she'll learn that she doesn't have to stay on and brace herself. Maybe she'll then relax about the whole thing. Then you can move on to issues like twiddling.

    I'm just guessing here. I guess the only real thing I can offer is support and praise to you for making it through all that, still EBF, and never even using a bottle. That's really impressive. You're doing great.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,931

    Default Re: 7 Mo Old Latch Gone Bad, Nursing Strikes & More!

    Thank you!!! I really needed the encouragement and support. I feel so alone with these nursing battles sometimes. In the height of the nursing strikes even my very supportive, pro-BF DH said, "Why don't you just pump and giver a bottle so you don't have to go through this anymore." And he's probably the one person who really understands how sacred my BF relationship is with my DD (and my mom too, but she just kept saying not to worry so much which made me feel I was overreacting).

    It's nice to hear from other mamas who understand. And you had some really good ideas for helping with our latch problem.

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    2,601

    Default Re: 7 Mo Old Latch Gone Bad, Nursing Strikes & More!

    Hi Annie,
    I know how frustrating and heart breaking this can be. When Thomas was recently sick he would not nurse! I was so engorged, he was hungry, you get the picture. Not pretty!
    Anyway, I would defiantly not ring that LC back as she gave you some very poor advice. I am sorry that you had to go through that.
    You may want to try to nurse her in a darker room, maybe even a noise maker, this age is the peak of distraction and maybe she nurses better at night BC things are really quiet etc... Just until recently Thomas would not really nurse in public or around other people BC he was too distracted, now at 14 months he will if he is really hungry but usually he will tank up at nap time and through out the night.
    I would say to re latch her but it sounds like she would not go for that and may just decided not to nurse.
    Try to Hang in there and all the best to you and Addie! This too shall pass!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,931

    Default Re: 7 Mo Old Latch Gone Bad, Nursing Strikes & More!

    Thanks, Brittan.

    She is a highly distractible nurser. In fact, I just got us a nursing necklace today in hopes that it would keep her centered on nursing and also ward off those weapon like little claws of hers (she can sure get violent with me while nursing!). Well, a big fail ... I waited till she was latched and sucking then placed it in front of her and she went, "Wow! That looks more fun than this nursing business" and proceeded to quit eating and wanted to play with the necklace instead.

    We have to be in a darkened room, with our white noise playing, make sure nothing on the table is interesting enough to pull away to look at, etc. Sometimes I have to sing to her the entire time we nurse. And I've had her come off and not continue simply because she heard me swallow and had to look up to see what it was! And my husband knows that he has to be more quiet than a mouse when we are nursing. I joked that we need a big red light to switch on when we're nursing to warn everyone to be silent ... kind of like the "On Air" lights at radio stations. We have an air purifier that I keep on high in her room for nursing since it's so loud and drowns out other noises pretty well. Public nursing has become non existent ... I don't enjoy showing my nipple off every few seconds! LOL!

    While we were on vacation with friends who also had a baby she was able to nurse her DS everywhere, where I was forced to either trek back to our car (where we nursed and missed an entire parade we had gone to see) or drive back to our rental like mad to get her nursed ASAP. It sure would make it easier if she'd get through this "phase" ... but when have these little stinkers ever made it easier on us mamas?

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    2,601

    Default Re: 7 Mo Old Latch Gone Bad, Nursing Strikes & More!

    The good news is that she will come out of this faze eventually. Also, I know what you mean about showing your nipple off every few min and don't forget the milk spraying everywhere also, BC they just suck enough for the milk to come in. Have you thought about a nursing shirt or something like a tank top under your regular shirt, maybe if you keep a layer between her hands and your body she will claw the shirt and not you? Keep me posted! Brittan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: 7 Mo Old Latch Gone Bad, Nursing Strikes & More!

    Hi!
    You've gotten really great advice so far. A couple thoughts come to mind...
    1. Someone once told me that cross cradle can be difficult sometimes because it makes it harder for the baby to open her mouth and get a good latch (which makes sense when you have someone pushing the back of your head! My delivery nurse told me to use cross cradle, though ). Perhaps the football hold would be better as you can help position her head by adjusting your breast and you can get a good view of her latch?

    2. At one point (around 7 mos!) dh was quite the squirmer. The only way I got him to nurse sometimes was to position him so that he could nurse and see the TV at the same time . I know that sounds bad but it worked and he just watched baby einstein or sesame street which kept him still enough to latch well and keep him there so he could eat.

    It sounds like you are a very committed and loving mom to your lo. She's lucky that you have stuck with it through it all. Keep us posted!!!
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •