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Thread: Baby won't open mouth

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    1

    Default Baby won't open mouth

    I got the following e-mail from a friend. She is an experienced nurser. Any advice?

    I could really use your help/advice/knowledge. Baby J has wrecked havoc on my nipples. They are cracked, blistered and incredibly sore -- I'm literally hitting the roof.

    She will not open her mouth wide at all. I honestly don't know what to do. She keeps her lips pursed closed and it's horrible trying to latch her on. I took her in to a health clinic today and they couldn't get her to open her mouth to even latch her. My nipples are in extreme pain all the time.
    **************

    I'm baffled on this one. I'm certain that she knows the whole tickle lips, cheek, rooting reflex things. Any other latching advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Baby won't open mouth

    Hi,
    I'm assume she's aware of Lasinoh lanolin for her nipples? May help to heal them as mine were also cracked and extremely painful in the beginning.

    Only thing I can suggest is to maybe have her (pump and) bottle feed with a nurser bottle to train her baby on the technique for some of the lo's feedings. This will force him/her to latch the bottle as she would the breast. There are a lot of breast shaped nipples out there.

    I breastfeed, but also pump and bottle feed my little one since I am back to work. I use Playtex Ventair Slow Flow breast shaped nipple. Just make sure she is using the bottle properly. At first we had to push it in my lo's mouth a bit as he would try to just suck the nipple part. He has no issue switching back and forth. Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,570

    Default Re: Baby won't open mouth

    Quote Originally Posted by rstanton View Post
    Hi,
    I'm assume she's aware of Lasinoh lanolin for her nipples? May help to heal them as mine were also cracked and extremely painful in the beginning.

    Only thing I can suggest is to maybe have her (pump and) bottle feed with a nurser bottle to train her baby on the technique for some of the lo's feedings. This will force him/her to latch the bottle as she would the breast. There are a lot of breast shaped nipples out there.

    I breastfeed, but also pump and bottle feed my little one since I am back to work. I use Playtex Ventair Slow Flow breast shaped nipple. Just make sure she is using the bottle properly. At first we had to push it in my lo's mouth a bit as he would try to just suck the nipple part. He has no issue switching back and forth. Good Luck!
    I would do a nipple shield before I did a bottle. I'm sorry I don't have better advice, but I hope you get some more help. I think sometimes it just takes time and practice kwim?


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Baby won't open mouth

    did she have any tubes in her mouth. Is she trying too hard /forcing her to open her mouth. It may be possible that she is developing an oral aversion. can you give your friend this link. BTW what a awesome friend YOU ARE ! Give her lots of encouragement and get her on here. Is she willing to do a nurse in? How old is shee ahhh the questions keep coming, get her on here! lol
    My little May baby just turned THE BIG ONE!
    Formally known as kaykate23

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Baby won't open mouth

    Quote Originally Posted by rstanton View Post
    Hi,
    I'm assume she's aware of Lasinoh lanolin for her nipples? May help to heal them as mine were also cracked and extremely painful in the beginning.

    Only thing I can suggest is to maybe have her (pump and) bottle feed with a nurser bottle to train her baby on the technique for some of the lo's feedings. This will force him/her to latch the bottle as she would the breast. There are a lot of breast shaped nipples out there.

    I breastfeed, but also pump and bottle feed my little one since I am back to work. I use Playtex Ventair Slow Flow breast shaped nipple. Just make sure she is using the bottle properly. At first we had to push it in my lo's mouth a bit as he would try to just suck the nipple part. He has no issue switching back and forth. Good Luck!
    I just thought of something I've done before...Instead of doing the bottle, just buy a breast shaped bottle nipple and put it on your nipple when feeding. Try taking it away after a little while. Continue that for each feeding to train her. You could also try a nipple shield. It may have her lips slide onto the nipple and areola. Maybe she'll get used to the new positioning and you'll be able to take it away. It may help heal your nipples a bit too. I've used one before.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Baby won't open mouth

    A suggestion from a class I took at the LLL Michigan conference. Make sure you are pressing baby's chin to the breast before you try latching baby on. It is supposed to signal baby to open wide. Tickling the lips with nipple would only signal to open a little. The whole area between the chin and right under the lip should be press right below the areola nipple area. Hope this might help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    584

    Default Re: Baby won't open mouth

    A few ?s you may not know the answer to.. was baby early or small? Mom have large breast and baby having trouble latching onto areola? My LO was early, I have small nipples and large areolas, and wouldn't open wide at first. Used a shield but hated it... maybe use it to get milk going and then try latch with out. Lansinoh had a latch assist too that helps draw out nipple if that helps, mine are flat too so anything to help draw it out. I also would place my hand under the breast and press her chin down as I drew her near.
    wife , mom, maid , cook , taxi. All in a days work

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    137

    Cool Re: Baby won't open mouth

    Has she tried letting the baby self latch? Heres a great link:

    http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVDecJan03p123.html

    I had serious problems with my little guy opening wide, and my nipples were so nasty and scabby, I seriously thought he was going to choke on the left side if the scab came off while nursing ( gross, i know), and then I got to looking up latching on the web and came across this site. It took ONE time of him latching himself, and we don't have any more problems. The key to this working though, is to make sure to hold the breast steady (and closer to the center of your chest) so the LO can find it, as mine flop around and lean to either side of my chest, and when he would bob around trying to find it, he would fall to the bed because they are so far over off my chest, lol

    HTH good Luck!
    Hi there

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: Baby won't open mouth

    Quote Originally Posted by rstanton View Post
    I'm assume she's aware of Lasinoh lanolin for her nipples? May help to heal them as mine were also cracked and extremely painful in the beginning.
    The other mamas all gave you great advice. One "issue" I had with my lo was that she wouldn't nurse if I had lanolin on. So, I always had to wipe it off before we bf. I hope that's not the case for your friend because it sounds like she really needs it! What a great friend you are to help!!!
    Clara Ann from 6/27/07 to 7/2/09

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    779

    Default Re: Baby won't open mouth

    She may just have nipple confusion. She should try to watch the baby a lot and pick up on the early feeding cues, then try latching. While holding her she can also tap her cheek with her nipple which will cause her to root. Hope this helps.....and you are a great friend.
    Mom to Colin Robert - Born on January 28, 2007

    Check out my website:
    www.nycbreastfeeding.com

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