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Thread: Latch On

  1. #1

    Default Latch On


    My wife and have a 2 week old son, and we regularly have trouble with latching on. We've never had an easy time with this, and a nurse at the hospital gave us a nipple shield which was helpful. However, we were determined to stop using it.

    We have been able to get the baby to nurse without it, but we usually spend a good 30 minutes trying to get him to latch on. He "roots" constantly as if he can't find it, even though it is usually in his mouth. He will also latch on incorrectly a lot, and pop off. All of this usually gets him pretty frustrated as well. After we struggle with this process for a while he eventually gets it right, and seems to get enough to eat.

    My wife and I have gotten pretty frustrated with the process, and we're just wondering if this is common, and is there anything we can do to help? Should we just continue doing what we're doing and hope it gets better?

    We've tried different positions and pumping before feeding to start the flow. Is there anything else we can do?

    Thanks for all your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Latch On

    are you giving bottles?
    sometimes babies have troble going betwene breast and bottle....

    check out the clips on this web site
    they will help


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Latch On

    I would also suggest contacting a local LLL Leader or a Lactation Consultant. LLL Leaders are free. Your wife could also attend a local LLL meeting where she can get one on one help from a leader and support from other moms. Honestly, the easiest way to learn how to latch a baby on is to
    1.) See other women nursing their babies (there are lots at a meeting)
    2.) Have in person hands on help from a knowledgable person

    Good luck and keep up all that wonderful support for the mama and baby. They WILL get it and it WILL get easier. Promise. We've all been through those very tough first weeks.
    And please prepare yourself and your wife for a coming growth spurt. It usually happens around 3 weeks, and your baby will probably want to nurse ALL the time. Doesn't mean he's starving, it's normal, you just have to nurse, nurse, nurse and ride it out!
    Mom to Laura (3/1/06)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    New Orleans, LA

    Default Re: Latch On

    I had to wean my first off a nipple shield and it took quite a few weeks if I recall. It was a real battle, especially having to tote that thing around and keeping it sanitized. And when were out once and I had forgotten it, she wouldn't even nurse.

    Keep at it.

    What I would do is let her get started with the shield, and after my milk let down and would (very quickly) unlatch her, remove it and latch her back on. Sometimes it worked, sometimes she wouldn't go back on. I never gave up and eventually we were nipple shield free.

    It will be well worth the effort to not have to deal with that aggravation anymore.

    Also, I was only using it on my right breast, she had no trouble latching on the left. And to this day (even nursing my 2nd), the right breast is the one with a smaller supply. I'm not sure which is the cause or effect, though.

    Good luck!
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Latch On

    I know how tough it can be to wean from using the nipple shields! My LO would do exactly the same thing you are describing. I would try to get him to latch on without the shield over and over and over again. Sometimes he would latch for a couple minutes and then pop off. We would try to relatch. If I could not get him on after a couple of tries, I would apply the nipple shield. I am not trying to encourage the use of the shields but will say it was better for me to use them if I was getting frustrated and LO was crying and frustrated. At the next feeding I would repeat the cycle. I know with my LO, the longer we would trying at each feeding, the more mad he would become. Once he was 5 weeks old, he weaned from using the shields, just almost out of the blue. He finally figured out how to open his mouth and nurse like a pro. One thing to remember that I was told by my LC is that a baby's muscles get stronger the older that they get. I hope this helps! I know it is frustrating!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Latch On

    Thanks for the tips! We actually tried to contact a local leader, but have not heard back yet.

    We're going to contact a lactation consultant today. We tried to avoid using the shield, since we thought it would be less confusing for him. We've gone 3 days without it, but as I mentioned, it takes a lot of work. Maybe we'd be better off using it when he gets upset, and trying to take it away mid-feeding...We have no idea...

    Hopefully a consultant will be able to help us out today. If she has any revolutionary ideas, I'll be sure to post them!

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