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Thread: Latching wrong?

  1. #1

    Default Latching wrong?

    My son is 7 months old now and up until the day his bottom teeth started popping through, we've been very successful in the breastfeeding department. But since those teeth came in, which it's been a little over a month now, I can't seem to shake the pain coming from those teeth. I'm pretty sure he's not biting me, but I do feel like his teeth are constantly rubbing on my nipple every time he eats.
    Sometimes while he's feeding it's like he seems to get the latch correct because I get a moment of relief, but most of the time, it's rubbing. He's my first and I'd really like to keep breastfeeding until he's at least a year old.
    The other thing that's difficult when feeding him is that because he's 7 months old, he's much more active and notices everything, so it's hard sometimes to keep him focused or keep his body from moving around probably creating the incorrect latch. For instance, while he's sucking, he tends to jerk his head back and forth so that he's not only sucking on my nipple, but also, what feels like trying to pull it off! And if I can get him to lay on his side, his head will stay turned toward my breast, but the rest of his body tends to be on his back and I've tried to keep him from donig that, but he's the one that moves himself into that position.
    If he's latching on wrong, how to I get a curious and strong 7 month old to re-learn how to latch correctly?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Latching wrong?

    I don't know if this is an option for you or not, but have you thought of pumping your breast milk into a bottle for your lo? This way your lo can be his explorative self and your breasts can have a break all while still being able to give your nutritious milk to your lo! Just a suggestion? Also maybe you can talk to his pediatrition or a lactation counselor? Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Orange County, CA

    Default Re: Latching wrong?

    I just went through this with my LO a few months ago, and there is hope!

    First off, you don't need to stop nursing! (Referring to the pp.) I had a lot of trouble with all of DD's teeth - she's gotten five so far - but we were able to push through. Once she was used to the feel of the teeth her latch improved again. That's not to say it's always perfect - the older they get the more they like to experiment with different positions. But I don't have pain unless she is actively getting a tooth.

    Here is a link that helped me... http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-bab....html#scraping


    Proud mama to
    Kaitlyn Ann 12/23/07 - 7 lbs., 15 oz.
    Jackson Thomas 1/16/11 - 9 lbs., 3 oz.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Latching wrong?

    Hmm, this is a prime time for the latch to start to get lazy - as you said, they're getting more easily distractable. I would say that you should be firm about not letting him latch on in a way that's uncomfortable to you. If you're experience pain, take him off (do you know the "hook" technique for getting him to unlatch without hurting you?), and have him relatch. Explain to him what you're doing - he won't understand, but the tone of voice will help. He should quickly learn he's got to do it the right way.

    And don't let him get away with the pulling either. If he's interested in something else, take him off and wait until he's ready to nurse again. The other reason they sometimes pull is if they're not getting enough milk or a fast enough let down. This doesn't necessarily mean you have a supply issue - he might be going through a growth spurt or using more energy, or might be getting more lazy/demanding. You can again unlatch him if it's hurting you and try again in a few minutes.

    I don't think you need to consider switching to bottle feeding at this point, except as a last resort.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: Latching wrong?

    This is a pretty normal occurance, I think the technical term for it is scraping (I was gonna post a link, but I see Karen's already posted it). I had this problem when my lo's mouth started filling up with teeth. I found that shifting the baby's position helped tremendously. Try moving baby to the left or right tilting the head towards or away from you, or lifting baby up or down. See what helps relieve the irritation, and it might be something different each time you nurse. I'd just have to keep adjusting the way I was holding my lo until it was comfortable. Don't worry, he will get used to nursing with teeth and will get better about latching around his teeth once he is used to it. In the meantime you don't have to suffer, though, just keep changing positions.

    As for getting distracted, that's normal too. They start to get more interested in other things and the boobie doesn't hold their interest the way it used to. One thing you might do is if he is trying to look at someone or something else in the room, unlatch him and let him look and then latch him back on when he's done. He will quickly learn that if he wants the boobie he needs to stay focused and that if he wants to look around, he needs to unlatch first.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Swartz Creek, MI

    Default Re: Latching wrong?

    I think you have gotten a lot of great advice...just stay encouraged! It can be a challenge somtimes.
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

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