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Thread: poor latch -- please help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    16

    Default poor latch -- please help!

    My 2 month-old daughter has a very poor latch. She has since birth. She is thriving however, gaining weight very nicely, mostly due to the fact that I have a plentiful supply and the milk basically pours in her mouth. I tandem nurse her 2 year old brother too, and he helps drive and maintain my supply.

    She nurses with her lips pursed in, mouth barely open, hanging on (gently) to only my (large, but still) nipples.

    This has caused me no problems (no nipple nor supply issues), but she swallows a lot of air and is very gassy/burpy (never thought such gigantic burps can come from such a small body!). She is also pretty refluxy which is new to me as ds never spit up.

    Another issue caused by her sucking style is that she is a very poor bottle user. We have tried to introduce an occasional bottle (my milk, Dr Brown bottles, #1 nipple) and so far her record is one ounce, at a time when she was pretty hungry, fed by dh basically lying flat with the bottle held over her. dh tried lots of other holding patterns and this seems to be the one working best for him.

    I am also trying to introduce a pacifier which may help with her reflux (as I read non-nutritive sucking/ saliva swallowing can lower acidity). Well she absolutely is not taking to the pacifier. I tried MAM, NUK and SOOTHIES.

    Like with the bottle, she never creates a true suction around the nipple. her mouth is basically open as she basically licks/mouths the nipple on and off. She also gags on the nipples.

    What is going on? Is it simply a training issue and shall I just keep at it? Can it be physiological (toungue tied or something? is this something I can see by looking?).

    Any suggestions on how to improve her latch? At the breast I flip her upper lip out to make a fish lip, and I try pulling her chin down gently, but her jaw is very strong and I can't open the mouth much more. (she has strong muscle tension in her limbs as well, opening her fists or spreading her legs for wiping for example is really tough -- she also basically held her head since birth!!).

    Please advise!
    Oana

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: poor latch -- please help!

    Have you talked to her ped or an LC about her suck/gagging issues? Fortunately, it isn't a big health concern since she is gaining well. Some babies do have muscle tone issues, though, so maybe there are some exercises or other activities that would help??? I'm just kind of stabbing in the dark here, but maybe an LC or occupational therapist would have some recommendations. Will she suck on your finger? I believe that is one they to "train" babies with poor suck (nail side down toward her tongue).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: poor latch -- please help!

    We had way too much experience with tongue tie. Here's a link with a picture you can look at. http://www.breastfeeding-basics.com/...onguetie.shtml If that looks like the cause, definitely get it looked at.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: poor latch -- please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by I-Man's Momma View Post
    We had way too much experience with tongue tie. Here's a link with a picture you can look at. http://www.breastfeeding-basics.com/...onguetie.shtml If that looks like the cause, definitely get it looked at.
    I was thinking the same thing. My son had this and I never knew that that may have been one of our major problems with nursing - would have saved me a lot of grief if I would have known! Glad your babe is thriving though!

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