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Thread: Refuses to Latch! Help!!

  1. #1

    Default Refuses to Latch! Help!!

    My 7 wk. old will not latch-- Any suggestions??? Here is the journey to this refusal... She would not latch in the hospital except when I used a nipple shield. During the first two weeks of life she nursed great but only with the nipple shield. We were slowly making progress to nursing without the shield and sometimes she would latch after nursing with the shield. She had a high bili so the entire time we were trying to establish BF she was on a bili blanket. Then the doc wanted us to supplement for 24 hrs with formula so we gave a bottle. This was terrible and she constantly spit up during this time. We went back to BF but at 3 weeks of age she had to be readmitted for phototherapy and strictly bottlefed BM for about 3 days. Then we attempted to reintroduce the breast but with numerous doc appts (she became anemic with weekly blood draws at the children's hospital 2 hours away) during the next weeks and lots of stress, she gradually refused to nurse. She will do a few sucks with the shield on and then scream and push away, Then I give in and give her a bottle of pumped BM. It is very frustrating and I don't know what to do- Is it to late?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Refuses to Latch! Help!!

    Definitely not too late! Hopefully this link will help: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

    Please see a professional (preferably someone with the IBCLC credential). It sounds like you and your baby could really benefit from hands-on help. Until then, do as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. It really can coax a reluctant baby to nurse.

    Hang in there, Mama! We'll do our best to help. Keep your chin up- your baby will at least latch on and suck a little, which is more than a lot of moms start with.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Refuses to Latch! Help!!

    Also try wearing her in a sling or other carrier whenever you're together---being near the breast should encourage her to try latching. (I use the Ergo for my baby & it has been wonderful for nursing while walking!)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Refuses to Latch! Help!!

    It is frustrating but totally possible! She had a hard start, try and be patient. Because really, that's all there is to it. Try and stay calm and offer all the time. Pick a day and just toss the bottles. She will cry, you probably will too, but it's worth it in the long run.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  5. #5

    Default Re: Refuses to Latch! Help!!

    i definitely do not agree with tossing the bottles and letting both you and your baby cry. hang on in there, try using a nursing supplementer or alternate between bottles and b*ob when feeding and encourage her to take the breast more as time goes on. at the end of the day the most important thing is that she gets food irrelevant as to whether it's bottle or not. we had a nightmare with our son as he wouldn't latch - wouldn't open his mouth at all! he doesn't have any physical problems and we got a fantastic lactation consultant from the childbirth trust who i would definitely recommend. the consultant will work with you to get you both breastfeeding so organise a consultation in your house asap. she will explain to you what and why it's happening and how to fix the problem. the best of luck and let us know how ye get on

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