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Thread: Latch issues at 4 weeks old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    28

    Default Latch issues at 4 weeks old

    My son is almost four weeks old and we're still having major breastfeeding problems. I resort to giving him a bottle of pumped milk at night time because it hurts too much to nurse, and I'm too tired to fight him on his latch. Here's the problems we're having.

    1) Originally low supply resulting in hospital admission for dehydration and hypernatremia at five days old. Now maybe too much after taking motherlove more milk plus, I'm weaning myself down.

    2) Started giving bottles of pumped milk to supplement after nursing while he was in the hospital for dehydration, and again when he was in the hospital for RSV that he caught while in the hospital the first time. I do still give bottles every once in awhile, usually at night when it hurts too much and I'm too tired to fight his latch. Trying to cut way back on this, but usually it's one maybe two bottles a day.

    3) Shallow latch: We've tried sandwiching my nipple/breast to get more into his mouth. The lactation consultant (fourth one) I saw yesterday said his latch looks perfect, yet when we pull him off I have a flat side to my nipple on the bottom. I've tried putting pressure on the side of my breast that his lower jaw is on to try to keep him from being able to bite me like he seems to be doing, but he still manages to keep doing it.

    4) I was red and cracked, now just red including the area around my nipple, and very raw at all times. The LC yesterday thinks it's irritation and maybe yeast. I started APNO the night before last night so hopefully that will hlep. She gave me a nipple shield to use for when I get really sore. I tried it this afternoon and it seemed to hurt less.

    5) Posterior tongue tie?: The LC yesterday said she thinks he may have a bit of a posterior tongue tie. He's able to stick his tongue out past his gums but doesn't seem like he's able to lift his tongue up to the top when his mouth is wide open. She wasn't 100% sure on this though and recommended we go to see a pediatric ENT.....which of course there aren't any on the tiny island we live on and are returning to in three days.

    A lot of that was just giving a bit of the history to see if maybe something that's happened is what is causing the problem, like having to supplement with bottles. I really want to have a good breastfeeding experience, but right now it seems like that goal is unreachable. Any other suggestions for fixing a shallow latch? Can a regular pedi or ENT doctor check a tongue tie or does it have to be a pediatric ENT?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Latch issues at 4 weeks old

    If all your lactation consultants say that he has a good latch, I might be inclined to agree, without seeing you of course, and would attribute the flattened nipple to a latch change after the baby is done. When my son pops off mid-eating, my nippling is full. When I let him hang out and suckle after he's done eating, my nipple is flattened and the sides turn white. Do you think that might be your case?

    To improve your latch I would pick a day and ditch the bottles. However I would get the tongue tie addressed first. I had a pediatric dentist use a laser to correct my son's tongue tie. I would ask your Pediatrician who they recommend. But do not wait.

    I was under the impression it wasn't a good idea to use a nipple shield when dealing with thrush. It creates a warm environment that cannot breath. Personally, I wouldn't use the shield unless you are using it to get a better latch. I don't like them. I feel like it's another thing to wean off of, however many women swear by them as the only way to transition to the breast. For me, persistence and waiting for the baby to have that lightbulb moment were key. It just takes time for some little ones to get it. I know that's not very scientific but they all have that moment where they are old/big enough and it just clicks. Both my son and my daughter wouldn't even look at my breast until that moment it clicked. For my daughter it was 3 months, for my son 3 weeks. Hang in there mama. It's worth it when it all works out.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Latch issues at 4 weeks old

    I checked yesterday and that seems to be the case some of the time. But when I was checking, I was able to tell if he was on wrong or not based on it hurting or not, and when it was hurting there was always the flat spot when I took him off. So I think the times that it doesn't hurt when he's nursing but I still have the flat spot are the times that he's just hanging out.

    I ditched the bottles last night, none in over 24 hours now, they were more for my comfort than to actually get him the nutrition he needs. He's gaining 10-12 ounces a week so he's getting more than enough! I am leaning more towards the side that he doesn't have a tongue tie. The LC we saw said she wasn't for sure if he really did, or if he just wasn't cooperating. After the show he put on yesterday, I think he was just not cooperating! He stuck his tongue out like he was Gene Simmons from Kiss, and then when he was crying had his tongue all the way to the top of his mouth when it was open. So I'm thinking he's just stubborn!

    I'm also thinking the main problem is thrush, yesterday no nursing session was painful, he was latched on right. The APNO I'm using they said might take a couple of days to notice any difference and I think yesterday was it. I'll take your advice and use the shield only when I feel like I really need it.

    Thanks for your help! I knew breastfeeding would be hard based on what other people said, but I figured we would already have a rhythm down by this point in time! Everyone says the first two weeks is the worst, but for me it's been the whole first month!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Latch issues at 4 weeks old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*stacyat View Post
    Thanks for your help! I knew breastfeeding would be hard based on what other people said, but I figured we would already have a rhythm down by this point in time! Everyone says the first two weeks is the worst, but for me it's been the whole first month!!
    It takes some babies more time than others. But it really is worth it. Hang in there.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

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