New to BF'ing...Baby not latching all the time

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New to BF'ing...Baby not latching all the time

Postby wannabmommee » Thu May 03, 2012 1:33 am

HI. I'm part of the May 2012 DDC, baby girl is 11 days old today. We weren't able to bf right away because she went straight to the pediatric intensive care nursery after birth and tests were ran on her because they thought I was septic during delivery (so no skin to skin or bf'ing right after delivery). She had IV's on her and then my milk didn't come in until day 3. She was doing well bf'ing for the first few days, then when formula was introduced to supplement my supply (per the hospital it was needed), it seems as if she is now wanting the bottle nipple over mine. She doesn't open her mouth wide enough and when she does and I feel like she has a good latch, she closes up right away.

I try to readjust many many times that she ends up getting frustrated because she keeps rooting to no avail and by this time she is super hungry. She now won't latch onto my left side at all and has been nursing on my right side maybe 50% of the time.

I've seen 3 different lactation consultations, and they all say to just work with her and that because she was born at 37+2, she may not be fully mature enough to suck/swallow or that my nipple/areolas may be too big for her mouth (that is why she prefers the bottle nipples because it's small).

I'm not sure what to do. I started fenugreek last night to increase my supply so that I can just give her this through the bottle at least vs. formula. I want to do away with formula and nurse her from the breast, but if I can't, I'd rather just give her my breast milk through bottle (hopefully the fenugreek will increase my supply asap).

Any suggestions on how to get her to latch or open her mouth wider? I've tried all the different positions to lay her in during nursery and nothing works. :oops:
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Postby BeccaM » Thu May 03, 2012 5:08 am

I can't help too much, since we fortunately were able to BF right away, no bottles. We did have the problem the first week or two of my baby having trouble opening his mouth wide enough to get a latch. My nipples were a little flat, and my LC said that babies need to feel the nipple on the roof of their mouth to encourage sucking? It helped me to pump or express a little bit of milk out first, to help with the engorgement--that way he could fit his mouth over. Also try a "nipple sandwich" where you flatten down the nipple with one hand (I actually used only two fingers) and pop her on that way.

It's trial and error and lots of practice that makes perfect! And since she was born early, maybe that is slowing her learning down a bit. Best wishes on your nursing!

ETA: It's fine to pump, of course, but what really boosts supply is just frequent nursings. It stimulates your body to produce more milk. And babies are usually more effective at getting milk than a pump. I would just nurse her as often as she will suckle--even if she isn't getting everything out, your body will automatically start producing more.
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Postby jessm » Thu May 03, 2012 6:41 am

We had a hard time with latching in the beginning because my ped told me to give bottles since we had weight gain issues. DS would scream at the breast, just wanting the bottle. And I refused to do it. But the way I got him to latch was pumping some breast milk and then I would take some in an eyedropper. As I tried to get him to latch I would drip a little bit of milk onto my nipple, so he would think he was getting something more easily, like with a bottle. Then he would start latching better. It took us awhile, but he was latching like a champ pretty quickly.

Also, I didn't have abundant milk until day NINE. So he was really frustrated. But one day, I just laid in bed with him all day took my shirt off and nursed. All day long. We didn't have immediate skin to skin either because I had a fever during delivery. I did get to nurse within an hour, but he was all swaddled.
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Postby HoneyBees7 » Thu May 03, 2012 1:38 pm

What PP said. Try football hold, easier to see babys mouth/nose. In football hold, hold babys head with same side hand you are breastfeeding from (left breast, left hand, vice cersa). Bring babys head to your breast, not other way around.

When you lift babys head to your breast, use opposite hand (not holding baby head) to make a areola sandwich. Make sandwich with index finger and thumb, using middle finger to coax babys mouth wide. As soon as baby mouth is wide, bring to breast. When baby begins to suck, use middle finger to make sure babys lips are fish face (ie pouty outward).

Once you get the hang on nursing this way, go back to regular hold in front of you. You have to help baby to relearn to latch correctly. Those lactation consultants you saw should have told you this stuff and helped yuou do this already, if not, ask for more help.

Good luck.

(Sorry about typs, typing on phone).
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