Latching trouble!

Regina - posted on 01/20/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I had my little one 5 days ago and he just wont latch on. We tried different holds latching devices and all the tricks to help him open wide. Its really depressing and and I think my husband really doesn't get it (the fact of how it bothers me that he wont latch on). It kinda makes me feel like i'm failing although everybody keeps saying its normal and not to worry. he tries to help the best he can but the more he talks about it and tries to help it makes me feel worse. This breast feeding thing isn't the easiest to get the hang of and he makes me feel like I'm not trying hard enough sometimes. I know he doesn't mean to. i think its my hormones working overtime on the sensitive side. Can anyone give me some advise on overcoming this? Also, we do plan to pump so the baby can at least have the advantage of the breast milk. But by him not latching on it could cause my milk to dry up before we get the pump. Help!!

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I will pryay for you.  you are not a failure.  Mommy hood is not easy and there are lots of things husbands just dont understand.  It will be ok  If you are tring to feed him anyother way I would stop, no pacifir either, dont give the kid any other option but you, and If it getts to crazy just remember there are other ways to feed you kid, it is not the end of the world, hang on.

Sarah - posted on 01/22/2009

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Nipple shields or nipple protectors are fantastic things. Not to protect yourself necessarily, but because it will be a closer shape and feel to the bottle for baby so he will feel better about it. That is the way to start and then eventually you will be able to remove the shield/protector and he (maybe with a little difficulty) should latch on. I breastfed Thomas within minutes of him being born and it came so naturally but the next time i tried it didn't work and i found it impossible. I think because i thought about it too much and was too tense. Let your instincts take over and try to stay completely relaxed. I really, really would recommend trying the nipple protectors. Baby will thank you for it and you will finally get the closeness you want with your beautiful new son.

Hope this helps, let us know x

Cathrine - posted on 01/21/2009

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I know exactly how you feel - I just went through this myself!  It is soooo frustrating & upsetting!  I highly, highly recommend consulting with a Lactation Specialist - to do this, call the hospital where you delivered - mine had some on staff (they made outpatient appointments) otherwise, ask your pediatrician - mine recommended one in my area that made house calls - I ended up using the one at the hospital as they were able to rent me a hospital grade pump to help get my milk supply back up - I had been having an issue with latching on as well - it hurt so badly that I was crying & trying to push through the pain - but it was seriously breaking me - I met with the Lactation Specialist for about 2 1/2 hours - it was AMAZING - I still don't know what I was doing wrong, but they walk you through it - and have you breast feed there & it was amazing the difference - I went from feeling like my nipples were being peeled off my body to no pain whatsoever!  Good luck & do what is right for you - don't be too hard on yourself - I ended up having to switch to formula as I still couldn't get my supply up - my husband also told me that I wasn't "trying" and had "given up" - I, not so politely, explained that when he could have the baby latch on to him & breastfeed & experience this, he could pass judgement - until then, keep it to himself...they just cannot even fathom what we are going through at this stage - hang in there & try really hard to tune him out - I cried a lot & finally got angry w/him - don't put too much pressure on yourself, that will only make it worse - plenty of babies are formula fed from birth & manage to survive & lead amazing lives, don't forget this!  The new formulas are amazing too with the DHA & RHA (brain boosters) - my colleague & friend once told me, you have to take care of you too - otherwise you're no good to your baby - be at peace, and do what's right for you : )  Good luck!

Regina - posted on 01/21/2009

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I have talked to at least 3 or 4 consultants and they all say the same thing that you all are telling me. I did attempt to bf around 4 this morning and he latched on. Not for long because he wasn't getting anything but he did latch. We plan on getting a pump hopefully this weekend. I do have a manual one and I just tried a few minutes ago and I got less than an ounce. The pediatrician told me that it looks as if I'm becoming engorged but I'm not expressing very much. and as for my husband he helps out a great deal. I had a little tearing so I'm still feeling pain here and there, which makes it difficult to move around and sometimes sit up. He goes above and beyond o make sure that we all have what we need. The only thing that scares me about he pump is that I've been told by a few people is that if you pump to early you can mess up your ducts and dry them out. And not to say that I'm glad you ladies went through this, but it's good to know that I'm not alone in this. Thanks for the help and any added advice is welcome.

Samantha - posted on 01/21/2009

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it does get easier. i agree with the rest...contact the lactation consultant at the hospital

Emily - posted on 01/21/2009

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Great advice - get help and keep at it - keep trying different positions (cross-cradle and football hold often work really well for little ones).  Try re-posting this in the Breastfeeding Moms group - there are lots of experienced nursing moms there who can give you support.  If you have a La Leche League in your area, attend a meeting.  Pumping can also help to bring in your milk which then encourages the baby to suck.  Tell your husband that you need his support and you need time to rest so that you have the patience to tackle the nursing - I asked my husband to take on all non-baby tasks at this point so that I could focus on bf.   What you are going through is totally normal and it will get better.  You are making the healthiest choice for your baby... good luck!

Rebecca - posted on 01/20/2009

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I know exactly how you feel, I went through the same thing.  I called the lactation consultant, the OB department and anyone else I could think of to get advice.  It finally came down to going to the OB department and they let me use their pump (it was a little more complicated because I wasn't expressing the milk and was becoming engorged).  I would encourage you to call your OB department, they usually have pumps you can use.  Then meet with their lactation consultant or the LeLeache League. 



As far as feeling like a failure-I felt the same way and cried everytime I resorted to giving him a bottle.  But I was determined to breastfeed and just kept at it.  One thing I tried (because Tyler would scream everytime I would bring him to my breast) was to start him with a bottle and then slowly take the bottle out and replace it with my breast.  It took some time, but it worked.  Hope this helps. 

Christy - posted on 01/20/2009

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Sorry to hear about your latching problems. I went through the same thing. In fact, while I was in the hospital I usually had to get a nurse in the room with me to get my baby girl to latch on. When I came home I finally just gave up and started using the pump and feeding her from the bottle. Then, one day a few weeks later I wasn't prepared to feed her because I hadn't pumped yet and she was ready to eat, so on a whim I tried breastfeeding her. She latched on like a pro! She took to latching on from then on. So, chin up I'm sure your little one will get it eventually. Some babies, like ours, just take longer than others.

Kristin - posted on 01/20/2009

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Go and get help!! Call a lactation consultant. The great news is that the earlier you seek help, the easier it generally is to fix a problem. Is he latching poorly or not at all? Even a baby who has not latched for weeks can begin to do so later on, so don't lose hope!
Try expressing a little milk (using your hand) before trying to latch him on. It can help to get your milk going and entice him a bit. Then make sure he is wide open before latching him on. Once he is latched keep trying to express a little more to keep him interested.
Good luck and please get help. Call the hospitals in your area for free services or look online!

www.babyready.ca

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