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Mishalyn - posted on 04/27/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My Mother in law says she works with a lady who could not breast feed cause she could not get the baby to latch on . Did this lady just give up to soon or can that be a problem , will i not be able to breastfeed just because my baby cant latch on? And if that is a problem can i just pump constantly and feed her breast milk from a bottle?

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[deleted account]

Hi Mishalyn,

What you need is knowledge! Has your baby been born yet? I would get in touch with a lactation counsellor or contact LLL BEFORE your baby is born! If your baby is already born, go straght to LLL or similar.

Breastfeeding is a natural thing, but,as in everything, issues can crop up. So before any of your worries materialise, be prepare, have the knowledge to meet any problems head on! If there are any breastfeeding classes around, go to them. Read everything you can get your hands on! And, just a suggestion, I would be less inclined to get my information from a medical professional than a qualified lactation consultant, as the medical profession is not always up with the lastest in breastfeeding knowledge! See:

http://www.kellymom.com/
and
http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/

All the best!

Celeste - posted on 04/27/2010

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Uggh, that's so frustrating!! MANY women breastfeed. If you DO come into problems, there is help. A few things I would recommend is to surround yourself around women who did nurse. Find support, attend LLL meetings, find an IBCLC (an LC who is board certified).

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April - posted on 05/07/2010

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anything can happen. you just have to work on it...you can't let obstacles stop you from breastfeeding. while bfing is a natural thing, it is by no means easy all the time. it does get easier, but sometimes new things can come up too. you have to push on and keep going for your little one. this is not to say that you definitely will have challenges...you might not face a single challenge.

Lindsey - posted on 05/07/2010

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Here's another thing to think about. Your baby will be brand new to this world. Never before being born did they have to work to stay warm and eat. It's a learning process for them as well as us.

My daughter was born 2 1/2 months early and for the 8 1/2 weeks she was in the hospital I had to pump (I was able to nurse her a couple times a day towards the end), but pumping doesn't stimulate the release of your hormones (that tell your body to produce milk) like your baby actually nursing and my supply was beginning to diminish so, thank God she was able to come home and I could start nursing her every time, but from my experience I would say exclusively pumping won't work for very long. (And I recommend the Medela brand pumps.)

Just don't give up too soon. Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 05/07/2010

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a bad latch is no reason to stop breastfeeding. A lot of woman go through this. Breast feeding may be 100% natural but it does come with practice and patience, some more then others.
I am a mother of 2 and have had 2 c-sections. I was a young mother(20) for my first and I do think that was one of the contributing factors of me giving up at 3 mths cause I had less patience and I didn't have much support so I would get frustrated and stressed out and that did effect my supply and by the time a growth spurt came around I was at my wits end and gave up.
I wish I knew what I know now then...
I had my second baby by c-section just 16 mths and and I was 31...with knowing more what to expect I think it gave me more patience. and I had a lot of support this time around.
my son had some trouble latching at first which I think it may have to do with the anesthetic. I've heard that even an epidural can cause some problems in this area, but after 2 days of constant trying he latched and I thought all was well and on his 3 day I didn't sleep cause all he wanted was to eat non stop and I was in tears in the morning when my nurse came in and she asked me what a matter and I told her that I don't think my milk is good or he wasn't getting enough and she told me it was perfectly normal...that the baby was bringing down the milk.It won't last forever And to just let him feed on your boob non stop...and that in times like these don't get frustrated and top up with formula cause it will effect your supply.

Stina - posted on 04/30/2010

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When my son was born September 2004, he was very sick and needed to be fed an "IV coctail" until they could take him off the ventilator. He lost the suckling reflex- had to be taught to suck on a pacifier and then we tried nursing, but moved to teaching him to eat with a bottle since we could only bring him home when he was eating well. We brought him home Mid October. With the help of a Lactation Consultant, I continued to give him daily nursing lessons with nipple shield and eventually moved to my bare breast. With her help and my determination to BF, he finally got the hang of it Mid November.

My second child seemed relatively easy to nurse. She latched on right away and went to town.

When my third child arrived last April, I thought I was a pro. She was delivered by C-section so I had been recovering while she was awake and alert. By the time we were reunited, she was very very sleepy and I had a heck of a time getting her to latch on for that first time.

I was persistent and eventually she had her first meal- but we had a bit of work to do to get a good latch. We eventually got it. She turned a year old April 22nd and is still nursing often.

If your baby has difficulty latching on, ask for help. Keep trying. Rarely there are abnormalities with a baby's mouth that make nursing difficult- but for most babies, with a little practice, determination and when necessary, educated guidance, you will be on the road to a long and happy nursing relationship.

Kristin - posted on 04/30/2010

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My daughter never latched on very well at all, so I just pump she is 9 and half months now, but I will tell you it is alot more work to pump all the time to have them latch on and in the end you don't get as much milk so keep it up and trey to get her to latch on, my daughter does my milk and formula.

JAYLEEN - posted on 04/29/2010

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I think it is very rare for someone not to be able to nurse their baby. If after meeting with several educated lactation consultants you still can not get or train your baby to latch, you can always get nipple shields or pump so that they get the important nutrition and bonding from breastfeeding.

I worried I wouldn't be able to nurse because my mother never had milk (later found out it was related to her low thyroid). My baby is nearly 9 months and I've had more than enough milk for her.

Be positive...and know that you'll find a way! You can do it : )

Gayle - posted on 04/29/2010

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You could just pump or they make these guards that go over your nipples to make it easier for baby.... don't worry... the more you worry the more difficult it will be because you won't feel confident about breastfeeding and baby will pick up on it.... just play it by ear and take your time... enjoy your baby and everything will work itself out!

Meagan - posted on 04/29/2010

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both of my babies had trouble latching on in the beginning, but we were relaxed enough about it, and they were healthy, that we just gave it time. at times i did need to express a little milk to reduce the size of my nipple, but once they were on away they went.
pumping is definitely a better option than resorting to formula in my opinion. good luck love. and enjoy!

Jane - posted on 04/28/2010

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It would be a lot of time to pump for each feeding. Babies can learn to latch on so please contact a lactation consultant and other moms at La Leche League, you and your baby CAN do it!

Andrea - posted on 04/27/2010

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I have to add, just in response to Amanda - pumps work differently with different women. I bought the First Years mipump as well, AND tried the medela from the hospital, I got literally HALF the amount from the first years as I did from the medela - so I would say go with medela to rule out possibility of having pump issues. They are not only the most recommended but most used - for a good reason - they are the strongest.

Jodi - posted on 04/27/2010

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Sometimes baby can't latch if he/she has a high palate or is tongue tied (or some other reasons) but MOST of the time baby just needs to learn how to latch on, just like we as moms have to learn how to breastfeed. It may be natural, but that doesn't mean it comes naturally. I would suggest taking a breastfeeding class or joining a La Leche League meeting/club in your area to help calm some of your fears. My baby is tongue tied, just like me, it took awhile and many blisters but she finally figured out how she needed to latch on instead of getting her tongue clipped. Don't worry too much now, what happens will happen and there are support people out there!!!

Amanda - posted on 04/27/2010

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I tried so hard to breastfeed my baby girl but couldn't, I had an overactive letdown and latching issues. I've used pumped and fed my baby with a bottle for almost a year now and I intend to keep going as long as I can. Before anyone says anything about getting help, my lactation consultant (the only one in the area) said to switch to formula. That was what I got when looking for help, it does happen that you can't breastfeed due to latch or whatever, it's no big deal. Worrying about it will not help though, get as much info as you can, keep numbers for consultants close buy, and if it doesn't work out get a good electric breastpump. I use "first years", it was cheaper than "medela" but just as good. Good luck and try not to worry, it all works out in the end

Sarah - posted on 04/27/2010

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Hi Mishalyn! I was SO worried about the whole breastfeeding thing when I was pregnant, too. I knew I wanted to breastfeed so badly, but I didn't know much about it. It was definitely more challenging than I thought it would be & I ended up stressing myself out! My son DID have trouble latching. Sometimes he would latch right on & other times it would take him FOREVER to get latched on. I thought I was doing something wrong & really got frustrated with myself. I ended up supplementing with formula & the more I supplemented, the more my milk supply dwindled. So, honestly, I feel like I gave up on breastfeeding WAY too soon. :(

My best advice to you is try your best NOT to stress yourself out or get frustrated with yourself. It is tough in the beginning, but stick with it!! Get all the help & support you can from a Lactation Consultant! I didn't do that & I really regret it!!

Good luck!! You'll do wonderfully! :)

Kristin - posted on 04/27/2010

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It can happen that way, but I would hope you consult with a lactation specialist before you move on to bottles entirely. Yes, you can absolutely pump. A friend of mine was only able to give her daughter breast milk that way. She pumped through four rounds of mastitis because her daughter was a very bad nurser inspite of help. While it would be a lovely bonding experience for you, baby is still getting the nourishment needed from you.



What happens to one woman does not mean it will happen to you. Only you know your exact circumstances and get to make decisions based on them. Just stay relaxed and know that you are doing the very best you can for your child no matter what happens.

Brianna - posted on 04/27/2010

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My suggestion is to find a lactation consultant once you are home. I didn't have problems for the most part, but being a first time mom I wanted to make sure that everything was working right. my LO would latch on one side immediately but not so easily on the other. The LC we saw was awesome, she took one looks at my breasts and how he was trying to eat and said "here try this" It worked great and never had a problem after that!! The lactation nurses in the hospitals are ok but they are so busy and not always as knowledge as some one on the outside. the first 6 weeks are the toughest with the constant demand and growth spurts but give it your best and it will work out one way or another. Remember a happy healthy baby is more important then anything else...breastfed or not.

Brean - posted on 04/27/2010

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some children do have problems, but DONT give up. my daughter latched on at 6 weeks for the first time. keep up your milk supply by pumping. Even if she never latches on, pumped breastmilk it still better than no breastmilk.

Mishalyn - posted on 04/27/2010

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It's good to hear all this ! I have been trying to get other women to help me get rid of my nerves and just help but this is one of the first times my nerves are starting to calm down but any more advise is great!!

Andrea - posted on 04/27/2010

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You are woman = You CAN nurse! What do you think women did before there was formula!? Just know what to expect so you don't get discouraged quickly. about 95% of the women who claim they "couldn't" breastfeed just either gave up too quick or were not educated enough to seek more answers. I never looked at formula as an option - so there was tons of motivation to keep trying. I have flat nipples, and had latching issues, but I got a shield and I worked at it! You WILL be able to nurse, just know it will be hard for at least the first 3-4 WEEKS - not that you wont be able to nurse for that long, it can just be hard for that long - but sheesh, everything about a baby is hard at first - no reason to stop taking care of them :) Nursing is instinctual for babies, it's helping them latch properly that takes practice. Also know that "low milk supply" is actually VERY RARE - many women THINK they have low milk supply when they don't, because they don't educate themselves. Take the breastfeeding class - read ALL the posts at the top of this community - they are all great information. Go to kellymom.com - trust me, you will feel better. Avoid formula and you will have LESS problems :)

Mishalyn - posted on 04/27/2010

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Im just so nervous, i want to be able to breastfeed so badly because i know its best for her but everyone keeps telling me all these things that can go wrong and "maybe you wont be able to do it" !!

Celeste - posted on 04/27/2010

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We don't know the whole story but there are instances that a baby is unable to latch on. One of those reasons is nipple confusion. But that doesn't mean that baby will never latch. One of my twins had nipple confusion and REFUSED to latch for 6 weeks. I worked with him using different techniques and he finally latched. If your baby does have problems latching, your best bet is to find an IBCLC so she can help you get baby latched.

Marie - posted on 04/27/2010

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Unless you're mom is close to her coworker (or the coworker is a share-all type of person), I doubt she knows the full story. I didn't breastfeed long with my daughter and latch was one of the reasons but it wasn't the only reason. There was a lot of other issues, including the fact I was healing from a cesarean.

The important thing is that you focus on whatever your situation brings and don't be afraid to ask for help. Breastfeeding is natural, but it is something that takes practice and sometimes requires a little guidance.

Check to see if you have a local La Leche League chapter or any other breastfeeding support groups. If you do have trouble getting your baby to latch on, you can get someone to sit with you while you attempt to feed and they'll help you figure it out.

If you still feel like it's still a problem, yes, pumping is definitely an option. Even moms without latch issues pump milk because that works better for them for other reasons. Just make sure that you buy for the features you want, don't look for the cheapest pump you can find.

Bekkie - posted on 04/27/2010

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my little guy didn't latch on very well for the first couple days, and we ended up topping him up with formula because he would get so hungry and upset, and in turn I would get upset because I didn't know what to do. I was determined though and kept at it and eventually he latched on and we've been 100% BF ever since. There can sometimes be problems like inverted / flat nipples, and sometimes problems with milk supply but a lactation consultant can help. The first couple weeks are tough, but it gets easier, and it's so worth it!

[deleted account]

Here's my stance on latching on. My little girl is almost a year old now, and while she did have a little trouble latching on to begin with, she and I just kept at it until it was second nature, and she is still breastfeeding. Both of my sisters have tried and failed to breastfeed, doctors have given varying reasons for this, but the underlying problem was that they just didn't try hard enough. My advice to you is to keep at it, don't get so frustrated that you give your child a bottle right off. Wait, be patient, make sure the baby is comfortable. Starting out can be difficult, but just don't give up and you shouldn't have any problems.



If you are having a lot of trouble with the baby latching on, however, there are things that the nurses can do to help if you are willing to try. One of them involves giving the baby a little formula through a tube while they are at the breast. If you are having trouble, and you really want your baby breastfeed, there's always something you can try.

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