After 7 months we are finally latching... HELP?

Eleisha - posted on 01/11/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )




Okay, so after my daughter was born, we had MAJOR latching difficulties. After working with an LC for 2 days we finally got latching successfully. On the second night, I again started having troubles latching (my milk had come in and I was VERY engorged), so asked my midwife to help. She decided in her wisdom, rather than following the plan that the LC and I had been on, she would latch her the way she knew (she was about 65 and quote "LC"S are rubbish and have NO idea").

Being very emotional and a first time young mum I let her go, and after an hour of me crying and my daughter screaming she still wasn't latched and I cup fed her. From then on, she became fearful of my breasts and every time I placed her in any nursing position she screamed hysterically.

While still working with and LC I discharged my self and my daughter and went home expressing and bottle feeding her. Over the past 7 month I have seen my LC weekly and done ALL of the things to encourage her to feed. And finally this week she has begun to latch. My LC is away and I cannot contact her so I really need some help.

How long does she need to nurse for in one sitting?
Should I be offering both breasts at one feeding?
Do I need to continue expressing to keep my supply up?
She has 2 meals per day, how many times should she nurse?
Any other advice would be wonderful!

SORRY this is so long, but I really need some assistance! :)


Chelseaszidik - posted on 01/11/2010





First I want you to clam down. I want you to remember that for the two of you up until this point breastfeeding has been trying and difficult and scheduled but when a baby is fed directly from the breast it doesn't have to be any of those things. Your daughter will not let herself go hungry and she will nurse for however long she pleases. It is healthiest for both of you (and it guarentees that she is getting enough and you are producing enough) to let her lead. If you let her tell you when she wan't to nurse and when she is finished you can have piece of mind that it's frequent enough and long enough.

Before answering the questions about continuing to pump I would like to ask a few question. How often is she asking to nurse now and for how long is she staying at the breast? I only ask this because it's common for babies who haven't been to the breast before (newborns) to nurse for long periods of time because they aren't as efficient at sucking. Although that's not always true and not the only reason newborns feed frequently.

Always feed her 30 or so minutes prior to a meal because you want her to be filling up on breastmilk not food. Breastmilk should be the main source of nurtion until 12 months minimum. Don't refuse the breast and take the time to enjoy this wonderful bonding experience. Watch the latch and keep going. I would also not offer the bottle if you don't have to work outside the home or go to school because the bottle is easier to use and at this point you don't want to damange this wonderful relationship. Switching to the sippy and throwing the bottles away entirely if you do have to be away would be the best bet. Use the sippy cups without a stopper.


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Amanda - posted on 01/12/2010




I would suggest latching her on and timing how long she eats on one breast. Then the next time you feed make sure to use the other breast. She should stop feeding when she gets full. (e-mail me at and I will give you my phone number if you would like more help on this or other problems) :)

Alison - posted on 01/12/2010




hi, i think you have been doing very well to express this long. i had similar problems when my daughter was born, she wouldnt suck so we tried dummies and everything trying to get her to learn to suck and in the end a midwife who was in her late 60's managed to get her to latch on with a nipple shield. to this day she has only ever latched on once w/o the shield and had milk, but i think if the shields work then at least she is getting the milk. breastfeeding is so much more convenient then bottle as you would probably know. no cleaning up bottles and sterlising, the only thing i have to do is keep a couple of shields sitting in milton on the coffeetable ready to go.
i always offer both breasts at every feeding otherwise you tend to have one big boob and one small one, but thats my opinion and my mother told me that as she breast us 3 kids for 18 months each.
my girl nurses for probably about 20mins first thing in the morning then for about 10mins everytime during the day then prob 20mins for last feed before bed.
no need to keep expressing if she is feeding all day, i have only ever expressed 3 times in the 7 months since my daughter was born and i have always had enough milk to satisfy her as she is demand fed as well. my girl also has two meals a day but still has at least four milk feeds.
sorry for the long post, but i thought i would tell you about my experience to let you know you're not the only who has had trouble with latching.

Chelseaszidik - posted on 01/12/2010




You are you doing a wonderful job in letting her choose when she feeds. Keep up the great work. I am guessing that the info you are reading is meant for babies who know how to breastfeed from practice. Your daughter needs to learn how to suck efficiently which is why she feeds for so long. Let her decide when to switch breasts and you can feel sure that she is getting enough hind milk and for milk. Let her lead and it will work out.

Sarah - posted on 01/12/2010




First of all, good for you!!! :)

Second of all, I'm definately not a professional, but I am bfing my first baby... we had a few days when she went on a nursing strike, refusing my right breast because of my overactive letdown bothering her... so my advice is, if you have gotten her to latch on, allow her to stay on the breast as long as she wants to let her practice and get the hang of it, then next time put he on the other breast. Because if you detach her halfway she may have trouble getting on the other breast and get frustrated and refuse to nurse. After she has the hang of nursing then try to let her nurse frim each side in one feeding.

Amy - posted on 01/12/2010




i usually let my son nurse until he was done, or just licking and not swallowing, or until he fell asleep if it was naptime. i let him decide how long to eat.

i was so confused on offering one, or offering both. i had no help. i just gave him one side and if he was still awake but broke off or acted not quite satisfied, i offered the other. i figure no harm in offering more to eat. he'll either take it or not.

if she's nursing on demand, i wouldn't worry about pumping too much extra, but would be nice for you to have to backstock in case you need to travel or if she goes to grandma's / sitter's etc. i sure wish i had the internet with my first one. i think my nursing would have been successful with my first. but the women on here seem very knowledgeable and have helped me some. just don't worry too much - stress can reduce your supply. don't need that. :) just go with the flow.

Samantha - posted on 01/12/2010




It takes about 10 minutes for your daughter to get through the fatty foremilk and get enough of the rich hindmilk to be satisfied. Some babies nurse longer some shorter. I suggest allowing her to nurse on one breast for as long as she wants to or until it is emptied. Whichever comes first.

No you do not need to offer both breasts. If she is completely satisfied at the end of the feeding from one then there is no need. But I do reccomend offering it up to her just in case she quit on the first one b/c it is empty.

If she is eating every 3-4 hours during awake hours and every 5-6 hours during the night you shouldnt need to pump. But pumping is great in preventing clogged milk ducts, mastitus as well lessening your odds for breast cancer.

You should offer your breast 2 hours before, once she is done eating her solids, 2 hours after and of course when she act hungry.

If you need any other information I am happy to help. I am a LC. you can catch me on yahoo messenger.

Samantha Pfleider IBCLC

Eleisha - posted on 01/11/2010




Thank you so much to the both of you for getting back to me so quickly. I have been doing heaps of research on the net, but it's all so conflicting. Thank you so much for your encouragement Briana, there have been times when I have wanted to give up, but I truly believe that I am doing the best for my daughter.

To answer your question Chelsea...
At the moment she seems to be feeding all of the time. Sometimes she will feed for up to 50 mins, most of the time between 30 and 40 and may go anywhere between 2 and 3.5 hours before she starts again. Am I supposed to schedule this? At the moment I am just going with what she wants as I really want this to work. I am feeding her almost all day, so she seems disinterested in her solids anyway. I am very lucky so I stay at home with my daughter. I am a single mum, so I am her only contact, so I have hidden all of the bottle (I am afraid if she sees them she may refuse BF again).

Briana - posted on 01/11/2010




Honestly I don't have any advice for you because I'm not an expert. I've breastfed two babies but I didn't have the same problems you are having. I just wanted to say that you are an awesome mommy!!! Many women would have given up within the first month. But you have stuck with it despite the difficulties. It sounds like you really want the best for your little one.

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