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Need help with poor latch

Hi I have a 2 week old with a poor latch. when he nurses my nipple comes out and it appears that he is only sucking on the top part of my nipple. I try to make sure that he gets the areola in his mouth but it seems that he pushes it out or maybe i'm not really getting it in there. my nipples were cracked and sore so i started giving him the bottle and pumping. I am healed pretty well now and tried to get him latched on today. he still wants to nurse but the latch isn't there. i dont have alot of support. i went to wic and she said that his latch is good. when we get home it is poor and my nipples start to hurt. i tried contacting my local LLL and will be going to a meeting they are having this friday. All suggests are greatlyappreciated. I need this to work. I need to find a way to teach him

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Asked by lilcherise at 9:22 PM on Aug. 3, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • The best thing YOU can do is to be relaxed, and patient. If his latch seems off, try again, and again until he is suckling properly.

    Try using the football hold, since he is so small, this give you the best control- always bring him to the breast, ever the other way around.

    To get him to open VERY wide, try tickling his foot with an ice cube.

    DO NOT GIVE HIM ANY MORE BOTTLES. It makes the problem worse.

    Let your nipples air dry with a little expressed milk on them each and every time.

    Feed him very frequently, so that his suckling will not be as hard when you first get him latched, and will help prevent soreness. Any time you feel like his latch is bad, break suction and try again. Like I said, be patient.


    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 9:28 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • You can get a breast shield to use until Friday. Sometimes they help. Lansinoh ointment definitely. It's hard to help without actually being there, but baby's lips should form a soft V when properly latched. If you are a larger cup size you might actually have to support your breast. There is little to no pain when properly latched. If all else fails keep pumping til you can get to LLL. My experience with them was great.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:28 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • maggiemom2000

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 9:33 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • "i went to wic and she said that his latch is good" It makes me really mad when I hear this! You can't tell by just looking if a latch is "good". the only things that make a latch good is if mom is comfortable and baby is getting milk. Period. If it is hurting you then it still isn't right, no matter how it "looks".
    Try the baby led attachment I linked to above. It can help baby to get their mouth open wider and latch on better.
    Also, spend as much time "skin to skin" with baby laying tummy to tummy with you on your bare chest (baby in only a diaper).

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 9:36 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • thank you everyone...will try in the next feeding

    Comment by lilcherise (original poster) at 9:40 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • I had trouble getting my first to latch on and the only thing that helped me was to sit up as straight as I could and hold her in front of me, straight across and bring her straight onto me. It worked almost immediately for me and my other two children. Hang in there....your boobs will feel much, much better when the latch is proper! Good for you for sticking it out!

    Answer by khedy at 11:19 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • LLL ladies do home visits. TO me it sounds like something that requires immediate attention. Call them and ask for a home visit. It is still free.
    You can also go to and read up on 'sore nipples', 'poor latch', and I would personally recommend to look up 'assymetric latch' - this really helps with making the baby take more of the breast.

    Another thing that might be happening here is a short frenulum, this probmlem sometimes causes shallow latch and it is easily fixed. So when you see your leader, or doc at the next appointment, do ask them to check.
    Meanwhile, stay away from all artificial nipples - bottles or pacifiers, this will only make the problem worse. Supplement with a dropper or syringe (no needle, of course), or a cup, or a spoon, anything to stay away from the artificial nipples that screw up his latch.

    And call the LLL ladies! They will help!

    Answer by go_romanovs at 2:18 AM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • It's great that is still interested in it. I used sugar water to get him going on it. I only needed it a handful of times to get him going. It worked awesome for us! Does he do that with both nipples? You have to be relaxed and he is will be the same. He plays off of your emotions. If you are uncomfortable with it he would be too. Try different positions maybe he wont disrupt the latch. I tried many different holds, football hold worked for the first few weeks when he was really tiny.

    When you are done pumping or attempted nursing, rub some of your milk on your nipples. That helps more than anything! It is very healing. I put some on my sons head, he was suctioned out and got a few bad boo-boos on his poor little head. I put that on there it healed super quick! Our milk is all powerful. : )

    Answer by MeghMirab at 9:23 AM on Aug. 4, 2010

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