Latch questions — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Latch questions

My LO is 5 days old and I was told at the dr that the reason I'm so sore is because she has a short latch. Anyone have this problem ? Is there anything I can do to improve her latch ?

Re: Latch questions

  • Definitely see an IBCLC, who can give you info and specific tips based on what she sees. Also, try laid-back nursing; it can help them get a deeper latch.
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    yohannah
  • See a lactation specialist, they can help. Check your hospital for lactation classes... whatever you do, do not give up! I had trouble in the beginning too....my DS is four weeks today and breasrfeeding is voing well....except at night when im half asleep.
    vbarnes91
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  • The only thing that saved us was seeing the Lactation Consultant!
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  • something that helped me was watching a few videos of proper latches (try youtube)

  • I agree with everything PP's said and I just wanted to add that I have big nipples and he had such a small mouth and it was hard! We worked on our latch and that combined with time (he grew and his mouth got bigger) it just got naturally better! 
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  • Thanks everyone. I'm not giving up but it is certainly uncomfortable. I have an appointment with the LC on Tuesday. In the mean time has anyone tried the nipple shields? I've heard mixed reviews about them
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  • When they mentioned "short latch" did they also say that your LO could be tongue-tied?

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  • No but I've been wondering about that. My friends son was tongue tied and she said she was told that made him have a short latch. Will the LC be able to tell me if my daughter is tongue tied when I meet with her ?
  • Your LC should be able to tell you pretty quickly if your LO is. DS has a short latch too (almost 9 wks now). My LC said that he was slightly tongue tied but didn't think he needed intervention. So basically I try my best to get him to open wide but a lot of the time he ends up sucking my nipple through his tiny lips! I had some pain the first month or so but I think my body's used to it now.
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  • It helps to meet with an LC, but my LO has a short latch and here's what was recommended. With your LO lying on their side, use one hand to hold their neck from behind and the other should compress the nipple area like a sandwich. To widen the latch, put your nipple by LO's nose, which will force their chin up and a wide mouth. Then help to guide the nipple in and guide their neck to make sure they are fully latched.
  • I would check with your Ped rather than rely on your LC. LC *can* be nurses, but many times they are not. Plus, I saw three LC's during our hospital stay and not one of them caught it.  

    As far as intervention,  they may decide it will lengthen on it own, but other times they may decide it requires intervention and choose to "clip" it. It is a 2 second procedure in an ENT's office and they can do it while you are holding your LO.

    Babies that are tongue-tied can not only have issues with latching that can cause the mother pain when nursing, but it can also cause other issues, as well. Just as the tongue cannot extend forward enough to latch properly, it also can't sufficiently block the airway to prevent air from entering the stomach and causing gas. There is debate about whether or not it can also cause speech issues once they begin talking.

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  • ALSO your loscal wic office should have lactation consultants you can sppek with.  Keep up the good work momma  it gets better!
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