is it possible to get a 3 week old to latch on? — The Bump
Breastfeeding

is it possible to get a 3 week old to latch on?

nursej519nursej519
Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments 250 Love Its 5 Answers
member
edited May 2015 in Breastfeeding
My 3 week old has never latched. When I first started to BF, they just threw a nipple shield at me and called it good. She doesn't create a good suck with it and I had to start supplementing her from 3 days old. I don't pump enough milk to only give her that. Is it too late/are things too far gone to think we could ever EBF??

Re: is it possible to get a 3 week old to latch on?

  • It's not too late. I worked extensively with a lactation consultant and my daughter wouldn't latch by herself until 4 weeks. Then it just clicked. Getting your daughter to latch can be frustrating but stick with it because it has had many benefits. My milk supply was starting to decrease significantly but since she's been latching a few times a day now, it's gotten better again. But don't be discouraged if you still need to supplement. Some women simply don't produce enough milk to keep up with their babies appetite. Try lactation cookies too to try to increase your milk supply again. What worked for us was tongue exercises before feeding and hand expressing a bit of milk to get her interested more. It's so rewarding once it finally happens but don't take it out on yourself if it doesn't. Some babies just aren't interested. Good luck!
  • Thank you so much for your response. Everyday I say "just one more day". Thus is honestly the hardest thing ive ever done.
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  • It is definitely possible. I nursed with a shield for the first week after she was born, then exclusively bottle fed for the next 2.5 weeks. She was almost 4 weeks when we tried to nurse again, and I didn't use a shield just to not create the habit. She latched on great, but still gets frustrated sometimes with how hard she has to work to get milk from the breast. But it can be done. I've also heard that it only gets easier as they get older since their mouths get bigger.
  • @TracyB4889 -- did you pump in the mean time to keep your supply up? When I pump, I get approx 1oz. Total. I Have been only bottle feeding (formula or breast milk, when I had enough) for the last week or so. Before that, I was stuck in the nurse - bottle feed - pump cycle and I just can't do that again. If I can even take one step out (either bottle or pump), I would be okay but I wasn't getting any sleep and was not a nice person or a good mom.
  • nursej519 said:

    @TracyB4889 -- did you pump in the mean time to keep your supply up? When I pump, I get approx 1oz. Total. I Have been only bottle feeding (formula or breast milk, when I had enough) for the last week or so. Before that, I was stuck in the nurse - bottle feed - pump cycle and I just can't do that again. If I can even take one step out (either bottle or pump), I would be okay but I wasn't getting any sleep and was not a nice person or a good mom.

    Yes I pumped the whole time so I could bottle feed her with breast milk. Luckily I've been able to produce just enough to avoid formula so far. I understand your pain, it's exhausting to nurse, bottle, and pump. By the time you're done with the process, it's time to start all over again. I've had better luck increasing my supply by focusing on nursing more and pumping less.
  • That is exactly what I'm hoping for. Thank you!!
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