Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Latching Problems?

  • One of the biggest struggles for me was the beginning of breastfeeding with both of my babies.
  • I used what is called nipple shields with my first son, Mica.

  • At the time I had never heard of them.
  • If you are having a difficult time getting your baby to latch on ask your doctor or a lactation consultant about nipple shields. They do come in different sizes, so it's important to ask for help when it comes to getting them.
Babies may have a difficult time latching because:
  1. Weak muscles in the tongue or cheeks. It could be that they are premature, and haven't fully developed. Once they gain weight; you probably won't need to use nipple shields anymore.
  2. If the mommy has inverted nipples. This makes it hard to latch on.
  3. Nipple confusion (if they've had bottles already they may not want to work as hard to breastfeed. Babies use different muscles in the face to nurse then they do with a bottle.)
  4. My case was rare. I used them because my son was born with a cyst under his tongue. One side of his tongue just wasn't developed as much as the other. It made it difficult for him to nurse.
Somethings to watch out for when using nipple shields:
  1. It's one more thing to deal with. Even though they make breastfeeding easier, they are another thing to deal with. You have to have them centered to use them, I kept losing mine because they are clear, small and I was lacking on sleep anyhow.
  2. Babies sometimes do not get as much milk with the nipple shields in the way. I was instructed by the boy's pediatrician to stop using them because Mica wasn't gaining enough weight. It was frustrating to stop cold turkey. He and I were crying one whole night. The next day was much easier.

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