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nursemaya mom to 3! 3 kids; 5 angel babies; Minnesota 16003 posts
9th Dec '12

I'm sorry you are having a difficult time, just know that as frustrating as this is, it will get better. This, too, shall pass.
Without being at your bedside, we are limited in the suggestions that can be made at this point, since the underlying issues could be many different things. A few pointers i could give 1) remain relaxed and don't get frustrated - babies sense tension and frustration and it often causes them to have a fear response that in turn causes them not to latch.
2) don't wait to feed baby until it's crying, feed when baby exhibits subtle feeding cues like lip smacking and tongue thrusting and even rapid eye movement. the best time to nurse a baby is as they are waking up or in the quiet alert state - the worst time is when they are crying
3) try the side lying position with assistance from the staff - babies are much more likely to latch in the early days in this position then any other especially if there are problems. the other positions require holding th ebaby around the neck and this is actually likely to cause the baby to rear back from the breast - its a survival technique baby thinks its being suffocated and is trying to protect the airway. a baby will always choose breathing over eating
4) tickle the lip with the n****e and wait for baby to open - no forcing needed.
5) get as much n****e / arreola in the mouth as possible since a shallow latch causes you pain and baby gets limited amouts of milk. Another important thing to remember with a shallow latch is that if the n****e does not reach the "trigger point" in the baby's mouth (where the hard and soft palate meet) the baby is unlikely to keep nursing. If this is the issue you will notice that baby latches for w few moments and then "falls asleep" only to scream bloody murder as soon as it comes off and then repeat with the next attempt.

It might help if you could describe in more detail what is going on. Not latching can be caused by so many things and have so many different fixes. I would also encourage you to pump if the latch is unsuccessful. This is not for volume at this point - you won't get anything for 3-5 days with a pump- by to provide the stimulation that baby isn't giving you right now. if baby isn't effectivly nursing you need to pump for stimulation AT LEAST every 3 hours, especially at night.