Breast Feeding Issues

Updated on October 05, 2012
L.G. asks from San Antonio, TX
10 answers

My soon to be two week year old and I are struggling with breast feeding. He was initially doing well and then began to have difficulty latching on. He gets really frustrated and comes off and on. It takes numerous tries to get him to latch on. Once latched he seems to nurse okay. He will only latch on my left. My pedi has been monitoring his weight and because he is not gaining , he actually lost again I now am supplementing with formula. Has anyone been able to get through having to bottle feed and still breast feed? Am I doomed to set him up with nipple confusion and more latch problems?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advise. Did meet with a lactation person and am working on my goal to breastfeed. Will not give up as this is so important to me. I have hope that we will be sucessful.

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answers from Houston on

I had some trouble with latch in the beginning too, and the lactation consultant at the hospital gave me a nipple shield from Medela to try. It helped sooo much, in fact I used it for probably 3 weeks. They tell you not to use it that long, but it made the latching so easy, the little guy was gaining, and it was just working for us. Once I started getting more sleep and more practice, I was able to stop using it. It's worth a try, they are only a couple of bucks vs. buying formula which adds up SO fast!

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answers from Seattle on

My daughter had so many problems learning how to nurse! I was not prepared for that, especially since my two boys nursed just fine.
First, is there a reason you are supplementing with formula instead of pumping and giving him your breast milk? If you can pump i would do that instead of the formula.
It sucks, I did it for almost a month since my daughter wouldn't even TRY to latch! But, I kept offering. Then, by some miracle, she did it! I sobbed all over her little head. that's not to say it was easy from then on, it wasn't! But, after a couple more weeks we were no longer pumping and bottle feeding. It took her a minute to figure it out.
She also lost 2lbs her first week, so I understand what you are going through.
Just keep trying, pump, and one day he WILL get it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Remember that this is a learning process for you both. I would not supplement. I would find a certified lactation consultant and work on that latch. Find out what else you can do. Supplementing will teach your body it doesn't need to produce. If you want to give him a bottle, pump your milk instead. is a great resource. I found information there on cup feeding when I was so frustrated with DD in the beginning. I also used a nipple shield for a short time (I had serious overactive letdown - poor kid was nursing from a fire hose!). If he's only latching on the left, maybe the right isn't working properly. That happens and you can successfully nurse a child on one side only.

Hang in there. Give it at least 6 weeks to get the hang of it.

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answers from Huntsville on

Make sure you are completely relax. Fatigue plays a large role in any doubts while breast feeding. Unwrap your baby and check diaper need to be change or not. Location also is important for breast feed, select a comfortable chair with ample room on the sides.

I follow some of the tips from here

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answers from Des Moines on

Find a La Leche League leader/group near you! Our local group even has a Facebook page where you can get help 24/7.

You can find the group near you at:

And Laura's right-- PUMP!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

Please look online at LaLeche League and find someone in your area. The doctors and nurses do not help many people successfully breast feed. La Leche League will meet with you and your baby and give you so much support and information. They will get you back nursing on both breasts which is what you need to be successful.
The more you give bottles the more confused he will be and will ultimately only want bottles because it is easier at this point. You can do this, if you get help for yourself and your baby.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

My daughter was breast and bottle fed. I nursed her well past her first birthday. Just continue to offer breast before giving formula.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Contact the hospital, your OB/GYN for a referral to a lactation consultant. I had shingles right after I had mine and it screwed things up for a while, but with the help of a lactation consultant, I was able to BF till my son was 2.5 years old.

Breastfeeding is natural, but not always easy. A lactation consultant will help figure out why he's having problems (95% of the time, it's the baby not getting the hang) and help with solutions.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

My 11 month old and I also started out with latching problems. She preferred my right side... still does infact. I met with a lactation consultant and that helped a ton. Good luck. My sil just had a baby and he wasn't gaining and instead of supplementing she would wake him to nurse every hour and a half and that helped him. He is also only nursing one side at a time.

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answers from Laredo on

Breast milk is best for your baby. But if you have to supplement, it will be okay. Our daughter was premature and I had so much difficulty with breastfeeding. Just to get her to suck was an issue. Yes, she had some nipple confusion, but we worked through it together. I recommend you see about calling a lactation consultant if possible. The hospital where I had my daughter had one on staff that did some free sessions with me, so you may have options there. Also I spoke with several over the phone and they never charged me a dime. I also went to some of my friends houses that just had new babies and they helped me as well. It's hard to say what is going on with your son without seeing it, but I am confident that you can do it.

I was so worried about my latch, my latch, my latch -- but when I stopped messing with it -- my daughter did it just naturally. I didn't need to do no trick to get the nipple in far enough -- after one second she got it.

As far as you milk supply, are you using nipple shields? The shield was invaluable in getting us started, but it slowed down the milk flow and lowered my body's milk production.

It took 4 weeks to get my daughter to latch on and take milk from me. 2 1/2 months before I stopped using the shield. During all that time I had to supplement with pumped milk and formula with a bottle. My daughter is now 15 months and she is still breastfeeding and she prefers the breast to formula, its her special time with mommy. So long story short if you to introduce the bottle you can just continue to work on the breastfeeding along side it and it will be ok.

1 mom found this helpful
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