Help! My Baby Won't Latch.
Can you help me? My Baby Won't Latch.
It can feel deeply personal and really frustrating when you had envisioned a different breastfeeding journey. Please know that this is a journey and it's not over yet so take a deep breath and read on!
What can you do if your baby won't latch?
It really depends on how old your baby is, if baby is latching a little bit, not latching effectively or flat out NOT latching.
We are going to focus on baby not latching in the next 10 steps.
1) Call your IBCLC to get a personalized plan specific to you and your Lil one. What does this mean? Your IBCLC will conduct their assessment, rule issues out and form your Care Plan with you.
I offer virtual lactation consults to anyone in the USA (yes, I can help you virtually!). SCHEDULE HERE
2) Keep baby SKIN TO SKIN or baby wear as much as possible.
3) Let the breast crawl happen (you can re-live this many times over, keep baby skin to skin and watch the magic)
4) IMPORTANT! Keep baby well fed and fed to satiety by offering breastmilk, donor milk or formula in a spoon, cup or via paced bottle feeding.
5) IMPORTANT! PUMP every 2-3 hours, avoid full breasts to establish and/or maintain milk supply.
6) IMPORTANT! DO NOT FORCE BABY TO BREAST. Keep your breast a positive and HAPPY PLACE. Licks, nuzzles count as progress :)
7) Sure you can try a nipple shield. Please make sure it's fitted correctly, you know how to put it on, care for it and how to latch baby on with it correctly. Wondering about latching baby? Watch my 16 minute breastfeeding class covering all the basics
8) IF you have been cleared for a bath post birth and you have helpers present to help you, you can re-birth. Prepare the bathroom and tub with safety in mind to avoid slipping, trips and falls and appropriate temperature. Have your helper present. Have helper hand baby to you once you are safely inside the tub and place baby on your chest skin to skin with ZERO expectations. Keep it relaxed and focused on skin to skin. It helps to have baby in-between feedings so they are not hungry nor hangry. Enjoy the cuddle. Aim to try re-birth more than 1x and if baby does latch to any degree don't focus on the quality, enjoy the progress and keep it light hearted and positive.
9) Be gentle with yourself. Follow your IBCLC's Care Plan and reach out to your support system.
10) Practice and patience x 10000000