Monday, September 04, 2006

Help! My baby is still not latching on at 6 weeks!

This was my desperate question to the experts at when I had difficulty latching my baby on during the early days of breastfeeding.

Dear ...........,

My baby is still not latching on at 6 weeks.

I think that I have flat nipples and my lactation consultant has suggested that my baby has a tongue tie and we should think about having baby's frenulum clipped.. At the moment I am pumping and feeding baby from a cup. I have never given him any pacifier or bottle to avoid nipple confusion.

My question is:
  1. Is there hope that baby will latch on? What else can I do? My baby can extend his tongue to his lower lip but not very much beyond. My husband and I do not wish to have his frenulum clipped because we are unwilling to take any risk or complications that may arise from the procedure. Does that mean that baby will be unable to breastfeed?
  2. My lactation consultant suggested that my baby's jaw will recede and he may have poor jaw and mouth development that may lead to speech problems because he is not latching and does not have anything to suck on. Is this true? Should I be giving him something to suck on? What can I do?

I am thinking of pumping and continue to try to latch baby for 3 months after which I will start offering him expressed breast milk from a bottle as the current situation of pumping, trying to latch baby and cup feeding schedule is too difficult to keep up since I also have a demanding toddler to look after. Whats is your opinion?

Incidentally my toddler also had difficulty latching on. She managed to latch on at around 2 1/4 weeks but had poor weight gain for several months and I was eventually advised by my lactation consultant to supplement with formula. I breastfed her for 1 1/2 years.

I hope you have some good advice and I thank you for your time.

Yours Sincerely,


Here are some more breastfeeding links I find useful:

  1. A tongue-tie or ankyloglossia is caused when the membrane under the tongue (the frenulum) extends excessively toward the tip of tongue. Continue reading this article: Tongue tie: To clip or not to clip?
  2. It is easier to prevent nipple confusion than to fix it.
  3. Latching and Positioning Resources.
  4. Breastfeeding stories from other mums with difficulty breastfeeding which inspired me.

Here are the answers I received:

Answer # 1: Horrible abrasions from latching on incorrectly
Answer # 2: Tips for Nursing With Flat Nipples
Answer # 3: Latch Technique for Infants with a tight frenulum
Answer #4: Keep nursing every 2 hours or 8-10 times minimum every 24 hours
Answer #5 & #6: Get his tongue clipped now!

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  1. I should have know you earlier coz I had latching problem too. :(

  2. michelle,
    Hmm... yah. Its tough. Felt like giving up every single day!


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