As a lay bf counselor, I'd value help here from the many
more-technically-trained folks out there.
A mother called me Sunday evening, 3 days pp with her third baby; the earlier
two had each nursed around a year. The baby was sleepy, wouldn't latch,
wouldn't suck well, had been discharged from a major NY-area medical center
without ever having fed at 50 hours of age!!! Her
intending-to-be-bf-friendly pediatrician had told her, "That's ok, some
babies take a little while to get it, but if you're nervous we can give her
some sugar water" (which the mom declined, figuring she'd keep trying at
home) -- well-meant but no help getting the baby latched on, and no LC
available on the weekend. Meanwhile the mother felt the baby was shrinking
and getting sleepier, no poops, and still not latching.
I was able to get the baby on, and with a couple of good feeds in her she
began to suck more energetically, poop, etc. Six poops between Sunday noon
and 10pm! So I was reassured about the "feed the baby" side of the
equation, for the immediate moment at least. And I was able to help the
mother with managing her growing engorgement, to keep her comfortable and not
make it any harder for the little one to attach.
But she was still clicking a lot, and it seemed to both the mother and me
that she was sucking her tongue about half the time. I was able to get her
to stop on one side by experimenting with different positions, but they
didn't work on the other, and the mother's nipple on that side was starting
to get very irritated, and obviously this wasn't going to be great for milk
transfer over the medium term either.
So my question is, how do you teach a baby to get her tongue down and stop
sucking on it? The books I have -- R&A, Nursing Mother's Companion, WABF,
etc -- all taught me how to tell is she is sucking her tongue, but not how to
stop her from doing it! So if anyone can give me a quick tutorial on suck
training, or tell me where to find at least a rudimentary one I can read, I
will appreciate it.
The mom was hoping to reach a well-regarded IBCLC in our area on Monday
morning, and I hope that they've got this licked (so to speak) -- I'll speak
to them today. And for hard cases I am always going to be grateful to refer
to professionals! But still, it would be good for me to have had some ideas
here that could have helped before another 24 hours of inflamed nippled
Thanks in advance for all wisdom and sources thereof!
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