Causes For Bad Latching
Latching Issues Are Different For Every Mother
Sometimes, you and your baby segue into nursing schedules right after the birth, stick
to them, and never have any trouble whatsoever. For other mothers, this just isn’t the case.
Latching can be a bit difficult, so don’t feel bad if you find there’s a learning curve ahead of you. Plenty of things can make it hard for you and your baby to get into a proper latch rhythm. Following we’ll cover a couple to help you overcome the problem and healthily nurse your child.
Medication Issues Or Delivery Complications
Sometimes how the baby is delivered, and how the mother is sedated during the delivery, contributes to issues with latching after birth. This is pretty common and should clear up soon—though it doesn’t always.
There are situations where labor and delivery medication make it hard for you to do the job, and sometimes associated medications may make their way to the baby. Latch issues follow. In rare cases, long-term impairment can occur.
Children With Down Syndrome Struggle To Latch
Down syndrome isn’t the only mental issue that can cause newborns to struggle with latching, but it is one of the most common. Mental and muscular diminution from this condition in babies make it hard for them to latch properly, so you’ll have to consult with medical professionals on what the best option is.
That said, there are babies with down syndrome who have little to no problem latching. Just as every mother is different, every baby is different, and not all of them struggle even if conventional wisdom expects they might. One of the reasons medicine is called a practice, at least among doctors with a sense of humor, is that new surprises develop all the time.
Babies With A Cleft Palate Or A Cleft Lip May Struggle
Cleft palate syndrome can have a wide range of impact. In some instances, there is a barely discernible line on one of the baby’s lips. You might not even realize the child has an issue for a few weeks—this is one of the reasons the syndrome is often called a “hair lip”. The cleft is small enough, it almost looks like errant hair.
In other cases, the cleft in the palate is large, and exceptionally visible—prominent, even. There are medical solutions like cosmetic surgery which can be used to help correct this when the child has developed enough that such surgeries won’t pose a risk; but options like this are not available right after a child has been born.
Cleft palate or cleft lip syndrome can impact latching owing to physical issues which the cleft introduces. If your child is born with a cleft palate, see what your doctor has to say about it. Just because they can’t latch doesn’t mean you can’t nurse, you might just have to use a breast pump and a specialized bottle.
Better Latching, A Healthier Baby, And A Happier Mom
Medication, delivery complications, down syndrome, and cleft palates can be common causes of latch issues. Check out this Nest Collaborative article on latch positions for some more insight, and advice on how you might overcome the issue.
A variety of other reasons contribute to latch problems, so if none of the very few explored here describe the situation you’re contending with, ask your doctor what they think the issue may be. Sometimes there are totally novel issues, or rare instances wherein a child is born with a tooth, and latching is hard because nursing is painful for the mother.