My baby is 1-3 days old and not latching well

If you’re having difficulty and cannot reach anyone, you can try these things to help you out right now.

If your baby is less than 3 days old, you are likely still producing colostrum and have not yet experienced the rapid increase of milk that occurs on the 3rd or 4th day.  This colostrum is produced in perfect amounts for your baby.  If your baby is not latching, the best way to express colostrum is to use hand expression and feed the colostrum by cup or spoon.  Visit the following websites in order to learn hand expression.

http://www.bfmedneo.com/BreastMassageVideo.aspx (from Breastfeeding Medicine of Northeast Ohio)

http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/HandExpression.html

http://ammehjelpen.no/handmelking?id=907  (video created by the Norwegian mother to mother breastfeeding support organization, Ammehjelpen–scroll down for English video)

If hand-expression is not working to remove colostrum and especially if you had IV fluids or pitocin, you may be suffering from excess interstitial fluid or even edema in your breast.  This can slow down the flow of milk.  Use reverse pressure softening (developed by K. Jean Cotterman RNC-E, IBCLC) before hand-expression.  Reverse pressure softening will also make your areolas softer, making it easier for baby to latch.

Your baby will need to feed 8-12 times a day.  The amount of each feed is from drops to 1-3 teaspoons.  If you are expressing less than 1 teaspoon at a time, be sure to feed more frequently, 12 or more times a day until you are able to express more colostrum.

Keep baby in skin-to-skin contact as much as possible, try laid-back breastfeeding www.biologicalnurturing.com to help baby latch and visit http://feedthebabyllc.com/getting-started/ for more help.

CranioSacral Therapy is helpful to many infants who are having difficulty latching.  This is a gentle manipulation of the plates of the skull and lower spine.  During birth cranial sutures can impinge on cranial nerves, which can restrict baby’s tongue movement.  Some babies improve their latch dramatically with just one visit to a Craniosacral Therapist.

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