Clicking During Breastfeeding - Solving A Common Concern - Milk Supply Mama

Clicking During Breastfeeding – Solving A Common Concern

Last Updated: January 8, 2024By 9 min read

Hey there, mama! First off, congratulations on your little bundle of joy. I know firsthand that motherhood is a beautiful, yet sometimes challenging journey. One of those challenges you might be facing is clicking during breastfeeding. You’re not alone in wondering what’s going on when you hear that tiny clicking noise while nursing your baby. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of clicking during breastfeeding, explore its causes, and provide actionable tips and takeaways to help improve your nursing experience. So, let’s get started!

Article Overview

What is Clicking During Breastfeeding?

Clicking during breastfeeding refers to the soft, sometimes barely noticeable sound that occurs when your baby is nursing. It might sound like a gentle click or a subtle suction noise. You might notice it right away or it might take some time to pick up on the sound.

This clicking sound usually happens when your baby is swallowing milk or when they break the seal between their mouth and your breast. While it might seem harmless, clicking during breastfeeding can sometimes indicate that there’s an issue with your baby’s latch or feeding technique.

Causes of Clicking During Breastfeeding

There are several reasons why your baby might be clicking during breastfeeding. Let’s go through some of the most common causes.

Latch Issues

A proper latch is essential for effective breastfeeding. When your baby is latched on well, they can efficiently draw milk from your breast, and both of you are more likely to have a comfortable nursing experience. However, when there’s an issue with the latch, clicking during breastfeeding might occur. Some latch issues include:

  • Shallow latch: If your baby’s latch is too shallow, they might not be getting enough breast tissue in their mouth. This can cause them to lose suction and create a clicking sound.
  • Asymmetrical latch: An asymmetrical latch happens when your baby’s mouth is not positioned evenly around your nipple. This can also lead to a weak seal and result in clicking during breastfeeding.
  • Lip or tongue tie: A lip or tongue tie can restrict your baby’s ability to latch properly, causing clicking sounds when they try to nurse.

Milk Flow Problems

The flow of your milk can also contribute to clicking during breastfeeding. This might be due to a fast or slow letdown, which can make it difficult for your baby to maintain a good latch.

  • Fast letdown: If your milk flows too quickly, your baby might struggle to keep up with the flow, causing them to gulp and click as they try to swallow the milk.
  • Slow letdown: On the other hand, a slow letdown can make your baby work harder to get milk, leading to clicking sounds as they try to maintain suction.

Baby’s Position

The way your baby is positioned during breastfeeding can play a role in clicking noises. Improper positioning can cause your baby to have a poor latch or struggle to maintain it, resulting in clicking during breastfeeding.

  • Improper positioning: If your baby is not aligned well with your breast, they may have difficulty latching on and maintaining suction.
  • Head or neck tension: If your baby’s head or neck is tense or not well-supported, they might have trouble maintaining a proper latch, which can lead to clicking during breastfeeding.

Baby’s Oral Anatomy

Sometimes, your baby’s oral anatomy can contribute to clicking during breastfeeding. Certain anatomical features can make it more challenging for your baby to achieve a proper latch.

  • High palate: A high palate can make it difficult for your baby to form a good seal around your nipple, causing clicking sounds during breastfeeding.
  • Tongue thrust: A tongue thrust is when your baby pushes their tongue forward against your breast instead of using a proper sucking motion. This can lead to a poor latch and clicking during breastfeeding.

How to Fix Clicking During Breastfeeding

Now that we’ve covered some of the possible causes of clicking during breastfeeding, let’s explore ways to address these issues and help you and your baby have a more comfortable and effective nursing experience.

Improving Latch Techniques

A good latch is essential for successful breastfeeding. Here are a couple of techniques you can try to improve your baby’s latch:

  • Deep latch method: To achieve a deep latch, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before bringing them to your breast. Aim to get as much of your areola in their mouth as possible. This can help create a better seal and reduce clicking during breastfeeding.
  • Flipple technique: Also known as the “exaggerated latch” technique, the flipple method involves using your thumb to pull your nipple upwards and outwards, encouraging your baby to latch on more deeply. This can help improve their latch and minimize clicking.

Adjusting Baby’s Position

Finding the right position for you and your baby can make a big difference in breastfeeding success. Try these positioning techniques to help reduce clicking during breastfeeding:

  • Laid-back breastfeeding: In this position, you recline comfortably, and your baby lies on your chest, using gravity to help them maintain a good latch. This can help minimize clicking during breastfeeding.
  • Football hold: The football hold involves tucking your baby under your arm, with their head at your breast and their body along your side. This position can provide better control and visibility, making it easier to achieve a proper latch and reduce clicking during breastfeeding.

Managing Milk Flow

If you suspect that your milk flow is causing clicking during breastfeeding, try these tips to help manage your letdown and make nursing more comfortable for both you and your baby:

  • Block feeding: Block feeding involves nursing your baby from one breast for a set period (usually 2-4 hours) before switching to the other breast. This can help regulate your milk supply and potentially slow down a fast letdown.
  • Leaning back while nursing: If you have a fast letdown, try leaning back while nursing. This can help slow down the flow of milk and make it easier for your baby to keep up, reducing the chances of clicking during breastfeeding.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’ve tried these tips and are still experiencing clicking during breastfeeding, it might be time to seek professional help. A lactation consultant, pediatrician, or support group can provide personalized advice and guidance to help you and your baby overcome breastfeeding challenges.

When to Seek Help

It’s essential to seek help if you’re concerned about clicking during breastfeeding, especially if:

  • Your baby is not gaining weight well
  • You’re experiencing pain while breastfeeding
  • Clicking is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, such as fussiness or excessive gas

Early intervention can help address these issues and improve your breastfeeding experience. If left unaddressed, clicking during breastfeeding can lead to complications like poor weight gain, decreased milk supply, or nipple damage.

My Personal Experience with Clicking During Breastfeeding

As a mom who has personally experienced clicking during breastfeeding, I can relate to the frustration and confusion that you might be feeling. When my little one was just a few weeks old, I started noticing a subtle clicking sound while nursing. At first, I didn’t think much of it, but then I realized that my baby was becoming increasingly fussy during feeds and seemed to be struggling to maintain a good latch.

I tried various tips and tricks that I’d read about online to improve the latch, but nothing seemed to make a difference. That’s when I decided to reach out to a lactation consultant, who helped me identify that the clicking during breastfeeding was due to a combination of a shallow latch and a fast letdown. The consultant worked with me to try different breastfeeding positions and techniques to manage my milk flow, and we finally found the right combination that worked for my baby and me.

One position that made a significant difference was the laid-back breastfeeding position. It allowed my baby to have better control over their latch, and gravity helped slow down my milk flow. I also found that using the deep latch method, where I made sure my baby’s mouth was wide open before bringing them to my breast, helped them get a better seal and reduce the clicking noise.

It took some time, patience, and a lot of practice, but eventually, the clicking during breastfeeding became less frequent and less noticeable. My baby started to gain weight more consistently, and our nursing sessions became more enjoyable for both of us.

Looking back, I am grateful for the support and guidance I received from the lactation consultant, as well as the online resources and fellow mom friends who shared their experiences and tips with me. Dealing with clicking during breastfeeding can be challenging, but with persistence and the right support, it is possible to overcome this hurdle and enjoy a successful breastfeeding journey.

FAQ Section – Clicking During Breastfeeding

Can clicking during breastfeeding cause pain?

Yes, clicking during breastfeeding can sometimes be accompanied by pain, especially if your baby has a poor latch or if your milk flow is causing discomfort.

Is clicking during breastfeeding a sign of a poor milk supply?

Not necessarily. Clicking during breastfeeding can occur for various reasons, including latch issues, milk flow problems, and positioning. It’s essential to identify the root cause to address the issue effectively.

Can clicking cause gas or colic in the baby?

Clicking during breastfeeding can sometimes cause your baby to swallow more air, which may lead to gas or colic. Ensuring a proper latch and optimal positioning can help reduce the chances of this happening.

How long does it typically take to resolve clicking during breastfeeding?

The time it takes to resolve clicking during breastfeeding can vary depending on the cause and the steps taken to address the issue. With patience, persistence, and the right approach, many mothers and babies can overcome this challenge.

Can clicking during breastfeeding be completely eliminated?

In some cases, clicking during breastfeeding can be significantly reduced or eliminated by addressing the underlying cause, such as improving latch, adjusting positioning, or managing milk flow. However, it’s important to remember that every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Seeking professional guidance can help tailor the approach to your specific situation.

Clicking During Breastfeeding

Dealing with clicking during breastfeeding can be a frustrating and confusing experience, but remember, you’re not alone! By understanding the possible causes and trying out the actionable tips and techniques discussed in this article, you can work towards improving your nursing experience for both you and your baby. And always remember that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it. Lactation consultants, pediatricians, and support groups are there to help you navigate your breastfeeding journey. Stay strong, mama – you’ve got this!

Clicking During Breastfeeding – Further Reading

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