As the title suggests I am on the verge of giving up breastfeeding but just don't want to let any avenue go unexplored.
My LO is 13.5 weeks and feeding has always been a struggle. At 7 weeks I was so sore, feedings were taking 1.5 hours and he suddenly decided to reject the boob so I was mainly expressing and feeding by bottle.
I finally found out he was tongue tied and it took a couple of weeks and three cuts to finally divide it. Although his latch improved a great deal it was never really deep enough despite lots of help and advice. LO would latch on deeply, but then I would hear what I term 'the clicks of doom' and he would slowly slip onto the end of my nipple and I would feel it rubbing against the roof of his mouth and have lipstick nipple when he came off. I would keep taking him off and putting him on, and it would happen all over again. Feedings were still taking approx 40 mins and I was sore but it was bearable.
Two weeks ago his feeding time suddenly dropped to 30 mins, then last week to only 15-ish mins. At first I thought he was just getting more efficient, despite still not being able to maintain a deep latch, but he started to get dehydrated with barely wet nappies and my breasts were getting more and more engorged.
I tried hard to get him feed more often with no real luck.
A typical feed sees him latching for a few minutes, clamping down on the nipple, ripping himself off and desperately trying to get back on over and over and over. I don't have and OALD, but compression doesn't really help (although it used to). I am absolutely raw, and again have resorted to expressing but I'm not getting anywhere near as much as I need to.
Yesterday in tears I replaced one feed with formula and then at the next feed we had some skin to skin and tried to find a decent feeding position that didn't hurt as much - football/clutch hold seems to work best with minimal slippage off but he still clicks whilst feeding and does the clamping, ripping off, desperately try to latch on thing. Also directly after a feed he will shove his fist or anything else into his mouth and suck on it as if he's starving. If I put him back to the boob he won't feed though.
I'm sorry for the essay but I really don't want to give up breastfeeding yet, but for whatever reason he can't seem to get the milk from me and expressing just doesn't yield what I need to to feed him. He usually feeds 6 times a day, but the last two days I've replaced one feed with formula, one with expressed milk and have been expressing those two replaced feeds in a vain attempt to maintain what supply I have.
He has been having a good amount of very heavy nappies over the last two days but hasn't seemed that contented in himself as I would expect if he was getting plenty of food but has no temperature, doesn't seem to be in pain or have any signs of teething - could I be missing something? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated as it's breaking my heart to give the formula and think that I may have to stop breastfeeding him before I'm ready.