Hello ladies. I literally just found this forum, and found another thread with a similar situation to mine. I am so glad that I am not alone in my situation... My hormones are crazy and have me crying just about every day anyway, but the breastfeeding stress makes it even worse! I am going to try and describe my situation.... This is going to be long, I'm sorry.. I don't know how to be concise with this....:
First about my pregnancy/me - pregnancy was fine... no issues. This is my first child. I do have flat nipples, so I made sure to take the breastfeeding class at the hospital where I delivered. I met with the lactation consultant briefly after the class, and she examined my nipples. She recommended that I buy breast shells to help bring my nipples out. When I wore the shells my nipples were out a bit more, but they never stayed that way. (The nipples would go flat again when I didn't wear the shell)
My son is 19 days old. He was overdue by 5 days, and after 3 hours of pushing he did not want to come out so I had a c-section. We met with the lactation consultants about 3 or 4 times while in the hospital (96 hours). Overall, my son had a good latch... his lips were around the whole areola and he had good sucking motions per the consultants. (There were times that the latch was VERY painful and one of my nipples bled once... I attribute that to him still learning to latch or him being so hungry)
My son became jaundiced in the hospital and had to spend his last night under the phototherapy light. We supplemented with formula via syringe that night. We were discharged when he was 4 days old, and I think my milk finally came in that night. and went to the pediatrician on his 5th day. He had lost 11% of his body weight (15 oz) by that time, and the doctor recommneded supplementing with formula (up to 2 oz) with every feed (every 2-3 hrs). We went back the next day for a weight check, and he had gained about 7 oz back. We were then told to supplement just every other feed. (FYI - we went back to the doctor when he was 11 days old and he gained another ounce)
Long story short, my son was always so hungry we could never supplement just every other feed. If I just breastfed him, 15-30 minutes later he would be crying and showing signs of hunger again. He was on the breast constantly (hours at atime) but never satisfied. (This actually happened in the hospital on our 3rd night too.. He was up all night crying, so bad that the nurse took him to the nursery so we could get some sleep. The nurse in the nursery had to feed him formula through a syringe that night).
When he was 1 week old I set an appointment to meet with lactation again. I essentially found out at this point that I have a lazy sucker, and she gave me tips to know when he is really sucking/swallowing or comfort sucking... I try to wake him up when he falls asleep at the breast, and if it's been awhile since he's swallowed I break the latch. She also gave me a breast shield because my nipples are short too and they weren't hitting the roof of his mouth like they should. But because I got the breast shield I also needed a pump because the shield prevents the breast from fully emptying. She said i would probably only need the shields for about 2 weeks, and I needed to try the bare breast first before the shield. I bought the Medela Pump in Style.
So the shields almost seemed to make things worse. It's a struggle to get my son to latch onto the bare breast now, but sometimes I am able to. (He would latch on quickly before, but suck lazily) It still didn't help to satisfy my son, so we still had to bottle feed. The process of breastfeed, bottle feed, and pump took 1.5 hours... This stressed me out so for a few days I just pumped (and bottle fed). I only pumped about 0.2-0.3 oz total per pump... I called lactation again, and they told me that this can be normal but suggested that I take fenugreek for up to 7 days to see if this helps my supply. I started that 3 days ago... I don't really see an increase yet. I also learned that I need to continue feeding from the breast, so I am trying to either breastfeed or pump every 2-3 hours. I put all the milk I pump into one bottle and feed it to him at the end of each day.
Okay, so that's about everything. I guess more than anything I just wanted to tell my story because it makes me upset that I can't produce enough milk to provide for my son... and all the time it takes during the day just to do everything I'm "supposed" to do (breastfeed, pump, bottle feed). It's not so bad when my husband is home because he can do the bottle feed, but when he's not then I'm either spending basically my whole day feeding or I am skipping a pump or breastfeed. i would love any additional advice anyone has, but at this point it seems like the fenugreek is my last hope. If this doesn't work to increase my supply I don't know how much longer I am going to continue all of this....