Re: Is BF at 7 wks possible?
Yeah, I'm actually that they didn't bathe the baby! That's a step in the right direction on the hospital's part. Most mamas have to fight to keep their babies from being scrubbed. All the average baby really needs, bath-wise, is a dab here and there with a washcloth to get off anything particularly icky, like blood or meconium.
But I digress.
It sounds like your real issues are:
1. The short tongue
2. The flat/inverted nipples
3. The baby's reluctance to latch
4. The decrease in milk volume
These are all treatable problems.
You definitely want to see an ENT and discuss your baby's tongue. Now I know from experience that babies can have short tongues without being tongue-tied (my first daughter was like this), but you want to make absolutely sure that the issue is not tongue-tie. If it's not, and there's nothing to clip, be patient! Babies mouths and tongues grow, and as they do, they become better able to latch on without causing pain.
Flat/inverted nipples are a problem, especially when nursing a tongue-tied or short-tongued baby. (Again, I know from experience!). The good news is that flat/inverted nipples usually resolve with use: that is, the more you nurse or pump, the more likely you are to break the adhesions underneath the skin that hold your nipples flat. I started nursing with flat nipples, and now my "high beams" are on all the time. The other positive news for a flat-nipples mom is that babies don't nipple-feed, they breastfeed. A baby who is latched on properly is latching onto the elastic tissue of the areola. Have you tried using breast shells or pumping a bit before latching baby on? That may help your nipples to evert, giving the baby an easier target to grab.
The baby's reluctance to latch is understandable, considering that he's been primarily bottle-fed since birth. The following link talks about how to get a baby back to the breast: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html and this one talks about how to bottle feed a baby in a way that is compatible with breastfeeding: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottle-feeding.html
Finally, the decrease in milk volume should be fixable, provided you can either a) get baby back to the breast or b) increase the work you're doing with the pump. When an exclusively pumping mom sees decrease in supply, she needs to do some or all of the following:
- increase pumping frequency (if you've been pumping every 3 hours, switch to pumping every 2 hours)
- increase pumping duration (if you've been pumping for 10 minutes per side, switch to pumping for 15 minutes per side)
- use a better pump- and exclusively pumping mom should use a hospital-grade pump with correctly-sized shields, but if that's not possible, anything less than a very high-quality double electric pump (like a Medela Pump in Style) is a waste of time
- try power pumping (pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10, pump for 10, rest for 10, and then pump once more for 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes of pumping in an one-hour period. This mimics the way a baby feeds and boosts supply during a growth spurt.)
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"