Re: Confused! Desperate! Overwhelmed!
Welcome mama, and congratulations on the new baby! I'm sorry you've had such a tough time so far, but don't freak out. Everything you mention sounds correctable.
First of all, yes, a painless latch is almost always a good latch. Don't get hung up on what the latch looks like on the outside, because it's how it feels on the inside that counts. You can have a great latch that looks bad, or vice versa. Also, don't get hung up on the differences between your breasts/nipples/areolas and other women's. Women of all dimensions can nurse successfully.
I honestly think your doc urged you to supplement a bit too soon. Babies are supposed to regain their birth weight by 2 weeks postpartum, and your baby was just 2 oz shy, something which can be attributed to a slow start or to differences between calibration of scales. In that situation, the ideal thing for a doc to do is to refer you to a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, and urge you to consider pumping and supplementing with your own milk via something other than a bottle (cup, syringe, supplemental nursing system, etc.). At this point, that is what I suggest you do. First, see the IBCLC, and have her help you with latching, and second, determine via that consult whether or not you need to be supplementing at all. If you do, get a good pump and supplement with your own milk.
Can you tell us a bit more about your baby, your birth, and your nursing experience so far? For example:
- How was your birth? Was labor induced, did you have IV fluids (and if you did, how long did you have the IV), did you end up with a c-section or other traumatic birth experience, did you lose a lot of blood, did the placenta come out all in one piece?
- When did your milk come in? Did you notice a distinct episode of milk arriving?
- Has baby been jaundiced at all, or perhaps just very sleepy at the breast?
- Have you been nursing on demand, or trying to schedule feedings?
- How many times does your baby nurse in a 24 hour period?
- How was diaper output before you began supplementing?
- How does nursing feel, in general?
- When baby unlatches, do your nipples come out symmetrical, like pencil erasers, or asymmetrical/wedged/creased, like new lipsticks?
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!"