So, let me give ya'll a bit of my story.
My son is now 6 weeks old, he was born on leap day this year.
When he was born, there were no lactation consultants in the hospital and i was having issues with him latching so one of the nurses gave me a nipple shield but didn't show me how to use it correctly. So i would just hold it in place while my son nursed.
Well, within a few days, i had scabbed and bleeding nipples, despite applying lanolin cream religiously. A week later, i went to my lactation peer counselor (who was also a BCLC) at WIC, so showed me how to put on the shield correctly and get my son to latch better.
Another week later, we had to bring my son to the ER because he was screaming in pain and not pooping. There he was given some medication because the doctor there saw that he was starting to get thrush. I wasn't given anything for it.
Nursing was becoming increasingly painful to the point that i would cry every time i nursed. I dreaded nursing. I started to think that maybe my son had a tongue tie so we brought him to the pediatrician.
He confirmed that Dylan didn't have anything physically wrong that would make nursing painful and then asked if I was getting treatment for thrush. I told him no and he instantly perscribed me some cream and pills.
Two days later, the pain from the thrush made it impossible to nurse. I couldn't even pump or wear a bra because anything touching my nipples made them burn and sting. I felt horrible, but my son had to be given formula (and the little bit of stored breast milk i had) for a few days (i wasn't going to let him starve!)
Now my nipples are healing up nicely (though the still hurt a little) that i don't even need to use the shield anymore....but I've run into a new problem.
Before the bottles, my son would root (it was too cute when he did it too) He would go "eh eh eh", make a "duck face" with his lips, open his mouth wide, and bob his head. This made it easy to get him to latch and feed.
But now he won't do any of that. When he gets hungry he instantly starts crying instead of moving his head back and forth and sucking his fists. When i try to get him to latch, he won't open his mouth very wide, but open and shuts it very quickly while licking at my nipple. I try and try to get a good latch but since he won't keep his mouth open, he clamps on the nipple a lot and it hurts SO bad.
I've tried tickling his lips with my nipple to try and encourage him to open wide. I open my own mouth for something for him to imitate. but NOTHING seems to work. Its a constant latch, unlatch, latch, unlatch because I can't get him to get a deep enough latch.
He then starts screaming and flailing his arms and legs and I get frustrated because I feel like a failure because i can't get him to eat.
Its come down to me going "good enough" when I nurse him. I'll just sit and suffer in pain while he eats because I get sick of taking him on and off over and over again.
I've only had him latch well maybe 3 times since he was born to where it was relaxing and actually put me in a good mood. I'm so sad and depressed because I want this to work but I feel like because he had bottles for a few days, I've completely ruined my chances of every having a pain-free nursing experience.