So glad I ventured online to look for more help today and found this site! This is my final step in trying to find some breastfeeding help, so I hope you may have some advice for me!
I have a 3 week old daughter,who, when she was born, was ill and spent the first few days of her life in the NICU. I had a c-section, and was recovering from preeclampsia, and was very swollen. We did not get to even attempt breastfeeding until the 3rd day. I had lots of help for the first week while my daughter was in the hospital, but even with the nurses' help, we never were successful at getting a good latch or having my daughter breastfeed. (we used syringe feeding, SNS, several methods) Her mouth is very small, and my breasts and nipples are quite large, and were even moreso the first couple of weeks due to all of my swelling.
I have been getting help from a lactation consultant, but this week she told me she is out of ideas for me. My daughter still will not breastfeed, as she has been given the bottle because of her inability to latch in the beginning. I have been pumping and she has had breast milk exclusively, except at the hospital initially before my supply came in. I have tried two different types of nipple shields, I've tried different holds, skin to skin time, etc. It's been exhausting. I usually start our feeding ritual by offering her the breast, both with the shield and without. Occasionally she will latch on for a few seconds, enough to get a drink, and otherwise she "plays" with the nipple and doesn't really act interested. After she and I both get frustrated with this, usually about 10 minutes of the "nipple play" as I call it, I give her the bottle of breastmilk, and end our feeding time with pumping. All in all, it takes at least an hour to do all of this, and then she is ready to eat again in a couple of hours. It's become too much to manage, and I am looking for assistance.
I do not feel that we are as incompatible with mouth to nipple size as we were in the beginning, so I don't feel this is our main trouble. I feel like my daughter knows that she will get a bottle eventually, and it is much easier to drink from the bottle, so she isn't interested in the breast at all. This devastates me, as I loved breastfeeding my now 12 year old son, and was looking so forward to growing this bond with my daughter. Is there any hope that, after 3 weeks of bottle feeding, my daughter may eventually go to the breast? If there is not hope, I will stop trying to put her to my breast, and will just rely solely on pumping. I continue to give her skin to skin and breast time in hopes that someday she will just take off, but it ends up just frustrating both of us.
Thanks for any advice you can give me!