My little girl is about 5 1/2 weeks old now and we have had issue after issue with breastfeeding! We had terrible latching issues while in the hospital. The lactation consultant at the hospital thought she might have a tongue-tie. Because she had caused so much damage to my nipples and they were both bleeding, the lc advised me to allow them to heal for a few days and, instead, give her bottles of expressed milk. After getting home, I went to see another lactation consultant -- she thought that my little girl just needed some time and practice. We have been working at it for weeks now, but there seems to be a new problem everyday! So frustrated! So initially, serious latching issues -- she has gotten better but I still don't think she latches 100% correct. Since then, I have experienced weeks and weeks of her cluster feeding in the evening for hours. She fusses and never seems satisfied. She pulls off of the breast repeatedly and bats at me. Eventually she goes to sleep but I am worried she isn't getting enough milk. I have also had several plugged ducts in each breast (I'd estimate 5 to 6 in each one). She has enough wet and poopy diapers each day but her weight gain isn't real good. By her second week she had gained two ounces above her birth weight (but I had given her mainly bottles up to that point); since then, she gained around 6 ounces one week, nothing at all the next week and then maybe 2 1/2 to 3 ounces this last week. I am worried about her weight gain. I went to see the lactation consultant again who picked up right away that my little girl likes to piddle around at the breast. She nurses for about 45 min to an hour every time but doesn't constantly suck. She dozes off or just "nibbles" here and there. You have to constantly nudge her to suck. But, if I take her off, she gets upset and wants back on. So back on she goes and then she'll suck for awhile and the whole cycle starts back over. I honestly can't get anything done other than feed her and, even then, I don't think she's getting enough! She still nurses around the clock, which also makes me think she isn't getting enough milk.
So I am wondering -- is it milk supply? A slow let-down issue? Slow flow? I am taking fenugreek now and have been working my butt off if I do say so myself but I just feel like things aren't getting better! When I went to see my lactation consultant this last time she said I didn't have real full breasts (of milk) and said it's hard to tell if I don't have real full breasts because of the way she eats or if she doesn't eat well because I don't have real full breasts. Also, my lc weighed her to determine how much milk she took in during the 45 minute nursing session -- a little less than 2 ounces. My lc said most babies her age should be taking in around 3 ounces. AND, I had to really really work during those 45 minutes to even get her to eat that much! She just takes forever, and loves to be on the breast!
So, I am thinking about giving her an ounce of expressed milk after a few nursing sessions just to make sure she's getting enough milk. Any thoughts on that? ( I also struggle with pumping . . . let down isn't real good, but I can usually manage to get an ounce or two each time. Weird because I pumped fine in the beginning when I was expressing milk to give her in a bottle). Any suggestions on how to make my baby nurse better? It's so frustrating for me because I have to go back to work at 12 weeks and I really want to enjoy this time with her. Right now, though, I feel like it's an all-day struggle every day and stressful! Any advice or insight would be much appreciated!