I am actually writing this on behalf of my wife, as 1) she does not speak much English and 2) she is a little nervous to put these questions out there. Here is a synopsis of what has happened to this point...
Our baby is 4 weeks old now and has yet to take a full feed at the breast. When she was born, the nurses tried to put her to the breast within 20 min of birth, but she did not take, so they wrote it off as she was not hungry. The whole first night in the hospital she was exclusisvely finger fed as the baby still did not take the breast. Since she was born in the evening, the hospital said they didn't have an LC on staff until the next day and the night nurses were not much help. When LC came in, she said the wife has flat nipples and introduced a nipple shield. The baby still did not feed too well as I think the shield was too big for her mouth (baby is one the small side). We ended up finger feeding the whole next day in the hospital. That evening we tried for over an hr to feed the baby at the breast with no luck and so the hospital gave us formula to use since the baby was very upset.
We were discharged the following day with the instructions to keep trying and use formula if necessary. We ended up using about 5-10 mL of formula for feedings for 3-4 days out of hospital then we went to see another LC through the hospital. That LC noticed a tongue tie, so we got it clipped. While the baby does have better use of the tongue now, still no luck at the breast. We have been renting a pump for the last three weeks and the baby has been eclusively fed with breast milk, and we have seen the LC every week for the 3 weeks but even she hasn't been able to get a full feed at the breast (have been there for almost 2 hrs at a time). At the last visit the LC basically said, you may want to invest in a pump as she just won't calm down enough to take the breast. She told us to try for 5-10 min at a time and then give her the bottle (so as to not make it a bad experience for both).
I am assuming that the baby is used to the bottle and therefore refusing the breast but my question is, at 4 weeks, is she a lost cause (which is the impression I got when we left the LC) or should we try approaching this a different way? I am trying to schedule time with a different LC, but I was wondering if there is anything that can be tried in the mean time that may help her get back to the breast. The wife basically loathes trying to put her to the breast as it seems to be a scream fest. The baby has fed via the nipple shield a time or two but even then it wasnt a full feed (still gave the baby 1/2 oz or so of pumped milk. At this point the wife is not sure if it is worth the struggle. She is a stay at home mom and has basically accepted that she will be pumping all the time. Is it possible for the baby to get the hang of it when she gets a little bigger, and has a larger mouth and all? Thanks for any help.