My 2nd daughter was born 3 weeks ago at 38 weeks she weighed 4lb 15oz which was big surprise (due to pre-eclampsia - diagnosed around week 36). On top of that I was due to be induced at 38weeks (because of the PE) but when they examined me to start the process the found no head in my pelvis and we discovered she was breech so ended up with a c-section (had planned home birth so obviously very upset).
My daughter was given to me skin to skin within half hour after the birth and I got her latched on beautifully. I carried on trying to feed her for the next few days but sometimes she would latch well other times she wouldn't and she was extremely sleepy - had to be woken for all feeds.
On weigh in she lost 16.5% of her birth weight which was very upsetting (she has no reserves). She had bloods taken which were ok but we were told to breast feed every 3 hours (maximum 15 mins) and express and top her up by cup with 42 ml of ebm.
Tried this, cup feeding ended up disaster, daughter fought the cup and more ebm got spilt than eaten! All in all very stressful. Following weigh in she lost again so in dispair we tried the ebm by bottle. This worked well and her weight started to rise. So we did 3 hourly feeds with ebm by bottle top ups.
She is now 2oz off birth weight and so we tried demand feeding but with top ups if a feed didn't seem sufficient. She started getting breast adverse and so I am keen to dump the top ups but cannot afford for her to lose weight. Her suck seems to have diminished and she is very fussy on the breast, gets upset after 3 sucks, fists clenched, pulling away. Then occasionally often evening (after day of top ups) she will manage a latch beautifully.
I just don't know what to do, there is no way I could stop supplementing her ATM as her feeding is so unreliable but I feel we're on the slope to failure as she seems to want the breast less and less.
After feeding my previous daughter for 13 months I am struggling so much with this. I so want to feed her but am not sure how to get her back to breast successfully whilst ensuring her weight does not drop. It is so upsetting to see her fight feeding like she does while showing obvious signs of hunger and as much as I loath giving her the bottle I have to say my relief knowing she's not hungry is immense.
Not sure it is practical to keep expressing long term and not feeling confident that I can resolve the bottle to breast issue. Need advice, encouragement - is this normal with low birth weight babies, do I hang in there and hope or do I need to move on? Most of all I want to enjoy my new daughter but at the moment feel like I am not as I am so stressed trying to get feeding established, keeping my milk up and I have no time at all for much else which is detrimental to my other daughter.
Is formula the answer? Is weight gain the higher priority over the benefits of breast feeding? Anyone had any experiences of overcoming these challenges?