Hi, I'm pretty new here but have found excellent advice in response to other questions I've posted.
I have a 7 1/2 week old baby, born full term, no problems, except I was given a nipple shield in the hospital because he wouldn't latch, I freaked out, and the nurses suggested it. (There is no LC at our hospital) The main reason I think he needed it at first was my flat nipples (??). It worked very well, I seemed to have a huge supply, and the only downside was the inconvenience of dragging the shield everywhere, having to boil it, etc. LO has gained very well, going from 6 lb. 12 oz at birth to 9 lb 7 oz at 5 weeks.
Well, I seem to have finally weaned him from the shield! At first it was "yippee," as I wanted to wait to offer a bottle of breastmilk until he could latch effectively without the shield. So I started pumping once or twice a day for the past couple days. The first day I got 3 oz, and yesterday I only got 1 oz, and only a few drips after I'd fed him. SO...that got me worried about my milk supply.
A few days ago, when I was first having success weaning from the shield, he seemed to want to eat constantly and my nipples were in agony. My thought=growth spurt. I use the nipple sandwich technique and he seems to have a good latch. The pain went away shortly.
Now yesterday the pain came back with a vengeance and I was barely able to sleep last night because of my sore nipples, along with the fact he wanted to nurse every hour. In defeat, I finally resorted to using the shield. Otherwise I'd cry out in pain, remove him and try to reposition him, he'd fall asleep, and wake up crying in a few minutes. He has also pooped less and been more gassy last night and today so far.
I have been drinking huge amounts of water and started "Mother's Milk" tea to make sure it's not a supply problem, too!!
So, in short:
1. Does weaning from the shield cause nipple pain at first?
2. Could my milk supply be being negatively affected by weaning from the shield?
3. I thought pumping would increase supply. Could it be decreasing it? I don't want to do anything to jeopardize my supply!!
On top of all that my MIL called the other day with a bunch of snarky comments on breastfeeding (her daughter is exclusively formula feeding her baby). Ugh. I was stupid enough to invite her to stop over and I'm afraid she's gonna show up unannounced in the midst of my agony!