I need help.
My son is 5 weeks old. Breastfeeding was incredibly difficult in the hospital. My baby had jaundice so the doctor insisted that I supplement with formula to help pass the jaundice. As soon as we introduced the formula, what little strides I had made with breastfeeding were destroyed. The last day in the hospital a nurse introduced us to the nipple shield and a syringe which was extremely helpful. I was able to get my baby to latch on with the nipple shield while my husband used the syringe to squirt formula into my babies mouth to keep him latched on. It satisfied the doctors because the baby was eating more and it satisfied me because I was breastfeeding.
The jaundice passed and we were sent home.
At home breastfeeding was a struggle again. I couldn't get him to latch on and my husband had to go back to work so I couldn't have him there to help me with the syringe.
I rented a pump and bottlefed my baby expressed breastmilk. He only drinks breastmilk, but I have to pump it and give it to him with a bottle. My milk supply seems okay, I can express 6 oz. every two to three hours.
This past week I tried to nurse him in the mornings. I was only able to do it with the nipple shield and after 15 to 20 minutes of maneuvering and my poor baby screaming his frustrations.
Last night I tried to nurse him and he flat out refused. He would not have it. I finally just gave him a bottle of expressed breastmilk.
My question is, is it too late for my baby (and myself) to relearn how to breastfeed? Has it been too long? Have I ruined my chances by using the bottle for 5 weeks?