Hi everyone – first time poster here, 8 week lurker.
Currently I am combo feeding my 10 week old LO due to feeding issues since birth. I tried desperately to make things work so that I could exclusively breastfeed, but it has not yet worked out. I exclusively BF for the first four weeks, but she started to become lethargic and was not gaining weight so along with the help of a lactation consultant I made the choice to supplement with formula. I was not able to pump enough to satisfy baby’s hunger and am still not able to do so, so we continue to use formula after nursing if she is still hungry. I think we’re about 60/40 breastmilk to formula. However, I have been trying very hard to increase my supply (it was never fully established) and fix our feeding issues so that I can cut out the formula completely. I have contacted my local LLL volunteers, doctors, multiple lactation consultants and everyone says something different.
I’ve tried to troubleshoot multiple possibilities, but now that I’m more familiar with various breastfeeding issues, I’m wondering if my LO has a clampdown bite reflex. Here are some of the things that made me wonder if this is it:
- White line on nipple after nursing – since birth
- Squirmy baby (even when my breasts are full) i.e. pulling away from breast, arching back during feedings even when I hear her swallowing the milk.
- From outward appearance, baby looks properly latched (and was checked by multiple LCs at the hospital). And, I’ve done everything to try and stop baby from creasing the nipple during latch on. This has been true since birth.
- Sporadic swallowing (very rarely getting more than five minutes of swallowing rhythm.
- Constantly have to compress breasts during nursing to get a flow that baby will accept.
- Recurring plugged ducts (every other day if I don't carefully compress during pumping and nursing), mastitis twice.
- Low supply even when nursing full time, pumping after feedings, extra pumping, taking fenugreek, taking lecithin, etc. Immediately after a feeding I can pump up to an ounce from each breast, whereas pumping without a feeding I can produce 2 -3 ounces. I believe that baby is just not emptying breasts.
If it is the bite reflex, how do we solve this issue? I have to go back to work October 1st. My fear is that when I go back I will have to give daycare formula since I can't nurse her - and I don't pump enough milk to give them my milk to feed her. I really think my supply would be fine if we could figure out how to get baby to stop clamping. Has anyone else experienced this and how did you make it work?