I'm not sure if I should be posting here or in the 3 months + board, as my little one will be 3 months old in a few days, but figured I would start here.
I have been struggling with breastfeeding my son since he was a week old. He does not transfer milk very well at all, so I was bfing him, and then finishing the feeding with a bottle of expressed milk (since he was 7 days old). I had to go back to work when he was 8 weeks old, and have since then become a pretty much EPer. I get to nurse him when we first get home for the day, but then pump immediately afterwards in order to empty my breasts, while he finishes with a bottle (I am usually able to still get 8 ounces of breastmilk when it's been about 5 hours since my last pumping session). From the pre and post weights I have done, it seems like he is able to get about an ounce before giving up on breastfeeding. I'm not sure if he gives up because he just can't transfer any more milk or if he doesn't want to wait for another let down, but I can always pump a ton of milk out after he thinks he's "finished." I have had a few days of EPing, and I can pump about 38-40 ounces a day (although he doesn't seem to have the signs of my oversupply bothering him). If anything, it's the opposite. If it has only been a couple of hours since pumping, he fusses and fusses at the breast as if he can't get any milk out - even though I would be able to pump 2 ounces per side at that point. If it's been at least four ounces, he'll settle down and eat an ounce or so (and then I can pump a good 6-8 ounces out after he's finished).
I should also mention that he will not nurse without a nipple shield (for the most part). Every once in a blue moon, I can trick him mid feed, but that isn't often.
I'm so afraid that we will never be able to nurse - especially since he has to have a bottle for the ten hours a day that I am working. We really only get the one nursing in a day at this point (sometimes two), and they aren't very effective sessions.
I have had quite a few IBCLC's monitor us, and I have been told that his mouth is too small for my large breasts and that he is tight. The therapy for him being tight didn't seem to do anything, so I was wondering if he could still be too small at 12 weeks old.
I really want this to work out, and will be heartbroken if we can't figure this out together, but I am so scared that he will never learn to breastfeed effectively - especially since I don't have an option other to give him the bottles while I'm at work.