Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum and am seeking help.
I'm down in the dumps about nursing today...and have been for most of almost my daughter's life so far. Seems like there is always a worry. Hopefully someone can help.
Daughter is almost 8 weeks old. Since my milk came in it seems like things haven't been "easy" with getting her to latch on, stayed latched on or even the amount of time she nurses. I'm still having to coax her and assist her in latching. I figured by now she would be diving in and latching on herself.
After birth she took to nursing very well. Latched on within a minute and nursed for a long time. As things progressed over the days and weeks it seems like we developed some latching issues. Or never really had it down pat to begin with. To this day at almost 8 weeks old, I still have to assist her in latching on and even then it's not like it's something she even really wants to do. We struggle 3-4 mintues most of the time. During this time she's fussing, pushing back with her arms and kicking her legs. I use the cradle hold most of the time. I also nurse her lying down. Once I get her to latch on she immediately starts to suck and her whole body relaxes. She'll nurse like that for a few mintues and then pulls off, looks around and doesn't seem like she wants back on. I'll usually burp her and offer again on the same side since she really only nurses on average about 5 minutes or so. I think I've gotten 10 mins out of her once only. When I offer again (because I can't imagine that she's gotten enough to eat in a 5 minute time frame) she will again struggle/resist but will often go ahead and relatch for a short time. This has been going on from just a few weeks of age. I really haven't said anything or seeked help because I just kept thinking things will get better with age but really they aren't. Everything I read that maybe sounds like our scenario is mainly for week old babies, not 8 week old babies.
I had to go back to work when she was 6 weeks old and I feel like that has made it worse. I have read up on nipple confusion and bottle preference and am really trying to do more skin on skin and all of the suggestions but there is only so much time during the day before and after work. The best way I can put it is that it just seems like she doesn't enjoy nursing, never nurses to sleep and doesn't comfort suck a whole lot. I so want my baby girl to love nursing...what can I be doing wrong?
Here are some facts that might help:
She's only ever gotten my milk.
She eats about every 2-3 hours.
She didn't have a bottle until 6 weeks old.
She was introduced a paci about 4 weeks old and I usually don't use them but the baby sitters do.
She'll take 2-3 ounces in a bottle feeding at a time.
Her weight gain at her one month appointment was great. (born 6.12 and at one month weighed 8.6) Two month appt is scheduled for next week.
She sleeps in a bassinet next to my bed.
For going down to for bed I try and nurse her and once she nurses she will pull off and fall asleep in my arms or while burping.
After nursing, she'll often find her hands and suck on them (which tells me maybe she's still hungry but when I offer to nurse again she gets upset)
I've visited with a lactation specialist and she suggested offering the breast when I know she's not hungry...just for "fun" and not for nutrition. Again, she becomes upset and won't latch or will after trying for 5 minutes.
There is probably lots I'm leaving out and even more you'd need to know to help me but this is a start I guess. Any questions, help or advice would greatly be appreciated.