In the hospital, our nurses told us that the baby was latching and feeding wonderfully.
But when it came time to leave they told us he had lost a pound and that we needed to see one of the hospital consultants. The woman was very abrupt with us, and told us he wasn't latched properly. She stuck her finger in and broke the latch repeatedly, shoved his head into my breast forcefully, and insisted we rent a pump and bottle feed immediately. She also insisted we add formula and have a weight check the next day. She then forgot to give us the tubing for our rented pump, and called my husband (a new father, panicking about his child's health) while he was at the store and insisted that though she made a mistake HE needed to buy a 400 dollar pump. Which he did.
The experience really upset us but we have been trying to pick up the pieces since. We've been reading everything we can find online, have seen two very nice consultants who gave us hope, and I have been pumping around the clock. Since the hospital he has latched once.
I have large breasts, large nipples, and huge areola. One of the consultants postulated that perhaps they are too large and we need to keep him fed in the meantime- that eventually he will be big/strong enough to latch. So he gets his milk in a bottle for now and we try to latch a few times a day. We don't push it, once he gets stressed out. I've been doing lots of skin to skin. But when he gets to the nipple he either just looks at it, without interest, or flails around. He "slurps" at it, instead of opening wide. I do try to tease him with it but he doesn't take it. We also try to relax his jaw because it is very tense. He seems to have a mouth aversion with the bottle and my nipple. Possibly from suctioning at birth. We have tried a nipple shield, and a syringe. The shield, a 24, might be too small... one of the consultants is trying to find me a 27.
We are just at a loss. It takes my husband and myself to get him to the breast, get him positioned and to try to get him interested but he just ... won't latch on.
Any help and suggestions would be really appreciated. Even just reassurance that he can eventually latch even with the bottle feeding and time lapsed would help...
By the way, at the next weigh in he had gained his pound back and then some. He is already gaining weight all due to pumped milk. So there's that little victory!