Just wanted to share my story. If you are beginning nursing, please do these two things: 1) if it hurts, get help and 2) if you think you have a problem like oversupply or undersupply, get help.
My DD latched right away, and so the "bonding" nurse took more time telling me how to order the crappy hospital pictures than she took helping me learn to bf. the position she told me to get in was awkward and the way she told me to latch required three hands. It hurt. But I didn't get help. I thought I could figure it out.
The incredibly busy LC at the hospital didn't get to see me until I was waiting on transport, so she didn't watch me nurse. I asked how long it would hurt and she thought I meant the normal initial tenderness, so she breezed out. I didn't ask for help.
After getting home, I continued to Hirt but a little less. The carpal tunnel I had had since last trimester was getting better. Baby was gaining rapidly although nursing a lot and falling asleep before finished. This can be normal, but not the fussiness-at-the breast that soon began. Choking, coughing, burping, pulling away, then green poops started. I didn't ask for help.
I read about oversupply, since I knew my mom had had issues with it when nursing my brother. "Eureka!" I cried, and I began block feeding, but I didn't ask for help.
It got better for a while, though latching was still awkward for me and nursing was a little painful (my teeth started shifting because I was clenching my teeth, so the dentist said). Baby was gaining very well. When I discussed oversupply problems with my OB, she said, "What's that?" I didn't ask for help.
I guess I have a large storage capacity because I was block feeding for around 10-hour blocks for several weeks, then gradually got to the point where every feeding was just one breast. Baby's weight gain slowed a little but still normal. Then I started needing both breasts, which is supposed to happen sometimes. I was getting normal. But then LO started refusing to nurse for 3-4 hour stretches during the day. I didn't ask for help.
She began only nursing in side-lying, which I read was common when you have OALD, and was an inconvenience when at home but also meant she had to wait to nurse when we were out. I didn't ask for help.
Refusal started getting worse. She would only nurse for naps and at night, when nursing began to happen every hour or hour-and-a-half. I finally stumbled upon Dr. Jack Newman's videos and I saw one that could have been my baby: almost 4 months old, and she was "nibbling." I finally decided to get help.
The nearest LLL chapter to me is a 45-minute drive, and I hadn't been leaving the house except for 15-minute trips for fast food. I was scared to be out of pocket in case she decided to nurse, but I went. I was beyond the help of the leader so the next day I drove 2 hours to the nearest IBCLC.
As I thought, my supply had dwindled to the point that we were in the downward spiral. The more it dropped, the less she nursed, which dropped it more and so on.
If I had been a squeaky wheel at the hospital, I could have helped my baby become more efficient at milk removal and avoided the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. If I had gotten help before block feeding, I would not have gone overboard and cut down on the flow that my inefficient nurser needed so much.
Now, we have made it 6 months but we still have to supplement (thankfully with pumped milk not formula). We are dealing with a busy baby who doesn't have time to wait on a letdown.
So, here's what I did wrong: I didn't ask for help. Fortunately, here's what I did right: I always fed her whenever she wanted for as long as she wanted. All those night feedings and taking her back to my bedroom to nurse even though grandparents had driven in to visit, even when everyone was saying that maybe she just wanted to be rocked to sleep instead of nursing, or maybe she was just a naturally fussy baby, or maybe she needed to cry it out...I didn't listen. I nursed her whenever she would let me.
Because of my stubbornness, my supply rebounded very quickly when I began pumping. Because of the effort early on, my body made enough hormone receptors that the slump was overcome.
So, ask for help and always nurse on demand.
I wish there was a forum on here for people to post their whole bfing stories, start to finish, but until then, I will put mine here. I wish I had read one like it back when I got started. I hope you might benefit from my mistake.