This is my first post although I have found much useful information here since my son Henry was born 9 1/2 weeks ago. Sorry if this is too long, I figured background info is good to get the most useful advice.
Henry could not latch at all in the hospital and we eventually ended up using a nipple shield which worked great - he went from 7.9 lb at birth to 12.15lb at 8 weeks. I have an abundant supply and was only feeding on one side which would keep him going for 2 1/2 - 3 hours before getting hungry again. In the last couple of weeks he was starting to do a good 5-6 hour stretch in the evening. He even did one 7 1/2 hr stretch! All was going well but I really wanted to get rid of the shield for all the usual reasons. It obviously didn't solve the underlying problem which turned out to be a tongue and lip tie. We had both clipped 5 days ago and he can now latch beautifully without the shield. He was always a bit gassy, however since getting rid of the shield he is spitting up a LOT after every nursing session and takes forever to settle. Our normal nighttime routine now goes like this:
-Nurse for approx 10 mins on one side until he pops off with the drunken milk face
-20 mins fussing, burping, holding upright on my chest (several large burps and significant spit up 2-3 times during this time). Eventually he will settle and become very relaxed and sleepy
-10 mins - rock to sleep
-Put down in bouncy chair (recommended by pediatrician to keep him at an angle)
He will now sleep for 20-30 mins and then wakes himself up needing to burp or spitting up more. I'll burp him, rock back to sleep, which lasts 20-30 mins or maybe up to an hour, and then the whole routine repeats until he's hungry again. Since getting rid of the shield he hasn't really slept continuously for more than 1 hour at night. His daytime naps are also much shorter and we have a similar fussing/burping/spitup situation in the daytime too.
I think I may have a fast letdown as he often seems unable to cope with the flow at first. The shield used to fill up and a lot would leak out so I guess it protected him from that.
Things I've tried:
-Unlatching him once letdown starts and spraying into a cloth before it slows down
-side lying and laid back nursing
-burping mid-feed (doesn't like this - screams as he's still hungry)
I feel like we've taken one step forward and two steps back. Also I don't feel comfortable nursing in public anymore due to the fussing and mess, and I'm getting half as much sleep as before! I REALLY don't want to go back to using the shield but right now I feel we are both suffering.
Thanks for reading and I would really appreciate any advice.