I am currently struggling with bf my 13 week old and want to see if anyone has any advice/similar experiences. He has never latched on well and was cup and tube fed EBM and formula in hospital then at home until about week 3 as he was very lethargic due to jaundice. From week 3-6 we were able to EBF and his weight gain was all right (approx. 150g a week), though nursing was never comfortable and my nipples became sore and cracked. At 6 weeks he was evaluated for tongue-tie by a lactation consultant and determined to have a posterior tongue-tie which she divided. The pain went away but his weight plateaued and for a few weeks he hardly gained anything at all so we started supplementing with EMB. We went back to the lactation consultant at 8 weeks and the division had scarred over so she divided it again.
In the meantime he still wasn’t gaining weight so we have had to supplement him with more and more with EBM. Now at approx. 500 ml of EMB a day) he is finally gaining enough weight. Yesterday at 13 weeks, we went back to the lactation consultant who said that he also has a high palatial arch which does not allow him to create good suction and feed efficiently even though his tongue is now able to work properly. She said it might get better or might not- not so much evidence as many people give up by this point.
I am very tired, not sure of how to combine bf and bottlefeeding into a routine that feels manageable, gets him and me some sleep while also pumping milk 5 times/day (I usually bf him for 20-40min, then top up with bottle but then sometimes he still seems hungry and wants to bf again, which when you add on expressing means that I can be up for 2 hours at night). He feeds about every 4 hours during the day (though the feed takes over an hour) with sometimes another 5-10 min feed before nap time. I wonder if he should be feeding more often but as it takes so long I am not sure how to do this and when I try to feed him before nap time he will only feed for a few minutes and fall asleep which I am not sure if I should encourage. I would love to hear any advice or ideas on how to manage breast and bottle-feeding together. as well as stories of whether babies with these issues can eventually EBF. It has always been my plan to EBF for at least a year for the bonding and health benefits but not sure how long I can do this.