Hello. FTM to a 10 week old baby boy. I have many questions but I'll try to be as concise as possible.
Lo was born at 39 weeks, not induced, with epi. No health problems known then or now, uneventful labor and delivery.We did skin to skin and tried nursing right away. First attempts at nursing were unsuccessful. I tried laid back nursing, clumsy at best. The nurse brought in a nipple shield and lo latched with it. Mind you, we only tried for maybe 10 minutes before she did this, and there's no anatomical reason for it. I was too overwhelmed/tired to know to care or argue. I nursed constantly while in the hospital And it was very painful, even with the shield. The nurse tried to help but couldn't and i didn't see the hospital LC until right before I left for a rushed consult. It didn't help.
I did a lot of research and we were able to achieve a painless latch with the shield. LO gained weight just fine, was about a pound over birth weight at his 2 week check (from 7 lbs 6 down to 6 lbs 10 up to 8 lbs 8 at two weeks.) Output has never been a problem, he currently poops once a day and has about 8 wets. Poop is yellow/orange and wet/seedy.
However, now at 10 weeks we're facing some continuing problems and I'm feeling anxious because i return to work in two weeks.
We still use the shield about 60% of the time because his latch still hurts without it, However he is not efficient with it. With the shield, nursing takes upwards of an hour, and he still eats every two hours at most. I think it takes a long time for let down and that's part of the problem, he gets bored and falls asleep. Aside from trying to keep him awake, I also try relaxation/visualization to encourage let down. It doesn't seem to make it much faster. Without the shield it's faster, but latch is painful, nipple gets flattened, and he falls off easily. He also sucks in his bottom lip and pulls back so he's fairly shallow. I'll try and adjust his lips and jaw but in a couple of sucks it goes right back in.
I did see an LC but let's just say it didn't help. She wasn't an ibclc. Her and pedi both checked for tongue tie and didn't find a problem.
Other issues that may or may not be related: he is VERY fussy and was since day 1. He is restless and has trouble sleeping (hardly even slept in the hospital). At night he'll sleep at most 3 hours but usually it's between 60 minutes and 90 minutes. Then he wants to nurse again and takes about an hour to nurse. We don't (and won't) co- sleep (it didn't help when i tried). I tried lying down nursing but struggled to latch in that position. He sleeps swaddled with white noise in a mamaroo next to our bed.
He has short periods of alert happy time but much of his waking time is spent crying and being soothed. It works to soothe him (bouncing, pacing) but the second you stop he often starts crying again. He hates being put down so i baby wear when i need to get something done.
Developmental milestones are being met fine.
He also has a full body rash, started on his face and spread. With the pedi's suggestion of lotion we got it under control but if we stop the lotion, the rash returns. Pedi wasn't worried about this.
He's never gotten over his newborn congestion.
He doesn't seem gassy and almost never spits up.
I am a vegetarian. 2 days ago i made the switch to dairy and soy free in case that was contributing.
So i guess here are my questions:
How do I improve his latch? Is it too late?
Does it sound like a dairy intolerance? If so, what changes might I see in him to know it's making a difference and how long will it take? Is there anything else i might be overlooking?
Off topic, but what if daycare can't handle him? We are using a home based provider who will have other kids at the same time as him. He is very high needs.
TIA. I'm an overwhelmed FTM and appreciate any help...!