Re: Upper lip tie- what to do?
I totally understand why you're not into getting the lip tie released. The idea of someone sticking scissors into your baby's mouth... That feels creepy, right? You might want to look into seeing a pediatric dentist or ENT. They may have a different technique which makes you feel more comfortable about having it done.
Now, I personally am on the side of clipping ties when they cause mom pain. I don't care what the dad or the extended family has to say about it- it's not dad or grandma who is nursing the baby! But if you choose not to release the tie, it is absolutely possible to nurse with a tie in place. My older daughter had one and we ultimately got to a place where her nursing was both effective at getting milk out and comfortable for me. As you transition to exclusively nursing, you want to do the following:
1. Be alert for increased pain or damage to your nipples.
2. Keep a careful eye on the baby's diaper output and weight gain. If these are sufficient, the baby is getting enough milk when nursing.
3. Be prepared to change your strategy if things start to go south.
Pumping can definitely be used to increase supply. Whether or not it can "easily" increase supply... Well, that depends on the mom! Some moms are very responsive to pumping, particularly in the early weeks/months of breastfeeding. Some moms aren't. If you respond well to pumping, you'd have little trouble increasing supply. If you respond poorly, pumping to increase could be a hard slog for you. Since you don't really know which mom you are, just revisit the 3 steps listed above. If you have a lot of pain and damage, if baby isn't producing diapers or gaining weight as he should, then you think about changing your strategy and pumping again. Hopefully it would just be a temporary measure while baby gets a bit larger and more adept at nursing.
The things you describe on the right- nipple looking red, skin tags, pain with pumping- makes me think that there is something infectious happening on that side. It sounds like it's bacterial, but it could also be thrush. You might want to use some antifungal treatment if using the antibiotics doesn't improve things.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"