I am a first-time mom to a little boy born 10 days ago. The lactation consultant at the hospital said he was having problems latching, so she gave me a nipple shield but even with that, he wasn't getting a good suck. She gave us formula to supplement until we went to see the pediatrician and lactation consultant in a few days.
Fast forward to the first visit, and he had lost 10% of his body weight. We worked with the lactation consultant at our pediatrician and she said he was latching OK (with the nipple shield) but he wasn't sucking productively. We did a weight test and found that he was only taking in 0.5oz per feeding (even though I can pump about 2oz in a sitting). She put us on a schedule - every 3 hours we try to breastfeed, then give him supplement with 2oz of EBM if we have it, or formula if there's no milk, then I pump for 15 minutes on each side. She also not to try nursing him too much since it would probably burn more calories than he was taking in.
We had our next appointment, and he has only gained 4 ounces in the 10 days since he was born... They said he needs to get back to his birth weight by Tuesday, so that means he has to gain 9 ounces in 5 days. Given our track record, that's not going to happen if I'm nursing & giving him breast milk.
Every time we run out of EBM and have to give him formula, my heart breaks a little bit. Every time he thrashes around and beats his little fists against my breast, I can't help but cry. And when he latches it feels like a small victory, except he's still just doing these little fluttery sucks and swallowing after 10+ of them... if he doesn't just fall asleep (a deep sleep... the LC threw cold water on him and he didn't wake up - she said she'd never seen that before!).
The LC seemed resigned at our last appointment (today). She said that sometimes it just clicks, but until then we just need to continue supplementing. I'm worried that my EBM is not going to help him gain weight, that giving him a bottle is going to ruin any chance that he'll be willing to take the breast, that my milk is going to dry up unless I pump every hour, and that I'll never sleep again.
I'm at my wits end, I can't sleep, and I am not able to enjoy my little boy the way I want to. Please tell me that it will get better and that I'm not destroying my BF relationship with my son!!