My son is 8 weeks old, and he is our first child. He was born via emergency c-section on his due date and was a tiny 6lbs 3oz, which was likely due to the fact that he was no longer getting the nourishment he needed from the placenta. He was taken to the NICU for several days due to low glucose issues. In the NICU, we supplemented nursing with my pumped milk in bottles, as it was necessary to ensure that he was getting plenty of milk to boost his glucose levels. The NICU nurses suggested that I use a nipple shield to help his latch so that's what we did.
Once we were discharged from the hospital, nursing seemed to go fine. We did not supplement. He would nurse for what seemed like a long time (he would constantly fall asleep), but he had sufficient (we thought) diaper outputs. At his 2 week appointment, he was back up to his birth weight (he had dropped to 5lb 11oz at the hospital). However, at his 4 week appointment, he had only gained 3oz (he was 6lb 5.5oz). The doctor advised us to supplement but wanted us to supplement with formula instead of my breastmilk. We reluctantly complied, and he gained 19oz during the next week. The doctor then let us supplement with my breastmilk. His weight gain has been fine as we've been supplementing with my milk, but I would like to get back to EBP. It is exhausting to nurse, feed, and pump all of the time, and I hate being tied to my pump.
The whole situation was really discouraging...based on how much I was able to pump, I didn't think I had a supply issue, but somehow, my baby was not getting enough milk from me. I thought that it might be the nipple shield so I visited a lactation consultant, and we worked on latch without the shield. He was able to latch on and the consultant thought his latch looked good, but my nipple looked compressed (with a crease in the middle), and he only got about 2oz of milk after 15-20 minutes of nursing on each side. The next day I was experiencing almost unbearable pain when he latches. He also screams when I take him off the breast so I know he's not satisifed. We visited the lactation consultant again, and we discussed a possible tongue tie. The consultant recommended an ENT, so we took him there last week, and the doctor indicated that he didn't really see a problem with the frenulum...he said he didn't think a correction would make much of a difference. So now I feel like we're back at square one. I didn't necessarily want something to be wrong with his tongue, but I thought it might be our answer. I am stubborn and do not want to give up on breastfeeding, but I am really starting to dread it.
On top of all of this, I suspect I might have some sort of infection. I would sometimes characterize my pain as burning, and it occurs after he nurses, but I thought it was due to my nipple being compressed. I'm pretty sure I had an oncoming case of mastitis the other night, but I may have caught it in time. The left side of my left breast became hard and very sore. Even though I massaged as much as possible while pumping, the hardness didn't seem to go away, and then I felt sick all of a sudden. I had a sore throat, low grade fever, and felt like I could pass out. I took some ibuprofen and kept aggressively massaging that area during pumping. The next morning, my breast was finally soft after pumping, my temp was back to normal, and I felt so much better.
Sorry for the extensive post, but I could really use some advice and encouragement!