I was wondering if anyone can advise around our situation or comment on their own experiences.
My little one is 11 days old, and we're having a lot of trouble breast feeding him. The issues started really as soon as he was born, he showed no interest in the breast, and didn't feed for 3 days. In the end we had to express on a spoon to feed him, which was painfully slow and difficult. He would kick and squirm and move his head away from the spoon.
In the mean time we continued to breastfeed, but his gape was small, and his latch shallow - barely covering the nipple. Then he would only comfort suck, which became painful for my partner and led to nipple cracks, blisters, blood. He eventually got the latch on day 5, and we were discharged, however the latching was causing further pain (although from the outside looking good)
We had to take break from breastfeeding for 2 day to allow the breast to heal, by this time he was consuming 60mls plus a feed, and we had to give it to him via a bottle (against our desires) as he would reject a spoon or cup and end up knocking it everywhere.
Now the breasts have healed, we've been offering the breast first, and topping him up with expressed milk in a bottle after. But he often pushes away, kicks, squirms when held close to the nipple. He will occasionally get it, and latch for 5-10mins, in which his latch looks good but is often painful, and the nipple looks distorted when he comes off. However most of the time he doesn't seem to 'get it' and becomes visibly stressed by ordeal.
Is it an age/experience thing? Will he get it as he gets older? (friends have told us it took them weeks 6-9 to finally master it)
Is it a size thing? I feel his mouth is small and he can't enough nipple in his mouth.
I am slightly concerned by the use of a bottle at his age, but there is no other way we could get enough milk into him. Has anyone else used a bottle this early and managed to get their baby back on to the breast?