I am a new mother of a 1 month old beautiful baby boy. I could not wait to start breast feeding him but had no idea of how difficult and extremely painful the process would be. I had a lactation consultant help me in the hospital and she told me he was latched on properly and that I "just had sensitive nipples". From then on, every time I would feed my munchkin, the anxiety and tears started even before he was "latched on".
After about 1 week of excruciating pain, I had another LC come to my home to help. Again I was told he was "doing well" and that this was all a learning process and the pain would get better. At about 2 weeks of age, I went to the baby's pediatrician and to my surprise I was told the baby lost weight and still had not regained his birth weight. I could not understand what was going on. Baby had bowel movements and wet diapers with each feeding (8-10) a day. Didn't that mean he was eating enough?
By week three I had yet another LC come in to help me. She took her time and was really informative and told me about "cluster feedings" which I had not been doing. With each feeding, I sat watching the clock praying for 20-30 minutes to come quickly. This was more than enough time at the breast as per my pediatrician and the pain was unbearable if I had to go for a second more. With this LC the pain when feeding was different - it was a deep pulling sensation rather than feeling like glass was coming out of my nipples. I did well with her while she was there and the "cluster" feeding we worked through gave me hope.
Middle of week three my baby still was not gaining any weight and my pediatrician was firm that we do something different because (understandably so) it was his job to make sure my baby thrives. I had to make the heart breaking decision to supplement with formula. At this time I also decided to pump as much as I could so that my baby still received my milk and so I could use formula to "top him off".
It is now a little over week four and my baby has surpassed his birth weight and doing well. I however want to go back to breast feeding him but have such anxiety about the process. I am also worried that because I missed the "cluster feedings" during the first few weeks, my milk supply may not be enough.
I am pumping about 8 times a day and getting approx 3 ounces each time. I am also doing everything under the sun to "increase" my milk supply - Fenugreek, oatmeal, malt drinks, staying hydrated and eating well.
Anyone else have similar situations, words of advice and encouragement? I'd love to hear from you