My daughter is 3 weeks old and we are struggling severely with breastfeeding. I am hoping those more experienced with this can offer other suggestions or insight in terms of what we can or should try next. Please bear with the long post as I attempt to include all pertinent details.
My daughter was born big at 9 lb 10 oz. She immediately had low blood sugar and was too sleepy in hte hospital to latch so I syringe fed her hand-expressed colostrum but was also instructed to supplement with formula by her pediatrician as they were concerned with her rapid weight loss. She ended up losing 12% of her weight in the first week. I saw 2 horrible LC's in the hospital who just said she was losing weight simply because my milk wasn't in yet.
After my milk came in 4 days later I was able to eliminate the formula and bottle feed her breast milk (I use a dr browns bottle with preemie nipple). We were on a strict 2 oz every 2 hours regimen as prescribed by her pedi. In the past few weeks I've worked tirelessly at getting her to latch properly and breastfeed. With the help of a LC we've made a lot of progress and she's now able to latch and feed.
However, I have noticed the following issues with her breastfeeding. One, she rarely feeds more than 10 minutes and I notice my breast doesn't nearly feel drained afterwards. After my initial letdown, once she actually has to start working to suck, right around that 10 min mark, she kind of just gives up. (I do breast compressions to encourage milk to keep going into her mouth but it doesnt always work). She often does a lot of gumming/nibbling my breasts during ths time without any active sucking. I experience nipple pain, and my nipples usually come out of her mouth looking creased/blanched.
I am confused because sometimes she will latch perfectly and feed for 20-30 mins per side, as if there is nothing wrong at all. Other times she will struggle so greatly to latch or suck that she gets frustrated and just goes to sleep. At that point I'm forced to give her a bottle becuase at that point, hours have gone by without her eating and she is still struggling to gain weight appropriately.
The LC I've been working with believes she has a posterior tongue tie as well as a lip tie. I have no problem getting this fixed but I do have some doubts about whether or not it will solve our breastfeeding issues. There are times she latches and feeds just fine, though it is not often.
I guess I am wondering if anyone has experienced similar feeding issues. How did you correct them? Does this sound like it really could be attributed to tongue and lip ties? I am at a loss and don't know what the right next step is. I am afraid if I don't figure this out soon it will become impossible to get her exclusively on the breast. I am trying to avoid bottles as much as possible but its a struggle between that and making sure she doesnt starve.