My baby was born on the 23rd of February, four and a half weeks ago, at 36 weeks of gestational age, so he reached his full term age during last week. He was 2.5 kg at birth, and about 3.3 kg now.
He spent two days in NICU and five total days at the hospital. During this time the nurses gave hime formula and later my milk from the bottles, when it came.
I got some counselling with breastfeeding at the hospital, after he left the NICU. They basically told me that his mouth was too small and my nipple a bit flat, so I started using Medela nipple shields. By weighing him before and after the nursing, we saw that he was not taking in enough milk, so I had to keep pumping and giving him the bottle afterwards. I had enough milk to feed him by then, about 500 gr a day at least.
Once we came home, I rented a pump and a scale and continued the same routine of nursing, double-weighing, supplementing my own milk with a bottle and pumping. About a week and a half after the birth, the midwife came for the routine check-up and, since he had gained weight, she suggested to stop the stressful routine and exclusively breastfeeding for four days, then she would come to weigh him again. After these four days, he had gained 180 gr., so I continued for three more days, after which the midwife weighed him again. It was shocking to find that he had lost 50 grams during this time! The midwife thought that he was understimulating me because of the nipple shields. So I started the old routine again, but this time it was even more stressful because my milk had decreased quite a bit, and I had to use up my freezer stock. It took about five days of nursing (still with the shields) and power pumping to get my supply back.
At this point, he was a little older than 3 weeks. One day, about five days ago, he finally started consistently latching without the shields and I noticed (by double-weighing him at every feed) that he was taking a lot more, and faster, than before with the shields.
So, the last five days I have been nursing him exclusively and checking how much he drinks at every feed, and I have been amazed how much difference there is with when we were using the shields. He is also gaining weight every day, so far. Every feeding still takes about one hour and a half, however, even though the actual drinking takes about half an hour at most. He either gets fussy or falls asleep most of the time.
The problem is that I am so paranoid that my milk supply will decrease again by exclusively breastfeeding him, perhaps he has a weak suction, so I have been pumping every time for 10-15 minutes after each feed to keep my supply up. This is of course not ideal. First of all, it is stressful time consuming and is making it harder for me to sleep. Second, I see that he shows some symptoms of oversupply, being gassy and fussy and with often greenish stools. Third, sometimes he gets hungry again right after I am done pumping and gets frustrated for not finding much milk. Also, the crazy pumping from those few days in which my supply was low has given me sore nipples that feel sometimes uncomfortable when he latches, but I hopefully fixed this by buying different size shields.
My questions are these: in your opinion, is it safe to stop pumping after every feed, or maybe decrease it to one or two sessions per day? Or should I wait for a couple more weeks to do that? If I do, what is a safe way to check that everything is going well, and fix it in time? Is it possible that I have an oversupply, even though I only pump about extra 100 ml of milk per day?