My DD was born at 35w5days. It wasn't until the first talk with the lactation consultant that I learned that her being early would mean that she'd have trouble eating. They told me to tube feed and even gave me a little formula to use until my milk came in. DH and I did the tube-syringe thing until she reached one week old. (I stopped the formula as soon as my milk came in and have been on only breastmilk since then) It was really hard controlling the flow with this method. The LC told us to just let her suck out the syringe but that really didn't work without at least a little pushing.
So once we stopped the syringe, I transitioned to the breast only with bottles for one of the night feedings for DH to do. She tended to stay on the breast a lot longer than before and seemed okay with that, ie not frustrated, etc. At her last ped appt. a week ago her weight looked good. So I stupidly slacked off on pumping. Well, towards the end of the week at the LC we did a before and after weight check and it seems her weight gain has plateaued. She only gained one ounce in three days. And only got 1ounce from both breasts in 20 minutes. The LC told me to pump more often and also corrected my latch.
So now we're doing breast-bottle, 20 minutes at the breast followed by 1.5 ounces by bottle. Then I pump for 20min. I try to do this every 2-3hrs. I let her stay at the breast as long as she wants and that can be up to 60min. My nipples still hurt so I'm afraid the latch is not perfect. We're using the Avent Natural nipple or the Playtex NaturaLatch. I can't really tell which one is better.
My goal is to get her exclusively on the breast. She's now 16 days old so I don't want the bad latching to get further imprinted. What else can I do besides keep pumping and keep up the feedings every two hours? What nipple is best for using in tandem with the breast?