My daughter has been diagnosed as a "lazy sucker". She is almost a month old and since birth has never really been able to suck on a nipple. She looked like she had a good latch, but my breast would just slide out of her mouth. Also, she would just suck 2 or 3 times and pull off my breast and quickly fall asleep. We tried all the rememdies for waking her up but nothing really worked. I visited with lactation consultants and they were at a loss as well. I had to start pumping and giving her bottles because of her weight lose and failure to remove milk from my breast. I would nurse and then pump and then exclusively pump twice a day to compare the amount of milk I was producing and how much she would take. It was the same regardless of it she nursed or not.
She was an equally bad "sucker" on a bottle as well . The lactation consultant realized she was sucking her own tongue- it was positioned high and in the back of her throat when she would suck. They gave me some exercises to do with her and sent me to an OT at Children's Mercy for more help.
The OT, NICU nurse, and lactation consultant recommended that I do the exercises with her, use a nipple shield and nurse for no longer than 10 minutes and then give her a bottle of breast milk. I was to keep feedings under 30 min. because after that point she was burning more calories trying to eat than she was taking in.
She is now gaining weight like a champ and doing a bit better on the bottle though she still doesnt make an actual seal - the corners of her mouth are open. She will latch on to my nipple in a nipple shield but still doesnt really remove any milk and falls asleep after a few minutes or gets frustrated and cries. My nipple still slides right out of her mouth and she still isnt removing any milk. To top things off now we have thrush.
Im so sad and frustrated. Id been so looking forward to breastfeeding and now all I am doing is pumping around the clock (every 2 to 3 hours). I want to breastfeed but it seems like it is never going to work out and I cant keep up pumping at this rate. Im starting to think of transitioning to formula and feel like a failure. The lactation consultants and my doctor all said Im doing everything right and my daugther is just a special case - she isnt tongue tied or have a high palate - she just refuses to suck. And now I think its worse due to the bottles she has been taking for the past 2 1/2 weeks.
Any advice would be appreciated. Sorry for the long post - I just wanted to put it all out there - we've been working so hard and tried so many things.