I apologize in advance for this being so long but I want to include all the info so you all have all the details.
I have a 9 week old son. I started bf'ing right after he was born. After 2 days my nipples were cracked and bleeding already. The lactation nurse checked his latch and said it was good but to use a nipple shield until I healed and then wean him from that once I was healed. He had no problems nursing with the shield at all.
After about a week I was healed up and I started to wean him from the shield. To my surprise he latched right on again without the shield with no problems at all! After a few feedings though I noticed the soreness coming back and I used the shield every other feeding or so after that. With my first daughter I had a terrible time for the first month and I didn't want to get frustrated this time so I figured I'd stick with the shield 1/2 the time until I got used to bf'ing again. This is my 4th baby i'm bf'ing.
When he was 3 weeks he had a checkup and he hadn't gained any weight yet. The dr said to start bf'ing him every 2 hours no matter what so he'd gain weight. I started doing that and I realized that he really didn't seem to be getting much milk. He gets distracted very easliy. I'd tickle him, rub his head etc etc but he would stay latched on for a few minutes and then sleep.
Between 3 weeks and up until 6 weeks he didn't gain any weight . He was in the 10th percentile and was crying all day and night. Poor little guy was very hungry. The dr said to bf him and then give him 3 oz of formula and then pump to increase my supply. I went home and gave him the formula and he drank it in no time! He was very hungry for more.
I read somewhere that sometimes when you use a nipple shield it can cause your milk supply to decrease so I stopped using it completely. I went out and bought an electric pump (single side) and started pumping also. I was so determined to keep bf'ing!!!
Next thing I know my baby has thrush. Next day I realize I have it and it's bad!!! Bleeding, skin peeling on the nipples etc. It was so painful to bf and pump that I had to take a break.
Dr gave us meds for the thrush and we were both getting better and then my baby had an allergic reaction to the meds and had to stop them for 3 days. I stopped the meds too because I wanted to try to bf him and then we both got worse again. We are now on new meds and my baby's is almost all gone but mine is still there. I haven't tried bf'ing him yet. I've been giving him formula and then pumping but when I pump now there is very little milk and my nipples are still red and very very irritated. I'm hoping that the meds will help my thrush and I can pump enough to get my supply back up and bf again.
Bottomline (thanks for your patience I want to keep bf'ing my baby!!!! I'm trying everything I can think of to help this but I feel like we are quickly approaching the end of bf'ing. I'm so frustrated and tired of hurting...anybody with any input or suggestions? I would sooo appreciate it!
ps. a friend of mine suggested adding yeast flakes to my diet because that is supposed to help milk supply. anybody heard of this?? i've also thought of fenugreek...how much does it improve your supply?