Our daughter , Elia was born 3.5 weeks early, (4.5 weeks ago) but healthy and without any negative consequences. She took my breast well right after birth, and seemed to be doing fine. Then my milk came in late, and somehow she got very frustrated and began screaming at the breast. A La Leche League woman came and said she needed food, as she was getting weak, so we gave her some formula with a dropper- this was taking too long, so we started a bottle, feeding her mostly my pumped breast milk. She began taking the breast more and more as she recovered strength, and seemed happy at the breast, or the bottle. YEAH!
Then a week or so later she stopped taking the breast, cold turkey. We then bought a feeding tube, and started finger feeding. Another consultant came and said our baby was clever and knew what was easier...she said to keep going, offering the breast when she was sleepy, trying different postions, etc.
That was 10 days ago, and she has not improved. She can suck really well, and sometimes takes the breast and sucks vigorously for about 30 seconds, in spurts. I know she is getting milk as I often pump to get it flowing before she eats. I think she is impatient (like her mother). My question is: how long do I keep insisting? I am pumping as much as I can, and giving some formula. I need a sign of hope. I am beginning to think I should go back to the bottle, and stop insisting she try to feed from my breast, so we can all relax and enjoy ourselves (my husband included- he does his share of fingre feedings.)
Are there cases with no hope? could she never take the breast well again? How long should I hold out?
Also regarding pumping- I can't pump 6 times a day. I go crazy. It seems that I can get more by pumping less frequently for longer. Everyone says I should pump 15 minutes 6 times, but is it possible that for me it is better to pump 3-4 for longer? (I have large breasts....they hold alot?