Re: I'm tired of feeling like a failure
I'm sorry you've had such a rough time with nursing. Please know that you are not alone- so many women struggle! I did, and I had all the same feelings of failing at motherhood. But I later realized that just because breastfeeding is natural doesn't mean it's easy!
I think LLLJessica gave you great suggestions for getting the baby back to the breast. A few more things you can try include:
- Dripping a bit of milk or formula onto the nipple before latching the baby on. The taste of immediate gratification may make the baby suck longer.
- Trying a supplemental nursing system. Getting the SNS positioned right is a bit tricky, but it allows you to supplement the baby on the breast, no bottles necessary.
- Going back to the nipple shield. It's a pain in the rear, but you can wean from it further down the road, and if it encourages latching, it's worth it.
- Making bottlefeeding as much like breast-feeding as possible so that the baby associates being at the breast with being fed. When it's time to bottlefeed, open your shirt, and cuddle the baby close to your bare breast. Tickle her lips with the bottle nipple until she opens WIDE- don't let her learn sloppy latch habits from getting a bottle popped into a half-open mouth. Try to pause the feeding after every ounce or so of milk/formula so that the baby gets used to the natural ebb-and-flow rhythm of breastfeeding.
When it comes to increasing supply, it sounds like you are doing all the right things. Pump frequently (I pumped for 10 minutes per side every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night and saw good results in a couple of weeks). Try power pumping- pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10, pump for 10, rest for 10, and finally pump again for 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes of pumping in an one-hour period. Power pumping is supposed to mimic the way a baby feeds during a growth spurt. Finally, you may want to talk to your LC and your doctor or midwife about prescription drugs which can increase milk supply. Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (Canada and EU) are anti-nausea drugs which can increase milk supply as a side-effect. Both have additional side-effects and are not for every mom, so discuss them with your health care providers before taking either one.
Hang in there!!!
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"