My 3 month old daughter and I have been having more and more problems. We started out on the shield, and after getting advice here, we've been working to wean her off of it. No luck though. She can latch and will nurse without the shield for maybe 45 minutes throughout the day, usually 5-10 minutes at a time. But after that 5-10 minutes she refuses to nurse at all unless she gets the shield. She also almost never pacifies without the shield. A few days ago she started throwing these fits where, for hours on end, all she'll do is ask to nurse, but when I get her to the breast, shield or no shield, she starts screaming and crying. I take her away, walk her around, and she just shoves her fists in her mouth and screams and cries some more.
Her diapers were down a little from usual, so I called the pediatrician. The nurse I spoke with suspected it was a supply issue resulting from the shield. Per her suggestion, I started nursing her every two hours and doing lots of skin to skin. I tried really hard to get her to nurse without the shield, but 45 minutes out of the whole day was the best we could do. Still, her diapers went back up to normal and she seemed to be doing better as of yesterday. She wasn't having the fits anymore. But today, they started up again. It went from nursing for 10 minutes without the shield this morning (then another 20 with) to nursing only with the shield for almost an hour, to throwing a huge fit and refusing to nurse at all (which is what's happening right now. My husband is trying to relax her as we speak )
To make matters worse, she completely refuses to take a bottle of expressed milk. For the first two weeks after she was born, she was jaundiced and the pediatrician had us supplementing a small amount with formula from a bottle. She took it fine then! After the two weeks I stopped it completely to focus on getting her off the shield so she wouldn't have nipple confusion. After about a month we tried again, and have been trying, but she completely refuses. We've tried warming the milk and nipple, using freshly expressed milk, having just my husband feed her, feeding her while moving, feeding her with skin to skin, all different types of nipples. She just rolls the nipple around on her tongue and spits the milk out. We've also tried a syringe and she spits the milk out from that too. People have suggested we try other devices, but I have to go back to work eventually and I'd really, really like her to be able to take a bottle.
What is going on here??? Has anyone ever gone through this? Is there any hope? I feel totally defeated. She'll only take the shield, which can result in supply issues and she won't take a bottle. There's nothing left after that!! The nurse and my MIL keep saying "oh, she won't starve herself, just lose the shields," but I don't know if I can do that. Couldn't she get failure to thrive that way? And couldn't it turn her off nursing for good? This is so not what I pictured. I thought we'd have this beautiful nursing relationship, completely natural and in sync with each other. But I can't even get her to eat with a stupid piece of silicone in between us without screaming. All she does is sleep, eat, and beg to eat. I feel like we hardly ever play or have calm moments. And I feel like I've missed my window of opportunity now that she's hit the three month mark. I'm working so hard to break her of these habits, but she's completely plateaued. I feel like the damage is permanent and if my supply dips down there's no way to feed her because she can't take a bottle . I'm totally frustrated and terrified and would appreciate any feedback, especially if any of you have success stories. Thanks.