My LO is almost four weeks old and I have yet to get him to latch without a nipple shield. With the shield he can achieve an imperfect latch that leaves me sore and him hungry.
We had never intended to do anything but breastfeed, but for the 30 minutes we had with him right after delivery he was sound asleep and the staff at the hospital fed him before they brought him back to us from the nursery.
My milk was slow in coming in and we were told that he should be eating the full 2 oz bottles of formula they gave us at each feeding. I was terrified of starving him and so we got a pump for me to use to increase my milk supply and fed him formula while we were waiting for the milk to arrive.
By pumping every 2-3 hours and drinking mother's milk tea I have been able to move from just a tablespoon or two of milk mixed into the formula to about a half-and-half ratio - he's eating about 4oz at a feeding.
I was hoping at this point to transition back toward breastfeeding to let his need help increase and maintain my milk supply; as I'm sure many of you know, being up to pump milk (which may or may not coincide with baby awake times) means you're doing twice the work for half the reward.
As might be expected, I'm having a LOT of trouble getting him to latch now. He's spent 90% of his life on artificial nipples and the other 10% on a nipple shield, but the latch he makes with the shield causes uneven pressure on my nipples and quickly becomes painful. I also think the poor latch inhibits the flow.
I just got a smaller nipple shield which seems to work slightly better, but that wasn't the solution I wanted. I wouldn't mind talking to an LC but we live pretty far out so that's a method of last resort, which I'm rapidly approaching. Any suggestions are welcome.