Can I crash this party? I was in the May DDC but DD2 came April 14th, so she's 9 weeks old now and we're still having latch issues. Jenfl, I think I've seen you have similar issues, so I thought I'd crash and see if we could all figure this out together.
Our story: DD was born at 37s and was an interested nurser from the get-go, but her latch stunk. She fell off all the time and clicked constantly; but she was gaining weight, so we kept coming up with excuses for the nipple damage and sorry rhythm. I thought things would change when my milk came in, or when she had more practice, or if I pumped some of the extra off, or if I used a nipple shield. But it still didn't feel right.
We got a diagnosis of a posterior tongue-tie and had it clipped; 1.5 weeks later, we still had no improvement. Off we went to a speech language pathologist, who noted that she had a high palate, a flat tongue, poor tongue groove, and zero suck. The reason I didn't have more pain was because she had no suck strength, so she was compressing the milk out of the end of the nipple and that was it. She was gaining weight because I had a good supply, but given time her weight (and my supply) would tank because she was just freeloading.
Insert a "therapy" regimen of pacifier-exercises, bottle feeding, and 100% nipple shield nursing. We confirmed the tongue-tie was clipped correctly (it was), and a week after starting exercises we saw great improvement: excellent tongue groove, good rhythm, and she wasn't pushing the bottle out of her mouth or gagging on the paci hardly at all. But her suck was still weak, and she still clicks even on the nipple shield.
5 weeks of therapy/visits/copays later, we're still in the same place, essentially. Nursing is still a two-handed ordeal, with the shield, still clicking. I met with the SLP again yesterday and we're working now on getting her off of the nipple shield, if that's even possible. I go back to work in 2 weeks, and I'm just crushed that my whole maternity leave has been spent pumping, bottle feeding, and just fighting to get this going and we're still not there. DH was a huge BFing supporter for DD1 but has already mentioned calling it quits... we're dealing with a dairy sensitivity and reflux to boot (which the SLP thinks is related to her feeding issues), and I just don't think he realizes that the benefits really ARE worth all of this trouble.
I know so many women have it harder than I do, so I really shouldn't complain. But nursing DD1 was so wonderful; I was really looking forward to having that relationship again.