My son was born at 37 weeks and needed breastmilk right away to stabilize low blood sugar. He nursed on my doula and has been getting donated breast milk ever since. He wasn't able to latch on my flat, non-stretchy nipples at all, even with a nipple shield, so we used the natural flow bottle. Now at almost 3 weeks old, he nurses that bottle pretty well, though very slowly.
Meanwhile I have low prolactin and low supply, prolactin tested repeatedly since day 8 postpartum, and I am on domperadone since about 3 days ago. My schedule with the LC includes weighing him, nursing 10-15 minutes a side, if we can get a latch, which is only occasional before he goes into a screaming red fit, then weighing to see how much breatmilk he got (under 5 ml) bottling him for 30-60 minutes until he gets enough, usually 2-3 ounces, then pumping with my hospital pump another 10 minutes, up to half an ounce comes to the pump. Then eat, snatch a half hour or so of sleep if I can manage to fall asleep, and do it again.
To say I am not getting enough sleep would be an understatement. I cry all the time from exhaustion and discouragement. Sometimes my partner tricks me and resets the alarm so I miss some of the night-time feeding & pump dates, just so I'll sleep a little longer. He says we can't go on like this because I'm not enjoying my baby and not taking care of myself.
The latest LC consult suggested nipple shields. I would like to do that as it might help my son latch on something similar to the bottle he is used to, but the shield will not stay on my large soft breasts and small flat nipples. I get it on, but the little flange slides all around, and as my son and I are struggling to get him latched the whole thing often comes off, or he latches only on the shield and not the areola. We do better without the shield, but still not very well.
OKay so my question: Are there better shields than the medela? I have every size and none is working.
I have tried reverters and the supple cup, btw. No different from when my son draws out my nipple a bit--it always flattens again during the time he and I are struggling to get him latched.