Its so scary when they aren't gaining. I still wonder if I should give Rhiannon a bottle "just in case" I don't know if I could actually pump enough milk for a bottle though...
Another thing you can try is cup feeding, then nursing, or vice versa. It takes a little longer to cup feed, but you are less likely to deal with nipple preference. Since you are pumping, you can relax a little when you do try to nurse. Maybe just the knowledge that your baby will be fed will help.
I know what you mean about trying to get baby latched. I did the same thing with Shekinah, and yeah thats when we had crappy latch and a crabby baby. I started doing that with Rhiannon, and you're right. Eventually baby doesn't want to open her mouth. I was reading through kellymom.com and found a tip that really helped. Try latching starting with the chin, rather than the nose. Put no pressure on the back of the head, sort of let your babies head loll back. Holding her so that you are pushing her towards you between her shoulder blades. That usually opens their mouth up, and it starts the latch with the chin. I had a tendency of covering my babies nose, which causes all sorts of havok (baby suffocating, popping off, screaming, me freaking out...yeah fun)
When you try nursing, do it at a calm time, like in the evening or early morning. If your breasts are slightly engorged, even better, since there will be quicker flow of milk. Don't try to nurse longer than your baby can handle. If she gets upset after a couple minutes, feed her a different way (bottle, cup) Heck, if her mouth is open, squirt some milk in her mouth
Nursing is not easy. I'm nursing my toddler and I'm having problems. I can totally see why women end up opting for formula. If my dh wasn't here, I don't know. We could very well be ff by now.
Hey, have you tried a nipple shield? I have never used one, but I have heard they can help. And can you get an in home consultation with an LC?
Anyway, do what you can. I can tell it means alot to you. Take small steps for now and relax a little bit.
Good luck, lots of
and please please please remember that you are a loving and kind mother. No matter what happens, you can only do your best. Your children and husband love you, even if you aren't perfect
or maybe because you aren't