I recently discovered I have flat nipples after having my first baby. She's currently 2.5 weeks old and we are having trouble with her latching.. I'm currently pumping milk and bottle-feeding that to her and using a nipple shield a few times a day to get her to latch on one side (but she usually wakes up shortly after starving and I will put her on the breast again unless she's frustrated in which case I'll give her the pumped milk). We're using a nipple shield for feeding and she's latching on one side with that but absolutely hates the other side (we tried nipple shields and once or twice she latched but usually she just gets frustrated- one side is more flat than the other so it's probably hard for her to suck). Does anyone have any tips? I really want to breastfeed and this constant pumping and feeding is getting really frustrating.. will I be able to breastfeed her exclusively eventually? Can't afford to see a lactation consultant about it.. talked to a few on the phone and they recommended continuing what I'm doing and using something called Supple Cups. I bought them, still trying to figure out how they work. Any tips guys? I'm having a hard time with her an really want to breastfeed :( Thank you!
p.s. also how often should I be pumping? I was doing it every 2-3 hours at first but I was going crazy.. now doing it like every 4-5 hours but I feel like my milk supply has gone down.
I had the same problem and the only thing that helped me was seeing a lactation consultant. I couldn't afford it either, but one mercifully came to my house for free. It might be worthwhile to go through LLL or local midwives and ask if they can refer you to an IBCLC who won't charge you or at least charge you less. Or you could call/email lactation consultants in your area, explain your situation and see who is willing to help.
I hope you get some help. I almost quit breastfeeding because of how hard it was at first.
Wife to my best friend, mama to DD (6/29/12)
First and foremost do not give up. There are "Exclusive Pumpers" out there who can provide support during this time for you. Secondly, you need to find a lactation consultant to help you through this rough time. What breast pump do you have? A double electric is your best bet and you should pump both breasts at the same time. This will help increase your milk supply because your mind thinks you are nursing 2 at a time/twins. The state-funded family health centers can help you find an LC who can see you and provide counselling. Your milk supply will drop if you are exclusively pumping any less than in 2-3 hour intervals. Your LC should be able to help find the right products for you to use in this situation. The Dr. Brown's breast shield is an excellent buy for situations as yours along with their nipple cream. Know there are many breast feeding moms supporting you ! Stay focused, you will succeed.
Try to find your local LLL and call them. They might have suggestions for a free or low cost lactation consultant. Seeing an LC will be cheaper than formula feeding!
One thing I found helped in the beginning when DD was tiny and would get frustrated fast was to put the nipple shield on, then pump with it on to start your letdown. If it's already full of milk when she starts sucking, she'll be more encouraged to keep sucking.
Newly single, chronically sleep deprived mama to my little wild thang , born 11/17/12
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13