I am potentially expected my second child, and I'm hoping to get a grasp on what went wrong with breastfeeding with my first so I can be more successful with the second.
So - my DD was born 3 weeks early, healthy, a bit scrawny. We struggled with the latch, starting in the hospital. We met with the lactation consultants again and again, but we still weren't really getting the hang of it, and I was recovering from a c-section, so I didn't really have full mobility to try things out.
At home, the struggled to latch continued. We would eventually get something I thought was acceptable (but I don't think it was ever quite right), and she would suck/sleep for an hour, then DP would take her and I'd pump for a while. She didn't seem particularly content, cried a lot, wanted to nurse again and again. The poor latch started taking a toll on my nipples right away.
When my milk came in, in became clear pretty quickly that she wasn't actually getting any milk. I became painfully engorged, my breasts were like gigantic lumpy rocks, and even though I tried hand expressing, warm compresses, pumping, I couldn't seem to get any milk out. An ounce or two from 30 minutes of pumping. And DD would nurse for half an hour or more but wasn't getting any milk. (That was the verdict of the lactation consultant, who would weigh her before and after nursing.) I developed a bad fever, and nursing became like a constant hell. I'd shake with pain while my DD attempted to latch again and again, she'd suck forever, still be unhappy, I'd pump as long as I could for hardly any return, and then it was time for another futile nursing session. I dreaded being handed my baby. I'd cry and say no, no, please take her away. It was a nightmare.
So my question is - why couldn't I get any milk out????? Was it that my DD had a poor latch and a weak suck? Was there something wrong on my end that made me unable to pump either? We eventually switched to just pumping, supplementing with formula. After her first bottle, my DD seemed content for the first time in her life - like she'd never actually been full before. It made me feel horrible.
Anyone have any insight?
Fledgling midwife on hiatus, Wife to B, mama to C (c/s 12/04) and S (12/07), m/c (3/12) and expecting another bean 6/13 .
I looked at some info on tongue tie on kellymom, and it definitely sounds like it fits our situation. I just can't understand why the lactation consultants that we visited, like, every day, didn't consider it. It sounds like it's such a common issue, and we seem to have had all the common symptoms. Makes me kind of angry to think that there could have been a simple solution. I wish I had known more and had better support in place.
So, if it was tongue-tie, would I still be able to see/feel it now? Might it still be affecting her in some way? It would be nice to know for sure.
As for the pumping thing, I have heard people say that it just doesn't work well for some. I tried multiple flange sizes, hand pump and hospital grade, and tried to work out how to hand express, but none of that worked. There was a lot of stress involved, so I think that was a big part of it. I'd always turn on an episode of the Gilmore girls and wrap myself in a heated blanket to try to help myself relax, but there were other environmental stressors at play, too, so I'm not sure even the Gilmore Girls could overcome it.
Thanks for the input, both of you.