Do you have access to a LC? I ended up paying for one out of pocket, but many hospitals do offer lactation consultation if you delivered there, or i think my hospital has a breastfeeding support group that is run by a LC. You can also contact your local LLL- i have heard of many stories where a very helpful LLL member saved breastfeeding. They are free and local and here to help. You can find local contact numbers online.
As for the breast issue- I did not have that, but I do know that it IS possible to nurse off of just one breast. Not that you should give up on the problem breast- sounds like you are doing a good job offering it and for now she is taking it. Any stimulation it gets, even just suc.king with nothing coming out, will help build a supply. It may never be as much as the other breast, but that is actually common. There was always a difference between my 2 breasts.
Until you get help with the latch, watch for the very early signs of hunger, or even anticipate when baby may get hungry, and start working on latch before the baby even cries to eat. She will be more patient and will to work to get it right. You are still very early on in the game, and what you describe is common. I wish I could give more specific help with latch, but that is not my area of expertise. Hopefully someone else can chime in.
I also want to add, that if she is having trouble with latch, I would try to avoid supplementing with a bottle. First off, ask your ped or an LC if supplementing is truly necessary- I am learning that some doctors make you do it when it may not be crucial. It is normal for babies to get mild jaundice (not to say that it shouldn't be monitored or taken lightly- just that in many cases it can be overcome with frequent nursing). A good LC can weigh the baby before and after a nursing session and tell you if the baby is getting a good amount. It gave me peace of mind. If you DO have to supplement (in some cases it is the best thing for baby), see if you can get a finger feeder or a supplemental nursing system. My hospital did not offer a sns but did have finger feeding tubes available. My little one's jaundice was getting very high, so we used finger feeders. The nurses were reluctant (i think it's more work for them) but my LC advocated for me and taught us how to use it. It was actually quite easy. When supplementing, always offer the breast first and let the baby get as much as he can from the breast. If you do have to use a bottle, make sure to use the slowest flow possible (newborn).
COngrats on the arrival of your little one! I recall those exhausting and painful days. For me, nursing was excruciating for the first 2 weeks (even with a good latch) and then all of a sudden, at 2 weeks, it got much better.
Thanks so much tiredbuthappy, its good to know that im not the only ones whos breasts make more then the other. i usually start feeding her on that one for her to empty it and then switch to my other breast and let her get full and switch back to stimulate the other again. Ill have to see about the lactation consultant, the one in L&D i didnt like, she was very stand offish and seemed like she just wanted the whole consultation to be over, there is another one that works in that L&D and I'll have to see if my insurance will cover it, I definitely don't have the money to cover one out of pocket right now, with DS whos 2 and the new DD its been crazy.
I'll definitely look into LLL if i can't get help through the hospital, i also heard that WIC will have breastfeeding support, atleast in my state they do, I know we qualify for WIC we just havent had the chance to go down there yet, its been like 15 degrees outside most days and everyone in the house has a cold and DD is starting to get congested so I've been taking her out as little as possible in hopes of avoiding the cold making it worse.
I know i have gotten her to latch perfectly on my smaller breast, it doesnt hurt at all when she feeds, the other i have a hard time telling since its not supposed to hurt when she feeds but if from what you and other woman i've talked to have said that its painful even with a good latch for the first few weeks, maybe she is latched right, it looks right from what i can see and when referencing pictures and descriptions i've found online. I may tough it out this next week and see if it gets better and if its not by her 2 week appointment I'll look into finding a LC or going to LLL and WIC.
Thanks again =]
Oh and do you think pumping, atleast with a hand pump, would help boost my supply? In my smaller breast to stimulate it to boost its supply and in my larger breast if i end up only being able to feed from that one?
I know with latch it can be difficult to tell when they're on right. I saw a LC (three of em actually) and was told a little of how to tell. It may hurt while you get used to it, but after baby has been on for a few seconds (or minutes) the pain should be gone. That would be a good indicator of improper latch. Improper positioning can also cause pain too. I thought my baby was latched wrong, but I was holding her wrong and it caused pain.
Generally with a proper latch babies lips will flange out around the nipple and most should be in their mouth. (the areola) Depending on if you have large or small ones though this might not work. I have larger ones so I thought she only had some of the nipple and thought it was latch issues. When you go to nurse, find whatever position you like and hold their body and head tightly against you. When their mouth is open wide (like a yawn) push the nipple into their mouth. You also wanna make sure their body is straight with the head. If you have them tightly against you as well it will angle the nipple in their mouth properly and push the nose away from the breast and the chin away. You might also see the tongue poking out above the lower lip (I've always seen Kylies when she nurses)
A baby will boost supply much better than a pump (or so I've been told) so put her to the side you want to boost supply on frequently. She may seem like she's not getting enough if she is frequently on, but babies will cluster feed in order to boost your supply. I was told by the LCs that in the first 6 weeks or so they will be on frequently (I also read it on the LLL website) and to put the baby on even if they just came off if that's what they want.
I'm unclear about the other issue though. I know in my own personal experience though if she's been on for even just a few minutes and I take her off it's difficult to self express anything so you might not actually be low in supply on that side. Just keep putting her to the breast often, especially the smaller one and see if that helps. I supplemented rarely in the beginning and this was mostly due to my own laziness. (I hate/hated pumping sooo much and she was always wanting to nurse so I never had much time) I've BF exclusively now for a little over two months or more and have no supply issues.
AndiJ breastfed all of her children with only 1 producing breast.
Pumping after a feed can help supply, but this early on it can be hard to squeeze it in with the cluster feeds. And you don't want to get it too high. My supply got to be too much too early and I developed an forceful letdown that would choke the baby, which I had to resolve by block feeding.
I have to say, based on what you are describing, it sounds like everything may actually going well. You seem to have both the researched knowledge but more importantly the instincts to do the right thing. Is the baby gaining well? Wetting enough diapers and pooping? I know you said you do have trouble getting her to latch on one side sometimes. Have you tried using your fingers to gently pull your nipple out to make it easier to latch on to? Have you tried different positions? My little one had a much easier time latching in the football hold, because of both the angle and the firm stability her head had in that position. In the football hold, I was able to lift her head and bring her mouth up and over the nipple, getting a much better latch/angle.
Your situation sounds so close to mine when Brady was just born! I didn't read everyone's answers to you but I'll add mine.
I had to do the same thing for Brady. I had to supplement for the first week and a half due to jaundice and I thought that I was going to have to throw breastfeeding out the window because he'd get used to the formula. He did take to the formula sooo much better than my breast but I kept at it. He had a hard time latching too and the problem was that he would suck in his bottom lip so for the first month and even sometimes now at almost 3 months I have to pull his bottom lip out. I had chapped nipples the first little bit too. I know- ouch!!
You could try different holds with your baby to see if it'll help with the latch.
My right breast didn't produce anything near what my left breast could but it does produce quite a bit now...still a little less but it's something. I think some women actually exclusively will feed from one breast.
Hang in there...I was told it is hard for the first 2 weeks and they were so right but if you keep at it, it really does get easier and less exhausting! She'll get the hang of it and you will be a great team!