I would go through sporadic feedings like that, sometimes it would last a day or more. There can be a few factors in there:
-engorgement can make latch rough even with "perfect" nipples
-sometimes distractions can alter a latch
-positioning, maybe baby is uncomfortable?
With my second, he used to go through long spurts of this, the only thing i could get to work was having my dh turn on the vacuum. Sounds weird, but he would then latch and nurse like crazy. With my youngest, I found that sometimes the weight of the breast, if i wasn't in the perfect postion, would cause it to slip out. I,too, have been blessed with enormous nursing booby. Sometimes I either need to adjust the overall position or cradle my breast while he nurses until it empties a bit.
And remember, you are both new to this. Given the inverted nipple issue, you have had an added challenge. Have you been using nipple shields? Maybe it would be worth trying those again if you stopped. Perhaps they are flattening while baby is trying to latch and therefor cannot get enough in their mouth?
Now is a prime time when nipple confusion could happen. Babies latch much shallower on an artifical nipple or binky, so that could also be a factor. If you don't have to use either, I would stop using them for a while to work on correcting the latch.
Good luck, if you ever need help, you can email me: ***@****
Andi pretty much covered most of the suggestions I would have had. One last thing, though.... Is baby congested? Is there excess breast tissue blocking his breathing? You may have to either clear out his nasal passages (sit in the bathroom with the hot water running in the shower, or try a humidifier in his room, or worst case one of those tiny suctioners), or use a finger to press down the breast tissue to clear a passage for his breathing. If they can't breathe while latched, they will just pop on and off, like you're describing.
Another thing - is baby staying awake while nursing or trying to drift off? If trying to drift off to sleep, you can try skin-to-skin contact, rubbing baby's back, etc. Good luck!
thanks for the suggestions. i didnt want to breastfeed at all, but somehow ended up trying it.. but its very frustrating when she squalls instead of sucks. all feeds today had good latching, so we'll see if she fusses again tonight. i'm thinking either she wasn't really hungry, or really didnt like the position for some reason (sitting in bed, pillow on my lap, baby on pillow to bring her up high enough, my hand supporting her head - same as always). i really dont want to get out of bed for each feeding (even in sunny CA, the nights are nippy) and am worried about smothering her if we try feeding lying down. bare skin contact definitely soothes her.. we do a modified attachment parenting with all the kids and she sleeps on my chest for much of the night.
yep, last night (almost every night actually) we suck her out with the suction bulb, she produces a prodigious amount of snot. i always have to keep a finger on the boob to clear it away from her nose. not kidding about the massive boobies.. i was a 38DD before the pregnancy, am now more like a 40K.
If the engorgement making the nipples inaccessible is something you determine to be a big part of the problem, try pumping a few minutes before putting the baby to the breast. It helps the nipple come out for the baby to find and latch to more easily, plus making it smell clearly like milk. One of my nips is harder for the baby to get than the other, and I found pumping it on engorged days helped because otherwise the little darling BITES it (hard) to try to get the nipple out.
Even if you don't want to co-sleep, you can still try side-lying nursing. That is perhaps my fav position as it is quite relaxing and my baby seems to just curl into position. He nurses until he is full and when he is done, he breaks his latch, rolls himself over to burp, and passes out after cooing for a few minutes. I keep a body pillow behind my back so I can alter my position a little and sometimes a pillow between my knees.
Also, it helps give your breast a break. While I would feel "dry" in the typical cradle position during growth spurts of other peak nursing times, I could get a bountiful amount if I went and laid down with him. Changing position can make a world of difference sometimes.
Given the larger chest, it will also help take some pressure off your neck and upper back. Make sure you have some good, supportive nursing bras!!
pumping helps a little, but the nipple seems to get swallowed back into the boob as soon as i stop pumping.
when you're nursing lying down what do you do with the arm you're lying on? typically i need one hand to keep her head in place, and the other hand to keep the boob from blocking off her nose.
Here are some descriptions of positioning when nursing side-lying, overly long and elaborate I'm afraid but it's the only way I can think of to describe things clearly.
I put my arm around the baby's waist and pull his body quite close (lower than my bosom, obviously) so we are pretty much tummy to tummy, and that tips my son's head enough so his nose is clear of the boob. Hard to explain, but my lactation specialist recommended this. (If you two were standing up, he would be looking at the sky with his head tilted back as if he were trying to catch a snowflake in his mouth, and his tummy is tucked against yours.) If he is nursing side-lying and starts to sound snuffly, that is the problem, he is too straight-on or even coming at the boob too much from the top. Also, both the boob and his head are "eye to eye" on the mattress, so I don't need to support his head. I don't nurse him from the boob that is up in the air, just the one that is lower. (We trade places in the bed if I change nursing boobs.) I often tuck a little of the blanket under the edge of the baby's back, and that keeps him lying on his side easily instead of me needing to support him with my hand. My lower arm can go out forward and fold back to go under my head under the pillow, or the baby can put his head on my forearm if needed (it usually isn't); and the other arm is still free to adjust the baby or the boob or both.