Oh shoot, Heather! One more thing to think about, right?! Aidan had a "slow to gain" week from 1 week old to 2 weeks old... he then made up for it and gained almost a full pound the following week though. Hang in there!
I always only nurse one side for a 2 hour period. I found it REALLY helped with sore nipples the first time around. Now I still do it, since frankly if I would start offering the other side, the kid would get way too much milk (he already gets a ton). He frequently wants to nurse for comfort, and gets bombarded with milk, and then has to cough and burp and spit up. But I'm happy I always have tons of milk, and I know ultimately he is too!
Everything I've heard about nipple shields makes me think you should avoid them if you can. Once started, it seems the baby doesn't know how to relatch without them so easily, and mama gets addicted and doesn't ever want to get rid of them. And apparently the LO doesn't get milk nearly at the same rate.
I used a nipple shield this time for about 6 days, it was long enough to let my bad cracks heal, and then we started nursing without it again. I didn't want to use it for too long and become dependent on it, but it was just long enough to get me through that worst part with the bleeding and scabby nipples.
The midwife was just here and M put on 6.9 oz in the last 2 days. She was hoping for 2 oz! Yay for us! In other exciting news I'm allowed to start going out for short trips every couple days now! No huge grocery shopping trips but at least I can go out. . We have a BBQ at 3pm. :P
Sorry to hear you have a barracuda nurser and your nips are sore. I went/am going thru the same thing. DS nursed like every 45 min for the first 2 weeks. My left nip had a giant crack that bled. I have flat nipples and we had latch issues. I used the nipple shield initially because of the soreness and then to help with the latch and now his latch is better but I have an overactive letdown, so I am still using it. It has saved my nursing relationship. No amount of lanolin helped.
About the cluster feeding, for me it has continued in the early evenings. He eats about every 2 hours during the day and then every hour between the hours of 4 pm and 8pm. It totally sucks, because its hard to cook dinner and it makes my nips raw. Good news is he sleeps 7 hours after that, so my nips have time to heal. I bought motherlove nipple cream and I use it with lanolin and seems to be better than just lanolin alone. Also dipping your nips in a saline mix helped.
Hugs hope you feel better and lil man gives you a break soon.
Oh and I just use the shield on my left side and it has not affected his latch on the right side. I nurse him without the shield when on the go to and his latch is fine on that side too, he just chokes bc too much milk comes out and he makes as mess. I would not hesitate to use it.
Ya, I've noticed he does the cluster feeding before or after a long sleep. Long for him is 4 hours. LOL
So I pumped the heck out of my sore breast today. Oh MAN! Why didn't I do that sooner? Seriously. It feels SO much better now! It's not perfect but so much better. I'm starting to think I was getting a bit of mastitis. I read something about mastitis this morning and it definitely sounded like it was heading that way.