I talked to my Lactaction Consultant and it sounds like we may have a bit of hope!
First off, I want brag about how awesome and knowledgable she is! Wow! She pretty much diagnosed her tongue tie over the phone with me. She told me about hops tea to help with letdowns and shatavari to help increase supply. She has been great. She has spent much time on the phone with me and has been there for me emotionally also. I’m a very grateful to her for that! So, if you happen to be in North East Florida and need help breastfeeding, please contact her! Kristen Gartner at Coastal Lactation Consultants.
So here’s a little backstory. After Ruby had her tongue clipped she nursed a lot better but still wasn’t where she should be. We thought that using a nipple shield was part of the problem so I met with Kristen to see what we could do. Ruby was not interested in nursing without it. So we decided to try clipping the nipple shield down little by little until she was fully on the breast. I suggested it because I heard it had worked for a friend. Well, what I didn’t know is that it can be very painful for the baby to nurse on a clipped nipple shield because the edges are sharp. After only 36 hours Ruby developed a blister in the center of her tongue. So we went back to a full nipple shield.
After seeing Beckman for the first time, Ruby immediately began nursing better. See gained 4 ounces in 5 days. Which is HUGE for her. We were excited! Then she all of sudden stopped making progress. She would try to nurse but wouldn’t get much milk. Then she started coming off the breast after a just a few minutes. Then she lost weight. I noticed her tongue was red and raw again. Then I discovered that one of the nipple shields had a crack in the tip of it. Well, in the mean time I had to give her a bottle because we can’t afford for her to continue to loose weight. I gave the bottle because Beckman said that if I lay her on her side that it wouldn’t cause nipple confusion. Otherwise I would have tried to feed her with a syringe. I got a new nipple shield and she went back to the breast. Everything was fine. She started nursing super well and gained weight.
Then last Saturday, for no apparant reason she woke up and just flat out refused the breast. I have no idea why. She hadn’t even had a bottle in over 36 hours. So this still doesn’t make sense to me. I thought it might be teething so I got some good teething medicine that worked well with Loretta. Still no luck.
And that’s how we ended up where we are now. The way she will nurses when she does decide to is similar to the way she was acting when the nipple shield was cut and cracked. I’ve examined the nipple shield coutless times and there is nothing wrong with the one I’m using. So I’m guessing that maybe she is just associating the nipple shield with causing her pain.
Kristen told me something encouraging yesterday. She said that she knows someone in Texas that has a large supply of German nipple shields. These shields are cherry shaped instead of cone shaped. The bottle I give Ruby (BreastFlow by The First Years) is shaped the same way. She said that the lady only sells them to other lactation consultants. She is ordering them for me. We plan to get together early next week after they arrive to see if it may work.