When our son was born, he weighed 6 pounds 5 oz., and we had issues with him latching from the start. Part of the problem was me having flat nipples, so the nurse gave us a shield and showed me how to use it, and he seemed to do much better. He seemed to be a very content and alert baby. During our hospital stay he lost almost 10 percent of his birth weight and we were discharged to see our pediatrician for follow up.
We continued to use the shield because he really struggled to latch without it and were told to put it back on if he got really frustrated trying to latch. I started to notice that the shield would be full of milk when he finished. I also noticed that he wanted to eat for very long periods of time and didn’t seem to ever be settled during or after feeds.
My friends in Facebook mommy groups said this was pretty typical behavior, and that he was just cluster feeding, so I continued to let him eat as often as he wanted, for as long as he wanted. I also never felt like my milk really came in, at least not the way my friends had described it. He didn’t get back up to his original weight by his 1 week visit, but the doctor didn’t seem overly concerned at that point because he was having wet and dirty diapers.
At his 1 month appointment he only weighed 6 pounds 5.5 ounces. He had only gained ½ of an ounce and his pediatrician suggested I talk to the lactation consultant. I went the next day to a group class, but the class was so large that I felt very overwhelmed and left early. I decided to go to the class offered at the hospital where he was born, where two of the nurses we had met would be teaching the class. The first thing they had me do was weigh him, feed him, and then weigh him again. When we weighed him after his hour-long feeding, the lactation consultant told me he had only eaten 20ml!