When my daughter was born she was diagnosed with a hole in her heart. This made her really sleepy. We tried to breastfeed but it was really difficult to get enough milk into her.
I tried a few different lactation consultants before I found someone who really helped (I definitely recommend trying a few if you find that the first one doesn't help much). Finally I was encouraged to line feed. This involved have some expressed breast milk in a bottle over my shoulder with a small tube going down towards my breast. When my baby latched on I would then make sure the little tube was going into the corner of her mouth so that she would be getting a bit more milk without having to suck so hard.
It was still very difficult, and there were a lot of tears, both from me and from my baby but my husband was a wonderful support and somehow we got through it together.
After her third operation she finally had enough energy to really feed properly without the supplementation of a line and we are finally able to breastfeed normally now.
So I'd say to anyone who is in this situation - you don't have to go for bottle feeding if you don't want to. There are ways of making sure your baby gets enough milk. Find yourself a good lactation consultant and you can do it!
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