Sometimes I wonder why the health service bothers with diagnosing mild complaints when, frankly, the internet is so much better at it. A case in point, I was chatting to the health visitor about the shooting pain I get in my breasts sometimes - is this normal, I wondered. She breezily replied that I wasn't the first person to mention it. Perhaps I would have been satisfied with that if I didn't have recourse to a diagnosis from Dr Google, so I ran a quick search...
[Now, I should mention that the pupster ate one of my nipple shields recently so the day before I'd Googled to see if I could order some more online - Peckham Mothercare not being somewhere I ever want to return to - and discovered that shields can impair milk flow, resulting in a baby that is slow to gain weight. Why did no one tell me this? Sprout has been under additional supervision and getting extra feeds of formula because he, you guessed it, has been slow to gain weight. I told the midwife and the health visitor I was using nipple shields (because of the copious bleeding, the skin loss, the pain and the mastitis), but no one put two and two together until Dr Google dropped the hint.]
...Anyway, Dr Google confirmed my suspicion that pains in the breast were not something to be ignored. Apparently, it is a sign that the breast isn't being fully drained. Add that to the impaired milk flow information and I suspect that the shields are once more to blame. So, Sprout is now feeding bareback again and I am hopeful that the early problems will not return. I shall have words with the health visitor!
Finally, Sprout is now gaining weight (9lbs4oz at last measure) and the midwife discharged us on Friday. We have been studying him, so far he has my ears, hands, feet and possibly chin. Everything else, except eye colour which is a mystery, is pure TA, including - judging by the weight-gain difficulties - metabolism.