Re: Help with Ameda pump and increasing supply
Tricky to describe, but my first her main issue was that she just didn't open wide enough. At first we were having my husband try and help pull her chin down just before she latched and it helped a lot. The best suggestion I was given is that while you're getting them on, presuming that you're doing a cross cradle and have your hand holding the breast, you usually have you thumb on the outside of the breast and the rest of your fingers on the inside of the breast, you can use your pointer finger to help pull the chin down a bit just as they go to latch. You want him open WIDE before latching and the hard part is you don't want them getting really frustrated by pulling them on and off as that has the potential to cause problems too. Sometimes you can pull down gently on their chin to 'correct' the latch if they didnt' latch properly at first - again it might be easier to get someone else to help.
If he changes his latch and bites down, maybe see if you can coax him to open more again while latch, if not you probably do need to take him off as you're right, that is going to cause more damage!
Tongue-tie, can your little one get their tip of the tongue to the lips? That seems to be the defintion that I've been told. See if you can get the little tongue to stick out and also look in the mouth to see what it looks like.
Soy formula is not nutritionally complete, so be careful if you choose to try it... many aren't good at giving you the information about the additional supplements they would need if they were on soy formula. As I mentioned above, alimentum is a good choice in that it has no whole proteins, they are all broken down, so there aren't proteins to react to and it is easy to digest.
Lactose free usually isn't worth it, from what practioners that I trust have told me it is more of a gimmick, there is lactose in breastmilk, the chances of having a lactose intolerance is almost zero.... (the milk protein allergy, as you seem to know, is that it is the dairy milk protein in the breastmilk because mom is consuming dairy...)
If you're still having trouble with your pump, I would say renting a hospital grade would most definitely make a difference! If you're not sure if your one is working properly, I'd say that is a problem! I have a Medela, not an Ameda so I'm not familiar with the rings you are talking about, but you shouldnt' need to be continually replacing, doesn't sound right! Can you rent one even for a week to compare? Just sooner is better than later for establishing a supply!!
Lauren - Mama to our little poppet (21-01-07) and new cutie pie (23-08-11)!