Premature and losing weight?
I went into early labor last monday morning and had my baby at 35 weeks on Wednesday. She was 5 lbs 1 ounce and began to nurse when I first got her. I have been in the hospital since last Monday morning, and I am ready to go home. The last two days, my baby has lost an ounce or two each day. The doctors now are going to supplement my breastfeeding with a premature formula to make sure that she is getting enough calories and putting on some weight, and they say that maybe she can go home tomorrow. I keep hearing each day that she can go home the next day, but she seems to be making no progress. What are my options? Is it a good idea for me to leave the hospital? I HATE being here, but I really do not want to leave my baby, but then again, I am not doing much well by being here obviously. Should I switch to a just formula feeding now since they are going to supplement my breastfeeding? What is best for a baby here?
Re: Premature and losing weight?
My son was born at 30 weeks. He was fed BM at first until I was diagnosed with hepatitis E (they had previously not known what I had to make me have such high fevers) and then they switched him to formula. I just got the go ahead again to not only give him EBM but also feed directly from the breast. I can only be at the hospital 1-2x a day so the rest of the day he is bottle fed EBM. In the milk they add these little similac powder packets that are to suplement human milk. You might ask your doctor about them. They add calories while still allowing you to breast feed.
Re: Premature and losing weight?
Originally Posted by chelsea
Congratulations on the birth of your baby! It is sooo wonderful that she breastfed after birth and was able to get colostrum for her first feedings!
It is NORMAL for newborns to lose up to 7-10% of birthweight in the first days after birth when the early milk -- lower volume colostrum -- is present. Nature designed colostrum to be lower volume and "thicker" probably for many reasons: 1. It's extremely high in antibodies and other immunologic factors and the thickness/denseness allows it to paint the newborn gut/intestinal tract with all these wonderful disease-protecting factors, which will be helping protect your baby for weeks/months to come; 2. Newborns stomachs are extremely small and gradually go from about the size of a marble to the size of a golf ball or small egg during the first week -- they can't handle large volumes without refluxing/regurgitating; 3. Newborns need a bit of time to coordinate suck and swallowing with breathing. Lots of late preterm infants -- those born between 34 to about 37 weeks gestation have trouble sustaining suck-swallow-breathe long enough to transfer enough milk from the breast for their first weeks, but a bit of maturity will help that.
Calories in regular formulas are based on calories in human milk. At 35 weeks and 5-1 most late preterms would do fine on mother's milk vs. a higher calorie preterm formula once the volume of milk "comes in," although you probably will need to pump your breasts too for a couple/few weeks. After the initial weight loss and once the volume of milk has come in, a newborn getting adequate mother's milk should wet (soak) 6 or more diapers, pass 4 or more stool -- including a couple of large "blowout" stools, and gain at LEAST 2/3oz (20 gm) per day -- regaining birthweight by at LEAST 2 weeks and then steadily surpassing it.
Are you pumping your breasts with a hospital-grade, rental-type, electric pump? Are you renting such a pump to have at home to help milk production until your baby is mature enough to do the job of guiding milk production through breastfeeding/removing milk on her own without help? (If not, I'd STRONGLY recommend renting such a pump!)
Your milk is SO superior to any formula there is NO comparison. NO formula has antibodies and other disease-fighting factors as yours. NO formula is as digestible for your baby's immature body systems or used as well by baby's body as yours.
Ask to have your baby placed skin-to-skin on your chest. (Your body helps your baby stabilize her body systems, including temperature, respirations, etc. better than any warmer! For more info, google "kangaroo mother care"!) Breastfeed as she's willing and able, and rent a good breast pump to do the milk production job until she's able. If you need more info on a pumping routine, let us know.
Hang in... NOTHING compares to your body or your milk for your baby!