Re: Preemie Home and Thriving - Transition to EBF?
When you have a small, young baby who has had a rough start, it's really natural that you're going to have some worries about EBF, since as you said, it can mean not being able to measure how much your baby is eating. And it's also really normal to enjoy the relatively predictable routine that bottles can foster.
I think it's awesome that you want to transition to nursing your baby rather than bottlefeeding him. You're just going to have to adjust your expectations a bit when it comes to what a normal interval between feedings is, and you're going to have to build your self-confidence as you get away from precisely measured feedings.
It is entirely normal for newborn babies- and even many older babies- to nurse every 90 minutes or so. Breastmilk digests fast and infant tummies are tiny. In order to create and maintain a good milk supply, most term newborns nurse at least 10-12 times a day. Those feedings are not always evenly spaced. Many babies will take some long naps, resulting in 3-4 hour breaks in between feedings, and will also do some cluster feeding, nursing very frequently (maybe every 15-30 minutes) during other parts of the day. So let go of the idea of feeding every 3-4 hours, and let go of the predictable routine, and you'll be a long way towards the eBF lifestyle.
When it comes to measured feedings and anxiety over whether or not your child is getting enough, there are a couple of options for tracking intake that don't involve bottles. The simplest- and the only one most moms of healthy term newborns use- is to track diaper output. As long as the baby is producing adequate wet and poopy diapers, you can be pretty sure that he's getting enough to eat. Can't come out if it didn't go in, right? The second, more technological solution is to rent a professional scale and do pre- and post-feeding weight measurements. Subtract the before from the after and you know exactly how much your baby ate while nursing. If the baby eats around 2-3 oz on average, and nurses 10-12 times a day, you know he's getting enough and there's no need to supplement.
Since your baby is now term, I think I'd talk to your child's doctor and ask whether or not his lungs should still be considered immature. You might be able to take him to the La Leche League meeting after all!
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"