Re: New momma with question
Congrats on your baby! Mommal gave you some great advice, so I thought I would offer a positive story. My daughter was born at 33 weeks, to a similar situation. I was in the hospital and on bed rest for weeks before delivering via emergency c-section. It was 24 hours before I met my daughter and 48 hours before I held her in my arms. She did not latch - even with a nipple shield - before leaving the hospital after a 28 day NICU stay. She had multiple other issues, but eating was number 1. By day 3 she was on entirely breastmilk. That's where our stories differ, I responded very well to the pump and my PIS. But I kept at it. Even while she was in the hospital I was pumping every 2-3 hours. In my eyes it was the least I could do for my baby since I couldn't hold her inside me for the right amount of time. Once home I went full force with trying to nurse and cried most of the day. I tried everything. I went to see the Pedi, who turned out to be a lactation consultant, and her advice was to keep trying, but don't get my heart set on a latch until her due date. That at this point she is still meant to be eating through her umbilical cord. So I did that. I still cried and I pumped every single time I fed her. It was a constant routine of feed, pump, wash bottles, change diaper, feed, pump, etc. On her due date she actually latched on for the very first time ever. But the story wasn't over. It took another couple of weeks before she did it with any regularity and several months until we got it right. But we did. And we went on to nurse for 18 months until she decided she was done.
The point here is this. A preemie has to work so hard for everything at this point. She has to work harder to breathe and to grow and to reach her milestones. Suck/swallow/breathe is incredibly hard. Give her time and patience. Resign yourself to sitting on the couch with the pump in one hand and baby in the other. Keep at it. Get her to the point where she is healthy enough to take a day and toss the bottles and let nature take its course. You can do this. It is not a lost cause. But you will have to work harder at it, just like your daughter is working harder at being alive. But trust me, it is so worth it.
Get a hospital grade pump or use your PIS every hour. Some people respond better to more pumping for less time. I did. Every 2 hours for 10 minutes or until "dry". You can do this. It's what your little preemie needs.
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn