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Thread: New momma with question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    13

    Default New momma with question

    Hello! I'm a first time mom with a premature baby born at 34 weeks via c-section because of my preeclampsia. I've been bombarded with breastfeeding advice and I'm crying out of frustration (not literally) because of my situation...please bear with the novel I'm posting.

    I was sent to ICU after my c-section due to my blood pressure and pulmonary edema and was not allowed to see, much less feed my baby, soon after she was born. Aubrey was sent to NICU since she was only 34 weeks, and had to be fed Similac NEO SURE as per doctor's orders. I was allowed to do nippling with her and her whole stay she did really well and took to my breast while I used Medela's nipple shield. I fed her mostly the similac formula and what little breast milk I was able to produce. I was only able to pump on average 10 CCs, so she ate mostly formula. Now that we're home she screams bloody murder when I try to feed her using the shield and I've tried feeding her bare nipple and all. She doesn't latch on, shakes her head side to side and cries sooooo hard while trying to latch on. She searches for my breast and turns her head when she's hungry, but my baby just doesn't seem interested in it once I offer it. When we're lucky and she sucks, she automatically falls asleep almost instantaneously. Her NICU nurse advised me to tickle her neck, smooth her skin under her chin, undress her and even use wipes to wake her up but she's getting used to all these tricks. I know she's a premie and it's a lot of work for her to eat, but I feel like we're regressing. I did cry out of frustration because not only will she not eat from the breast, but I feel like my milk never advanced past 20 CCs on a good pumping. I use Medela's Pump in style Advanced pump...I pump when she eats, but not as often lately because she's been eating about every hour...so I stick to pumping every 3 hours. I don't pump much and I'm so sad about the quantity. I notice that if I don't pump all day, I'll pump 40 CCs from both breasts collectively, but after that pumping I go back to only 10-15 CCs. I'm staying hydrated and trying to eat well, but nothing. I've talked to my LC at the hospital (I don't qualify for WIC), and they say we're doing "ok." I was told to wait till she hits her due date (March 22) to do a consult and breastfeed in front of an LC because she'll be more matured...I just need advice, words of wisdom, or help for the mean time...I'm flabbergasted and exhausted because I don't know what to do or think anymore...

    Thank you for "listening" to my situation!
    Last edited by @llli*mandykane; February 27th, 2013 at 08:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: New momma with question

    This link covers techniques for getting a baby to nurse: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/ The skin-to-skin and instant reward techniques are supposed to be especially helpful.

    It sounds like you are currently exclusively pumping, and I know that that has to be extremely challenging when caring for a premature baby! I am sure you're not eager to incur a new expense, but you might want to look into renting a hospital-grade pump, and getting correctly-sized shields. Hospital-grade pumps can get you more milk in less time, and I know time is at a premium right now! Which is why you're unlikely to like my next suggestion, which is to pump more frequently. Newborn babies typically eat at least 10-12 times a day, so when a mom is exclusively pumping in order to bring in a good milk supply, she should aim to pump about that frequently. That means you want to be pumping about every 2 hours (during the day, at least), or even more frequently if possible.

    Whatever you do, do not get into the habit of not pumping "all day"! A lot of moms think that if they let milk "build up" in their breasts, they will get more milk. And they might- once or twice. But in the long run, not pumping frequently is an invitation to low supply. Your body detects the fact that milk is just sitting in the breast for a long period of time, "reads" that as an indication that the milk it is making is not needed, and therefore reduces your supply.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: New momma with question

    Thank you for your reply! I thought about it since that's been the answer I've seen in a lot of other forums I've peeked into. I just wish I would've known before I bought my Medela. Everything happened so fast an I was sent home and I needed a pump ASAP. The military loaned me an ameda hospital grade and wow... Worse quality than the Medela. Anyways, I will keep on pumping at a more frequent interval. Frustrating but anything for my bubby. Thank you again !!

  4. #4

    Default Re: New momma with question

    I was in a similar situation as far as getting baby to latch. He did well in the NICU and with the nipple shield, but would fall asleep so quickly. Keep trying and as she gets closer to her due date, things will get easier. I'm now able to get him to latch with no nipple shield and take full feedings, but it required persistence and practice. Don't give up, it's worth it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: New momma with question

    Thank you still trying

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,894

    Default 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

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