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Thread: What you need to know about the NICU

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2

    Default What you need to know about the NICU

    Hey everyone, I'm finally on the other side of the NICU now, we are home, happy and thriving as an EBF baby! however, I wanted to make a post about some things I've learned about NICU and even step down nursery, that almost ended pumping/breast feeding for me.

    When my daughter was first born by day 3 i had some milk, and I would use the Snappies they gave me along with the hospital grade pump and i'd fill them up and take them to her. After i was discharged I made 2 milk trips a day to the hospital I could not believe how much milk she was going through, I was getting exhausted and discouraged and then.. that's when I saw it.. a nurse, dumped over 2 oz of my milk down the drain. why oh why!? I almost cried.
    what they didn't tell me....

    when they put the nipple on the bottle and touch it to babys mouth, the baby has just 1 hr to consume it all, and the rest gets tossed. I can't help but think UGH what a waste! but, for bacterial purposes etc I guess I understand. So having said that less milk in more bottles will last you WAY WAY longer. also..

    ban standard flow nipples. I had to fight and fight for them to STOP using standard flow, I understand that it's quicker and you have more babies to feed, but I was the one doing 75% of the feeds and I still had problems getting SLOW FLOW nipples. Once I finally got my way and she never saw another standard nipple, she latched right on to me and we haven't looked back since.

    What's stuff you have learned at NICU that you think other moms should know?
    PROUD SUCCESS STORY : EBF(P) NICU MOM AND BEYOND...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Hospital Woes

    Hi mama, I never had a NICU baby, just wanted to say that's wonderful that you advocated for yourself and your baby! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hospital Woes

    Bumping.

    I think it's a great idea to have a resource thread for moms who are dealing with NICUs. Thanks for sharing!
    Karen
    Forums Admin

    Find an LLL Leader or Meeting | Get one-on-one help from a Leader online | Become a Member of LLLI

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Re: Hospital Woes

    Oh my! I would have keeled over right then and there if I had seen them dump my milk. It's so sad too - because new Mom's wouldn't have known any differently. Wouldn't have known to challenge it. May have actually taken that idea home that they have to dump their milk just because it was 'out'.

    The truth is they could have just labeled the bottle and put it back in the fridge. Or better, they could have put 1oz at a time in the bottle rather than wasting it. Need more? Add more. Never waste.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Re: Hospital Woes

    Thank you for starting this thread! I'm hoping to avoid NICU stay but with pre-term labor and twins I'm not sure if I'll be that fortunate. I would freak if I saw my milk thrown out.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hospital Woes

    I declined bottles when mine was in the NICU. They tried to pressure me to let them bottle feed, but I insisted no bottles. So they fed him through the NG tube.

    I asked them while I was still in the hospital recovering from my C-section if I needed to bottle my milk (in the Snappies) in the same portions they were feeding him, or if they took what they needed for the feed and saved the rest. They assured me they took what they needed for the feed and saved the rest and they knew how precious BM was and all that. Since the NG tube syringe was a new sterile one every time, they were able to open the snappi, use the sterile syringe, and close it back up and they were okay with that. At least, that is what they told me. I came home with enough milk it was probably true.

    So there is a way to keep them from dumping your milk! Just don't let them bottle feed, despite the pressure they put on you.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What you need to know about the NICU

    Please keep adding to this thread!
    Karen
    Forums Admin

    Find an LLL Leader or Meeting | Get one-on-one help from a Leader online | Become a Member of LLLI

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: What you need to know about the NICU

    Don't let them bottle feed until the very last minute... I was required to have my son orally eat all his food the last 24 to 48 hours so I had to give in at nights then or stay the night (not an option at the time because I don't think I could have kept up with their amount requirements if I also stayed the night... and it was more important to get home)... but up to that point they fed him via ganache (sp?) tube (down his nose into tummy); that was because I INSISTED on no bottles or pacifiers. Although he didn't get near "enough" to meet their requirements of every 3 hours; he nursed like a champ every time I nursed him. After the 3 bottle feedings (slow flow too), he was acting odd at the breast; but I got home that day and all has been well past the first couple of feedings where he was latching odd because of the stupid bottles. So if you are going to make a fuss about anything, make sure you tell the nurses who bring your baby out of labor and delivery NO BOTTLES OR PACIFIERS, USE A FEEDING TUBE!!!! Also, then they just add your milk you pump to his formula in the tube... so the more you pump the more of your milk he gets, and better for him! Great all around!

    I have to complain about the 2 ounces every 3 hours... ugh. Near impossible breastfeeding to keep them awake for that. Do what you have to do to get home; my son was gaining just short of an ounce a day on their high schedule; lo and behold I got home and even though he slept 5 hours once in a blue moon he gained 2 OUNCES A DAY... Momma knows best!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Re: What you need to know about the NICU

    I did consent to bottles because they'd only give 10 ccs by gavage and I wasn't there overnights and they said they needed to suck. I don't know if I regret it or not.

    I have twins I was pumping for and it was very hard to keep up with what they were fed. I bought banked human milk to help me before my milk came in.

    I stuck with the no pacifiers and they were fine with that. do lots of skin to skin (kangaroo care).

    This isn't really breast feeding, but after I was discharged I was there 14 hrs/day and we stayed until night shift nurses came on so we could talk to them and meet them and then I said I'd call during the night , usually at 2 a.m. because that was a good time for them and I was pumping then. I would call and see what my babies weighed and how much they took from their bottle. I logged everything I pumped and everything I drank and always asked how much milk I had in their fridge before leaving for a night. I did nurse before every day time feeding but truly my babies were too sleepy and it took a lot of energy from them. If you have vigorous awake nursers then go for it. You can also do pre-post nursing weights there but you'll probably need a nurse to help you if your baby is hooked up to monitors so the nurse can unhook them and hold cords up for you.

    My babies got IVs at birth and then day 4 a feeding tube to get them to poop and get bilirubin levels down and then we started bottles after I had considered it long and hard.

    Ask to see a LC every time you want to. If you have twins and want to tandem nurse then get the LC in there to help you position them. It'll probably take a few extra hands!
    Last edited by @llli*krystine; August 23rd, 2013 at 03:02 PM. Reason: typo
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: What you need to know about the NICU

    My NICU experience was actually really good. The nurses never threw out breastmilk. They would take exactly what was needed from the fridge supply and put it into a bottle for my baby girl. I had another baby at home so nursing at the NICU didn't really work out for us and honestly, my baby would get so tired she wouldn't even eat enough so we gave her the bottles to make sure she was eating. She actually had preemie nipples in the NICU and really hated giving them up. She's almost 5 months and she JUST graduated to a level 1 nipple. The one thing is that she doesn't really breast feed, but she's happy and healthy and drinks all the milk I pump for her - so I'm happy with that.

    I would say, see an LC in the NICU (in the NICU not just in the hospital) because they can help latch/position the little babies. Also, get to know your nurses. We knew EVERY SINGLE nurse that took care of my baby and they helped advocate for her with the doctors. Also, if you want something - like we knew she was ready to try the open-air crib - ASK. It is your baby, you have to take care of the baby - not leave it up to the nurses or doctors to make things happen.

    Also, if you can, try and be there for rounds. At my hospital you can wait around and see the doctors that way and then talk to the team. It was actually very helpful. Also, our hospital had a survey and we filled that out afterwards. And honestly, buy the nurses some donuts or cookies or something. They REALLY appreciate it.

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