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Thread: Help with preterm infant and milk fortifier

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Help with preterm infant and milk fortifier

    We recently had our second child. She was born at ~34 weeks, and spent 2 weeks in an NICU/Special Care Unit, and is now 37 weeks old and at home. We were lucky that she never experienced cardiac or respiratory issues. While in the hospital we had to fight nearly tooth and nail for what we wanted, but she was allowed to suckle on her first day of life (after we had smuggled her some colostrum when the nurses weren't looking), and latched like a champ.

    We haven't had any problems with her taking well more than her minimum advised feeding quantities. Now that we're at home (and she is allowed to be with me 24/7) she rarely goes 3 hours without demanding nursing, and if she does, we change her diaper and then she's rarin' to go.

    Her birth weight was on the low side (1800g), dipped for 4 to 5 days, and then started climbing. Since she's been home she's accelerated her growth rate.

    Our current issue is with the advice of the neonatalogist to be feeding her expressed milk fortified with Similac Human Milk Fortifier. Once we went home, we discontinued use of the product (she eats plenty, and is growing well, and she seems to have significant gastric discomfort from the HMF).

    I'm now starting to feel some guilt pangs as the doctor advised that the HMF was not just for calories, but also for extra calcium and phosphorus. In our own amateur literature search it looks like HMF for calcium and phosphorus boosting is primarly used in VLBW babies (below 1500g), and not advised beyond 2000g (which she now is).

    Are we being reasonable or reactionary parents in our discontinuation of the HMF? Would it be reasonable to ask the docs to test her calcium and phosphorus levels, and supplement them directly rather than with all of the other stuff that is in the HMF?

    I don't want to be a neglectful parent, but she just seems so much more comfortable and happy without the HMF, and is growing at a good rate.



    PS I don't worry too much about the fact that she's small for age. My husband and I are both petite people, and our very healthy and intelligent (I don't think I'm being too biased in saying that) 4.5yo son breasfed for over 2.5 years, and has spent his entire life hovering just below the 3rd percentile curve.
    Last edited by Alice Fraser; January 15th, 2007 at 02:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Help with preterm infant and milk fortifier

    Congrats on your newest arrival!

    It sounds like you've really done your research. I don't think your request sounds unreasonable at all! Your baby is gaining and growing without it, and you say your baby seems uncomfortable on it. My best suggestion is to arm yourself with the research you have done and bring your request to your doctor. Here is some info about talking with your doctor:

    Let us know how it goes!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Help with preterm infant and milk fortifier

    Congrats on your baby and sounds like she's doing well

    I also discontinuted with the fortifier once we got home and she was a 25 wker. She was growing well, slowly though but growing. She was also very healthy and i just decided that to trust my body to make what she needed. My ped never really flinched when i said i wasn't giving it anymore. She continued to grow just fine without it and she's 2 now and has been healthy as can be these past two years.

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