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Thread: NICU Confusion

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    Our NICU only requires 6 feeding with bottle or breast and only every 4 hours. It is a very important thing to accomplish. A baby that small could lose weight quickly, become very dehydrated and spiral downward quickly. They are not releasing until then so they can be sure your child can eat. Even slightly premature babies can have big problems sucking since the reflex is not fully developed.

    You said he is taking 46-48 mls. That is not too much for his weight (just for comparison, I had a baby last night who weighed 4#7oz and was eating 75mls each feed with a bottle!!) He may not have the mucle strength in his jaws to nurse or suck for long periods of time....this too is VERY common. We have speech therapists that will help the babies with their strength.

    I just wanted to put my 2 cents in....nurses and doctors in the NICU are not horrid people who hold your children hostage and try to kill all instinct or urge to breastfeed. I just want people to see that we save lives....we help babies who would die....we help others who would go home and become malnourished......I feel like this board really attacks the NICU. I know what I do for a living is rewarding and helps many babies go home to their parents that otherwise might not have.

    I have breastfed my daughter for 1 year.....I am very pro-breastfeeding and I do all I can in the NICU to help mothers who want to breastfeed. I help them pump, I help them with decreased supply, I encourage the feeding tech (makes all bottles/feeds for the day) to maximize breastmilk usage, I work for breastfeeding mothers as hard as I can. BUT I also work for the NICU......my hands are tied with many things.....I am done, I really don't know where I am going with this.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by rik8144 View Post
    I just wanted to put my 2 cents in....nurses and doctors in the NICU are not horrid people who hold your children hostage and try to kill all instinct or urge to breastfeed. I just want people to see that we save lives....we help babies who would die....we help others who would go home and become malnourished......I feel like this board really attacks the NICU. I know what I do for a living is rewarding and helps many babies go home to their parents that otherwise might not have.
    Rikki, I just want to express my gratitude for you and the other NICU nurses out there. We delivered our DS 5 weeks early by emergency c-section, and we were so touched by how caring and supportive our NICU nurses were. We had great bfing support. It was scary for us though, and I'm sure that some of our questions/fears/concerns must have seemed ridiculous to the nurses (some were more patient than others).

    to you! Thank you for the important, lifesaving work you do!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    Katie,
    Thank you. I am definately not trying to get attention or illicit praise with my post. It is just hard to hear over and over on this board that the horrible NICU was ruining the baby and mother bond. There are reasons why things are the way they are in the NICU, until you work there or get the opportunity to spend a great deal of time with them you will never understand.
    I am glad your little one did so well! Also, you were married on my Birthday (obviously, different years)!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    I was not allowed to nurse my twins when they were in NICU. They told me it would throw off their ins and outs measurements. They would allow me to try non-nutritive sucking... ie- I had to pump and completely empty out my breasts right before putting them to breast. That was too troublesome, especially to try to visit with 2 babies. Long of the short, we never learned to breastfeed... They watched me have one of the twins latch on... ONCE. Then they discharged us with "breastfeeding" under the nutrition section. It was impossible for me to coordinate myself to get out of the house with the twins, so I couldn't go get help or take a class and I have been pumping for them for the past 5 months. The first 2 months, I would try to put them to breast for their feedings, but when I pumped afterwards, I found that they had not eaten much and were still hungry, so I gave up on putting them to breast.

    My image of breastfeeding is completely different from everyone elses'. The typical image is one baby each in his bouncy chair with me feeding them EBM through a bottle while I am hooked up to a breastpump with a handsfree bra. Since it took almost 45 min to feed each twin in the first few months and they ate every 2-3 hours, that was the only efficient way to do it.

    Make sure they have you successfully breastfeeding before leaving the NICU, if that is what you want to do. Once you get discharged and are at home, you will be trapped there and it will be impossible to go anywhere with the baby to see a lactation consultant. I kick myself everyday for believing the NICU nurses when they told me, "don't worry, once you get home, they will nurse like crazy." I still can't get out of the house by myself with both babies, and now that I am back to work, I have given up any hope of being able to nurse. At least they get EBM. That's better than nothing.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    The attacks are justified and are not personal i think. The folks who are angry about their NICU experiences should ne listened to and not dismissed as is currently the norm. We are not angry at the nurses: we know that many of them like you are very loving and caring! Thank you!
    But the system is broken for providing the overall support of mothers and parents with premies ready to breastfeed and attach! Things need to change and SOON!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    Let me preface this post by saying that, as a whole, my husband and I are happy with the vast majority of doctors and nurses we've met while our son is in the local NICU, and the NICU is, as a policy, very pro-breastfeeding. Our problem stems from one or two recalcitrant nurses in particular, and we are frustrated in our efforts to do the best we can for our son by what appears (at best) to be ignorance, or (at worst) sheer meanness.

    Tonight, after finally receiving the go-ahead from our son's doctors to begin breastfeeding, I was dismayed to find that one of our least favorite nurses would be my baby's caretaker for the evening. This woman had just given me grief the night before because I'm having milk production issues due to several factors (that's a separate post in itself), and I felt that she fails to respect my choice of pumping schedule. She refuses to dim the lights by my son's isolette, and while he and I were making our first attempt to bond through breastfeeding, she kept disrupting us by roughly tugging at his jaw and making him cry. She even administered medicine to him twice (one oral, one particularly painful one through his IV) while he and I tried to get accustomed to this new experience, and he ended the feeding session overstimulated, stressed out, crying, and hiccuping. She couldn't be bothered to help untangle my son's monitor wires when they became snarled as I changed his massively poopy diaper (he had explosive diarrhea from the formula they insist on feeding him). Finally, as the last insult, she sneered a sarcastic, "Good job, mom," as I closed his isolette and left for the evening.

    I am so angry and hurt that my son and I could not have a peaceful first breastfeeding experience. I want to sleep on this so that, tomorrow, when I discuss my concerns with the department administrator, I can be effective in communicating and finding a solution. It seems so common sense to me that, barring emergencies, mother-baby pairs just shouldn't be disrupted during breastfeeding, particularly the first attempts. How can this simple concept escape someone who, of her own admission, breastfed her own children?

    I am going to take a long bath before trying to sleep. I hope other forum members will have some constructive input on this situation. Thank you.

    Rebecca

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    i'm sorry about that nurse. please speak to the director/manager of the NICU about your concerns. hopefully they will cooperate with and support you and baby's bf-ing time together. good luck.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,631

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    I guess I don't understand why a baby's momma wouldn't be allowed to stay with him. Babies thrive on skin to skin contact, and bm. So I don't understand how it would be bad for a momma to do these things. Perhaps someone could explain the reason to me?

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,864

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    First, let me say that I am not a nurse. What I'm saying here is strictly based on my own experience. I agree that babies and mamas (and daddies or other parents, if possible) do best together. When I was pregnant with my now-six-week-old son, I was adamant with my doctor and with the pediatrician and hospital staff that I wanted my son only breast-fed from birth. My doctor was very supportive, and although I ended up having a c-section, he not only insisted that I be allowed to attempt to nurse (which of course ended up being mainly snuggling with son on my chest, which was exactly what we expected) immediately--as I was being sewn up--but also had as his assistant a female OB who is a strong supporter of breastfeeding. In fact, when they put Thomas on my chest and my OB had things under control, she left the surgical area and came to us and helped get him positioned etc.

    We did not know that there were some medical issues that had to be resolved, so my son was in our equivalent of NICU for a little over a week. I think part of the reason for not letting mothers stay is the routine that the nurses have to be able to maintain, not that the routine is more important than the babies, but that they can't adequately care for the babies without the routine. I was not able to breastfeed, or even to touch him, for several days (thank goodness for my pump and a lactation consultant who got me on the right track). We could visit, and when we began to be able to work on nursing, we had to stick to their schedule, which was every-four-hour feedings. This is obviously not ideal to establish nursing, but we were able to pump and take the milk to the unit, where they gave it to him once he was able to have breast milk. I guess it partly is a matter of logistics; if parents are constantly there, they are frankly in the physical way of the nurses. We were fortunate that we were able to use a nursing room near the unit as long as no one else needed it (and since ours was the only baby needing specialized care at that point, we pretty much had it anytime).

    The other thing is that while breast milk is definitely best for babies, sometimes it is not the most efficient or effective means of getting nutrition--or some other needed thing--into babies who need something immediately. My son had an IV and much to my dismay at first, had to have formula temporarily. I was very upset about this, but he needed it, and he is fine now. Breast milk can make some issues resolve more slowly.

    As I said at the beginning of this post, I am not a nurse; this is just my experience and my understanding. Someone who knows more about this than I do, please chime in.

    Sorry this got so long and rambling!

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: NICU Confusion

    Sounds like he's going in the right direction! Sometimes it just takes a little bit before they kick into gear

    "I guess I don't understand why a baby's momma wouldn't be allowed to stay with him. Babies thrive on skin to skin contact, and bm. So I don't understand how it would be bad for a momma to do these things. Perhaps someone could explain the reason to me?" ~mommapotter~

    Some NICU's and hospitals are more conservative than others. My experience was that they wanted the babies to save as many calories as possible, so they wanted them to "rest" as much as possible. The first hospital my LO was at I could Kangaroo with her for as long as I wanted, but for a MINIMUM of an hour, twice a day. When she started taking a bottle, (once and then twice a day) they wanted her to "practice" eating for 20 minutes before having to give the rest in the NG tube, I could give her a quick bath every other day, touch her in her isolette, and pretty much be there whenever I wanted aside from shift-changes. When she was transferred to a closer (more conservative) hospital, they told me I could hold her only twice a day for 30 minutes!!! They were not cooperative with the whole Kangaroo Care philosophy, and they initially wanted to disregard some of the feeding issues she had in order to do things "their way"! Luckily I didn't have to put up with that for too long, but it was very frustrating.
    Last edited by morningirl; May 24th, 2007 at 10:09 AM.

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