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.