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Thread: Help BF preterm infant

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    59

    Default Help BF preterm infant

    Hi-
    I am having some problems BF my preterm infant (born around 35-36 wks). Are there any resources onlione to help with the specific problems relating to BF a preterm infant? She is too sleepy to wake for many feedings, occasionally still breathes too fast, has a hard time coordinating her suck, swallow, breathe pattern, etc. I haven't been able to find any resources for BF preterm babies.
    Thanks,
    Chantel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Swartz Creek, MI
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    1,776

    Default Re: Help BF preterm infant

    Welcome to the board.... there is a fourm on here for preemies, but I don't think your lo is considered preemie.

    how old is your lo?
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    2,539

    Default Re: Help BF preterm infant

    My DS was 35 weeks as well and he had suck/swallow/breath issues. I had to use a nipple shield to get him latched and that helped a little but I also had to supplement with my expressed milk via bottle (I didn't know better about spoon feeding or SNS systems). A trick our NICU RN's showed me is to turn baby on their side if giving a bottle (like when breastfeeding tummy to tummy), that way they can control the amount they take in to their cheek and swallow what they want (let the rest dribble out of the side of the mouth). I highly recommend getting in touch with a lactation consultant and your local LLL group.

    When baby is nursing is she unwrapped with no hat on? We had to change Mason's diaper, then get him in just a t-shrt and diaper to wake him. Even then it was still difficult (he had jaundice due to the early term). I resorted to using a cool washcloth on his ear and forehead to wake him more. Because he wasn't taking much at a time we had to do more frequent feeds. I remember how frustrating and scarry it was trying to get him to take 10 mls, it does get better just make sure you get the appropriate support.

    This is from the LLL site:
    Breastfeeding a Preterm Infant after NICU Discharge: Reflections on Ryan's Story

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Help BF preterm infant

    My baby is one week old and we thought was 37 wks. but the dr. said she was really 35-36 wks. after her gestational assessment. She has a great latch, and I can get her wide awake before feeding. She just falls asleep after about 1-2 minutes at the breast, and is not rousable at all after this. Then in 2 hours I wake her and we repeat. She is having enough wet/ poopy diapers, but the effort I am putting forth is enormous just to get enough down her. I am waking her every 2 hrs even at night. She also sucks and swallows 4-5 times then breathes really fast like she can't catch her breath. Then she sucks a few times and swallows, and after a few cycles of this, she is out cold. After feedings, her respiratory rate is usually in the 70-'s-80's as well. By the time 2 hrs goes by she is back to breathing in the 50's-60's.
    So, these are the issues we're dealing with right now. I hope it gets easier, because my older kids start school next week, and I don't know how to handle all this on top of starting the back to school routines.
    Thanks for you tips and I like hearing what your experiences have been. Any more advice is welcomes.
    Oh, also I am pumping once every morning about 2-3 oz. to keep my supply up. She latches well, but has a very weak suck. Do you think this is enough pumping? Should I add one in the evening? I don't want to create an oversupply. She mostly swallows the milk after it lets down, which isn't a lot of active sucking, so I am concerned that it won't keep up my supply. She chokes a lot when I try to put my milk in a bottle, so I might try the side lying tip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Swartz Creek, MI
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    1,776

    Default Re: Help BF preterm infant

    if she's eating every 2 hrs your supply should be fine. I undressed my lo to keep him up. tickled his feet or behind his ears... During the first wek he feed for like 15 min (with me waking him 2 or 3 times).... As she gets older the nursing time will decrease because she will become better at sucking.

    But if her wet diapers and poopy diapers are normal, don't be to worried...
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Help BF preterm infant

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/preemie/index.html


    this link might help too.
    Don't be afraid to call your local leader she can help beter over the phone then we can on-line.

    maybe this will help too....
    http://www.cpqcc.org/Documents/Nutri...pendix%20S.pdf igorne the suppliment info if you not giving them.

    sometimes it just takes babies a while to get the hang of eating.
    does baby cry alot or act like shes in pain?
    sometimes they don't nurse well untill they are term.
    As long as she is having wets and poops and growing!
    Sometimes they are sleepy if they had a hard time during delivery
    most newborns need to nurse up to 12 time in 24 hours and that ok!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Help BF preterm infant

    Great links! Thanks!
    She is nursing enough to have plenty of wet/ poopy diapers, so I am not worried about her hydration. I am pumping in the a.m. though, b/c I think she doesn't stimulate the supply as well as my others did, and I am afraid my milk supply will drop, then I'll go back to work in 10 weeks, and it seems like it can't hurt anything.
    I have tried undressing her, but her temp drops too low too fast, even with a blanket over us. I have found that she nurses better in the cross cradle hold though. The regular cradle hold puts her to sleep faster. And football hold is OK, but hard to do on my sofa or with the Boppy pillow.
    I think this will get better as she grows, it just seems hard right now. I'm adjusting though, and trying not to stress about it too much. She is healthy, growing, and I have enough milk right now- all things I have to be very thankful for.
    Thanks for all the tips and encouragement ladies!
    Chantel

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Help BF preterm infant

    As a Mama to two preemies I can say that your Lo suck will increase dramatically in the next few weeks. Hopefully before school starts. It sounds as if you are doing a great job. The weeks before the baby reaches the original due date can be exhuasting with non stop nursing but I have found that right around the due date everything seems to get much easier Good Luck
    Last edited by BrooklynMama; August 13th, 2007 at 04:11 PM. Reason: Sp- NAK

    Mama to DD Mariah 04/03 2lbs 8oz BF 2yrs 1 day!
    DS Ryan 07/06 4lbs 15 oz No solids until 18 mo's!
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" Gandhi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Help BF preterm infant

    i also had two preemies. i think the most important thing right now is to make sure baby is latched on properly. kellymom has pictures of how baby should latch on. both my little guys had latch on problems. get help right away, even if baby is latched on properly you can get help with how to keep baby awake and make sure baby is sucking properly. LLL leaders or LC are always willing to help. it is a slow process but if babies get too many bottles many babies will want bottles instead because it is easier. i would say make a few phone calls...people are so willing to help, especially because preemie babies are so darn cute!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Help BF preterm infant

    Hi- I just wanted to encourage you that it will get easier, but if school starts super soon maybe think if there is anyone you can call on to help you out with... whatever, whatever you would be doing if you weren't pouring your energy (very literally) into your new baby.

    My oldest was born at 35 weeks, thoroughly convinced that I was crazy waking him up and that food would still arrive through his bellybutton. I was setting the alarm, waking him up by diapering, then nursing him. moving his arms above his head usually got an extra minute of nursing out of him. Make sure you eat and drink enough, it will all get easier.

    Good Luck-
    Tara
    mom to Afton, 4, and Dana &months

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