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Thread: need some advice and encouragment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    16

    Default need some advice and encouragment

    Yes it's me again. And little Matthew is STILL in the NICU. He's doing well though and we are hoping he can come home in a matter of days. I'm really stressing about how he is nursing right now though. Currently he is bottle feeding when I am not there and nursing and then bottle feeding when I am. When he bottle feeds (expressed breastmilk) he takes about 2 ounces. He weighs just under 6 pounds and eats about every three hours. I don't really care for the nurse he had today so I don't know if that's why I am so upset or what. But I went in for his feeding today and I nursed him for about 25 minutes just on one side. Afterwards I offered him a bottle and he drank the whole thing. So the nurse said obviously he wasn't getting very much from breastfeeding. Which that was very discouraging to me b/c I have spent a lot of time and energy on trying to breastfeed him succesfully - and up till now I thought he was doing well. She did have a point though - a baby that just nursed for almost a half hour shouldn't be hungry enough to take an entire bottle.

    So when I went back again for his next feeding I insisted they weigh him before and after his feeding to see how much he drank. He took 23 cc's. (one ounce is 30 cc's) But I could tell he did not nurse as good as he normally does. So my guess is normally he takes maybe 30-35 cc's. So about an ounce.

    Is that enough for him? How often and long do you think he should nurse if I try to do that exclusively? I am going to feed him on demand once he gets home but I guess I just want to know what the "norm" is. Also how long should I let him nurse? In the NICU they only want me to nurse him for 15 minutes and then bottlefeed but I like to give him 20-30 minutes. I think he would stay there an hour if I let him - though after a certain point he is just kinda hanging out.

    Any advice?? I'm just feeling very insecure right now. Do you think it is okay to just try to nurse him full time immediatly upon discharge or do you think I should slowly decrease the number of bottles he gets?

    On the plus side he seems to enjoy nursing and latches on easily. So I'm still very hopeful things will work out if I can just stick with it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: need some advice and encouragment

    I think it's pretty much a universal that a baby that young will suck on anything you put in his mouth, which is why even on a full tummy they'll keep eating from a bottle if it's there. My DD wasn't a preemie, but when I'd drop her off with my sister-in-law for babysitting now and then I'd make sure she knew to give DD a pacifier after her bottle because she was used to comfort nursing for a while after really eating, and it could seem like she was still hungry. Otherwise, I'd leave one real bottle and one emergency bottle for a 2 hour stretch and by the time I got back she'd gone thru both bottles and my sister-in-law would be fretting that she didn't have anything else to give her! So from that standpoint, my uneducated opinion is that the nurse might not be totally on the mark. Also, maybe he didn't eat so much at his 2nd feeding because he had had a lot to supplement after the previous feeding?

    I know there are even more issues to fret over with a preemie, but from what you've posted before he sounds like a real champ when it comes to nursing. When you bring him home (which I hope is soon!), could you invest in a little scale so that you can weigh him yourself before and after each feeding to help you feel more comfortable about what he's getting?

    Anyway, just a couple of thoughts. I know you're anxious to bring him home. Keep up the good work!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: need some advice and encouragment

    Sorry he's not home yet, but he will be! I know the last few weeks was the worst for us. But anyways it's great that he is nursing and it may take him awhile to become more efficient at bf, because bottle feeding is so much easier on them. Just ignore the nurse, yes he may not have got enough but you know what he's not nursing all the time so it will take time. hopefully when you get home he'll get more efficient at it. When we started nursing, she was 6 mths and she nursed alot! let me tell you she acted like a newborn. We nursed like every 1-2 hours. But I think that was because she just needed to get the hang of it. it took us about 1-2 mths of nursing like this before she really got down to only 2-3 hrs. It was frustrating but I knew she was nursing more frequently as she wasn't getting as much each time. now she nurses efficiently and rather quickly. So I wouldn't fret too much over it while you are in the NICU, keep up the nursing as much as you can in there even if you do have to give a bottle afterwords. When you get home and you are both together hopefully he'll be a nursing pro in no time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    561

    Default Re: need some advice and encouragment

    My heart goes out to you! Nurses can be so insensitive, and despite what they would have us believe, they are *NOT* experts in BF. Only IBCLC's can stake that claim to fame. When you get your baby home and can work on nursing with a good IBCLC, you will be much happier.

    BTW, bottle feeding is *not* easier for preemies, despite what those so-and-so's at the Almighty Hospital would have us believe. I do not have the reference, but there are some good studies which show that breastfeeding is, in fact, less stressful than bottle feeding.

    With persistence and the right help, you will get there. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: need some advice and encouragment

    when you get home I would let him nurse when ever he wants! that could be every hour or at least 8-12 times in 24 hours. Let him deside when he wants to stop.
    We never had a premie but what I did was take out 7 diapars every morining and then I knew when they were all wet that the baby had got what he needed to eat. Getting a good scale would also work, I think most places were you rent breastpumps carry good scales.

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