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Thread: Premies and latching

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Question Premies and latching

    I would like to talk to anyone with a premie. My daughter in law delivered 5 1/2 weeks early and had a 4lb 12 oz baby December 15, 2007. I was very successful in my day nursing and want her to be also. She states that the baby will not latch on so she is pumping and then bottle feeding the breast milk. This seems to be double work to me. He is now at 5lbs 5 ozs. But she is running out of steam. The doctor suggests to supplement with formula. To me that is a bad word. I gave her the la leche book as soon as I know she was pregrant, but it seems she is talking to friends and other family members who had a bad experience. One question she had was, How do I know he is getting enough if he does latch on. This is a familiar question and always a worry for alot of people. I remember my mother asked me the same question some 30 years ago.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Premies and latching

    hi. my baby was born 2 months early. is she working with a LC consultant? you can rent scales to measure how much baby is taking at breast. is baby home from hospital? i did TONS of kangaroo care- it may take a while to get him to latch on for all feedings. i would bathe with my baby and "wear" him on me. he had to be tube fed for about 5 wks so i would pump for him and then they would tube feed him. he didn't come home from the nicu (at 6 wks old) latching on for ALL feeds- but most. why do they want to supplement with formula? is he losing weight? is he latching on at all? there are ways to supplement baby at the breast if you have to to get your milk in really strong. how often is she pumping? what kind of pump is she using?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Premies and latching

    Hi Angie,

    Congrats on the birth of your grandbaby!

    I had my third son 8-13-07 at 32 weeks due to HELLP syndrome. He was in the NICU for three weeks. When he came home the drs. ordered that he be limited to four feedings a day at the breast, the rest were to be bottle feedings of expressed breast milk. We put I think 1/4 tsp of the dry Neosure formula mix right into the breast milk, only to boost the caloric count. They wanted to make sure that my 3lb 6oz little man was getting enough.

    Right from the get go I started having problems with him latching. He was feeding every 2 to 2 1/2 hours around te clock and was always fussy. My mom works for the Early Childhood Center, and through Help Me Grow Rylan was assessed by several professionals at 5 or 6 weeks old. One of them was a physical therapist who gave him a bottle. She knew immeadiately that he was having trouble latching and breastfeeding.

    The culprit? The nipples on the bottle. Not nipple confusion, but the nipple was too big for his little mouth!! She said that he couldn't latch, and he couldn't suck on that. He had to almost chomp down on it to get anything out of it. And because that's how he learned to eat, that's what he did at the breast.

    I went out and bought new bottles with smaller nipple bases and he immediately took almost three ounces and slept four hours straight! The breast feeding issues disappeared within a few days. Now I have other issues, but that is another thread. lol

    My 3lb baby is now up to almost 11 pounds at 4 and a half months!

    I would suggest that your DIL get a consult with a lactation consultant, or even a physical or occupational therapist who specializes in babies. The answer might be very simple.

    Be sure to tell your DIL to just not give up. She is doing the best thing for him right now.

    Much luck to the mommy and the baby!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Premies and latching

    theres lots of good info here on the resources pages
    or at this link

    lots of preemies don't start nursing well untill thier due date.
    and thats normal for them.

    She could also try her local LLL group and leader they are free!
    the LEader can get more info and help beter over the phone then we can on-line.

    pumping is great if the baby isn't nursing well at the breast then it needs milk the number one rule "feed the baby"
    has she thought about using an alternative feeding mythod?
    that helps some babies get on the breast.

    come back if you figure out anything else you want to ask...
    you can look up local groups at the top of the page.
    the baby is very young yet and there is much hope she can get it nursing at the breast it will just take work and time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Premies and latching

    I had my baby 5 wks early and we pumped a first too. I remember as much skin to skin as possable helped. My LC gave me a nipple shield, which helped but I would use that as a last resort because you eventually have to wean from that too. Ds was 6 wks or so when we finnaly weaned from the bottle. It takes time, but it is worth it. He is 11 months now and nurses great. I remember the LC saying ds was little, and as he got bigger he would get better and he did. At that age every day makes a difference.
    mom to Elijah 1/29/2007
    Pregnant with ds number 2 due sometime in November
    |Cleaning products that are green and safe for our babies.

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