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Thread: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    7

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    A little - thank you! He was able to breastfeed a little longer. I pumped longer than I have been and have been able to get more milk. I still had to supplement some formula, but I am hoping that it will get progressively better. Once I can stop supplementing with formula, I will try to exclusively have him breastfeed. I just want to get my supply up!
    I printed the Kelly Mom website information and am using it as a guide. Right off the bat I learned that I needed to be pumping longer! Thank you for your guidance!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    186

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    i had a baby born 8 weeks early too! if you don't have other kids- or if you can get someone to watch them i would take your baby and go to bed for as long as you can, at least 24 hours. let the baby nurse as much as would like. this was tricky for my son because the NICU did get him on an eating every 3 hours thing and he didn't demand nurse but keeping him in bed with you will help with your milk too- and get him lots of mommy time. i don't know how to word this but i didn't wear a shirt the whole time- i just let him have lots of skin to skin contact for a whole day- i also read that babies who have failure to thrive do well with this. good luck. oh! take baths with your baby! it helped with my milk and helped my son to want to nurse... i had a hard time getting him to take a full feeding from me- but we kept working at it- which included me wearing him in a moby wrap so he could have access to nursing whenever he wanted to. good luck!

  3. #13
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    Feb 2008
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    7

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    Great suggestions - thank you! I will give it a try. He is my first baby so this is all new for me. Did you have to use a breast shield at all? The NICU got us started on using a shield and now he won't breastfeed without it. It's not a huge deal - if we get to the point where we are able to breastfeed exclusively, having a shield isn't too terrible.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    9

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    Dp
    Last edited by nukia; February 18th, 2008 at 10:22 PM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    9

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    My baby was also a preemie about 5 weeks early. He was not able to suck effectively, so I would nurse on one side and pump on the other and that increased my milk from say an ounce to about 2-3oz. I had to see a LC to help with his scuk and taht took a few weeks, but he is eight months now started on solids and nursing very effectively.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Preemie Mom View Post
    Great suggestions - thank you! I will give it a try. He is my first baby so this is all new for me. Did you have to use a breast shield at all? The NICU got us started on using a shield and now he won't breastfeed without it. It's not a huge deal - if we get to the point where we are able to breastfeed exclusively, having a shield isn't too terrible.
    Sounds as if things are moving along. It makes sense that the NICU staff suggested the shield; research has shown that many premies transfer milk more effectively with the shield -- has to do with both level of neuro maturity and the maturity of his oral anatomy. You and he will know when to get rid of the shield. But if you find one or both of you needs it awhile, don't let it be a big deal. As long as a baby can coordinate suckling, milk transfer well via newer nipple shields from Medela or Ameda -- I'm unaware of research on other brands, though.

    Read your baby -- not a book, not our posts, etc. -- to know when he may be ready to "lose" the shield...

    You're both doing great -- keep it going!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    This is my first post, so I'm figuring out how this all works, but when I saw your message I really wanted to encourage you. My DD was born 4 weeks early and was in the NICU for a week. We did the nursing, bottle, pumping routine for about 2 1/2 months before we could cut out the bottles. I can only tell you what we did. I'd nurse her about every couple of hours, then give her a bottle, then pump. After each nursing, I gave her what I pumped from the last time and then formula if she was still hungry. Eventually, when I was pumping just about enough for her, I started to cut out bottles. It was a lot of work at the time, but now it's so worth it! She's 10 mo. now and still nursing and doing well.

    It sounds like you're doing a great job! Hang in there.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    7

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    Thank you! That is exactly the situation that I am in now. Seems like just when I finish the cycle of breastfeed/pump, it's time to start again. It's getting better and I know it is all for the best! Thank you for your post!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by sulomommy View Post
    Preemie Mom--

    Reading your post was deja-vu! My girlies were 34 weeks and I did the breast, bottle, pump routine for 10 weeks before I finally decided something had to change! The routine took 1-1.5 hours and we were on a 3 hour schedule!

    I tried many, many different things: nipple shields, SNS, decreasing the amount that I was "topping them off" after nursing, different bottle nipples, and cup feeds. I must have talked to 4 different LLL leaders for ideas. None worked for us. Finally, I decided to stop pumping and giving bottles cold turkey. I had a friend's mom (she BF her kids) come over for the weekend for reassurance because I was completely convinced I was going to starve my darling children, but--THEY DID FINE! I pumped for comfort only (pumping just until you feel like you won't explode) in the first few days because I found that even though it seemed like I wasn't pumping enough milk for the babies, once I was only nursing I was engorged! The girls went in for weight checks a few days after we made the switch and were doing fine!

    Not having to do that whole routine made such a difference. I finally could enjoy the babies and have the BF experience I dreamt about while PG. I could go places because I could feed the babies without machines or bottles even. I only wish I did it sooner!

    Hope this helps!
    You just gave my exact situation! So you exclusively BF now?? How exactly did you transition from pumping/nursing to just nursing?? I tried it today and spent the whole day with my boobs out since neither twin nurse the same amount. One would finish early, one would sleep/nurse...so they were hungry again at different times which meant I was nursing constantly!

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Baby was in NICU, how do I transition from bottle to exclusively breast feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Preemie Mom View Post
    Thank you! That is exactly the situation that I am in now. Seems like just when I finish the cycle of breastfeed/pump, it's time to start again. It's getting better and I know it is all for the best! Thank you for your post!
    That is EXACTLY how I feel! I'm just spent emotionally and physically.

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