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Thread: Help for a new mom of a preemie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    3

    Default Help for a new mom of a preemie

    Hi - My name is Allison and I delivered our son at 33 weeks after developing severe preeclampsia. Our 2 week old son Avery is doing well in the NICU - he's now 3 lb 13 oz. The docs told us this morning that his red blood count is low and he's anemic. They are now going to add iron to my breast milk (he's transitioning from breast milk gavaged to breast milk in a bottle and we "practice" nursing twice a day). Is there anything I can do to add more iron to my milk? I'm already taking a prenatal vitamin and an iron supplement. I feel like giving him my breast milk is one of the few things I can do right now and now even that is not everything he needs! Thanks for all of your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    9

    Default Re: Help for a new mom of a preemie

    Hi,

    My son was a preemie as well and was 3.12 at birth due to Pre-e as well. Although he was not anaemic and I was taking my prenatal vits, he still had vits with iron and we still give them to him.

    Now here is a link taht may help with the question of increasing irom in your milk http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vi...ake-table.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    422

    Default Re: Help for a new mom of a preemie

    Quote Originally Posted by millbug View Post
    Hi - My name is Allison and I delivered our son at 33 weeks after developing severe preeclampsia. Our 2 week old son Avery is doing well in the NICU - he's now 3 lb 13 oz. The docs told us this morning that his red blood count is low and he's anemic. They are now going to add iron to my breast milk (he's transitioning from breast milk gavaged to breast milk in a bottle and we "practice" nursing twice a day). Is there anything I can do to add more iron to my milk? I'm already taking a prenatal vitamin and an iron supplement. I feel like giving him my breast milk is one of the few things I can do right now and now even that is not everything he needs! Thanks for all of your help.

    Congratulations on the birth of Avery! Sounds as if he's doing well. And it sounds as if you're in a good place. It's super that you're getting to "practice" BF and that he's getting your milk. What protection against infection you are giving to him!

    Mother Nature didn't completely anticipate the 20th century advances in care for preterm infants; evolution has not had time to compensate and build more iron into preterm milk. Actually, it's amazing that preterm milk is different and specialized at all -- which it is -- vs. term milk. And some studies found preterm milk contained more iron than term milk -- yet it still may not compensate for a diagnosed anemia in preterm babies...

    Re: kellymom link -- if you go to Iron and click "more," it says, "Iron supplements taken by the mother will not increase iron levels in breastmilk." Several other sources note that iron levels in human milk are pretty darn stable and mother's intake does not affect the amount of iron in milk; iron levels in human milk are considered low but a baby's body is much more able to use the iron in mom's milk -- much of the iron in formula is not absorbed and is eliminated. (However, if mom is anemic herself, she may not produce an adequate amount of milk.)

    During the last weeks of pregnancy, the fetus stores iron. A premie missed out on "storage" time, so it is fairly common for premies to be anemic and may need supplementary iron.

    It sounds as if it would help to take your questions to the neonatologist and/or the dietitian in the NICU. They should be able to explain ANY treatment that is recommended for YOUR (not their) baby -- and they should keep explaining until you feel comfortable with the decision.

    All the best...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    288

    Default Re: Help for a new mom of a preemie

    Hi, and congratulations to you and Avery!

    I just wanted to send out a . My son wasn't premature, but he did spend his first week in the NICU and one of the challenges I remember feeling was a sense of inadequacy -- everyone was watching everything I did, and even some of the basic care of my son seemed so out of my hands while he was there. I was even told once that I was touching him "wrong."

    You are doing great just by hanging in there, by providing breast milk (which, by the way, studies have shown is especially beneficial to premature and small for gestational age babies' cognitive growth), and loving your beautiful little miracle.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    200

    Default Re: Help for a new mom of a preemie

    Hello!! I also had pre-eclampsia, and delivered 1 week later than you did. I am really glad to hear that they are allowing you to "practice" breast feed! Just keep at it... When we brought dd home, she had a tough time with the breast. Apparently, they told me that it would take her longer to "figure out how to nurse" since preemies don't have the latch, suck and swallow reflexes down pat yet. After about two weeks at home, pumping, and giving pumped breast milk (although I offered the breast EVERY SINGLE TIME before giving a bottle of expressed BM) she finally came around, and nursed WELL!

    My dd is now 6 months old, and weighs a whopping 15 pounds! She is getting chubby, has lots of rolls, .... and 4 chinnies The best part is that we have made it this far without her being sick... not even once! I always worried about her being more succeptable, since she was a preemie.

    So, it sounds like you are doing everything you can to give your LO the best start possible! I know it paid off for us!

    Basically, I just wanted to say congratulations on your new arrival! Hang in there, you guys will do great!
    I'm Jessi
    Proud mama to Breanah Grace 9/10/07, wife to Eric
    Happily, exclusively BF for 7 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    707

    Default Re: Help for a new mom of a preemie

    congrats on your new LO from a NICU graduate. My DD was born a day shy of 34 weeks. i hated the drives to the NICU after i was discharged, that was the hardest part. I'm grad that they are letting you bf there, our hospital did the same. I don't have any advice about the iron in the milk, but i just wanted to send my support


    Tina - mom of Addison Belle
    12/11/07
    5lbs 13oz - 18in



    and my VBAC ~ Olivia Grace
    9/12/09
    6lbs 8z - 18.5in

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Help for a new mom of a preemie

    Thanks so much for the support and good wishes. Avery is 4 lb 1.5 oz today so we just have to get him to bottle feed all of his meals for 24 hours and then he can go home. Right now they are bottle feeding him four feeds a day, gavaging for the two feeds before I come in and gavaging a half feed after I breast feed (2x day). I think I'm going to see if I can bottle feed the half feed after nursing and see how that goes. It was great to hear about a preeclampsia baby that's doing so good - and so big!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Help for a new mom of a preemie

    Great! one last hurdle! that was our last one too. We had a great nursing staff that really supported bf and they wanted her out of the nicu just as bad as we wanted her home. why are they g-feeding? my lo was lazy and only wanted to feed every other feeding. not since we came home though!!!


    Tina - mom of Addison Belle
    12/11/07
    5lbs 13oz - 18in



    and my VBAC ~ Olivia Grace
    9/12/09
    6lbs 8z - 18.5in

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