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Thread: NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    4

    Unhappy NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

    I have a one month old that I've had from the hospital for two weeks now. I was able to get him to latch on when I got him home, but he won't stay on the breast. He either becomes disinterested or he falls asleep. I'm trying to find a way to get him off the bottle and back to the breast.

    I'm making enough milk because when I pump or manual espress, there is a lot of milk. Any words of advise?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
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    2,601

    Default Re: NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

    and congrats on your lo!
    How early was your baby? I would encourage you to find a la leche league group so that you can get some good face to face support and also meet some mommas with little ones the same age as yours!
    That is great that you were able to get your baby to latch! How many times a day does your baby come to the breast now? If you are supplementing, how much does she take, and how often? Are you pumping?
    We like to see baby come to the breast atleast 8-12 times in a 24 hour period. Preemies are usually very sleepy so it is normal that she would be falling asleep quickly. It is ok to let her nap at your breast, eather latched on or just laying there. Skin to skin is also a really good idea for all babies espcially preemies.
    How has her weight gain been?
    We look forward to helping you! There are several moms of preemies here that I am sure will be very helpful to you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    4

    Default Re: NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

    I really am trying to figure all this out. I'm getting him to breast about 5-6 times a day. I'll try for longer then. He was only 4 weeks early. As far as the supplementing, he suddenly is going to 4 oz a feeding and that's usually every 3 hours. I had been pumping, but had stopped... going to again. I have to, the breast pain is starting and I have to get it off of me even if he doesn't take it.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    Charleston SC
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    Default Re: NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

    There are lots of things that you can do to help get baby back to the breast. You can contact a local LC and get a SNS feeder, a bottle with a little tube that has the bm or formula in it, the little tube connects to your breasts so when the baby nurses she is actually getting the supplment. If you are concerned about weight gain that would be a good way to start. I would also encourage you to put the baby to the breast 8-12 times in a 24 period and before every feeding. Will the baby still latch? Def go ahead and pump if you are feeling disomfort, you run the risk of getting maststis, a breast infection if you get and stay engorged. If you are full, which it sounds like you are, I would let baby latch on and see what happens...
    Normal breastfeeding behaiour would go something like this;
    Baby latches on, sucks pretty quickly until your milk "lets down"
    baby has long, slow sucking, you can see her ears moving, hear her swallowing, watch her throat etc..
    Then baby will probably fall asleep or seem really content..
    if she stay on long enough you may get another letdown or three or four...

    Are you wanting to get baby back to breast 100%

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    4

    Default Re: NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

    That's what I'm trying to do. The formula only seems to make him gassy. With the breastmilk, he doesn't seem nearly as colicy.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Charleston SC
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    Default Re: NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

    Very good point! LLL belives that the momma is the expert on the baby so I am sure that you are right!
    Ok...so first off we need to try to get baby to latch again, when is the last time she latched on?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    4

    Default Re: NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

    He latched on about an hour ago. He stayed on the right breast for about 6 or 7 minutes before falling asleep. I couldn't get him to wake back up to feed. My mom came by and picked him up from where I'm keeping children. So, she'll feed him breastmilk that I pumped earlier until I get home.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
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    Default Re: NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

    That is GREAT news Nicole! That is the first step in the right direction. Did you see any of that behavor that we were talking about, any good long swallows? 6 or 7 mins is very good for a month old baby.. Now what I want you to do is try to get him to the breast as much as possible from here on out, the more that you can keep him with you the better, every time he even opens his eyes I want you to offer him your breast. Touches his mouth, starts to fuss, turns his head, anything, these are all hunger signs in a little person. Before every feed offer him the breast, if he is satisfied then he does not need anything else, falling asleep is ok, you can try to change his diaper, and offer him the other side, if he takes it great, if not no big deal. We really need to watch his diaper output, here is a great link to talk to you about that, http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html

    also not a bad idea to pop into your dr tomorrow for a quick weight check, then you can jump in with both feet to get this baby back to breast, You can do it Nicole!!

    So ....baby to breast as often as humanly possible, weight check with your ped tomorrow and later in the week to make sure baby is moving enough milk, consider getting a sns feeder if your supply is not where it needs to be, put baby to breast FIRST and then supplemnt after if need be, watch the diaper output, that is the BEST indicator of what is going in, also consider getting in touch with your local LLL group

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: NICU baby and learning breastfeeding

    I had a NICU babe and the advice given is spot on! I got my LO off formula completely within a week by offering the breast constantly, and slowly decreasing the amount of formula given. I was terrified she wasn't getting enough, thank goodness for frequent weigh-ins! I offered the breast so much that my now 10 week old thinks its the best place to be 24/7!

    Also, during the transition, my LO didn't have a bowel movement for 4 days!! It freaked me out, but it took her little body some time to adjust!

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