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Thread: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Unhappy Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    My daughter was born at exactly 34 weeks because of placental abruption. She was in NICU on Oxygen for a while and due to an emergency section I wasn't allowed to see her or nurse her that whole first day.

    She's now 4 weeks old (and home) and still sleeps ALL the time. She wakes to nurse but that's it. She wets about 4-5 diapers a day (soaking them) and stools about 4-5 times a day as well (they are orange in color). I don't know if she's gained anymore weight since her last Dr's appt. (at that one she still lost another 2 oz since bringing her home)...I'm concerned that she's not alert when not eating could mean that she's not getting enough milk. Her pediatrician does NOT support breastfeeding (even with my other children she almost immediately insisted on switching them to formula at the first sign of a concern) so if I bring this to her attention she'll wear me down until I go to formula.

    Is her being a preemie causing her to sleep all the time? Or should I maybe supplement with formula? I take fenugreek & mother's milk tea to help with my supply...she's not fussy and has only just started to pull on the breast at some feedings...she cluster feeds at night (from 6-10) and wants to nurse every 2 hours tops.
    Can anyone tell me if I should be worried? And what's with all the posts about "green stool" does color matter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    707

    Default Re: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    how long was she in the NICU??? i had a 34 weeker too and she was a NICU graduate after 8 days... her issue was feeding, so our schedule was nurse one feeding bottle feed EBM the next, every 3 hours for the first two weeks, then i would cut out the bottles at night and just nurse her durring the night... by week 4 or 5 she was just nursing with a nipple shield, but it was coming from me... anyway, what were the instructions from the hospital??


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



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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    She was in for 3 days...her issue was maintaining her blood ox levels. After that she was able to maintain body temp & O2 levels on her own. They just wanted her checked for weight because she lost 9 oz. I EBF since that first day but she had to take formula bottles that whole first day. They didn't give any specific discharge instructions just to be seen by pediatrician in 3 days from discharge.

    Like I said...her Dr. isn't pro-BF. I have an inverted nipple and my last son had trouble pulling it out. When he was 1 week old she insisted that I supplement with formula because he only gained 2 oz. I was never able to get him off the bottle after that because he got used to the "stuffed" feeling formula gave him. Even after a nursing vacation and a nursing - pumping routine PLUS taking herbals...I still couldn't seem to make enough for him to give up the formula. I don't want to do this again with her....I go next week for a weight check and if she's lost or hasn't gained enough...the Dr will insist again on formula.

    I'm just concerned that she's really doing ok...but the Dr is misinformed. I just don't know if I should listen to the Dr OR should I go with the fact that baby seems like she's getting enough.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    My LO was born at 36 weeks and was in the NICU for a week. I remember at first she was pretty much only awake to eat, and I had to try to keep her awake to finish eating. Some things that worked well to help her get a good feed were rubbing her feet, sometimes taking some of her clothes off so she wasn't so warm, talking to her, even unlatching and relatching or switching sides multiple times. I would definitely try some of these if you think she's falling asleep too quickly. Falling asleep while feeding doesn't necessarily mean that your supply is the issue, especially since it looks like she's having enough wet and dirty diapers. Even if you supplement, you'd probably have to keep her awake to take the bottle.

    Also, it sounds like you don't really trust your pediatrician when it comes to BFing. Maybe it's worth considering finding a new ped if it becomes an issue.

    I think you're on the right track. Hopefully your next weight check will be better. Let us know how it's going.
    Julie
    Wife to Jeff
    Mom to Alexa, born 4/22/07

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    I WANT to change Dr's...but she's the only one in the area that takes my insurance. All the other ones aren't accepting new patients. Even the LC I've talked to all say that the Dr shouldn't be a ped because of her lack of BF support. And my daughter stays awake to eat....she just sleeps the rest of the day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    You need a new Ped! Honestly a supportive Dr. makes all the difference. If you have to stay with her, do your best to stand your ground. You know you're right and you need to stand your ground!
    It sounds like she's having a lot of poopy diapers and a good amount of wet, so you should keep doing what you're doing!! My LO was very sleepy at first, its normal! Just offer the breast any time your baby even looks at you funny....and you'll get there. I see NO reason to supplement.

    I have a SGA slow gainer...but she's getting bigger and bigger faster and faster. She just took her time in the beginning, plus with her NICU stay it took longer for my milk supply to be established.
    new mom to yael justine, born 12/20/07 4lbs 7oz

    cloth diapers all the way!

  7. #7
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    I agree with pp about possibly getting a new pedi, but i know that sometimes that isn't so easy...* how was your LO nursing in the hospital? did you get to see a LC?? i also remember dd sleeping a lot in the beginning too, so that is normal, but i also remember still feeding her on a three hour schedule even through the night to ensure weight gain... if your nips are inverted did you try a breast shell or a nipple shield?? you might want to check with a LC and see that they would recommend before just 'giving' formula.* You can do this mama!!!


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



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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    175

    Default Re: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by knm626 View Post
    you might want to check with a LC and see that they would recommend before just 'giving' formula.
    I second this, especially if you're not able to change docs. Maybe in the meantime, you could get on a waiting list for one of the other pedis.

    Other than the weight gain, it sounds like she's doing very well, though: content, having wet and dirty diapers, staying awake to eat. Those are all good signs. Maybe she's just taking her time in the weight gain department. Hang in there!
    Julie
    Wife to Jeff
    Mom to Alexa, born 4/22/07

  9. #9
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Re: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by knm626 View Post
    ... if your nips are inverted did you try a breast shell or a nipple shield??
    At first I had to use a nipple shield in order for her to nurse on that side...but after she got the hang of nursing period, I found that letting her get REAL PO'd before nursing on that side encouraged her to really give it her all...not very nice I know BUT whenever she nursed with the shield...she didn't latch on nearly as well and that caused her to try that same wrong latch on the other side. Now she's an expert at pulling that nipple out without me having to let her get mad.

    What does SGA mean?
    Last edited by theperfectmix; April 10th, 2008 at 10:57 AM. Reason: I can't type while nursing and be expected to spell correctly the first time!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Preemie baby, am I freaking for nothing?

    I too am a mother of a 34 weeker, although, our dd was only in NICU for 14 hours, and came home 4 days later. I had to wake our dd at first every 2 hours for feedings for the first few weeks, just to be sure she was having opportunity to gain. We also had appointments with our pedi once a week for weight checks (which eased our minds tremendously!.... and she WAS gaining! )

    In your situation...... 1) either tell your pedi "what's what" and stand your ground. Let her know that you ARE and WILL BE BF'ing your lo. I can't imagine a pedi who is not "pro-BF'ing" especially with a preemie! Geeze! Or 2) GET A NEW PED! I agree w/ pp's! Even if you have to drive a little farther, a pedi who is supportive of bf'ing makes a huge difference! Also 3) call your local lactation consultant, and maybe check into attending a local LLL meeting, or BF support group. These women are a great wealth of information, and would be able to give you some very positive support. I know that when I attended some support groups, it was so amazing, and such a wonderful feeling just to connect with other mama's who were going through the same, or at least could direct me in the proper direction. I know I had a million questions being not only a first time mama, but the mama of a preemie!

    to you mama! Hang in there! You can do it!!!!
    I'm Jessi
    Proud mama to Breanah Grace 9/10/07, wife to Eric
    Happily, exclusively BF for 7 months

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