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Thread: My Nightmare

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default My Nightmare

    Hello, I'm new to this board, and in desperate need of some help/guidance.

    I am the mom of Olivia, a two month old (2 week adjusted age) preemie who is an absolute nightmare to feed.

    When we brought her home from the NICU we knew she was a "fussy eater" (their terms), but it steadily got worse once we got home and she eventually ended up back in the hospital being tube fed due to weight loss and dehydration. She's been home now for a few weeks, and they diagnosed her with reflux, so she is on Prevacid for that.

    She's mostly been bottle fed, but I did introduce nursing early on and have tried to do it with her as much as I can. With her being preemie they are very concerned about her weight gain pattern so that's been preventing us from nursing more. Over the past few days I started putting her to breast aggressively, just to give her the idea that food comes from there. She will sometimes nurse well...and sometimes it, and the following bottle feeding, is an absolute nightmare. I know she likes nursing because she rests SO well after a good nursing - but those are hit or miss. I bottle fed her all day today because every time I put her down, she would just scream. I'm not sure if my letdown is too powerful or what - Livy has a very good latch, I think. I have been pumping for 8 weeks and try to use that to gauge how much she gets by pumping after a nursing, but I don't know. I have tried all kinds of different holds, but I can't get her to REALLY nurse well...and if she does have a good run of maybe 15 minutes, she doesn't seem to get enough and is up to eat an hour later.
    Please help, if anyone can. I'm open to anything because I'm about ready to throw in the towel. I'm so tired of pumping and feeling so frustrated and disappointed. I'm going to try to get her more help for the reflux, because I think that is a HUGE part of this mess, but want to know if anyone has any other ideas for what might help in the mean time.

    Last edited by LivysMom; April 14th, 2008 at 08:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: My Nightmare

    Hi Renee -- I'm glad you posted --

    I don't have time right now for a full reply (need to get to bed), but I wanted to at least make sure that you know there is another forum here just for issues related to breastfeeding premature infants.

    You and Olivia have done so well to get this far with any breastfeeding at all! I hope that our community here can help encourage and support you through this trying time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: My Nightmare

    Hi mama!

    Feeling overwhelmed with a baby that is pre-term, and cranky from reflux sounds reasonable to me. Pumping on top of caring for a new baby is hard work, and I can understand how you might really feel like you are exhausted and at your wits end.
    How scary for you to go through a hospital trip for dehydration! That sounds just awful!

    I have a few questions that will help the following posters give you some information and ideas.

    You say your daughter is 2 weeks adjusted, so you mean she was 6 weeks premature right?

    Can you tell us what they were talking about when they said she was a fussy eater at the nicu? What forms of feeding has she experienced so far?

    Do you notice any arching or crying after a feeding? These can be more signs that the reflux issue needs to be readdressed.

    Here is more information on reflux, specifically why GERD babies can react certain ways to feeding because it causes pain. It also suggests some things to do to help alleviate this:http://www.llli.org/FAQ/ger.html
    I really think that you may be right about the reflux causing some of this behavior in your baby. You are the expert in your own baby. Go ahead and trust your instincts and give your Dr. a call. There may be another form of medication or something else you can try.

    Can you explain more about the concerns over her weight gain? Can we have her lowest weight and subsequent weights.

    And finally tell us more about your pumping and what in particular about it is making you feel worn out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: My Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by LivysMom View Post
    ...and if she does have a good run of maybe 15 minutes, she doesn't seem to get enough and is up to eat an hour later.
    From what I understand, since breastmilk is digested sooooo much better by baby's tummy, it is completely normal for her to get a full feeding and then need to eat again only an hour later, especially being so young and small. So most likely she is getting enough.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: My Nightmare

    What worked for me was having a lactation specialist come to the house. I couldn't absorb anything I read, most of it just blurred together. The hands on help pulled it all together. She also brought her own scale , weighing my son before and after nursing. This was encouraging to see just how much he really was getting. After a few tough weeks it was smooth sailing.

    Wishing you the best.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: My Nightmare

    First of all, congrats to you for hanging in there! You are doing a great thing by doing everything you can to work with your daughter and keeping up the pumping when she doesn't nurse well.

    I'm not sure I have any great advice, but I am struggling with some similar issues with my daughter Margaret as well. She was full term but has a number of feeding issues that are more common among preemies and as a result she has to be exclusively bottle fed because of her problems with aspiration and poor weight gain (we also have to add formula to the breast milk so she can get extra calories).

    The suggestion of having a lactation consultant visit you is a good one; also, when you were in the NICU/hospital did anyone from speech and swallow come to evaluate you during a feeding at the breast? A speech therapist who specializes in infant feeding could also give you some suggestions about the reflux and if your daughter has some issues with swallow coordination, etc. I've found them to be incredibly helpful for our problems.

    Don't beat yourself up over whatever you decided to do long term -- we all do our best for our kids and I'm sure you've had a tough road up to this point already. So pat yourself on the back!

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