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Thread: My 30 Weeker

  1. #1

    Arrow My 30 Weeker

    Hi everyone,

    I just discovered this forum today and have browsed some of the other posts and all of the responses are so helpful and supportive I was hoping to get some custome tailored advice/opinions on my situation.

    My 2nd son was born 10 weeks premature and was hospitalized for 40 days (5 1/2 weeks). During his time in the hospital I pumped aprox. 8 times a day using an Ameda Purely Yours pump at home and the Ameda Elite pump when at the hospital and was able to establish a decent supply - not the 25 ozs in 24 hours that the hospital LC said I should have, but still good. For several different reasons my little guy wasn't put to the breast until just a few days before he was discharged and even then it was only once or twice a day.

    Now that we are home and he is 6 1/2 weeks old I am trying to settle in to a good routine that will teach him to accept the breast instead of the bottle and also keep my supply up while he learns. I have been facing a few problems that I'm not sure how to help. 1st. I have relatively flat nipples - the do protrude a little bit and will go further after pumping but it seems to make it difficult for him to feel the nipple in his mouth and if I am too full he can't seem to get a mouth full at all. Also if I pump for a few minutes and then put him to the breast the nipple almost immediately goes back to "normal". 2nd. I have VERY large breasts (42 G currently) and compared to his tiny 4 lb body they are just hard to handle. It seems like he can barely fit the nipple itself into his mouth, let alone any portion of the areola. 3rd. He doesn't often get a good latch - probably due to all of the afore mentioned issues - with a sylicone nipple shield we have gotten a good latch a few times and he will suckle for just a few minutes and then fall asleep. Sometimes he will refuse to open up for the breast, or he will shake his head when I offer it. *sigh*

    Sorry, this has turned into a rambling post... I guess I'm mainly wondering if all of these are normal things that will be over come by practice and time or if there is something more proactive that I can do to help.

    Also, since he has been home, I have reduced my pumping to match his feeding schedule (6 times a day) and I produce almost twice what he takes at each feeding. I have started to "slack" off and skip pumping at one or two feedings in the past couple days. If my supply drops because of this will it build back up to match his demand once he is actually feeding from the breast? Or do I really need to get my act together and pump at least as often as he feeds?

    Thanks in advance for any help, advice, tips or sympathetic "I've been theres" anyone can offer. I really want to have a successful nursing experience with this little guy but the schedule is just so grueling that it's breaking me down and the fact that despite my best efforts he isn't really nursing yet is very discouraging...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My 30 Weeker

    Hi mama!

    I've been there, although we got two more weeks than you did...

    Do you have a good LC on call? Have you been in touch with a LLL leader?

    Ok...flat nipples. I would have suggested to pump a little first to draw them out, but it sounds like you have tried it. Or you can resort to shields if they help, but I know a lot of moms don't like to because they can be hard to get off of.

    Your large breasts. I am in the same boat. I was so worried about their size v. his size. What hold are you using? The football hold worked for us the best in the beginning. It really gives you the most control over how much of your breast is on the baby.

    I know it sucks, but I know that it was recommended to me that I pump the same as how many times he eats. That oversupply you have right now might not last forever. When he was in the hospital I slept through the night pumpings, but once he came home I pumped all 8x a day.

    Do you kangaroo him? That helped us more than I would have ever thought.

    Just keep putting him to breast every time mama. Just a few minutes of practice is invaluable. He will get it. It took a while for us but he finally got there, but it was after his due date.

    You are doing such an awesome job mama! Good luck!!!
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My 30 Weeker

    i didnt have a preemie, but i had a small baby. he was IUGR. He was born at 3 lbs 10 oz.

    anyway. nursing was very challanging because of his size for the first month or so.

    it sounds like you are doing a great job! I skipped pumping sessions sometimes too, if i had enough milk, just because i wanted the extra sleep. Sometimes i couldnt because i didnt have enough milk, but when i did, i skipped the middle of the night pumping session, so i could feed him then go back to sleep. I know how hard it is, to feed then pump In the early days it took so long for my LO to finish a bottle, so i can imagine your sleep deprived like i was.

    What i did was during the day just put him to the breast before i fed him his bottle. He sometimes latched on and sometimes just screamed but i at least tried to nurse. It was about 4 weeks that he got strong enough to breastfeed and not need a bottle.

    I think your LO will do just fine once his weight is up and he's closer to his due date.
    Student aspiring to be a Chiropractor and mother to Noah who will be 3 in July and Olivia who will be 2 in Aug.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My 30 Weeker

    Thank you for your kind words Mama

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*nolies.mama View Post

    Do you have a good LC on call? Have you been in touch with a LLL leader?
    No... While my little guy was in the hospital I did use the hospital's LC a few times for pumping issues but because of my schedule and their tight budget when I finally did start putting him to breast the LC's weren't there to help.

    What hold are you using? The football hold worked for us the best in the beginning.
    I have been using either football or crossover. Football seems to give me the most control but I still feel a little bit like I'm smothering him!

    Do you kangaroo him? That helped us more than I would have ever thought.
    This is going to sound crazy but for some reason it hadn't occurred to me to kangaroo at home. I did it in the hospital just a few times and really enjoyed it. In fact I remember the very first time I did it my DH wasn't there and running back to my room to call him and tell him I just had the best 30 minutes of my life LoL After I read your post I figured out that I could kangaroo wearing my Moby wrap and pump at the same time which is good because he does better if he's upright for a while after a feeding and that's also when I can pump the most.

    Just keep putting him to breast every time mama. Just a few minutes of practice is invaluable. He will get it. It took a while for us but he finally got there, but it was after his due date.
    He did better yesterday. I put him to the breast at every feeding throughout the day but not our 2 MON feedings because I was just too out of it to feel like I could do it properly. I've found a process that seems to work to get him interested in the breast. I offer a bare breast first and he will lick and nuzzle at it a little but has a hard time latching on so after about 5 minutes of that I put on a nipple shield and I can get him to latch on to that. Two different times he nursed for about 20 minutes (sleepy, inconsistent nursing) and when I took him off there was milk in the shield so I know he got some, but he still took the entire supplement I offered. So either he got very little from the breast or he needs more to eat than what I've been offering. What do you think?

    Any recommendations on how long I should let him try before giving him the supplement? I don't want him to be too tired and not get enough to eat but I also don't want to stop him if he doesn't need to be stopped, KWIM?

    Thank you again for your support It really lifted my spirits and encouraged me!

  5. #5

    Default Re: My 30 Weeker

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kelmareuby View Post
    I skipped pumping sessions sometimes too, if i had enough milk, just because i wanted the extra sleep. Sometimes i couldnt because i didnt have enough milk, but when i did, i skipped the middle of the night pumping session, so i could feed him then go back to sleep. I know how hard it is, to feed then pump In the early days it took so long for my LO to finish a bottle, so i can imagine your sleep deprived like i was.
    Did your supply keep pace with your LO once you had him on the breast entirely? That's almost exactly what I do. I am so exhausted at night I fall asleep just giving him a bottle! I really don't think that I can swing the 3 step process at 1 and 4 am It takes him about 20 minutes to drink 2 ozs from a bottle. I have plenty of milk. He was NPO for about 2 full weeks total in the NICU and I continued to pump 8x's a day so I have a freezer overflowing and I pump about twice what he eats at each pump session so I'm well ahead of him right now.

    It was about 4 weeks that he got strong enough to breastfeed and not need a bottle.
    Thank you, that is very encouraging. I guess it should be common sense that they would need to be close to term before they can figure it out... After all he's not even supposed to be born yet!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My 30 Weeker

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*npeters View Post

    So either he got very little from the breast or he needs more to eat than what I've been offering. What do you think?

    Any recommendations on how long I should let him try before giving him the supplement? I don't want him to be too tired and not get enough to eat but I also don't want to stop him if he doesn't need to be stopped, KWIM?

    Thank you again for your support It really lifted my spirits and encouraged me!
    Glad he is doing better! Isn't that the best feeling in the WORLD?

    I would say just put him on there as long as you feel comfortable and that he is getting "something" from it. And by "something" it doesn't even have to mean milk. If he is learning that is important too. Sometimes I tried for 10 minutes, sometimes just a couple. Then I fed him. It probably just depends each time.

    You are doing such an awesome job mama! I wanted to give up so many times. I was frustrated and sad and it is so hard! But just wait till he latches on for the first time and keeps eating! You're going to feel giddy!
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

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