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Thread: Trying to BF 5 week old preemie! HELP!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    92

    Default Trying to BF 5 week old preemie! HELP!!

    My son was born at 32 weeks and spent 23 days in the NICU. He was bottle fed breast milk and tube fed when he didn't finish his bottle. He has been home for 2 weeks now and switching him from bottle to breast seems impossible. I'm sure he is latching on right, I am going to my first LLL meeting next Friday and will have a leader check his latch to be sure. The problem is he is taking about 60 mls in a bottle every 3-3 1/2 hrs. This seems to satisfy him and he sleeps 3 hrs after each feed. At the breast sometimes he feeds for 5 min. sometimes 20 it varies with each feeding. All the feedings end with him falling asleep. He will nap for about 30 min. then wake up cranky and still hungry. After a few of these feedings I don't feel like he's getting enough from me so I give him a bottle. I know I am producing enough because when I pump I get plenty out for a feeding. What do I do?? I really want him strictly on the breast. I am willing to do whatever I need to do and I don't care how long it takes I just need to know is this possible?? Do I just BF as much and as often as he wants? Do I BF then offer a bottle? And will he ever get the hang of BF and not need it every 30 min. around the clock? Any advice from moms that have been through this would be great! I would love to BF and be able to sleep more than 30 min. at a time!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    893

    Default Re: Trying to BF 5 week old preemie! HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mel6928 View Post
    My son was born at 32 weeks and spent 23 days in the NICU. He was bottle fed breast milk and tube fed when he didn't finish his bottle. He has been home for 2 weeks now and switching him from bottle to breast seems impossible. I'm sure he is latching on right, I am going to my first LLL meeting next Friday and will have a leader check his latch to be sure. The problem is he is taking about 60 mls in a bottle every 3-3 1/2 hrs. This seems to satisfy him and he sleeps 3 hrs after each feed. At the breast sometimes he feeds for 5 min. sometimes 20 it varies with each feeding. All the feedings end with him falling asleep. He will nap for about 30 min. then wake up cranky and still hungry. After a few of these feedings I don't feel like he's getting enough from me so I give him a bottle. I know I am producing enough because when I pump I get plenty out for a feeding. What do I do?? I really want him strictly on the breast. I am willing to do whatever I need to do and I don't care how long it takes I just need to know is this possible?? Do I just BF as much and as often as he wants? Do I BF then offer a bottle? And will he ever get the hang of BF and not need it every 30 min. around the clock? Any advice from moms that have been through this would be great! I would love to BF and be able to sleep more than 30 min. at a time!
    They start going through a growth sput about this time. The most important thing right now is to put baby to breast every time and try to stay away from the bottles. BF him when he wants it, doesen't matter if it's just been 30 mins. ago. It's called Nursing on Demand and is very important for supply. I know from the NICU (mom to a 34 weeker, 10 day NICU stay, additonal 40 days in local childrens hossy on 5 diffrent admissions) they tell you to feed every 3 hours (but they are use to FF). I did the same thing for a long time, nursed every 3 hours and then gave a bottle of ebm, I wish I knew then what I know now. You can do it and Great Job on nursing a preemie, it's not easy at all!!! It can be done successfuly, my DD is now almost a year old and is still exclusivly breast fed and thriving!!! Good Luck and I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Trying to BF 5 week old preemie! HELP!!

    Thank you so much for your quick response! Today was actually a good day. The last 2 BFing sessions were good. He took a nice long nap in between and BFed for at least 30 min each time. Although he does want to be in my arms sleeping instead of in his bed (he's sleeping in my lap while I type.) I am going to try the BFing on demand again. The last time we tried (a few days ago) ended at 3am with me frustrated and giving him a bottle. I think we are off to a good start today and we will try again! Thanks for the advice and I'll let you know how it goes!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Trying to BF 5 week old preemie! HELP!!

    Yup I would just bf on demand also. It will be a bit difficult but the end results are worth it. My preemie didn't start nursing till 6 mths after we came home from the NICU. At first when we finally succeeded getting her to the breast, i also did bottles. But then I realized I had to get rid of the bottles totally and I did. It was a long few weeks, she nursed like every 1-2 hrs but she slowly started spreading out her feeds on her own.

    Stay strong you are doing a great job!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Trying to BF 5 week old preemie! HELP!!

    My dd was born at 34 weeks, spent one month in the NICU. I agree....nurse her anytime she wants it, as often as she wants. If you know you're getting enough when you pump, then she is definitely getting enough when she nurses. Sometimes it's hard, but trust in your body! It's doing what it needs to. Our bodies are amazing. You're doing great!

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