I had a 34 wkr April 25th. I immediately started pumping that day and he was given breastmilk via NG tube along with TPN etc. He started getting fortifier added to my breastmilk as well a week later? I was pumping 7-8x a day and pumping about 8oz each time. I have a ton of BM stored already When he was just a few days old I was able to "try" to nurse him and he amazed me and latched quickly and we did that for a few minutes. I wanted to try and nurse him multiple times a day but of course the concern of weight gain etc and in order for him to go home he had to be taking feeds from a bottle at each feeding. So if I nursed him and then attempted a bottle and he fell asleep- he would have been tubed the rest and we wouldn't be able to "count" that. So I decided to not nurse him and just give him the bottles so we could go home. He came home in 14 days at 36 weeks.
We have been home for 3 weeks now and the breastfeed-adding fortifier-pumping routine has left me exhausted! We also have 3 other children and like most have said the routine leaves like 1 hr before next feeding! The first week home he gained 11oz! So the pediatrician said we could stop giving him the fortifier at each feed if we wanted- to start nursing more. The 2nd week home he gained 10.5 oz and that was with a couple nursing sessions in the day and fortifier at night So then if I wanted to start just nursing exclusively I could but then just give him a bottle if he is acting like he didn't get enough. Well- that routine is still leaving me so busy!
Here are my questions- I am nursing 10-15 min each side and have no idea what he is getting obviously. He often acts hungry again so we give him about 60cc of EMB- he either takes it all or doesn't. My breasts are still full because he isn't emptying them completely when he nurses so I still pump about 10 min after wards to relieve them. The first week I started this I had a plugged duct and felt like I was getting mastitis-(Which never seemed to show up but I had pain and a red line- and all that has gone away so has the plug) But it has left my right breast pumping about an oz less then the left. Is that from the plugged duct? its been almost a week now and it hasn't regained the oz.
Also- How do I begin to phase out the pumping? I am worried that if I stop pumping I will be left with plugged ducts and engorgement- then my supply will decrease as its not being "used" and I worry that I won't be able to increase the supply when he starts taking more because it decreased. SO I am afraid to stop pumping and just go on his cues. The other idea is that if I don't give him a bottle of BM afterwards and still pump...and if he acts hungry again, to just nurse him, My breasts won't be as full because I pumped.
I would love to be able to exclusively nurse him but the worry about losing my supply scares me- Since he is probably only eating 1.5oz each side right now-if he even gets that- so that leaves each side with 2.5oz of milk (well right side with less since its not producing as much?)
I would just love a solution on what to do now.
I hope this isn't too confusing and my questions are clear. Sorry its long too. I have been hoping to find help to make this go easier
One more piece of information- I find even when giving him just a bottle- we will put in 3-4 oz of BM- he takes the 4 oz and sometimes still acts hungry! Other times he will only take 3oz. Sometimes he even wants to eat like an hour later! (and this isn't just with nursing) We joke that he is just a little piggy, but this just seems like so much milk for a little guy. He is currently 39 weeks 2 days--5 weeks old. His last weight was 6lbs 10.5 oz (as of last Wednesday) and his birth weight was 4lbs 13 oz.