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Thread: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

  1. #1

    Default Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    Hello! (originally posted in wrong section)

    My baby was born via c-section at 29+3 wks gestation due to pregnancy induced hypertension/preeclampsia. I am currently 10 days post-op, baby weighed 2lbs,10oz. at birth. I breastfed my first child until 8 months and wanted at least that for this one. I was given Mag. Sulfate for 2 days postpartum.

    Baby is in NICU and cannot nurse, so I have been pumping exclusively with a Medela Symphony every 3-4 hours for 15 mins or until milk stops. Since I started getting milk about 4 days ago, I have only gotten .5 oz total from both breasts/per session. 2 days ago I started breast compressions and power pumping, but my supply hasn't really increased at all yet. I have been getting that full, achy feeling, but I still don't see an increase in supply.

    I spoke with the NICU lactation consultant today, and she basically told me because of my complications and PIH, it was a losing battle and that I probably wouldn't ever get my supply going well enough to breastfeed when the baby was finally ready (in a month or so).

    I am very discouraged, and don't know if I should just give up! I feel so sad that I might not get to have that special bond with my second child that I felt while nursing my first.

    Someone please tell me if the lactation consultant is wrong! I really want to make it work, but just want to know if it's possible this far out. Is it okay to take the fenugreek with a preemie? Does anyone have any suggestions or personal stories?

    Thanks ladies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    I do not have any BTDT advice. Like Heather said in your other posts there are llladies here who have and I am sure they will be able to help out.

    In the meantime here are some LLL articles on premies.
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.

    Find a local LLL leader

    For each and every one of us, the person from whom we can learn the most is our own baby: listen to him. - Mary White, LLL co-founder

    The best-kept secret in child psychology is that children who were never spanked are among the best behaved."
    Murray Straus, Ph.D.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    Welcome and congratulations on your Preemie! Although my daughter wasn't quite that early, I do have a lot of experience. We had every problem imaginable and overcame it to nurse for 18 months (happily self weaned!). First of all, you are doing a great job! Do NOT let anyone in the NICU tell you what you can and can't do. My experience is that your baby is their patient and they find parent intervention to be a nuisance. So nod and smile and let them take care of your baby but take nothing to heart. From the stories you will read on this site, most mama's had oversupply with their Preemies. But you need to give yourself some time. .5 OZ is not a bad output for a now 30 weeker. How much are they supplementing, outside of what you pump? My guess is it shouldn't be too much more than that. If you are looking to increase it, which is totally understandable as a NICU mom - sometimes pumping is all we have to offer our tiny babies at this point - then I would increase your sessions. I would do it every 2 hours and pump for 20 minutes, religiously and around the clock. The more you pump, the more you are telling your body you need to make. But be careful, you do not want to be increasing your supply well beyond your babe's needs. You will find yourself with more problems later. Also be sure to drink plenty of water. If you are not hydrated your body can't produce liquids. You also might want to consider renting the hospital grade pump for a few weeks. They tend to be stronger and more efficient than store bought ones. Most importantly, don't be discouraged! You can do this!!!
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    Congrats on your LO mama! How are you doing?

    Yes, that lactation consultant is completely wrong and has no business telling you that. Will it be easy? No it won't, but you can do it for sure. We had pre-e and HELLP and went on to a very successful BF relationship.

    Is you LO on a ventilator? IV? As soon as you can take he/she out of the isolette, do it. Kangaroo your LO as much as you can. That will do wonders for baby, you, and your supply.

    I don't think that you really need to think about supplements quite yet...just lots of skin to skin and lots of pumping. You'll get there.

    You can definitely do this mama.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    Our precious early angel

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    My little man was born at 29.6wks and was 2lbs 14oz. He is now 17mo/14.5mo and loves to nurse! You can do this! There were times within the first week or so that I didn't get anything when I pumped.

    I recommend increasing your pumping sessions to every 2 hours for 15-20 minutes and maybe every 3 hours during the night. Try not to watch your milk when you're pumping, but instead look at a picture of your baby, think about when you nursed your other baby, pump next to the isolette when possible, and when you hold your little one try and pump right after. Hand expression might help.

    Drink lots of water and you can also drink Mother's Milk Tea. Steel Cut oatmeal can help increase supply. Make sure the flanges for your pump are the right size too, so your nipples don't rub on them. There are medications, like Reglan, that can increase supply, but I don't know anything about them - if you post in the Increasing Milk Supply section you'll likely get some mama's who have used it.

    I can't believe that NICU lactation consultant told you to just quit. She of all people should know how important breastmilk is for a preemie and should be helping you utilize anything and everything to get your supply going. Is there another lactation consultant you can talk to? Your OB? Have you found any nurses that are supportive of breastfeeding - they might have some resources for you.

    The NICU is a world of it's own and I'm sorry your little one was born early and you have to go through all of this. Remember that this is your baby and speak up for your family.

    Here are a few links.
    http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/ (lots of info on milk supply, hand expression, etc.)
    www.preemie-l.org (support group)
    www.inspire.com/groups/preemie (support group)
    Last edited by @llli*jenniebean5; June 16th, 2010 at 08:18 PM.
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    Thank you SOOO much ladies for the encouragement!! You have given me hope, and that is exactly what I needed!

    The LO is currently taking 7ccs/3hrs, so I am making close to what he is eating so far.

    I will increase the pumping sessions to 20mins/2hrs, along with breast compressions and power pumping.

    I will let you know how it goes!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    intersection of Mommy Guilt and True Bliss

    Default Re: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    I'm also a mom of preemies. My boys were born at 33 weeks, 6 days and spent 3 weeks in the NICU. I don't have much to add as the other lovely ladies on here have pretty much covered most things.

    Having a baby in the NICU is no fun and quite stressful. I lived an hour away from my hospital and drove up there twice a day to visit. I am also an EP mom for now until my boys' reflux is under control. I have pumped every day from day one and for probably about a month and a half, nursed and pumped back to back.

    My suggestions would be:

    *get your rest while you can
    *take your pump with you to the hospital (I pumped in the NICU while visiting my boys)
    *do kangaroo care as soon as you're able
    *make sure you're eating enough protein
    *if you can, set a timer for a reminder of your pumping sessions. I pumped every 2 hours around the clock, no matter what
    *don't forget to drink your water

    I had severe oversupply when the boys were born and as they've gotten older, my supply has fluctuated. Its only started to regulate out again when I was watching my protein intake. I've had to add in a protein supplement to one of my glasses of milk a day.

    My guess is that because your little one was born so early, its going to take a little bit longer before your body catches up and kicks milk production into overdrive. You're soon probably going to be wishing for an undersupply.

    Congratulations on the birth of your little one and I look forward to hearing about your progress!
    Mom to daughter (8/17/07) and mom to fraternal twin sons (1/5/10)

    *Mom with chronic health issues, NICU babies, reflux sufferers, multiple food allergies (mom and kids)
    *DD birthweight 5lb, 14oz, now 26lb, 4oz
    *DS1 birthweight 4lb, 6oz, now 19lb
    *DS2 birthweight 4lb, 2oz, now 18lb, 12oz

    **An EXCELLENT speller, unless I have either a child on my lap or I'm using my cell phone!**


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Default Re: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    Do not listen to the LC that told you that you can't BF your early baby!!!

    My LO was born at 30 weeks via emergency c-section due to HELLP Syndrome - basically severe PIH/Pre-E. I pumped for the entire 7 weeks that she was in the NICU and for the first few weeks after she came home. I pumped every 2-3 hours during the day and 1-2x per night. I was able to keep up most of the time that she was in the NICU, but towards the end I couldn't. I tried everything...and eventually tried Reglan (it made me crazy and I had to stop).

    Fast forward to now...I do have to supplement a bit, and it does make me sad that I can't BF her 100% - but it's not for lack of trying. My LO does get about 8 oz of formula in a 24 hour period. I do the best I can with the BF and try not to worry about the formula she does get.

    Having a baby in the NICU is so hard. I agree with the pp - pump by your LOs isolette...kangaroo as much as you can. Don't worry about not having enough milk! The stress will make it more difficult for you to pump...try not to look at the output the whole time you are pumping!

    to you mama!
    I'm Candice
    WAHM to Lauren
    Born 11/2/09 at 30 weeks due to Mama's HELLP Syndrome
    2 pounds, 14 ounces
    7 weeks in the NICU
    6 months: 11 pounds, 9 ounces
    7 months: 13 pounds, 13 ounces

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Default Re: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    I wanted to add that I also had the mag - that stuff is awful!
    I'm Candice
    WAHM to Lauren
    Born 11/2/09 at 30 weeks due to Mama's HELLP Syndrome
    2 pounds, 14 ounces
    7 weeks in the NICU
    6 months: 11 pounds, 9 ounces
    7 months: 13 pounds, 13 ounces

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Pumping for Preemie (only .5 oz total/session)

    I had mag twice...once during delivery of my first 35 weeker for high BP due to pre-e and second time I had it for preterm labor at 28 weeks with DS2 (he was born at 35 weeks also)

    The stuff is horrible!!!

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

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