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Thread: Breastfeeding my preterm baby

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding my preterm baby

    Hi

    I had my baby girl at week 37 Day 2. She was 2.29 kilos(5.1 pounds) at birth. I had a c-section operation and so she was started off on formula bottle for the first 2 days at the hospital. The lactation consultants at the hospital tried to get me started on breastfeeding her but I have flat nipples. We tried using a nipple shield but did not meet with much success. Day 3 was spent manually extracting the colostrum and feeding it through the nipple shield. From Day 4 I started producing more colostrum. We were discharged from the hospital that day. We spent Day 5 and 6 struggling with nipple shields and manually squeezing my breasts and fed her as we could. The doctor had advised 2 hourly feeds which seemed impossible as each session lasted almost an hour. Finally on Day 6 we went to the doctor for a follow up visit and he suggested expressed milk. Today is Day 11 and for the last five days I have been consistently pumping and providing expressed milk to my baby. Ocassionally, about three times or so everyday I get her to suckle at my breast for a few minutes, mostly using the nipple shield. She doesnt always drink milk, but I dribble milk on her lips, and keep up the efforts. Sometimes the milk collects in the shield and I pour it into her mouth. I am able to pump close to 275 ml of breastmilk within a 24 hour window and am feeding her about 10 times in every 24 hour window.
    My questions are:
    1. Since she's feeding off bottles all day, 10 times a day, will she ever take to my breast, either directly or with the help of a shield?
    2. What can I do to improve chances of her taking to my breast in the long run?
    3. Do I need to worry about diminishing supply of breastmilk as I've heard that the breast produces more only on direct feeding as opposed to expressed through a pump?
    4. I find that my right breast is producing more milk so I pump it a little more than the left. Does this cause any problems in the long run?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
    An anxious mom of a newborn!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Oreogn City, OR
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Breastfeeding my preterm baby

    hi, i had some problems too. my baby was born by c section at 42 weeks + 1 day.
    They told me she was losing weight while we were in the hospital because I had short nipples and she couldn't latch on. By day 5 she was getting formula to supplement and we went home. We used the bottle and a nipple shield until just a couple weeks ago (she's 8 weeks now). I dunno if it'll help, but here's what we did:

    Nurse as often as possible, hopefully 10-20 mins per side, and pump 10-20 mins after every nursing session to build supply and stimulate breasts.

    Offer bottle after nursing only if they're still hungry. After she started latching onto the shield pretty good we started using a supplemental nursing system instead of bottle for more stimulation.

    At around 5 wks we latched successfully without the shield. And since I couldn't figure out the SNS without the shield I started nursing for as long as she wants as often as she wants...sometimes that's 10 mins on one or both sides or switching back and forth over and over. Most of the time i don't even look at the clock anymore and rely on baby to say when she wants to switch sides or is finished.

    I don't know what was up with my supply, but I stopped pumping between nursing sessions because she seemed more irritable at the next session when I did that. I think it was emptying my breasts too much and my LO wasn't getting what she needed. Once I stopped doing that I was also able to reduce the amount of supplement she was receiving (whether it was by bottle or SNS).

    now at 8 wks she's nursing what seems like constantly but only gets 6-9 oz of bottles per day (like after she nursed 2x on each side for 20 min each and is still hungry.)

    i tracked her diapers and weight gain and worked closely with a lactation nurse through my insurance provider.

    Good luck! It does get easier

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,174

    Default Re: Breastfeeding my preterm baby

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! Sorry things have been so difficult for you.

    1. Since she's feeding off bottles all day, 10 times a day, will she ever take to my breast, either directly or with the help of a shield?
    Perhaps. There are no guarantees! But if you are patient and persistent, your chances improve.

    2. What can I do to improve chances of her taking to my breast in the long run?
    Check out this link: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html It covers all the ways I know to get a baby to the breast. In particular, I suggest trying the skin-to-skin and instant reward techniques.

    3. Do I need to worry about diminishing supply of breastmilk as I've heard that the breast produces more only on direct feeding as opposed to expressed through a pump?
    Yes, it is generally more difficult to maintain and increase supply when exclusively pumping than when exclusively nursing or combining nursing and pumping. But it's not impossible. You just need to be more vigilant. If you see a dip in supply, you need to pump more often and for longer periods until you have brought it back up. This link may be useful: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

    4. I find that my right breast is producing more milk so I pump it a little more than the left. Does this cause any problems in the long run?
    It's normal to have one breast that produces more than the other. It's generally not problematic unless you end up lopsided due to uneven production. If you want to prevent lopsidedness, pump both breasts for the same amount of time regardless of output, or pump the underachiever for longer than the overachiever.

    Your screen name makes me think you're in Pennsylvania. If so, where? I know 2 terrific LCs, one in the Philly area and one in State College.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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