5 day old premmie, desperate to bf, please help

(21 Posts)
CuppaCiggieBiccieBliss Sun 22-Sep-13 19:00:24

My beautiful dd2 is 5 days old and was born at 35 weeks. I have been expressing feeds for her as she can't latch and also topping up with formula as I can't pump enough for all her feeds.
The midwife has advised that it will take time for her to latch but I'm worried about my supply suffering. I offer the breast at every feed but nothing yet.
Does anyone have any advice at all?

ep1977 Sun 22-Sep-13 19:09:04

Congratulation!! My dd was born week 33, keep at it and don't stress..

Poppet45 Sun 22-Sep-13 19:12:56

rolls up sleeves. Right my lovely if you want to bf your beautiful dd you absolutely can. Theres lots of time to get this cracked and as she grows and gets stronger it'll only get easier... and I'm typing this as my former 27 weeker dd feeds to sleep. First up try not to fret too much about her latch at this stage your time is better spent building up your supply such that even if shes a fairly weak feeder for some weeks your supply will get her through. I didnt really get on with pumps so hand exptessed. I did it 2 hourly daytime, sometimes even hourly during evenings while I watched telly to mimic clusterfeeding and 1-2 times overnighht. You want 8-10 'feeds' a day. Before I expressed I always massaged the breast and nipple tissue then I expressed each side til the letdown faded - so only a couple of mins or so - then back to the other side then kept swapping. I'd express for 10-20 minss in total but wouldnt stop til it left like my boobs were empty to keep building that supply

Poppet45 Sun 22-Sep-13 19:22:02

Other things that helped us were lots of skin to skin, drinking gallons of the old fashioned lemon barley water to boost supply, giving dd plenty of chance to latch or nuzzle during tubefeeds and to politely fend off mws with bottles and 4 hrly feeding regimens for as long as possible - beak cups, syringes, sns supplemental nursing systems (google it) are all viable alternatives. Really good luck. Its tough but so are many aspects of an early arrival. And if dc does go home on top ups that doesnt have to be for long. In many ways thats the hardest time as your feeding, expressing, topping up and sterilising so need to feel its not for ever. Dd kicked top ups at 6 weeks.

MrsHoratioNelson Sun 22-Sep-13 19:22:45

No practical advice, but just to reassure you that my friend's 5 week prem DD didn't latch at first but eventually got so wedded to the boob that they regretted not getting her used to a bottle sooner! It can be done, try not to panic smile

Bryzoan Sun 22-Sep-13 19:40:56

Another one here ... My 34 week dd is 3 now but I bf her till 19months. It took 2 and a half months to fully establish though. I used a hospital grade pump every 3 hrs and attempted a bf before every feed. Initially she had an ng tube, then we tried just bf, then eventually switched to bottle top ups until she established. It was tough as the rigmarole of bf, bottle feed, express, wash and sterilise took about 90 mins which meant 90 left for sleep / doctors / visitors / eating etc. My dd also had low blood sugars so feeds had to be 3 hourly.

I would say the key thing right now is to build your supply. At day 5 your milk might not even be in yet... I would express every 3 hrs for now, with her if you can as it will stimulate your supply more effectively. Then lots and lots of kangaroo care / skin to skin (where possible). And try not to fret as you can absolutely get there if you want to. You just need to protect your supply, make sure she is fed by whatever means necessary, have loads of skin to skin and keep trying. Don't expect immediate success though - be prepared for a long haul.

Bryzoan Sun 22-Sep-13 19:42:09

Forgot to say - huge congratulations :-) and very best wishes to you both.

Bryzoan Sun 22-Sep-13 19:44:05

Also my dd has low tone and other issues as well as being prem - I think taking as long to nail it as we did is very unusual.

CuppaCiggieBiccieBliss Sun 22-Sep-13 19:45:46

Thankyou so much for the advice, I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear that it's not too late.
I'm expressing 3 hourly, maybe I should try more often?
We are having as much skin to skin as possible, along with 4 year old dd1 grin
I feel like I get conflicting advice from different midwives. Some seen keen on bf but others seem to prioritise the fact that formula would help her gain weight quicker. I am not against ff at all btw, I just really had my heart set on bf this time.

Poppet45 Sun 22-Sep-13 20:06:22

I think you need at least 8 expressing sessions a day so rather than go three hourly round the clock I'd get more uunder my belt during the day so theres only a couple at night. That said the nightly ones are imp... I think 2am or so is particularly good for building supply. Something to do with night feeds.

Amyksays Sun 22-Sep-13 20:07:32

Just to add my support - 5 week early DD too, we were in the baby unit for three weeks and established bf in the last 5 days before leaving, she was on ng tube before that - no problems. Now 8 months old and can't get her on a bottle!

Staff and support at Exeter excellent, hope you have good support too. They were absolutely confident it would happen - ng tube and formula top ups do not interfere with bf.

But - if it doesn't happen, don't beat yourself up, you've already given the best possible start, congratulations and good luck! X

Mama1980 Sun 22-Sep-13 20:17:09

Hi congratulations thanks
Some excellent advice here, if you want to breast feed you can. My ds2 was born at 24 weeks and I managed to establish supply which is the key thing, the latch will come. Ds was 38 weeks corrected before he could latch and suck properly. I pumped every 2 hours and a couple overnight, to mimic night feeding. I would massage my breast beforehand and after as well. It took a while but I'm still breast feeding ds who's now 9 months.
I'm not anti ff but I was desperate to breast feed and luckily was hugely supported by the nurses. I was also recommended to drink barley water or just plain water whilst expressing. I'm not sure why but every little helps smile
Good luck x

simonthedog Sun 22-Sep-13 20:26:08

Congratulations!
My dd1 was born at 36 weeks and dd2 at 35 weeks both of them managed to latch on at 10 days old. I expressed three hourly. I would try to get them to feed from me first, then syringe feed them, then express ready for the next feed. That whole process took about an hour, it is exhausting, but you will get through it.
My dd2 turned 1 last week and is now massive!

OcadoSubstitutedMyHummus Sun 22-Sep-13 20:51:16

Have you tried using nipple shields? I had a very similar situation with a prem baby who couldn't latch who then manage it first go with nipple shields. I found medela the best.

mikkii Sun 22-Sep-13 20:53:29

Congratulations.

DD2 was born at 36 weeks. As she was DC3 I don't think anyone considered I might have issues feeding her.

Initially I was had expressing and cup feeding but this didn't suit me.

As soon as I was home I got my Avent pump out and started syringe feeding (a lot less messy than a cup, I found it really dispiriting to watch my hard won expressed milk dribbling away!). We then progressed to breast feeding with expressed top ups as she tired too quickly.

She is now a spirited bloody minded three next month. Still petite, but so is DS who was born at term.

Good luck.

aufaniae Sun 22-Sep-13 23:24:22

kellymom.com is a great source of advice about BFing.

Here's their page on breastfeeding a premature baby

It's also worth bearing in mind that midwives are not necessarily breastfeeding experts. Some of them may be great, but others might not be able to give you the advice and support you need to best support your decision to breastfeed.

If you want advice from BFing experts, you could try getting in touch with La Leche League. They have a breastfeeding helpline.

Or maybe try talking to one of the midwives who does seem supportive and knowledgable about BFing, about how (understandably) confused you are getting with conflicting advice, and how much you do want to BF.

aufaniae Sun 22-Sep-13 23:24:55
cashewsmummy Mon 23-Sep-13 12:08:29

Firstly many congratulations!!! Secondly have confidence in your ability to breastfeed and you will. If your baby is having trouble latching on then you could try breast shields which worked for us to draw out the nipple or a latch assist. All available from boots. We only needed them for a short time until b/f was established. My DD2 was fine putting on weight etc purely on the boob so it can be done but I fed every two hours... Hard work but worth it. She wasn't preemi so I've no experience of that but I do believe that having confidence and belief goes a long way. Good luck xx

CuppaCiggieBiccieBliss Tue 24-Sep-13 09:34:25

Thankyou all so much for the advice. We had a breakthrough yesterday, she had a 4 hour feeding frenzy (using a nipple shield)
This morning she has fed again for an hour before falling asleep. I am hoping and praying that this is the start for us smile

OcadoSubstitutedMyHummus Tue 24-Sep-13 12:09:51

Brilliant news!

cashewsmummy Wed 25-Sep-13 13:26:04

Wonderful. Well done to both of you xx

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