Bf after NICU

(16 Posts)
TiesThatBind Sat 11-Jul-15 16:44:17

My son was born on Monday at 37 weeks, weighing 5 lbs 15 oz.

He had trouble breathing and was immediately taken to NICU. He needed ventilation for respiratory distress syndrome and then light treatment for jaundice but finally came off all breathing assistance yesterday, and the switched the UV lights off at lunchtime.

He is currently being fed my EBM through a feeding tube. We did skin to skin for the first time this afternoon and he showed no interest in latching. He has got a sick reflex but even when I was had expressing into his mouth he barely battered an eyelid.

Any suggestions on how to encourage him to feed? I am longing to get him home and worried that he shows no interest in my boobs!

Thank you

TheEagle Sat 11-Jul-15 16:58:06

From all I've read about BFing after NICU (this is generally in relation to feeding premie twins), try to look on it as a marathon not a sprint.

Lots of skin to skin contact, offer the boob as often as possible and encourage baby to latch. Also pump every three hours to encourage your milk supply.

My twins were born at 35+6 and spent 3 nights in NICU. They had formula and EBM feeds there but once we came home they have only fed from the breast. They are 12 weeks today.

It's hard having a baby in the NICU so be kind to yourself, get plenty to eat and drink and rest as much as you can.

If you have the luxury, once you get home just spend as much time with baby close to you as possible.

Good luck and congratulations on your lovely new baby.

TheEagle Sat 11-Jul-15 16:59:25

Ps. I didn't particularly want my twins to have formula, or bottles, but I did want to get them home ASAP. Giving some formula and bottles helped that process along.

icclemunchy Sun 12-Jul-15 00:31:43

DD2 spent nearly 3weeks in NICU. Initially she had expressed milk via ng but she got an infection and all feeds stopped for a while. She then had hourly formula feeds via no because they couldn't get her blood sugars up, before back to Expressed via ng and me trying to feed from the breast.

First day she showed no interest, second day she snuffled about a bit but didn't really latch, third day she latched and fed for around 10mins every other feed, day 4 she fed every feed and had top ups and day 5 she was off and feeding happly and well from me no more tube/top ups.

At first I was really disheartened but the nurses were happy to offer advice and reassurance.

Be kind to yourself, NICU is hard. Lot of skin to skin and I'm sure you'll both get there soon smile

UpUpAndAway123 Sun 12-Jul-15 21:28:13

As much skin to skin as possible (in the Netherlands they practise 24hr skin to skin in some units!)-this will keep him warm and physiologically stable, encourage milk supply and let him feed when he wants.
Making sure you express at least 8 times in 24 hrs once being in night between 2-4 to get optimal milk supply. Asking them not to space feeds any longer than 3 hours apart whilst being tube fed. See what plans they have to get him fully bfing once interested e.g. demand him during the day over a period of hours initially building up to demanding fully.
Have a drink and food with you.
Congratulations �� x x

lavendersun Sun 12-Jul-15 21:36:07

Congratulations OP.

My Dd was born at 29 weeks and spent 13 weeks in the NICU. It took her 5 months to learn to bf properly after such a dodgy start/long stint. We carried on for a good two years though so sort of made up for it smile.

Ask for help, repeatedly if you need to, I am hardly an expert but I would say keep pumping and keep offering .... It will happen, it might take a while to get it established but I fed ebm in a bottle for 5 months until we could drop it, I bet you get there before I did smile.

I hope you are all home together soon.

Ask the nurses, lactation consultant etc., they will help you.

TiesThatBind Mon 13-Jul-15 03:28:41

Thank you so much. After much skin to skin he tried to latch today which is really encouraging. I will keep persevering and hope that tomorrow he tries again.

Really grateful for the encouragement - lovely to hear other peoples' success stories!

lavendersun Mon 13-Jul-15 14:59:06

Lovely news TiesThatBind. Hope today goes well and hope that you are not too knackered from it all, the NICU is exhausting.

I still remember the first skin to skin, must have been 15 days into it for us because she was so small and ill - I was so petrified that I made DH go first!

jellymum1704 Mon 13-Jul-15 23:03:16

My DS was in NICU for 4 weeks following a surgery. He was tube fed for 2 weeks after which I gradually started BFing starting few minutes on each side. It helps to keep pumping to build up your supply. Do take all the help you can for LCs and your health visitor. I was quite anxious earlier but things settled in about couple of weeks at home. Try lots of skin to skin and do relax as you will get there. We are successfully BFing 3 months since.

Twunk Mon 13-Jul-15 23:06:33

The same happened to me (DS2 was born at 34 weeks) - we had a week in NICU before I got the chance to bf. He took to it well - better after we were home. I personally found it easier to lie in bed with him as I was more relaxed.

He breastfed until he was 3....

Twunk Mon 13-Jul-15 23:07:20

(He had IRDS that is, he also had seizures)

Good luck xxx

TiesThatBind Wed 15-Jul-15 21:14:34

Good news - he is doing brilliantly! We are now bf for every feed and the feeding tube is coming out. Only issue is that I was pumping much more than he is now taking, so slightly worried he isn't getting enough. But I am trying to relax and just enjoy the long overdue snuggles.

lavendersun Wed 15-Jul-15 21:23:20

Lovely news tiesthatbind, good for you smile.

Twunk Wed 15-Jul-15 21:59:20

Lovely!! flowers

I pumped a lot too. You may just produce lots of milk - I know I did xx

callamia Thu 16-Jul-15 13:38:40

Ties, you rule! I had a baby who had a similar start to yours, and we took longer than you to BF (mainly because NICU bottle-fed him). I hope it goes well for you. Don't worry about how much he is taking during a feed - remember his stomach is tiny, and bf also uses up a fair amount of effort.

My son went from 60ml bottles to bf with me (when my milk had barely come in). I thought he would certainly starve - he didn't, he carried on putting on weight. Really well done, and good luck with getting out of hospital soon!

Chchchchangeabout Thu 16-Jul-15 13:43:04

Everyone has given great advice just to say we had very similar circs and managed to BF to 18 months.

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