Up and Down!

(10 Posts)
FraggleRock77 Thu 07-Nov-13 19:26:10

Experiences please? Our baby is nearly 33 Wks now and i feel so up and down in my mood. It doesn't help that I'm trying to establish breast feeding but he is still NG tube fed. He is forever pulling his NG out and screams his head off when it's put back down. I just can't bare to hear him scream and then I'm on the verge of tears all day.
I can see why some Mothers give up on breast feeding so a bottle can be given and the NG taken out.
I'm so worried he's being hurt, damaged and about the long term consequences of the NG. I know it's only for a short time longer and I'm possibly being irrational but i need to hear some feed back please confused

plentyofsoap Fri 08-Nov-13 09:59:51

Hi fraggle sorry to hear you are feeling like this. My ds was born at 33 weeks and it was a complete nightmare with his feeding.
I will be totally honest with you in that I gave up trying to breast feed as it was making me ill with the stress of it all, plus he lost weight. I expressed so he did have some. I'm sure others will have more advise which could help. I felt guilty about not being able to do it but he needed to get fed, get bigger and get home.
He will not remember it only that mum was with him. My ds looks at the pics now and is thrilled that he was a special baby.
Ds started in the bottle fine and sucking reflex kicks in 34/35 weeks so it gets better. Look after yourself.

Ilanthe Fri 08-Nov-13 10:29:54

Hello Fraggle. My DS1 was born at 33 weeks. He was also fed by NG tube and pulled it out frequently. We really struggled to establish breast feeding, he had no desire to suckle at all. We bottle fed EBM to get discharged then established bfing at home with lots of skin to skin once he was past his due date. You could think about that, perhaps, though it doesn't work for everyone.

My tiny 33 weeker is now nearly 4 and you would never ever know he had been born prem. There have been no long term effects at all. He won't be damaged by the NG tube, honestly, these babies are far more resilient than we think. I was in and out of hospital with threatened prem labour with my second and when we told DS1 that of all of us he'd spent the longest time in hospital he was excited and wanted to know all about it.

Good luck. It does get better, even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

Pipsmilkmaid Sat 09-Nov-13 02:53:05

Don't dishearten 33 weeks is still early to have suck , sollow , breath working together well. Do plenty of kangeroo care and have his tub feeds done like that so the smell of you is associated with s full tummy.
My son was born at 30 weeks it took us a couple of weeks to establish bf as he tired quickly. We took him home at 35 weeks fully breastfed. Do you have nursery nurses or bf counsellors on your unit? We had a lovely one who say with me while I tired to latch him on and helped with positioning. The nurses were great to. I did find when he had his tube feed whilst latched on it made him lazy the next time so wouldn't recommend that. Also pump a little before you offer breast it maybe your a little too full plus whateverilk you baby gets will be the more rich hindmilk.
I started with offering the breast before a couple of tube feeds a day and built up time from there .
The NG tube shouldn't do any damage, my ds would regularly pull his out most often during the night when we weren't there, it's horrible to see it being put back you could try comfert touch to doorbell whilst they do it or just step out, it doesn't mKe you a bad mummy if you can't stay.
Keep positive your doing great. On the days when you feel low look at how far you've come.

MiaowTheCat Sat 09-Nov-13 13:46:20

I'll be honest - I "gave up" (in inverted commas since we never really had a fighting chance - she had a tongue tie I later found that they'd never bothered to check for and also because I think the terminology used implies that it was some kind of a case of weaker will tbh) so we could get home sooner... because otherwise I would have snapped completely under the strain of being plonked in the corner of a normal maternity ward and treated like shit by the staff there for much longer. That was the brutal choice I made - but the hospital were viler than vile to me and I needed to get out of there or I'd have snapped so badly they'd have taken her off me.

She's now so tall and thriving that people look at me in disbelief that "she can't possibly be that teeny tiny baby can she?!"

Even on bottles she didn't lose the NG tube till a good week further on than you are now - came home just at the end of what would have been the 35 week mark.

(I also had scratch mitts on her to stop the tube pulling - had to run micropore tape around the cuffs of the mitts to keep them on but it did the job and only needed the tube refitted a couple of times instead of a couple of times a day)

FraggleRock77 Sat 09-Nov-13 20:18:55

Thank you for all the feed back. Our baby has really progressed with breast feeding over the past two days! Latching on for 20 mins during most day feeds.
He is still determined to pull his NG out most days but I've learnt to step away and calm myself down.
Really interesting to hear about not feeding while latched on. Also about the bottle feeding to speed up discharge and breast feeding once home.
I've had a serious mini melt down about it all but feeling much more positive now.
Thank you so much, really makes a huge difference to hear others experiences xxx

IAmTheMaster Sun 10-Nov-13 06:55:04

hi fraggle! glad to hear it's been going better! i just wanted to add a word of support, as i know how awfully hard it can be on some days (apologies for the lack of capitals - typing one-handed with baby on my lap). my 29-weeker is now fully breastfed at 2 months corrected, but it took us a good long while. the ng tube did him no harm, as far as i can tell. he started breastfeeding and finger-feeding around 33 weeks, with the odd bottle thrown in from 35 weeks onwards. he began managing some full feeds from the breast around 36/37 weeks (before then he had top-ups through ng tube), though he still often needed top-ups by bottle (ebm), and had ebm bottles when i couldn't be with him at night. we went home part breastfeeding with a nipple shield and part bottlefeeding ebm. i'd bore you with the details of how we got from there to ebf without a shield, but it'd be dull and involve lots of expressing and crying smile anyway, the things i wished someone had told me at the time are:

1) if your prem baby has enough bf experience under his belt, i don't think giving them bottles is too big a deal. i was terrified of bottles, but they didn't harm my baby's bf skills in the long run. it's really important to get all those early bf sessions in, though, so well done you!

2) with preemies, time is on your side. their feeding skills will only get better, but it might take a while

3) going home with a prem baby can feel very difficult, especially if you feel unsure about how well your baby can breastfeed. if at all possible, make sure you feel well supported by trusted family members / friends those first two weeks - the presence of bf-friendly people can really make a difference

4) you can do it! it feels like such an uphill struggle so much of the time and is so time-consuming, and there have probably been and probably will still be lots of times when you feel like packing it in, but you can do it!!

let us know how you get on and stay positive. if you feel down about feeding, think of all the milk your baby's already received and give yourself a massive pat on the back

Ds wasn't born quite so early at 35 weeks but he was fed by NG tube for the first week and a half when I finally got to put him to the breast. It was hard work (especially as they'd been tubing 30ml every hour shock) as he was never hungry and I felt in a catch 22. Once they agreed to remove the tube it all got a lot easier. Ds is 11 months now and I only stopped fb him a few weeks ago (his choice not mine!).

Congratulations, it sounds as though you're both doing really well. It's such a difficult situation and I know it feels like you've been there forever!

FraggleRock77 Wed 13-Nov-13 08:38:10

Thank you for all the detailed feedback. Sorry it's taken me a while to reply, no signal in NICU. All the experiences have been very informative and reassuring. Xxx

MultipleMama Germany Thu 14-Nov-13 12:45:10

My DD didn't mind her tube but we wanted her home quicker so they suggested cup/dropper/spoon for when I wasn't there instead of using the tube and bottle. She mastered the cup straight away and she came not long after. I breastfed mostly now I'm home but the cup was great for DH to use when I wasn't there.

So glad to hear that he's feeding well xx

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