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To stay here with prem baby?

(37 Posts)
ohbuggerthisaintwhatweplanned Mon 15-May-17 18:11:56

I wrote a post just over a week ago about the fact my baby was going to be born at 33 weeks. She's here and she's doing well but still needs help with her feeds so can't come home yet. I'm currently trying to breastfeed and long term the ideal plan would be to mix feed bottles and boob.

I have a 2 yr old at home. What do I do?!?! I've been here in hospital over a week now but miss my ds like mad and his dad says he misses me too (dad doing a grand job - he's not trying to make me feel guilty) if I go home and come in during the days to be with new baby does that mean breastfeeding won't be successful? If I stay here will my ds forget I exist?!

What should I do I'm so torn.

EnglishRose1320 Mon 15-May-17 18:15:19

I'm afraid I have no personal advice, haven't had a prem baby but a friend of mine did this, came home to spend time with the toddler for a long weekend and then went back in to establish feeding, don't know if that is an option for you? She is now home with baby and baby is doing well being fully breastfed. She has had three premies and has done a similar thing for all of them and she was really lucky and they all managed to be fully breastfed. Different for every baby though so do what's best for your family and try not to feel guilty because what ever you do will be right for you all.

booloobalooloo Mon 15-May-17 18:16:22

For breastfeeding the most important times for establishing supply are early mornings. You could pump as soon as you get up in the morning and at regular feed times during the time you are away from baby to try to keep your supply going.

Lalala82 Mon 15-May-17 18:16:42

Congratulations on your new baby! I had a 30 weeker + 2.2 dc at home and can well remember the feeling of being torn between the two. We didn't stay in the hospital I expressed thru the night and brought in milk and eventually established bf which we were very lucky with. Scbu and Nicu were both pro us going home at be with family and, if I felt I needed to come in overnight I did. It hasn't affected my bond with either child although can obvs only speak for myself. Look after yourself over the next few weeks and whatever you decide will be right for you there is no right or wrong in this situation! flowers

MrsJayy Mon 15-May-17 18:16:49

Did they say when baby could go home? What I did with dd2 when she was in babycare was go home for a couple of hours once dd1 cqme out of nursery and then go back dd2 was just in 10 days though and did that twice dd1 was 4 so her understanding was a bit better than a 2yr old.

NataliaOsipova Mon 15-May-17 18:21:32


I'm going to stick my neck out....and say I'd go home to my toddler. As others have said, you can keep trying to express and keep your milk supply up....but your DS will miss you and, longer term, I don't think the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the potential downside of your son resenting his sister in the longer term. I know he won't remember it consciously, but things that happen in early childhood can have a longer term impact on children. But that's how I would see it - there are no rights and wrongs with this sort of thing. Wish you the very best.

Iambubbles86 Mon 15-May-17 18:22:32

I had D's at 33 weeks, we were allowed to stay for 3 nights then if we lived local encouraged to go home between 8pm and 8am so other parents who lived further away/had more poorly babies could use the beds. I expressed over night but D's was mainly fed through a nasal tube as they said babies couldn't breastfeed properly till 36 weeks (proved them wrong when he was a week old). I ended up mixed feeding him breast and bottle and he was fine, never any nipple confusion etc.

ohbuggerthisaintwhatweplanned Mon 15-May-17 18:22:54

Thanks all.

I've been pumping like a badass and not worried about my supply at all- in fact if anything I worry I'll get mastitis if I'm away too long. Im more worried that if I don't keep trying then she won't take the boob at all. I suppose I know in the scheme of things that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world- I could bottle feed but I'm conflicted about that too. I just can't see which option is right. I'm tired and my hormones are all wacky and I feel like I've replaced my ds.

Allthewaves Mon 15-May-17 18:25:27

How far is home from hospital

Allfednonedead Mon 15-May-17 18:25:47

How far away is tge hospital? When my DTs were in SCBU, I came back for all the evening feeds, after DS1 was asleep.
Because I was totally insane, I cycled, but it was only a 15 min ride, so not too bad.

ohbuggerthisaintwhatweplanned Mon 15-May-17 18:28:24

They don't know when she can come home. All depends on the feeding - if she can go 48 hours without a tube feed and puts on weight then she can go. Home is about 30 mins by car away from hospital. Ds is in nursery 9-5 Monday to Friday so during this time could be at hospital and he wouldn't even know I'm gone I suppose. If I went home I would have major guilt about being at home overnight but that's no different to how I'm feeling now I suppose.

SouthernComforts Mon 15-May-17 18:32:06

Hi OP. Please don't feel guilty about going home.

My dd was premature and the hospital had no space for parents to stay overnight. I expressed milk and froze it and the nurses fed her overnight either by tube or later by bottle.

AppleMagic Mon 15-May-17 18:37:17

Dc3 was born at 34 weeks last year. I was discharged after two days and commuted after that. We put dc2 in full time nursery and dc1 in after school care and dh did pick ups and drop offs which meant I could be in hospital between about 8am to 6pm.

I didn't breastfeed him at all for the two weeks he was on hospital. Just pumped every three hours. I knew he wouldn't gain weight well on the three hourly feeding routine they wanted him on so preferred to give expressed milk in a bottle. Within a week of being discharged I'd switched him over to exclusively breastfeeding. I think my body went into autopilot and produced loads of milk so supply wasn't an issue.

FraterculaArctica Mon 15-May-17 18:45:17

I had DD at 35 weeks last year. DS was 2.4 at the time. We were in for 11 days - different situation in that although DD needed some help feeding, she didn't have to go to NICU so we were on a normal postnatal ward (so no question of me going home). We live about 40 mins from the hospital and DH with help of my DF brought DS in to visit about once every 3 days. I think these factors are relevant - distance, family support, how often can you get your toddler in to visit? - how do they apply to you? Also how much longer would you expect to have to be in? My DS was fine - VERY pleased to have me home after 11 days, but not badly affected I don't think. At the gestation DD was at I did need to be with her all the time to express and keep trying BFing (she left hospital with NG tube still in doing about 50% of feeds by tube, but just 3 days later was fully BFed). But as yours is a couple of weeks earlier maybe you're not advised to try direct feeds as much just yet?

Congratulations on your DD - I bet she is small but beautiful!

greenjojocat Mon 15-May-17 18:46:34

Congratulations on your new little one! I had my twins at 24 weeks so understand the NICU environment but didn't have another at home to look after. Just know that you're doing an amazing job whatever you decide! There is a brilliant 'parents of preemie' FB group so might be worth finding that as full of useful advice from people who have been there.. Good luck xx

Flowerwords Mon 15-May-17 18:47:43

Neonatal nurse here!
Go home! Come in during the day and continue expressing when at home.
At 33 weeks baby is not going to be ready to establish full breastfeeding yet and will sleep most of the time.
Go home in evening and spend time with your toddler if you can go back once he is in bed and do a last set of cares and feed ( breast or NG) lovely but not necessarily and many parents can't the nurse do not expect you to.
Most parents with other children come in after school/ nursery runs spend the day then go home for pick ups. This has no effect on establishing breast feeding as perm babies get over tired anyway if put to breast every feed.
We send most babies home feeding as parents want and the majority breast feeding, and many taking bottles at night and breast all day as parents ( and baby) have wanted. Talk to the nurses on the unit but you can come and go as you like and your own bed and bathroom is much nicer than being camped out in the hospital. Good luck xxx

FraterculaArctica Mon 15-May-17 18:56:30

Just to add, an unexpected bonus of having a premature second baby is that when she does come home, she will likely still be sleeping A LOT of the time (DD slept about 22 hours in every 24) and thus be pretty undemanding of your attention - a nice gentle introduction for the older sibling! Eventually they wake up and get more shouty, but by then the toddler is used to having them around :-)

questsabelletreetop Mon 15-May-17 19:01:03

I'm going to say the opposite OP. Whilst I would go home in the evenings to see DS I would be spending most of my time at the hospital, dd only has you, DS had DH to look after him and I don't think I could bare to leave my baby with strangers. Is there any way the DS can visit you both at the hospital daily? How often are you seeing DH?
Of course if being at the hospital is stressing you out then go home, you do need to take care of yourself too.

EggysMom Mon 15-May-17 19:20:58

There's nothing wrong with pumping now, and trying to establish BF once home.

There's nothing wrong with continuing to pump, and bottle feeding your baby EBM once home (that's what I did).

There's nothing wrong with not BFing, and switching to formula.

Stop stressing about whether not being at hospital so much means that BF might not get established. The world will not end if that happens.

2014newme Mon 15-May-17 19:25:15

My babies were born at 33 weeks. I was sent home after a few days. I was then unfortunately ill and readmitted for 3 weeks till me and my twins were ready to come home
I'm surprised to be honest that they are letting you stay in hospital.
Baby is too young to breastfeed borrow an electric pump from the hospital and pump and tube feed.
Good luck

MiniMaxi Mon 15-May-17 19:28:13

Congratulations! Our son was born at 33+6 and was also in hospital until he was taking enough volume without the tube.

In the end we were there 2 weeks after his birth and only found out later that babies' suck reflex isn't great til week 35-36 so he was always unlikely to go home before then. Wish they'd told us earlier!

But (as they say!) every baby is different and I couldn't breastfeed at all unfortunately so your situ may well be different.

Haven't RTFT so sorry it I've missed anything relevant.

Are you able to leave hospital? Our son was discharged from neonatal into the ward with me after a couple of days so leaving wasn't an option. If you can, I'd be inclined to spend some time at home with your toddler. Just spend pretty much all day at hospital I guess? Your babe needs as many cuddles as poss.

Oh and when you are home I highly recommend Dr Browns preemie bottles for any formula or expressed milk!

2014newme Mon 15-May-17 19:28:53

The poster saying they couldn't bear to leave their baby with strangers, don't be ridiculous. They are in a nicu being cared for by professionals. You cannot sit by baby for 24 hours a day. The op will likely be sent home before baby leaves hospital. Yes it's hard leaving babies there but there is no option not to.
You've clearly never had a baby in nicu or you wouldn't be saying "baby only has you" and other drama llama shit designed to make the op feel bad

snowpony Mon 15-May-17 19:29:25

Congratulations xx I have been in exactly the same situation, dc2 was born at 33 weeks. I went into NICU from 9 - 5 so it was like I was at work for my elder DC, then went home to make her dinner and do bath and bed. On the nights I wasn't too tired I went back to NICU for one of the evening feeds, which really helped establish breastfeeding quickly. DC2 was home after just 2 weeks. It was hard for DC1 but keeping the same routine as before certainly helped. She did think that the new baby was the doctor's though 😂.

rebelrebel3 Mon 15-May-17 19:56:42

I'm happy to see what the neonatal nurse said as would otherwise feel so guilty. I spent only about 2 hours a day with my dd as i felt my toddler needed me more and was forced to choose between them as their dad was pretty useless. Dd2 was in intensive care for first month then high support for another month, too ill for milk so fed through her veins. i did feel really really bad and still do reading what some people have said but she's 14 yrs now and seems fine!

User06383 Mon 15-May-17 20:01:46

I had a 33 weeker, he was only in for 10 days but I had two nights a home as he was too poorly to come out of the incubator.

I really appreciated a glass of wine and a lie in.

He's turned out a perfectly normal child!

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