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what is it like bfing a slightly premature baby?

(7 Posts)
titferbrains Sun 24-Jul-11 19:32:15

because I can never have enough things to worry about...

Am pretty sure I have Obstetric Cholestasis. If it gets really bad they may have to get baby out early. DD was born at 38.3 wks and was a very slow feeder, no tongue tie but short frenulum. If new baby is born pre- 37 weeks, just wondering what it is like getting bfing established ? Presumably they are quite sleepy, you need to feed even more often etc? Highly unlikely that baby would come before 36 weeks but just interested to know about this as I am fascinated by all things baby anyway, and always useful to be informed.

Had a lot of stress getting feeding established with DD as milk appeared not to come in for a while, had to express, mixed feed, saw various bfing counsellors etc. Have a doula for this birth who is trained bf counsellor so hoping to remove a lot of that stress.

CMOTdibbler Sun 24-Jul-11 19:36:12

DS was born at 35 weeks - he was tube fed for a few days as he wasn't well, but then started bfing and was fab. Went home on day 7 fully bf, and although he fed a lot he was no problem

bunnybunyip Sun 24-Jul-11 19:38:53

DS was born just before 33 weeks. I was told that the sucking reflex develops around 35 weeks (and it arrived spot on with DS) and so I think anytime after that things should be OK from the baby side of things. However if you are induced early (pre term which is 37 weeks+) it may take a bit longer than average for your milk to come in as your body is not fully prepared; I think you just have to do the usual things of plenty of skin to skin and nipple stimulation with expressing if necessary to get things going. Someone else will probably have advice more specific for your situation. Good luck and hope you can hang on as long as possible!

Rosemallow Sun 24-Jul-11 19:42:11

DD was born at 37+5 and was everything you described with feeding: took a while to get the hang of getting latched on, slept lots initially and was a really slow feeder. She then got diagnosed with reflux. Once that was under control she was fine and I fed her until she self weaned when I was 3 months pg. Her sleeping was a nightmare too, but that's another story! smile

DS was born at 37+6 and had no such problems. Latched on immediately and is a very efficient feeder (he's 5 months old). He got himself into a routine from 1 week old, including sleeping at night for 12 hours (I thought there must be something wrong with him!) and feeds/sleeps just fine now.

Maybe it will be easier as it's your second?

Oops, just re-read your OP asking for pre-37 weeks experiences blush but will still post just in case it helps!

titferbrains Sun 24-Jul-11 20:55:16

Thanks, that's all helpful.

I would be quite stressed with a very sleepy baby, does hosp/mw give good advice about when to wake them? Do you feed hourly, 1.5 hourly?? DD lost weight initially because I wasn't waking her for enough feeds. Don't want to make this error again. Can you vaguely remember how often yr DC fed?

Sad fact of having a bad time iwth feeding first time round: you don't trust yrself or your body to get it right with the next baby! Again, will be relying heavily on support of doula to get this right but just interested to know.

Fumblina Sun 24-Jul-11 23:02:02

Hi there, DD was born at 33+3 and was tube fed expressed bmilk for the first 2 weeks. We did have some trouble establishing bf as a result of the lack of suck reflex, and then her tiny mouth v my mahoosive norakge! Nipple shields helped a lot.

We were in SCBU for 2 weeks until feeding was established and the nurses there were fantastic in their support and advice. We were told not to leave more than 3 hours between feeds to begin with then. this increased to 4 after a while. (These were max as were demand feeding) Not much experience of term babies but according to my mum DD fed for longer and more often than any other baby in the entire history of babies me and my sister. And this lasted for longer too.

Post natal midwives/HV didn't really seem to know anything about premature babies at all.

Not medical or scientific in any way but it seemed to me the 'extra' early weeks in the world were almost like additional tiny baby weeks, feeding constantly, sleepy and grunty/pooey the rest of the time grin

Good luck x

titferbrains Sun 24-Jul-11 23:25:29

am a bit horrified to hear that mws and hvs didn't know much about preemies!!
Tks for posting, will try to step away from thoughts of premature DC for now, as no point getting stressed. Just wanted to know if anything particular to understand or be aware of .

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