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Expressing while baby in NICU

(27 Posts)
NatashaBee Sun 14-Aug-11 11:49:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NevermindtheNargles Sun 14-Aug-11 11:56:57

Are you able to hold your baby yet? If you can get down there for a cuddle it's the best way to get your flow going. At the hospital ds was born in, NICU had a breast feeding room, so you could go and visit, then shoot straight in there and express.

I also found the NICU nurses incredibly supportive, so it's worth asking their advice. I found they were more helpful actually, because they are more familiar with expressing straight away/not having skin to skin, etc.

I know how you are feeling today love, have you got support/people coming to be with you? I hope your little one is better soon. Make sure you take care of yourself too.

X

NevermindtheNargles Sun 14-Aug-11 11:56:59

Are you able to hold your baby yet? If you can get down there for a cuddle it's the best way to get your flow going. At the hospital ds was born in, NICU had a breast feeding room, so you could go and visit, then shoot straight in there and express.

I also found the NICU nurses incredibly supportive, so it's worth asking their advice. I found they were more helpful actually, because they are more familiar with expressing straight away/not having skin to skin, etc.

I know how you are feeling today love, have you got support/people coming to be with you? I hope your little one is better soon. Make sure you take care of yourself too.

X

youmustbeyolking Sun 14-Aug-11 12:05:47

When DS was admitted sitting with him and holding him got it going for me. I second trying to hold him and asking the nurses. If you are allowed try skin to skin. I also found that hand expressing into a syringe more helpful in the early days helped. Ask a sympathetic nurse to show you.

It is a tough time and I know it is hard but keep asking for help from the nurses if you feel you need it. One thing that you might be able to do is see a midwife who may know more about hand-expressing than a NICU nurse.

crikeybadger Sun 14-Aug-11 12:05:50

Congratulations on your new little one Natasha .

You might find hand expressing easier until your milk comes in (the drops of colostrum often get 'lost' in a pump anyway).

One of the mws should be able to offer you some help with the technique, if not, here is a description of how to hand express.

As Nevermind the Nargles, says, lots of skin to skin will be beneficial too if you can get to do it.

Hope things go well for you both.

captainbarnacle Sun 14-Aug-11 12:13:22

I had DS3 by EMCS 8w agp. It was 48 hrs before i was well enough to pump, amnd even then it took 2 days to get more than 5ml a time! Don't worry x

WorrisomeHeart Sun 14-Aug-11 13:44:41

I found having one of DS's worn babygro's and a photo of him helped to get things started. Agree that hand expressing may be better initially. Best of luck, hope you have your lovely little one with you soon!

NatashaBee Sun 14-Aug-11 15:45:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorrisomeHeart Sun 14-Aug-11 17:37:26

Great that you were able to hold him. I would say spend as much time with him as possible (I'm sure you are already!). How is he being fed at the moment - via cup or through an NG tube? Just keep up the cuddles and the skin to skin. How long is he likely to have to stay on the unit?

WorrisomeHeart Sun 14-Aug-11 17:39:44

Oh I meant to say, I second the advice re talking to the NICU nurses re feeding etc. I actually found them miles better than the lactation consultant and I will never forget the help they gave us.

jandmmum Sun 14-Aug-11 19:51:17

Congratulations Natasha. I know exactly how your feeling, DS was in NICU then SCBU for 9 days and for the first 6 I couldn't even attempt to feed him directly I spent so much frustrated time on the pump and was almost at the point of giving up when just the right mw came in and showed me how to hand express which meant I could get about 10ml and then gradually more in a few minutes instead of the 3 drops in half an hour on the pump. I also found the SCBU nurses much more helpful than the ward mws. Hope your LO is better soon.

Beveridge Sun 14-Aug-11 23:32:42

Hand expressing colostrum and sucking it up with a syringe is the only way you'll collect anything this early on, once your milk comes in (you'll know as it'll start to dribble everywhere too fast for the syringe) you can transition to handexpressing into a galipot (small plastic dish ) and suck it up in a syringe from that.

Once you are filling a handful of syringes in one go, then it's time to try a double pump and start knocking out the mls!Hand expressing will also provide the stimulation necessary to encourage your milk to come in so even if you are not managing to get much out, try to stick to doing it every 3 hours (as far as you can)as it will help get breastfeeding going more successfully in the longer term.

I actually found the ward midwives more helpful than the neonatal ones on breastfeeding issues generally (I sent an intensive care nurse into a complete tailspin by mentioning I was still bfing DD and wanted to tandem feed). Hope your stay in NICU is as short as possible.

silverangel Mon 15-Aug-11 07:53:25

I didn't get anything by expressing until day 5, so no need to worry just yet! Hope you are not in NICU for too long x

japhrimel Mon 15-Aug-11 08:46:58

Hand express and suck it up with tiny syringes.

Do muslin swaps - you sleep with one and baby sleeps on one and then you swap so you both have something that smells of the other.

Get photos and videos (on a phone?) of LO to watch whilst expressing.

Relax and try to "think baby, think milk"

NatashaBee Mon 15-Aug-11 14:03:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ninedragons Mon 15-Aug-11 14:08:36

I had great success with fenugreek capsules to get supply going but double-check with your consultant that they're ok if you've had a premmie.

It must be a terrribly worrying time for you. I wish you and your little son all the best.

crikeybadger Mon 15-Aug-11 15:43:56

Hey, it sounds like he's made good progress already - he's only a few days old isn't he?

Sometimes, they use a dummy to help with the sucking, the staff should have explained why they were using it though. This document explains a bit more about dummy use.

How early was he btw?

WorrisomeHeart Mon 15-Aug-11 16:37:53

Brilliant news! He'll get the hang of latching and it's great that he's trying to suck already. Hope he's with you soon!

Beveridge Mon 15-Aug-11 23:47:01

As regards latching on and suckling, as the neonatal nurses said to me "when they get it, they get it" and it's true. He's maybe a bit tired after his successes yesterday but this could all turn around in a matter of hours.

Keep going with the expressing, it WILL work. Remember, your milk might not have come in yet but you are still producing colostrum - newborns have tiny, tiny tummies that can only take about 10ml at a time. And he's already had a few feeds and they can take in a lot in 'only' 5 minutes, believe me!

DS used to do a frantic "I look like I'm starving but I can't calm down enough to latch on" thing when he first came home, I used to give him my little finger to help focus him and help him on. Remember, he's still getting fluids and energy from the drip so that could be affecting his appetite.

DuelingFanjo Tue 16-Aug-11 00:00:39

just wanted to say congratulations and keep at it. My ds was in neo natal last christmas and I was expressing 3 hourly and trying to breastfeed inbetween. When something like this happens 24 hours can feel like a week so just remember that you are still only in the very early stages and your milk will come eventually.

Have they given you a photograph (sorry if I have missed this) - it helped me a lot, as did visiting my son as many times in the day as possible.

cowboylover Tue 16-Aug-11 00:39:14

Congratulations on your new arrival.

It's a scary time, my DD was in for 4 days after an EMCS and had CPAP to clear her lungs ect. Very much the same not getting any with the pump but as others have said I had more success with hand expressing and helped so much feeling I could do something for her. I think we established a proper latch at 3 days and has been brilliant ever since.

She's 3 months next weekend and all the feelings are still very raw so look after yourself, ask as many questions as many times as you need and hopefully you will be amazed at how quick they get better soon x

NatashaBee Tue 16-Aug-11 03:38:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ninedragons Tue 16-Aug-11 04:06:31

Good news! Congratulations on the birth of your lovely son.

Good luck - I found it's like hitting oil - once it starts flowing, you're fine.

NevermindtheNargles Tue 16-Aug-11 07:05:01

Congratulations on getting him to latch on.

You sound like you're in a very similar situation to me. My ds had myconium on his lungs when he was born. He was whisked off to nicu straight away when he was born. He was 8lb 6oz and followed the same pattern as yours. First the oxygen came off after couple of days, then the glucose after a couple more days. It's a wonderful feeling when you come in and another tube is gone. He had a feeding tube too.

After a few days we used to laugh, he looked like a monster among the prem babies.

I hope it keeps going well for you. Please keep trying, but remember it is extraordinarily hard to get them to bf when they have this kind of start, so please go easy on yourself. It sounds like you are both doing really well though.

Beveridge Tue 16-Aug-11 08:52:04

I started on less than a ml, 0.3 to be precise!Then I got 1 ml and then 2mls and so on. As ninedragons says, now you've cracked it you will find you just keep getting more and more. Don't be discouraged at any point, think on it as sustaining your supply so he can take over when he's ready.

The irony of expressing colostrum is that just as you become totally proficient at co-ordinating the syringe in the left hand with expressing with the right (am right handed) then your milk comes in!grin

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