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Breastfeeding prem baby

(2 Posts)
Loveallmyboys Sun 02-Nov-14 20:43:22

My preemie is almost 3 weeks old. He was born at 30+5. He's had no problems other than prematurity. No cpap, no oxygen, he's putting weight on brilliantly. He was 3lb14 born and today is 4lb10! All we need to do to get out of that door is 'establish feeding'.
I'm determined to breastfeed him as I was unable to BF my other 2 boys.
The neonatal nurses are all really helpful but I was wondering if anyone had any tips on getting the job done ASAP? He's having a good oh and will latch on and do a few sucks, so we are doing well. Oh and my milk supply is through the roof!

minipie Mon 03-Nov-14 15:46:14

Hello and congratulations on your DS! You might want to press "report" and ask MN to move this to the Premature birth section as you'll probably get more responses there.

Anyway, DD was born at 34 weeks and like you I was determined to BF her - this did mean it took us longer to get her home, very frustrating at the time but long term it was worth it.

If your DS is latching on and sucking and you have a good milk supply then you are doing fantastically well already. And no CPAP or oxygen is also great news.

I presume he is being topped up by nasal tube after you have BF him? How often is he being tube fed and how much of a top up is he being given? IME and from what I have read, a lot of NICUs will "play it safe" by giving big tube top ups which means your DS isn't as hungry and won't BF as well. I can understand why they do this, they daren't risk weight loss, but it doesn't really help with the BFing. So, if you think he's being topped up a bit too generously, you could ask them about reducing the top ups a little bit to see if he feeds better.

Do you know why you were unable to BF your other two boys (not sure if they were also prem or not)? Is it possible they were tongue tied? If so it's quite likely your DS3 would be too, so worth getting someone to check (it needs to be someone properly qualified, a lot of doctors and nurses think they know what to look for but don't really...). I am only suggesting this really because DD was tongue tied and it didn't get spotted in the NICU and that's partly why it took us so long to get on with BFing.

Other suggestions: is there a time of day (or night...) when your DS is more alert? If so can you try to be there at that time so he can have a good go at feeding (not easy if you have 2 others I realise).

If you are producing loads and your boobs are quite full/solid, you might want to express a bit before a feed, so that the breast is softer and easier for him to latch to.

Also the heat of the NICU makes nipples softer IME so it might help to shape your nipple pre feed so he can latch on easier.

One last thing - I was told by the SCBU nurses that a lot of prems, especially boys, seem to "switch off" a bit at about 34/35 weeks and they don't seem to make much progress during that time - but then it all comes together really quickly. So don't get disheartened if it seems to go a bit slow...

Best of luck!

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