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tips for moving from ng tube to boob

(7 Posts)
daphnehoneybutt Tue 04-Nov-14 14:53:36


My ds is in SCBU now, was born at 35 weeks and was very ill after he stopped breathing after birth.

He's been in 6 weeks, just getting over a cold virus and just been given the go ahead to have a five minutes nuzzle at the breast before 1 feed a day.

He latched on and had a few sucks. After a few minutes it seemed to really tire him.

He is being fed fortified ebm down an ng tube... 65ml every 3 hours...

Am I being daft thinking he can eventually bfeed? Some babies do go home with the ng tube but it seems to be those with sucking issues and he loves his dummy plus I really don't think I can cope with the tube at home, but not sure if switching to a bottle would give us a speedier exit....

Any advice would be grand...

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Tue 04-Nov-14 15:40:19

Sorry to hear of your tough time, but glad things are getting better! Hope your DS is home soon.
My DD was also born at 35 weeks and tube fed. We could only manage to get her to latch and feed with a nipple shield, at 18 weeks she still won't feed without it! But it got her breastfeeding and she is growing brilliantly! They don't work for everyone, can cause supply issues but they can also be brilliant tools. They certainly haven't caused supply issues for us. I also believe babies can wean off them, just not mine envy

FashionWhoreOfBabylon Fri 07-Nov-14 15:22:48

Aww, sorry to hear you've been through such a stressful time. It's great that you're able to start trying breastfeeding. It's absolutely possible to breastfeed a prem baby who has been tube fed. My DS was born at 29 weeks and is still breastfed at 16 months.

The main thing is just to be patient and keep persevering. We left SCBU breastfeeding with nipple shields, with ebm top-ups by bottle. We then ended up mostly bottle-feeding ebm for about 6 weeks while I regained my sanity ;) And eventually we got there and he's been breastfed ever since. We didn't find that the breast / nipple shield / bottle were mutually exclusive in our case. He found drinking from the bottle easier from a technical point of view, but it was clear from his behaviour that he was more interested in breastfeeding. Like yours, my DS loved his dummy and I think it's a great sign that they like sucking stuff.

It's often very much a one-step-foward two-steps-back thing. In SCBU I found breastfeeding went fantastically well some days, and awfully other days. Or he could have a great feed at some point in the day and then not really be interested at other times - their appetite varies depending on how well the SCBU feeding schedule matches their natural rhythm, I think.

Sorry this is all a bit disjointed. I don't really have any fail-proof tips (other than making sure you keep up your supply), but I thought I'd share my experience in case you find it useful.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on, OP.

bf1000 Fri 07-Nov-14 15:39:02

could you as hospital if you can try a supplementing feeding system while you breast feed. Can help your supply and baby will be able to get your milk and EBM at same time

daphnehoneybutt Tue 18-Nov-14 07:52:22

Thank you to those who have replied. It's been a busy time so replying a bit late.

After considering various factors I have decided to give up on this plan. I feel very sad but there has been developments and it seems oral feeding will be very hard for ds and the tube will be around a lot longer than I'd thought. Since I don't feel it's possible to express as well as care for him (he's quite a complex wee chap and there's only so many hours in the day) plus he had not even gained a pound in 9 weeks on fortified ebm, I have decided to get him on high cal formula. He's still having alternative ebm feeds from my massive stockpile. Thanks ladies smile

FashionWhoreOfBabylon Tue 18-Nov-14 18:41:49

Thanks for letting us know how you're doing, daphne! Don't feel sad - you've clearly made the best decision for your ds, and that's the most important thing. I found my time expressing incredibly time-consuming and stressful, and if my ds hadn't eventually got the hang of bf, I would have moved onto formula without looking back. And high cal formula sounds like just the ticket!

Sorry to hear that the tube may be there for a while yet. Please don't hesitate to come and have a good rant at us if the feeding gets you down - or if you just want to tell us about your lovely little chap!

daphnehoneybutt Sat 22-Nov-14 08:44:50

FashionWhoreOfBabylon thanks smile

With a combo of factors my ds has finally gained some weight. Heading back up towards the centimes now. Because of various quite weird issues bfeeding was just not going to happen but have managed to get him to take 10ml from a bottle. I had a hilariously massive supply so he has a good few weeks of ebm yet.

Thanks grin

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