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circlemonkey 03-23-2012 06:10 AM

first breastfeeding experince
Just had my 2nd DS. He is a 32 weeker. They just started feeding him the other day (he was on just an IV for the first 48 hours or so).
I have been pumping like a crazy person and my milk is starting to come in. YAY!

So my question is.....
What were your first experiences nursing your preemie?

My first DS was a 36 weeker and was able to nurse right away. Being that this little guy is so small and undeveloped I am concerned about his first few nursing experiences, since my flow is going to be stronger than he is going to be able to handle.
We did put him to the breast yesterday and he would do suck like 4 times and stop, which was super cute! Also after all of this skin to skin I have been pumping getting the more than normal (our bodies are AMAZING!!):mrgreen:

Thanks in advance for any advice or stories of experiences.

bulkybummom 03-23-2012 07:34 AM

Re: first breastfeeding experince
Hay mama... congrats on your little guys arrival... haven't had a preemie, but work in NICU as a nurse. I find the preemies generally do very well if a good milk supply is established... but it takes time and stubborn determination on your part ;) He'll likely be pretty tired at the breast and do more tasting and licking until he hits close to the 34-35 week mark... then he'll do part of his feeds, and build up from there... just try to be with him as much as possible and stay on the pumping every 3 hours! Good luck!!!

sillyutalktome 03-23-2012 11:32 AM

Re: first breastfeeding experince
Dd was a 34 weeker, 4lbs 9 oz. No nicu time. Just wanted those factors out there since it really makes a difference in babies.

We put her to the breast immediately. She would tire out very quickly. Day three we started bottle feeds of my expressed milk mixed with formula to make it more calorie rich. On the fourth day we started putting her to the breast after a bottle. She couldn't do breast before or she'd be too sleepy to drink the whole bottle. Day five we went home, day 6 we discontinued the fortifier at ped's suggestion. We continued this routine for the next four weeks (totally exhausting but worth it) By week five she was nursing with a shield and no bottles, week six (two days after due date) she was nursing on her own, no shield no supplementation at all. Hang in there. Right now it all seems daunting but with help of a LC and sticking with it, waiting out the growing he has to do on the outside now, you can be successful nursing your preemie.

Congrats on your son!

3 ladybugs 03-23-2012 03:26 PM

Re: first breastfeeding experince
I breastfed my 24 weeker a few times (she later passed). I think it really depends on the child. She as well as my living 38 weeker (who was in the NICU as well) took to the breast like a duck to water. DD did have to have a shield just because her lungs were not great but DS didn't need anything. He loves food to this day (he is 3.5 years old).

I would just make sure you have the preemie and normal size shield and a lactation consultant near you when you do it for the first time. There is positioning issues that I didn't know about just from general life, that help ensure a good latch.

Good luck! :hugs:

mibarra 03-23-2012 03:38 PM

Re: first breastfeeding experince
Mine wouldn't nurse. I tried and tried and tried, even used a nipple sheild. She would latch and pull off and scream, and it was just stressing us both out. Of course she was tiny, with a little tiny mouth... After 3 months I gave up and went to pumped milk, then formula. It would be awesome if you could nurse your baby! But wanted you to know that sometimes it doesn't work out, and that's ok too. :)

Amanda+2 03-23-2012 07:24 PM

Re: first breastfeeding experince
I had 32 week old twins. DS was 4lb 3oz, DD 3lb 4oz. I pumped and pumped for the first couple of weeks, and i think it wasnt until he was 2 weeks old that we tried BF. He did really well, but couldnt last very long. DD couldnt even latch on, even with a nipple shield. She continued to have some feeding issues with a bottle. I tried to keep up with BF'ing but i didnt have any support from health professionals, apart from don't let him feed more than 10 mins at a time. so he probably wasn;t getting enough. I was pumping for DD and bf'ing him for half their feeds and then formula for the rest. After 8 weeks it was apparent that I wasnt producing enough milk for them both (in reality just for 1 baby) and it was too hard physically for me so i stopped.

But I honestly think if i had 'worked' harder to get my supply up I could have carried on, I just didnt know how to do it or know where to ask for help. I think if you can manage to keep your supply up, then he will eventually get to the right stage physically and you'll both do great,

Congrats on a little one

circlemonkey 03-24-2012 02:04 AM

Re: first breastfeeding experince
Thanks for all of your stories and suggestions. It is good to know there are other people out there that had similar experiences.
I am pretty determined to get my way so I think this breastfeeding thing will work out for us. :giggle: It's just the getting started since he is so early.
As for supply I am good. In my hayday with my 1st DS I could pump 14oz a sitting :mrgreen: Kind of ridiculous and awesome all at the same time.
It took my 1st DS a month or 2 to get the hang of everything too and he was a 36 weeker.
The staff where our DS is are totally pro-breastfeeding. The doctors and nurses all seem so excited to see baby enjoying breastmilk.

Amanda+2 03-24-2012 06:55 AM

Re: first breastfeeding experince
Its awesome that your supply is so good (considering how early your baby was), just think of all that lovely frozen milk you will have to rely on.

I remember taking 1 or 2 oz down to the NICU for my two and praying it would be enough!

Good luck

songbird516 03-29-2012 08:14 AM

Re: first breastfeeding experince
My sister and I were born at 31 weeks. My mom pumped for us and then nursed exclusively; after we came home we never took a bottle. My mom said that she went to one La Leche League meeting before we were born, and that helped a lot. She remembers that she got the best advice there.

Carriebeth 03-29-2012 08:30 AM

Re: first breastfeeding experince
WOW!! are in good shape with that kind of supply! During our NICU stay, I was lucky to get 15 ML (1/2 oz)!! Our DS was on a vent, so didn't even get tube fed for 12 days, then bottle, then attempted nursing. It was very difficult and took a lot of determination. we made it eventually work, but he always preferred the bottle, and started refusing to nurse at 4 mo. I am now pumping exclusively, but we have to supplement with formula because my supply just never was great. The situation is different for everyone, and you should be proud if it works out at all!!

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