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kaylabelle05 02-03-2013 07:05 AM

Need help. NICU term baby, EPing right now
I gave birth on Wed, at 2:35am. Within minutes I knew that he was not doing well. He had problems breathing and his cry was weak (he was 37w5d). I thought at first it was something I did or what I did during birth. I am on a narcotic for kidney pain (which I am weaning from now) and I thought that might have suppressed his breathing. It was not the cause. Then I thought it was because I had an Epi & Pitocin. The doctors have said that wasn't it either. He just had tons of gunk in his lungs that was not amniotic fluid. They thought at first he might have been starting up Pneumonia but he showed no signs of it. They also thought it was due to his murmur (he had the thing where the flap did not close in his heart when he started to breathe. That wasn't it either.

So because of ALL of this, he is in the NICU with no clear D/C date. It also meant that he has been completely unable to nurse. I have tried several times but he was so sick that he was not eating at all (IV feeds). He is better now, but still have unknown de-sats.

So I am pumping. I do have a basic knowledge about pumping but I was hoping to get some info I may not have.

I am trying to pump 8-10 times a day.
I am trying to pump every 2-3 hours.
I do have a hospital grade pump (medela symphony).
I have broughy baby to breast to help stimulate along with having him nurse.
I am keeping extreme details of my pumping schedule (date,time, amount each breast, total, running total)
I started out getting nothing but I am at 50-80ml on the left each session and 50-70 on the right (my right will never produce as much as my left).

I honestly do not know if I am doing enough. I will be EPing until DS2 gets out of the hospital and then might have to do some until he is completely on the breast.

Liaklong 02-03-2013 08:15 AM

Sorry mama, I know how tough a full term NiCU baby who won't nurse can be :(. My 1st was in NICU for a week & in & out of the hospital for the first month. I was pumping constantly & she would take a bottle w/my milk if really encouraged, but she was too lethargic to nurse & would just fall asleep on me. She showed no interest in nursing (but we only had allotted 20min at a time that I could hold her). Stick with it though mama. As hard as it is pumping so frequently, your efforts are not in vain!! You are doing what's best for your sweet baby!! Keep up the amazing job mama!

It took a bit longer for my milk to come in w/the stress of everything & pumping. I used a bit of lanolin in the pump cups & that helped w/comfort. I also tried to pump next to her as much as possible so my body would respond & my milk would "let down" more easily. A video or pictures also helped w/ milk "let down".

When she came home I had to work really hard to get her on the breast b/c she had gotten used to the ease of a bottle nipple. I used a nipple shield for transition. It lets the milk pool a bit at your nipple, so it's more like a bottle. I also used very tiny tubing w/a syringe of pumped milk that I taped on to my boob. When she would first latch I could squirt a little of the milk in her mouth & encourage her to suckle. Eventually we weaned her of both & she nursed well.

My best advice is get as much support and information while baby is in the hospital as you can!! The lactation consultants are amazing & are there to help you through this tough time. They can be your continued support when you go home too & can prob suggest a mommy group in your area that can be additional support.

Please don't blame yourself or any choices you made in your labor for what is happening though. You shouldn't feel guilty about choices you made. Your baby is here! You are a mama & you are doing everything with that sweet one's best interests in mind! You are doing great!!

My thoughts are w/ you & your family. I pray for a speedy recovery for your angel!!

kaylabelle05 02-04-2013 02:21 AM

Re: Need help. NICU term baby, EPing right now
Thank you for your story Liaklong. Your positive ending really helped.

I am able to nurse him now. He has been able to nurse (no shield, no "SNS") when I am there. He is taking almost all of his feeds by bottle instead of some by bottle, some by NG tube. He has a strong suck and is "nursing" about 50% of the time. The other half, I am squeezing milk out so he can just swallow. I am backing off bit by bit so he nurses more with each feeding.

Today he nursed twice when I was there. The first time, he nursed over 20 mins and probably got 20-25ml with how empty my breast was. The second time, he nursed on both sides and I think he actually got the 40ml he is supposed to eat each feeding time.

My concern now is the fact I have lost 19lbs since I delivered. I know there is typical weight loss due to the birth, but I never gained much weight while pregnant. I was 172 before I got preg. I went down to 161 because of MS. I finally got up to 178 last week but delivered at 175. I weighed myself this afternoon and I was 156. I have not been that weight since 1999 before I got pregnant with DS1. That scares me. I am afraid that if I lose too much weight, my milk supply will diminish.

The other is what happens when he comes home and my milk supply is so high and he does not drink even close to that. Also will the baby ever not nurse every 3 hours because of being on the NICU's feeding schedule?

AniMommy 02-04-2013 09:29 AM

My first went into NICU for 5 days as a full term baby. Basically I was told that she was exhausted from my 4 day long induction. But anyway... Keep up the pumping. The first couple days I got less than 1 ml of colustrum. Very discouraging! I would bring tiny syringes of bm into NICU for baby. But everyday I would get more and more.

I did have to use nipple shield and SNS for a while like pp said. It all worked out for us and i went on to nurse for 9 months.

Keep trying but know you're a great mama no matter how your baby is fed .

If you have a lot of extra milk, freeze it for later. Your body will adjust to the demand for milk. If there is less demand, your supply will decrease accordingly and vice versa.

It terms of weight loss, I had a baby 3 weeks ago. I lost 20 pounds after delivery w 7.5 lb baby. I havent lost any more. Keep up water consumption and heathy eating.

Liaklong 02-04-2013 10:26 AM

Re: Need help. NICU term baby, EPing right now
That's great mama!! Keep up the good work!! The fact that he is already nursing 50% of the time in NICU is amazing!!

Healthy & rested you is going to be one of the most important things for you all. If you're tired, stressed, etc. it will be detrimental to everyone and your milk supply. Talk to your OB about your additional weight loss & ensure that you are eating enough for you and additional for your milk production. I know that you are probably focusing all of your enegy and time on your new little ds, but don't neglect yourself- that won't help anyone. Stress can cause weight loss too. Try to rest and re-energize as much as possible!

Your son probably will still be on a 3hr nursing routine when you get home, but he will adjust to your home routine once he is home. You can pump excess milk a bit if you would like to store for backup later on, but pumping more produces more. Warm compresses and breast massage in addition to hand expression (I used to get a bit out in the shower when I was super full) will help with the engorgement and your body will adjust as you get into your home routine.

Keep up the wonderful job mama!! & make sure to take care of yourself!!

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