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Old 11-21-2009, 08:02 AM   #1
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Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

I had my baby 2 weeks ago 6 weeks premature and so far I havent been able to put her on my breast. I pump but I dont do well using a pump. I can only get about an oz or 2 per day with it and it fluctuates. Once shes able I will put her to the breast in the NICU but will I be able to BF her when she comes home? I have zero experience with this so any help would be appreciated!

ETA: I take 24 capsules of Fenugreek a day.

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Old 11-21-2009, 08:42 AM   #2
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Re: Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

I pumped for the 2.5 weeks dd2 was in the NICU. At first you do only get a tiny bit of milk, and they only take a little at the beginning anyway. Make sure you drink a lot of water and and SLEEP. Are you taking enough fenugreek to smell like maple syrup? Is your baby still on tube feeds completely? Make sure you get lots of skin-to-skin time ("kangaroo care"). I had to request enough privacy for that but it worked wonders. Dd's first *successful* latch was from skin-to-skin time. At first we let her try to latch for a certain amount of time, and they'd weigh her before and after, and however many grams she didn't gain (usually she barely got anything, and the effort would use up a lot of her energy) she then got in a tube feed after. I let them bottle feed her the pumped milk when I wasn't there to help wean her off the tube, and she was supposed to be gaining for 48 hours on mouth feeds alone to go home but once she finally "got" bfing, they let her go after a little over 24 hours of successful mouth feeds. I figured if she was even on the bottle, then she could come home and we could keep working on bfing until she got it but it finally clicked with the kangaroo time and she did great. This was a really helpful resource for me while we were trying to work up to successful breastfeeding: http://uuhsc.utah.edu/HEALTHINFO/PED...wborn/mtbf.htm

HTH!!!! Feel free to PM me.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:53 AM   #3
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Re: Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

She is totally off tube feeds. Shes still in the isolette and they told me I can put her to my breast once shes out of it. I smelled like maples syrup a few times while taking 24 pills daily. We do skin to skin just about every time we see her and we are able to. They wouldnt let us do it for a while b/c she had the IV line in her belly button b/c she wouldnt let them get an IV line in her vein. Thats right, she wouldnt let them!! LOL!!

When I go in today I'll ask in more detail how they do the BF thing.

I drink a gallon of water a day but Im not able to get uch rest. I have 3 other children and 2 of them are HS and I have no elp at all around the house. DH has to work and he works long hours and no one in the fam will help me so, no rest for the weary, ya know?

Thanks for the link!!
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

i put my quadruplets to breast when they were 32 weeks gestation. they were born at 27 weeks gestation so until the 32 week point they were getting 100% ng feedings. right at the start of the feedings they would swab their mouth with the bm so they could taste it and then they would put in the preemie sized pacifier in so they could start associating sucking with the taste of bm and the sensation that their belly was getting full. on the day they turned 32 weeks i had arranged for the lactation consultant to be there to help me with baby #1 since there are things you need to do special when you are nursing a preemie. the rules in the nicu were that the babies had to be on nasal cannula air and it had to be less than 1 liter of flow to be able to take anything by mouth. they also had to have a normal temp at their assessment prior to the feed. oh yeah and they had to had minimal to no apenic spells or episodes of their heart rate slowing down or speeding up. i know all nicu's have diff rules, but i think these are pretty general guidelines. i hope that helps some:-)
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:06 AM   #5
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Re: Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

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She is totally off tube feeds. Shes still in the isolette and they told me I can put her to my breast once shes out of it. I smelled like maples syrup a few times while taking 24 pills daily. We do skin to skin just about every time we see her and we are able to. They wouldnt let us do it for a while b/c she had the IV line in her belly button b/c she wouldnt let them get an IV line in her vein. Thats right, she wouldnt let them!! LOL!!

When I go in today I'll ask in more detail how they do the BF thing.

I drink a gallon of water a day but Im not able to get uch rest. I have 3 other children and 2 of them are HS and I have no elp at all around the house. DH has to work and he works long hours and no one in the fam will help me so, no rest for the weary, ya know?

Thanks for the link!!
So is she on bottle feeds then? about the IV. They had to put a PICC line in her head because dd kept pulling them out of her arms and would pull off the socks they put on her hands to stop her.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:19 AM   #6
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Re: Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

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i put my quadruplets to breast when they were 32 weeks gestation. they were born at 27 weeks gestation so until the 32 week point they were getting 100% ng feedings. right at the start of the feedings they would swab their mouth with the bm so they could taste it and then they would put in the preemie sized pacifier in so they could start associating sucking with the taste of bm and the sensation that their belly was getting full. on the day they turned 32 weeks i had arranged for the lactation consultant to be there to help me with baby #1 since there are things you need to do special when you are nursing a preemie. the rules in the nicu were that the babies had to be on nasal cannula air and it had to be less than 1 liter of flow to be able to take anything by mouth. they also had to have a normal temp at their assessment prior to the feed. oh yeah and they had to had minimal to no apenic spells or episodes of their heart rate slowing down or speeding up. i know all nicu's have diff rules, but i think these are pretty general guidelines. i hope that helps some:-)
Thanks! Im not sure what the rules are in regards to eating by mouth. Shes only fed by mouth though so I dont see why they wont let me at least try. I will def ask for the lactation consultant when I try!

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So is she on bottle feeds then? about the IV. They had to put a PICC line in her head because dd kept pulling them out of her arms and would pull off the socks they put on her hands to stop her.
Sounds like both our babies are pretty feisty! Every nurse who has taken care on my DD says she is VERY feisty! LOL!
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

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Thanks! Im not sure what the rules are in regards to eating by mouth. Shes only fed by mouth though so I dont see why they wont let me at least try. I will def ask for the lactation consultant when I try!

Sounds like both our babies are pretty feisty! Every nurse who has taken care on my DD says she is VERY feisty! LOL!
Our NICU would just monitor dd's vitals while she tried. She had an apnea episode once while trying and we obviously stopped, but she had some apnea issues the entire time so that wasn't unexpected. Generally she did well and didn't have any other problems. If you're getting skin-to-skin time now, why do you have to wait to BF until she's out of the isolette?

Oh, and dd is STILL fiesty like that at 2 and was 100% breastfed. It is totally possible!!!
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:32 AM   #8
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Re: Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

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Our NICU would just monitor dd's vitals while she tried. She had an apnea episode once while trying and we obviously stopped, but she had some apnea issues the entire time so that wasn't unexpected. Generally she did well and didn't have any other problems. If you're getting skin-to-skin time now, why do you have to wait to BF until she's out of the isolette?

Oh, and dd is STILL fiesty like at at 2 and was 100% breastfed. It is totally possible!!!
I have NO IDEA why! They just keep telling me I have to wait until shes in the open crib. Im concerned about supply. Will I have enough?????

DD had a few apnea episodes too but they gave her caffine and she hasnt had anymore.

Well, at least I know that I have a feisty child on my hands so I can be prepared! LOL!
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:36 AM   #9
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Re: Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

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Originally Posted by XtraOrdinary View Post
I had my baby 2 weeks ago 6 weeks premature and so far I havent been able to put her on my breast. I pump but I dont do well using a pump. I can only get about an oz or 2 per day with it and it fluctuates. Once shes able I will put her to the breast in the NICU but will I be able to BF her when she comes home? I have zero experience with this so any help would be appreciated!

ETA: I take 24 capsules of Fenugreek a day.
i think you are only supposed to take Fenugreek up until your milk increases and then stop.

Also i could only get 2oz from each breast using an automatic pump (hosp grade medela); i went and got a medela hand pump and was able to get up to 4oz each breast. I also hand expressed.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:40 AM   #10
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Re: Preemie baby and BF...Is it possible?

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I have NO IDEA why! They just keep telling me I have to wait until shes in the open crib. Im concerned about supply. Will I have enough?????

DD had a few apnea episodes too but they gave her caffine and she hasnt had anymore.

Well, at least I know that I have a feisty child on my hands so I can be prepared! LOL!
that's a load of Cr*p! My mom had me 6wks early (back in '81) and she was ENCOURAGED to try to feed AT breast. The only thing i can think of is they are worried that she might get frusterated and her blood pressure goes up. But that is why they have all those monitors.
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