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How do i keep my breast milk flowing with a preemie baby?

I decided very early on in my pregnancy that I would breastfeed once my baby was born. Unexpectedly, my son was born eight weeks early. With him being in the NICU and not knowing exactly how to suck, breathe, and swallow, I have been pumping. At first, my milk was flowing very well like I was filling up two to four bottles in ten to fifteen minutes sometimes less (depending on how big the storage bottles are). In the past week, my milk has slowed up and I have been producing as much as I was in the beginning. I've only been able to get half of a bottle. Any suggestions on what to do ... Please help!

Answer Question

Asked by Mekhismommie67 at 1:46 AM on Jul. 5, 2013 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • It's a supply and demand thing... if you want more, pump more!! Is you baby still in the NICU?? If so there are lactation specialist at the hospital... ask to speak to one! Good luck... hope your baby is home with you soon!

    Answer by Crafty26 at 2:00 AM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • Contact La Leche League in your area, or speak to a lactation specialist at the hospital where you delivered. You may have to increase how often you are pumping.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:47 AM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • Normal pump output is half an ounce to two ounces. If you're getting that you're fine. A feeding is a mere two ounces! Baby's tummy is tiny.

    Be on the pump every two hours on the dot. Even overnight.

    Please drop by the breastfeeding moms group; you can find the link through my profile. We have a lot of preemie moms who can help you out.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:05 AM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • If your worried about milk supply take Fenugreek 2 pills 3x a day it was recommended to me by my lactation consultant its a natural herb that ups milk supply and is ok for baby. :)

    Answer by LostInMyMind at 1:13 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • Pump...ALOT. You won't get much milk the 1st few days you're pumping (it's different for everyone). You may feel bad and think you're not producing enough milk, but just keep trying and keep in touch with a lactation consultant.

    Answer by mandielynn23 at 1:44 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • Sounds like you pumped while your supply was coming in and your body produced how much you pumped.

    A baby that little doesn't need more than 2 oz per feeding on the high end. I bet your supply is just fine. Put baby to breast and count diapers.

    Answer by staciandababy at 2:19 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • My daughter was born at 23 weeks last year and is doing great today. I did not produce very much milk, which was OK at first, since she was so tiny and feeding trough a tube. It became a problem as she began to grow. I took fenugreek in the pill form and I swear it helped. I also drank Mother's Milk tea. They are both sold in Mrs. Greens. After she came home from 121 days in the NICU, I wrote a memoir called "From Hope To Joy" about my life-threatening pregnancy and my daughter's 4 months in the NICU (with my 3 young sons at home), which will be published this summer. Good luck to you and your preemie! Please see my website:
    and subscribe.
    Thank you.

    Answer by FromHopeToJoy at 12:13 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • They should have a lactation consultant at the hospital to talk to. Herbs have increased my milk supply a lot. I'm currently using a tea called Breastea and taking some malunggay leaf capsules. They have increased my pumping output a lot. You can get the tea online, the website is the same as its name. Make sure to use it daily as long as you need the increase in milk supply.

    Answer by bigmamaisback at 10:37 PM on Jul. 14, 2013

  • I had this problem with my preemie. You want to pump every 3 hours. Pump for at least 15 minutes even if nothing is coming out. You want to hand express every hour or two. Dont go more than 4 hours without pumping. I did and my milk dried up. If you want to make more you have to pump every 2 hours for at least 3 days. Its a pain in the butt but its about the only thing. There are pills you can get on to make you make more milk but I would try the hand expressing and pumping every 2 hours for a little while first.

    Answer by Mommy081713 at 6:06 AM on Aug. 22, 2013

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