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Premature Baby and Breastfeeding..

I am 29 weeks pregnant and my ob expects that I will go into labor soon due to an abruption. I am worried about breastfeeding....

Have any of you successfully breastfed a premature baby? And how early was your baby?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:03 AM on May. 22, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (8)
  • I dont have this experience but from what I have heard if the baby really needs it they will give the baby formula due to, if too early some babies wont latch...during this time period I encourage you to pump, especially when the real milk comes in, and be pacient when your baby is ready...

    sorry i have no experience, but good luck and i hope you get some answers that will help you

    Answer by DomoniqueWS at 6:05 AM on May. 22, 2010

  • One of my friends had twins that were premies & bf them for the 1st 7 mo. Keep w/ it & don't give up, @ 1st it wasn't easy for her to get them to latch & having 2 makes it way more difficult. She had to suppliment w/ formula cuz she wasn't producing milk for 2. Talk to your lactation consult while you're @ the hospital & don't be afraid to call em if you get home & need more help. Good luck mamma!

    Answer by Nyx7 at 7:48 AM on May. 22, 2010

  • Okay, what will happen in your situation will be determined by a number of things. One of them being how early the baby is, lung function, birth weight, and the policies of the hospital you deliver in. One thing that I would insist on is as much skin to skin with your baby (often referred to as kangaroo care) as possible. Skin to skin lessens the need for oxygen, it regulates body temp much better than the warmer, and helps with milk production. If the baby weighs less than 3.3 pounds, most hospitals will demand the use of a human milk fortifier. This is NOT recomended. HMF is a formula, and studies have shown that formula added to breastmilk breaks down the lysozymes in the milk and shows a significant increase in the growth of E Coli. Instead, what we prefer to happen is they spin the milk, check what it needs added (calcium, certain vitamins, etc) and add those individually. Also, you need to start pumping with a hospital..

    Answer by ArmyMom2oneboy at 9:38 AM on May. 22, 2010

  • grade pump within an hour of birth and continue pumping AT LEAST 8 times daily. When your mature milk comes in, and you tend to have an overabundance at that point, we do fractionating. Say you are pumping 4 ounces in a session, you will be double pumping, get one ounce from each breast, then switch bottles out and get once ounce from each breast again. The first two bottles will contain more foremilk, and will be frozen for later. The other two bottles will contain the much more fatty hind milk, and will be given to the baby. And and all supplements should be given in a cup if possible. You can always demand that if need be ( if you need more info on cup feeding, feel free to PM me). Baby does NOT need to learn to drink from a bottle before learning to nurse. Rather it is the opposite, but you might have to fight for that. If you need anymore info, please PM me! Good luck Momma!

    Answer by ArmyMom2oneboy at 9:42 AM on May. 22, 2010

  • My first born was born at 33 weeks.He was tube fed for four weeks. I pumped and he was fed breast milk. The hospital demanded he take a bottle first before leaving the hospital. I pumped and bottle fed him, the hospital pushed this as my son had reflux and apnea. Breast feeding was too stressful for my son. I allowed him to grow and kept trying to nurse him from the breast.. I did finger feeding with a tube and then put the tube on my nipple to get him to grasp my nipple, When he was 4 months old a friend invited me to stay over night, and with her help, he finally learned to latch on and nurse. He nursed until he was four years old.. My son has just surpassed me in height, at 5 ft 1 inch. I am glad every day that I stuck out all the nursing problems we had. My son is a healthy almost 13 year old.


    Answer by mom2boys1997 at 11:03 AM on May. 22, 2010

  • If there are several hospitals in your area with special care nurseries, call a LLL Leader and see if she knows which one is the most breastfeeding friendly. If a hospital is certified "Baby-Friendly" that means it follows practices that support breastfeeding. You can change where you give birth up until the last second. When I found out I was going to have a preemie I made an appointment with a high risk OB but never made it to the appointment. When I had to go to the hospital I just went to the hospital where she practiced and I was able to have her manage my very high risk pregnancy and delivery. is a great breastfeeding website. Many hospitals have wifi if you have a laptop.


    Answer by Gailll at 12:21 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • I work in a NICU and most women are able to successfully breastfeed their babies. Typically a baby isn't put to breast or bottle until they are 34-35 weeks gestation... prior to that all feedings are by a tube that goes down their nose into their tummy. When they are ready to start oral feedings you will be able to start breastfeeding. It usually takes time before the baby is able to do all oral feedings because it tires them out... you'll probably start with once/day and work up over several weeks until everything is taken by mouth and nothing with the tube.
    You're job in the first several weeks will be to pump often so you establish a milk supply and can give your baby breastmilk. The breastmilk is usually fortified, meaning extra calories are added so the baby can grow.
    You can choose if you want your baby to bottle feed or not while they are in the NICU.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 12:46 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • cont.
    it's difficult for a baby to do all oral feedings if mom doesn't have the time to spend her day in the NICU... many parents I work with do bottles and breast because it means they can take the baby home sooner. But you'll for sure want to introduce breastfeeding first and have that established before introducing a bottle. I haven't seen any problems with the patients I work with in going between breast and bottle.... (I find it's more of a FLOW problem with nipple confusion vs a issue with the nipple)

    Answer by AmiJanell at 12:49 PM on May. 22, 2010

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