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Preemie breastfeeding moms

Posted by on May. 26, 2010 at 5:53 PM
  • 14 Replies

im in the hospital on bedrest expecting to deliver soon. im 32 weeks in 2 days. if you had a preemie were you able to breastfeed? whats gonna happen for me? what do i need to expect?

by on May. 26, 2010 at 5:53 PM
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by Gina on May. 26, 2010 at 5:54 PM

We have quite a few preemie moms here...pull up a chair and get comfy.

by on May. 26, 2010 at 5:55 PM

 my dd was a premie and she did ok. it's a tough thing to do sometimes for the first week, stick to it for atleast the first two weeks

i send strength to you! good luck moma!

by on May. 26, 2010 at 5:57 PM

im gonna do it at least a year. i just wanna know does the nicu provide a pump? i dont know what to expect

by on May. 26, 2010 at 5:59 PM

You will have to pump as often as possible and you will have to work extra hard. You may need to take some fenugreek to help keep up milk supply however I would not recommend doing this until everything else fails. I wish you the best of luck with your new baby.

by on May. 26, 2010 at 5:59 PM

thank you!!

by on May. 26, 2010 at 6:00 PM

I do believe that they will some offer a manual pump but many offer a good hospital grade pump. These can be rented and most insurance companies including medicaid covers the cost.

by Group Admin -Tabitha on May. 26, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Hospitals have pumps, WIC can give a pump, and you can find places that rent them out if you can't afford one and they can't help you.

I would say generally the suck reflex is not in place til 34-35 weeks so you may have an issue actually nursing.

Try to see if they will let you finger feed instead of bottle feeding, skin to skin time is a BIG DEAL, and pump pump pump every 2-3 hours when not able to nurse

by on May. 26, 2010 at 6:04 PM

I gave birth to my daughter at 33 weeks and 2 days, and at first they want you to express your milk by pumping so that you can get your supply up. They will give your baby BM once shes stable and then once they figure out if the baby can digest the milk, only then will they up her ML of BM. She will start off with just a couple drops in a feeding tube most likely. Good luck and I hope she isnt in the NICU for too long! BM is best! My daughter got out in 3 weeks, I have super milk :P

by on May. 26, 2010 at 6:47 PM

It is VERY important to know this...

If they want baby to take a bottle - there is ZERO ABSOLUTELY NO reason for the baby not to nurse.  The only reason a preemie SHOULDN'T nurse is if they must be on a feeding tube because of breathing or heart issues.  If the baby is able to take a bottle, they can nurse.

No bottles.  Any supplemental feeding should be done at the breast (using an SNS) or by finger feed or cup feed.

Skin to skin contact - as much as humanly possible, hold that baby, keep both of you as bare as possible.  It's called kangaroo care and any NICU worth its salt practices it, regardless of the baby's feeding method.  It's very important for health and growth of the baby.

If baby isn't able to nurse, or has issues with weakness keeping them from being effecient nurser, pump every two hours, for 15 minutes.  Don't worry about how much you get.  Pumping isn't about getting a milk stash (for you) it's for telling your brain to tell your breasts to make more milk.  The hospital SHOULD provide a hospital grade pump for anyone who is breastfeeding a baby in the NICU.

Have a child with special needs?  Don't have a diagnosis?  Come join other moms of special needs children without a diagnosis at my group:



by on May. 26, 2010 at 7:35 PM

My DS was born at 31 weeks this past June.  He was an awesome breastfeeder... when we could finally do it.  He had no significant fat pads and no suck reflex until 34 1/2 weeks.  I rented a hospital grade pump from the NICU and pumped every 2 1/2 hours around the clock.  It was miserable, but it kept my supply up and he had nothing but breastmilk for the 57 days he was in the NICU.  I happen to be one of those people who respond well to the pump so I never had to take Fenugreek, but I did eat a lot of oatmeal!

The NICU nurses at our hospital were *VERY* pro breastfeeding, so I was very lucky in that respect.  Jack was fed through a tube first, and then we moved on to "practice" nursing.  I would pump before going to see him and he would recieve a feeding through his tube while I put him to breast.  He nuzzled, licked, mouthed and eventually latched... all on his own!  I was able to start feeding him from the breast at 34 1/2 weeks.  I was only able to be there for two feedings a day to start with and they used a bottle the rest of the time.  He had no trouble switching to all breast all the time when we brought him home.

Good luck to you!

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