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Baby in nicu pumping and nursing questions sorry its long **update** 2nd update !!!

Posted by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 1:16 AM
  • 28 Replies

Henry came home today!! He is nursing great , still a little sleepy but otherwise good :) thanks for all the support and advice. This will be our first overnight together so we will see how it goes.



Had my son late Friday via emergency c section at 36 weeks 6 days. He is considered late preterm and is having some breathing issues so is in the nicu still. I have been pumping since 3 hours after he was born and I pump every 3 hours for about 20-30mins. I am now getting about 2.5 ounces of colostrom each pumping session, I don't think my milk has come in as its yellow in color. He started getting my milk on Sunday through a tube about 7ml,now up to 25ml. I was able to try nursing yesterday,his biggest issue is waking up to feed and falling asleep while nursing,also he will latch for a second then unlatch doing this until he gets upset and finally Gets a good latch.They have him on a feeding schedule of 6-9-12-3. His discharge from the nicu is partly cotingent on his feedings his breathing is nearly under control so we need to get the eating part down.Questions I have are  1. am I pumping often enough? I discharged today and I am not able to be at the hospital 24/7 but I will be going from 9am-1 and 6-10pm. I Pump at 12am,3am, 6 am and 3 pm and I follow each nursing session with pumping.   2. How much should he be eating,they want to give him a bottle after he nurses but I want to be sure I can keep up with his demand. They say he has enough wet diapers and poops throughout the day.I'm open to any advice tips ect, I want to breastfeed and I really want my little man home ASAP. Thanks in advance. 

Thank you all for sharing your stories and advice helps me feel better about the situation :) Today I did skin on skin time during nursing,he is under blue lights for jaundice so the only hold time I get is during feedings. He nursed much better and I told them no bottles after I finish nursing that ill let him stay latched as long as needed during the hour off the lights . He has a bottle with my pumped milk when I can't be there. Ill continue to pump as I have been and my milk actually came in today, it changed to a white color and I'm getting more which is a relief. They said he should be home by the weekend. I asked that he be taken off his iv with fluids and sugars since I believe it was interfering with his want to nurse and they did honor that. Hopefully he will be off the lights tomorrow and ill get more skin time with him.

by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 1:16 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SewingMamaLele
by Leanne on Mar. 13, 2013 at 1:25 AM
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I would insist on using a SNS for the feedings, rather than a bottle after nursing.   I will also say that I think whatever feeding issues he is having will resolve very quickly once you get him home... so, it's kind of a juggling act between getting them to release him, and not jeapordizing your ability to breastfeed with bottles.

If I were you, and his breathing was 100% ok, I'd push for release NOW.   I when I say push, I mean push.   But, I've had two late term preemies (35 weeks and 37+2) and they both came directly home and so I feel very confident in caring for an early baby.   I've also threatened to sign out AMA to get a child out of the hospital... so, I know how that all goes.

For the pumping... increase to every 2 hours for waking hours.   IME, preterm milk is yellower and thicker.... but, if you really think your milk isn't in yet, then increasing pump sessions (and adding in a power pump session in the evening) will help.  

paganmommy4
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 1:30 AM

I had a baby just like that, she had bottle feed and nurse and gain weight in order to leave. You are giving plenty right now.  My lactation consultant told me to pump and nurse, so the more you pump the more you will be able to keep up the supply when he comes home. 

SewingMamaLele
by Leanne on Mar. 13, 2013 at 1:33 AM

Oh, also... are they sticking to their "schedule" when you are there, or are they allowing you to nurse on demand?

hnischke
by Heather on Mar. 13, 2013 at 1:41 AM
I had the same issues when I had my son 6 mo ago. He was born at 36 weeks and was having issues with apneas and a major strider. I was in the hospital with him 70% of the time and nursed every 2 hours and pumped on the same schedule when I was gone.

What are they thinking his issues are? I hope it's nothing major. The best feeling will be to finally bringing home. Everything will work out the way it should,
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chikaboombeads
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 1:41 AM
1 mom liked this

Wow...this brings back so many flashbacks!!! My youngest son was born at 38 weeks and I was on strict bedrest starting @ 35 weeks.  The delivery was normal and he looked great, but started having difficulty breathing the next day.  He had pneumonia and a minor collapsed lung.  He was sent to the NICU and I was discharged later that day.  It was heartbreaking to leave the hospital without my baby in my arms:(  We had basically the same NICU schedule as you do.  When I was home I pumped like crazy and set my alarm for every 3 hours...it was torture!!  I would pump a small amount and saved every tiny little drop of milk (it took several days for the actual milk to come in).  I was so proud of every drop, but I never felt that it was enough and I started to feel inadequate.  I was a mess, hormonal, severely sleep deprived, anxious and in pain!!!  It gets better...I promise!  10 days later he was discharged and I eventually started producing a ton of milk.  I think new moms are all a little insecure that they are not producing enough milk, this is normal.  As long as your baby is peeing, pooping, and not losing much weight,  he will be just fine!  

He is exactly where he needs to be right now. He is safe, being monitored, and getting the extra treatment he needs from highly trained experts.  You WILL get through this!!! You WILL bring your baby home, and you WILL be able to sucessfully continue nursing!  The best advice I got was from my OB/GYN...he told me to find peace in knowing that my baby is safe and that 18 years from now I will look back and barely remember those awful 10 days.  My son is doing great and turned 6 last week:)

Keep up the good work and trust your boobies!

Teedie10
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 1:58 AM
First of all, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I had a 25 weeker 15 years ago and I know how hard it is to walk out those doors without him. Mine was in the NICU for 4 months and I tried to be there for fresh feedings but he was on a feeding tube for about 3 months so it was a challenge to keep up a milk supply. No pump can match a baby. My advice would be to sleep( sometimes the only place I felt safe enough to sleep was in the rocker by his isolette! I had the sweetest nurses!) and drink lots of water and pump on a regular baby feeding schedule( every 2-3 hours) the NICU nurses recommended a culinary herb called fenugreek and one nurse swore by a glass of good German beer at night. She probably thought it would calm me down!!but the barley and hops also help build your supply. When you can nurse him every time, insist on no pacifiers or bottles. I taped a note to his isolette " Beastfeeder- in- training. Please no pacifiers or bottles." You don't want to confuse the sucking reflex and it's even more important because you depend on the frequency of feedings to build your supply. The extra effort was so worth it. Those colostrum feedings are powerhouses of nutrients and immunity and preemie milk is supposed to adjust to be even fattier than full term. It's custom designed for your baby. It was a wild ride, but my son is wonderful now, and I know breast milk had a huge impact on his positive outcome, so hang in there. I hope this helps and that your little guy is safe at home with you before long. Ill be praying...
MommyO2-6631
by Leslie on Mar. 13, 2013 at 6:34 AM
1 mom liked this
No bottles! The biggest thing is to get him home! I had a 31 weeker 7 years ago. The NICU ruined my chances of ever breastfeeding him. And to boot they tried to keep him through the holidays just because. No reason given. I had to get VERY pushy with his doctor and insist that he be released. Anf when you are there no schedules. Let him stay at the breast as long as he wants whenever he wants.
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Whereismymind
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM

They are wanting me to stick to their schedule. he sleeps a lot and when the feeding times come up they wake him up taking his temp,doing diaper change,and checking his vitals. Once he wakes he is ready to nurse but usually falls asleep pretty quick.

Quoting SewingMamaLele:

Oh, also... are they sticking to their "schedule" when you are there, or are they allowing you to nurse on demand?


Whereismymind
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Thank you ! I can't imagine 4 months with him in there...

Quoting Teedie10:

First of all, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I had a 25 weeker 15 years ago and I know how hard it is to walk out those doors without him. Mine was in the NICU for 4 months and I tried to be there for fresh feedings but he was on a feeding tube for about 3 months so it was a challenge to keep up a milk supply. No pump can match a baby. My advice would be to sleep( sometimes the only place I felt safe enough to sleep was in the rocker by his isolette! I had the sweetest nurses!) and drink lots of water and pump on a regular baby feeding schedule( every 2-3 hours) the NICU nurses recommended a culinary herb called fenugreek and one nurse swore by a glass of good German beer at night. She probably thought it would calm me down!!but the barley and hops also help build your supply. When you can nurse him every time, insist on no pacifiers or bottles. I taped a note to his isolette " Beastfeeder- in- training. Please no pacifiers or bottles." You don't want to confuse the sucking reflex and it's even more important because you depend on the frequency of feedings to build your supply. The extra effort was so worth it. Those colostrum feedings are powerhouses of nutrients and immunity and preemie milk is supposed to adjust to be even fattier than full term. It's custom designed for your baby. It was a wild ride, but my son is wonderful now, and I know breast milk had a huge impact on his positive outcome, so hang in there. I hope this helps and that your little guy is safe at home with you before long. Ill be praying...


Whereismymind
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 10:27 AM

I am the same way with pumping and you describe to the t how I am feeling,lol. Thanks for the advice!

Quoting chikaboombeads:

Wow...this brings back so many flashbacks!!! My youngest son was born at 38 weeks and I was on strict bedrest starting @ 35 weeks.  The delivery was normal and he looked great, but started having difficulty breathing the next day.  He had pneumonia and a minor collapsed lung.  He was sent to the NICU and I was discharged later that day.  It was heartbreaking to leave the hospital without my baby in my arms:(  We had basically the same NICU schedule as you do.  When I was home I pumped like crazy and set my alarm for every 3 hours...it was torture!!  I would pump a small amount and saved every tiny little drop of milk (it took several days for the actual milk to come in).  I was so proud of every drop, but I never felt that it was enough and I started to feel inadequate.  I was a mess, hormonal, severely sleep deprived, anxious and in pain!!!  It gets better...I promise!  10 days later he was discharged and I eventually started producing a ton of milk.  I think new moms are all a little insecure that they are not producing enough milk, this is normal.  As long as your baby is peeing, pooping, and not losing much weight,  he will be just fine!  

He is exactly where he needs to be right now. He is safe, being monitored, and getting the extra treatment he needs from highly trained experts.  You WILL get through this!!! You WILL bring your baby home, and you WILL be able to sucessfully continue nursing!  The best advice I got was from my OB/GYN...he told me to find peace in knowing that my baby is safe and that 18 years from now I will look back and barely remember those awful 10 days.  My son is doing great and turned 6 last week:)

Keep up the good work and trust your boobies!


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