breastfeeding my preemie, he forgot how, he is so sleepy

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by prov31gal, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. prov31gal

    prov31gal New Member

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    hello, i need help. my baby bay was born apr.30 at 26 weeks. we came home saturday at 36 weeks. he was tube fed, and breastfed . he did so great at bfing. he had great latch and sucked continually for 10 minutes at least each session i was allowed to nurse him 2x a day. then a new doc came on and said bfing used too many calories and bmilk didnt havenough calories in it. she put him onn all bottles of pumped milk with a scoop of formula in it and i was told not to bf untill he was bigger. now we are home. it all feels so wrong, im so sad, he cant stay awake longer than 5 minutes when i try to nurse and he only sucks in spurts. he will take the bottle though. but im pumping and pumping and getting less and less. he sleeps for 4 hours or more and his sleep is fitful and he never ever takes more than 30 cc from the bottle. they had him taking up to 50 at the hospital. he seems happy enough when he is awake. he wakes when i change him and unwrap him to eat. he stays awake for only about 5-10 min and then thats it. he is getting a poopy diaper with almost every diaper change, a small one, but is wet every time. he is so small 4 lbs 4 oz at discharge. i do not like the docs, they seem like they dont know whats going on with the babies they change docs so often. im just so worried and 2 hours from my pediatrition because im staying near the hospitalfor 1 week so he can do all the apps here and then go home and to our ped. i just need some advise and encouragement.
  2. irinam

    irinam Amity's Focus Member

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    :hug: mama!

    May I ask how often does your baby nurse? Does he nurse at night?

    Do you feel he gets tired before you have a let-down?

    You might want to concentrate on several things at once:

    • Trying to increase your supply (oatmeal, for example, worked well for me)
    • Try to feed him more often (that is if you don't do it already)
    • Try to encourage the let-down before you start feeding him, by manually expressing or pumping a little before feeding

    Most important of all - try not to worry (stress does not only effect the milk supply, but also is said to be "contagious". OK, it is too big of a word to describe what I am trying to say, what I am trying to say is that the babies pick up their mother's vibes.
  3. prov31gal

    prov31gal New Member

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    he tries to nurse about every3 hours but he falls asleep immediately and then i have to wait a while, then try the bottle but by that time he is exhausted.
  4. irinam

    irinam Amity's Focus Member

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    Every 3 hours for a preemie might not be often enough. You might want to try to gently wake him up a few times in between. Not every stretch of course.

    What about at night? Does he also go at 3 hour stretches?

    Also, do you have a scale at home, do you know how he is gaining?

    Another thing - some babies are very efficient nursers and some mamas are very efficient "suppliers"
  5. mamajandtheboys

    mamajandtheboys Amity's Focus Member

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    make sure the baby is staying warm. i'd really suggest skin to skin for you both. it will force you to sit down and rest and it will increase your prolactin levels which you need to produce milk. skin to skin will keep the baby warm as well. we see all the time that infants (esp preterm infants) nurse better and more often if they are kept skin to skin all the time. no blankets, no swaddling. just a diaper. you can place some blankets over you, but make sure baby's chest is skin to skin with your chest. and no bra. :)
    nurse every 2-3 hours around the clock. you may need to pump after feeds to increase breast stimulation and supply. preterm infants don't have a super strong suckle yet.
    you need to follow up for weight checks often. small babies can turn into failure to thrive very quickly if not efficiently managed. :hug:
    if you have a lactation consultant nearby, i'd strongly suggest a consult. an ibclc can assess your latch and positioning and see what else y'all may be needing.
    good luck, mama. :)
  6. tikva18

    tikva18 busy building blocks

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    My twins were born at 35wk 5d and they couldn't nurse until they were 40wks (4wks old). I was told the same thing as you - nursing burns too many calories. So, I'd nurse for a few minutes first, trying to get them to latch, suck, swallow, give a bottle after nursing, then go pump. At 4wks old I told the ped that we were going to have a little learning curve and was ditching the bottles. We made it. It took a lot of time and tears on my part. :hug: to you. My twins nursed until they were over 4 1/2 yrs. One stopped this past March and the other just stopped last month :(.
  7. mamasky

    mamasky sleep is overrated

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    I had my twins at 25 weeks and they were in the nicu for almost 3 months. I did very little nursing while they were in the nicu. It does take more calories to nurse than to take a bottle and I just wanted them home.
    Do you have a nipple shield? I'm convinced that it was helped my twins switch from bottle to breast with little difficulty. I offered them a chance to nurse pretty much any time they were awake...even if they only nursed for a minute or two.
    Drink lots of water, eat oatmeal, get as much sleep as you can, and try to not be too stressed. All of those things will help increase your milk supply. Do you still have a hospital grade pump? If not, go rent one. I think they're like $30-40 a month.
    I would see if you can bring the baby in for weight checks every other day or so. I was going every 2-3 days for my twins. Sometimes I went to the midwife, sometimes to the pediatrician. My twins were released at 3lbs. 13oz. and 4lbs. 5oz. so they were tiny too. Also, see if you can go in and have the baby weighed before and after a nursing session so you can see how much he's taking at once.
    Lots of skin to skin contact. Sit down and just cuddle him, it will do wonders for your milk supply.
    Most of all, don't give up. It can be incredibly frustrating to nurse, let alone nurse a micro preemie. It can be done though, I promise. I nursed my twins for 13 months. Soemtimes, I did nothing but sit on the couch and cuddle and nurse my boys for the whole day. Sure, I felt like a big lump from sitting on the couch all day but it's what my boys needed.
    Feel free to pm me if you have any questions. Also, the hospital where your son was should have at least one lactation consultant on duty at all times. Call and see if you can bring your son in to make sure everything is ok.
  8. hematite

    hematite New Member

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    Can you call La Leche League and find a lactation consultant to come to your house? Big big hugs mama, you are working hard, and so is your little one...
    Misty
  9. FindingCalm

    FindingCalm New Member

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    Have you talked to your doctor or lactation consultant about using a supplemental nursing system? You can use your own pumped milk (with or without additions) or formula, but you give it to the baby while he is at the breast. You wear a bottle around your neck like a necklace and a small tube taped right next to your nipple delivers the milk. You can adjust it so that the flow is appropriate for your baby. The constant flow of milk may help keep him awake and he will use less energy getting it. Plus it helps with his latch and gives you nipple stimulation to keep up supply. This might be a good way to help you make the transition to nursing fully at the breast as he gets stronger.

    Since he will be getting a combination of milk from the breast and the supplementer you will not know his exact intake, but you can get a precise scales and measure before and after feeding, or have regular weight checks as needed.

    You will still need to pump after feeds while using the supplementer, but the stimulation is likely to make extracting your milk easier and you will be getting great hind milk (high fat) for his next feeding. I agree that you need a hospital grade pump if you don't have one. Even double electrics can't match the ability to maintain supply of a hospital grade.

    Hang in there, it will get easier!

    Hugs,
    Joy

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