Breastfeeding

Leaving baby in NICU

Today I'm being discharged from the hospital and my baby has to stay in the NICU for a few more days. He was born at 38.5 wks but because he was so big 14 lbs he struggled with blood sugar and breathing. They are going to let me try and nurse for the first time today if his breathing looks good. I am producing lots of milk pumping every 23 hrs. I'm most worried about leaving him there because I can't nurse him every feeding I live 20 mins away and I'm worried he is going to get so used to bottles that he won't BF well. That's what happened with my preemie twins in NICU. Any advice? Should I just try being at the hospital as much as possible? He feeds every 3 hrs.

Re: Leaving baby in NICU

  • wow that is a big boy! My little guy was in the NICU for 3 days but we were in the hospital too.. we were in a separate building and a 10min walk away, but I still came for feedings every 3 hours. I asked the nurses while I was there about what moms do who are not still in the hospital and they said they will just camp out in the nicu all day, go home at night and do the same the next day... etc. He will have formula at night but for me, it was not detrimental to breast feeding.
  • If you pump every 2-3 hours, your supply should be fine even if your LO is getting bottles.

    I think that as long as bottles are given slowly and in a BF-friendly manner, your LO should not have issues going back to the breast - at least, mine didn't. Good luck!

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  • Our DD was in the NICU for 245 days. I was there for every feeding so I could always offer BF first, then if we needed to we would do a bottle. I could not be there for a lot of the night feedings but I was there for the majority of them. Just get to as many feedings as possible and then once he is home always offer BF first. Good luck!
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  • C spent 3 weeks in the NICU and is still BF like a champ at 9 months old. I was at the hospital all day, every day, but for most of the time he was tube fed anyway. HThe hospital never gave him a bottle because when he was able to nurse, I made sure to be there for feedings. At our hospital, they had me room in with him the 2 nights before we went home to make sure he was nursing ok and was gaining weight. Just try to nurse as often as you are able, and don't get discouraged if he doesn't latch perfectly right away.
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  • wedseptwedsept
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    My DD was in NICU for 13 days.  I was there from about 9 am to 10 pm every day.  I wasn't there at nights.  She was fed with a tube for about 5-6 days.  After that, I was able to nurse her.  Obviously, I didn't nurse her at night.  She didn't latch for about one day.  But, eventually, she latched and we were successful in breastfeeding her.
  • MBush4MBush4
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    I don't understand your situation ENTIRELY since I'm a FTM, but my LO was in the NICU for almost 3 weeks due to blood sugar issues and he was born at 38.5 weeks. He was smaller though (7.5 lbs)... I tried to be there as much as possible to try and nurse. It didn't work out though and I just didn't want it to be one of my many struggles as a new mom, so I EP. I wish I had stuck it out more though and tried to get him to nurse. That being said, I'm not sure how feasible it will be for you to be at the hospital with twins. Can you get someone to watch them for a few hours around a feeding time or two? Maybe go with that... Drop off the twins, go to a 12pm and 3 pm feeding, then go get the twins? DH worked down the street from where the hospital was so he'd drop me off at 8:45am, I'd be there for the 9, 12,3, and then 6 feedings and then we'd head home. But whatever you do, keep up the good work. Your babies are lucky to have you!

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  • Dd1 was in the NICU for 8 days. I roomed in fr a few days, then slept in the waiting room or the chair in her NICU room for a few days. Not ideal for comfort and recovery for ME, but, I wanted to nurse every chance I could, because she wasn't able to maintain her weight, and the drs and nurses, as well as the LCs and myself, felt it was nursing issues.

    Do what you can!
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