Hi everyone, my baby was just born Feb 6 by emergency c-section at nearly 35 weeks. I am wondering what have been your experiences with breastfeeding in the NICU. Breastfeeding is extremely important to me and I am so afraid that he won't learn to latch and nurse properly. The nurses are letting me try breastfeeding twice a day for 5 minutes or so, then trying a bottle, then finishing his feeds with the tube. Is this pretty standard? I'm pumping every 2-3 hours and fortunately my milk has come in and as of now I'm making enough for him. Thank you so much for any support and guidance!
Re: breastfeeding 35 week preemie
Sounds exactly like how our feeding started with LO once he was ready. We would just kind of let him play with the boob for a bit at first as he wasn't trying to suck the first several days. Eventually he would try to eat from the boob but would tire out real quick and we would finish with tube or bottle.
Keep at it! It seems like a long process and it kind of is, but eventually he will work up enough stamina to stay on the boob longer!
We used a nipple shield for the first few weeks as well and found it really helped him as it was less work for him while he was working on his energy and sucking skills. Also recommend working with your lactation consultant, they really helped us!
The other questions might be whether you can separate the BF attempts and bottle attempts. Maybe you could put him to the breast only 2-4 times while you're there for a little longer than 5 mins- like maybe 10-15, and then tube feed the remainder. They could work on the bottle feeding at night or when you're not there. Honestly for him to go from trying to latch at the breast, then trying to deal with the faster flow of a bottle all within a few minutes might be a little confusing.
I'm only commenting based on my experiences and these things are so different in different babies, so it's really important to get on the same page with his team and have a strong LC in your court! Good luck. I brought my 29 weeker home mostly breastfeeding with a shield at 35 weeks adjusted. Honestly, our story is less common, but it is possible. I had a lot of support!
BFP#2 3/16/11, beta 138; 4/12 Baby/HB DS born 9/10/11 at 29w4d due to partial abruption and PTL
BFP#3 8/19/13 Another boy! 17P, modified bedrest and Nifedipine helped us have a termie! DS2 born 4/19/14 at 38w5d.