Feeding a 35weeker

My daughter has been doing great for being a 35 weeker. But we are struggling with feeding. She has been nursing pretty well but has not gained weight yet. So I've been trying to supplement her with some enfacare to try and get her some weight. But I can't get her to drink more than half an ounce. And I have no clue how much she's getting when nursing. I'm just terrified of something happening now and her having to go to the nicu now. She also had to go in the hospital for her temp last Friday and they gave her antibiotics and she is still having greenish mucous poops. Is that normal? They aren't the normal breast fed poops. I just don't know what to do about this whole preemie thing. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Re: Feeding a 35weeker

  • Reflux doesn't seem to be a problem with her. No spitting up issues. If it were a milk protein allergy would that mean we'd need allergy soy formula? And cut out all dairy in my diet?
  • Maybe try pumping for a few meals/day and then you can get an idea of her volume.  You can also mix the Enfacare into the breastmilk (smaller quantities--check with your doctor or maybe find it online--we were only adding something like a teaspoon of powder/day to her 100% breastmilk diet), which might make it taste better.  Antibiotics alone might contribute to weird outputs.  And you might be having foremilk/hindmilk imbalance if she's not eating much, but pumping could solve that.  Unless cutting out dairy is easy, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion yet.  
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  • How long is she nursing? Do your boobs feel empty when she's done? How often is she nursing? Have you met with an LC to check latch or done a weighted feed to see how much she's getting?

    Have you checked out It's a great BFing resource.

    The green poops makes me think she's not getting enough of the fatty hindmilk. She should be nursing for 20-45min every 2-3hrs (start the clock from when each feed begins). If she's having problems staying awake, tickle feet, burp, run her head, to keep her awake and sucking.

    If you pump, know that how much you pump is not an indicator of your supply and/or what she gets while nursing. Babies are way more efficient than the pump.

    The BFing board here is also a great resource.

    If you haven't, call your pedi or hospital to get in touch w an LC. Nursing is so so hard in the beginning. But it does get easier!

  • I know she's not nursing enough to get the hindmilk. She barely nurses 10 minutes if that. I tickle, undress, wet washcloths, burp, change diapers. Nothing will wake her when she's done. I know she needs to nurse more. But she also needs to gain weight more. Would it be best to pump and bottle feed her so that I know she's getting what she needs? Her latch is great. She just tires out so fast. I try to wake her more often to get more feeds in her but she just refuses to wake when she doesn't want to. I'm just lost and scared. I don't want her to have to go in the hospital so I want to try everything I can.
  • My oldest was so sleepy in the beginning, too. (He was FT at 37w1d, but did have an issue staying awake to feed). A nurse showed me a "baby sit up" and it helped to wake him up to eat. You basically hold them in the forearm holding their head with their bum in the crook of your arm and dip them backwards. It helped a bunch. I also found this one tickle spot on him around his ear at the top of his jaw that would get him to keep eating.

    W the twins (34w), they had NG tubes until they were eating well, so I needed less tricks! You can also massage under her chin to get her going a bit.

    If she's only nursing 10min at a time, that's def causing the green poops and lack of weight gain. How are her wet/dirty diapers?

    How often is she eating? With her being so sleepy and not gaining, you should prob wake to feed at least every 2-3hrs around the clock. Are you feeding off one boob or two?

    You can pump and bottle feed, but if her latch is great then it isn't a transfer issue, it's a sleepiness issue that's really common w near-term babies. If nursing is your goal, that would be low on my list of things to try. I'd feed more often first.

    I'd still try and get in tough w an LC if you haven't. They can be a great resource.

    It's totally overwhelming, especially w a sleepy one in the beginning.

  • I wake every 2 to 3 hrs to feed but she will not nurse if she isn't awake. She will barely nurse off one boob much less get her to the second one. I do the pressure under her chin and tickling. I just for the life if me can not get her to wake back up. She isn't pooping much now, maybe once a day. She pees a ton and it's normal color. Not dark like dehydrated. We have started trying to supplement with a tiny bit of enfacare just to try and get some weight but she barely takes that either. So maybe 10 minutes of not even constant nursing at each feed every 2-3 hours is all we get. We go back to the peds tomorrow for weight check so we'll see where to go from there. I'm just out of tricks and sad :(
  • =Lee=B=Lee=B member

    Is she swallowing a lot while nursing?  That can tell you the flow of your milk.  My 35w0d never nursed more than about 15min.  She nursed every 2hrs round the clock but my milk was fast and she guzzled and was done.  By about 10weeks she was down to 8-10min per feeding and after a few months her feeds were only 4-6min. 

    See about doing a weighed feed while at the doctors.  We did one (they weigh baby fully clothes before you nurse then again after nursing-don't change diaper or anything).  How much more does she weigh?  My daughter was always getting a full feed in the short nurse sessions.

    My daughter did have a dairy intolerance (still does at 16months).  But, the main diagnosis of this was a good 15-20 poops every 24hrs.  It was liquid and green and has a strong distinct smell.  But it was the frequency that really cued us in.  I cut any and all dairy from my diet and she went down to about 2-3 normal poops a day. 


  • My 35 weeker was very sleepy too. I brought it up multiple times to her pedi because she slept all.the.time. 

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