Update in reply! Anyone have experience with BF a premie?

edited December 2014 in Breastfeeding
Hi ladies! My daughter was born at 33wks5days via emergency c-section. She is now 2 days shy of a month old. For the first couple of days of her life she was fed only via her feeding tube since she hadn't developed her suck swallow reflex yet. After she was able to suck/swallow I was allowed to BF as much as she could, as nursing is extremely exaughsting for a premie and then the nurses would give her feedings via her feeding tube. All of which was my breastmilk as I was pumping regularly also. I made it very clear to the Drs I wanted to exclusively BF and did not want her to be bottle fed. The Drs respected my decision but it was also followed up with them saying she would be able to go home faster if she was bottle fed and that it is unlikely she will go straight to BFing from the feeding tube and all their babies go home with some sort of bottle feeding. They also "assured" me that nipple confusion is a myth. I stuck to my guns with BFing only until DD was showing signs of readiness to eat on her own. We had another long convo with the Drs about the use of a bottle and I caved. :/

Well the good news is that we are now home! However she is now nursing less and now only with a nipple sheild (in the hospital I didn't use one, she actually hated it) and bottle feeding more. My heart breaks as I knew this would happen. My question to you ladies is, have any of you been in this position? Of BFing a premie or getting a baby who prefers the bottle to eventually switch to exclusively BF? I plan to reach out to a LC for their help, but wanted to see if you ladies had any experience or input! Thank you!

Re: Update in reply! Anyone have experience with BF a premie?

  • No experience, but I just wanted to say you sound like a rock star! Awesome job!

    There is a premie board, but I'm mobile and don't know how to link. Maybe check them out and you can jump back and forth between boards? Good luck!
    Cooper & Melody.     My Rescues <3

  • Thank you @Melody330‌

    @jfresh‌ thank you for sharing your story!! I am hoping too that persistence pays off with her! I actually didn't use the nipple shield at all after I posted this. She was frustrated at first, but after some position changes she got it :)

    She is gaining really well! We had an appt 2 days after we went home and she gained a couple of ozs. That was last week. We have another weight check appt next week. Based on how her clothes as fitting her, I can tell she is still gaining. She is on a 22cal fortifier the is added to her breast milk bottle to help with her weight gain too.
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  • I too had a premie born at 34w1d. I wanted to EBF from the start and made that clear too. She started on the ng tube as well. We came home on the nipple shield and I did do 3 pumped bottles a day till term that was fortified to 24 cal, and I weaned that down to 1 bottle fortified at 2 months and 0 by 3 months. I knew my daughter would have to take a bottle when I went back to work at 12 weeks so I didn't drop them completely except for a few days and then on weekends she only had a 1 oz topper after nursing her at bedtime. She dropped the shield on her own at 6 months. This summer when she was 8-10 months old when I was off for the summer as a teacher she refused all bottles and was EBF. She still nurses twice a day now and is still having frozen BM from my stash at 15 months old. It was a ton of work early on, hardest thing I have ever done but so worth it. I hope to get her thru Jan with my frozen stash and twice a day. Good Luck and never quit on a bad day.
  • My daughter was born at 33+3 and wouldn't latch at all in the nicu. She was given pumped milk from me in a bottle or through feeding tube. Right before we were discharged, she was able to latch with a shield. We never were able to wean off the shield but we nursed for 22months. Lots of work in the beginning but it all paid off.
    BabyFetus Ticker
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  • Thank you ladies for all of your stories!! They all have been so inspiring and reassuring! I am happy to say that the "light switch" went off xmas eve night and she nursed both of her feedings!! I couldn't believe it was actually happening! She did so great!! Ever since then she has been nursing all of her feeding except one morning bottle so she can get her vitamins. I couldn't be more thrilled!!! But with our latest achievement comes my constant worry of is she eating enough and getting enough milk. Ah the joys of being a parent! She's been having plenty of wet/dirty diapers, so I know she's getting enough, it's just each of her feedings vary so much in length and the intensity of her draw if that makes sense. Also, last night she wanted to eat non stop from about 7 to midnight and was really restless for the rest of the night nursing for only short periods of times. Is this what you consider a cluster feed? Her "birthday" due date is tomorrow Dec 28th and she is now 6 weeks old! Could it be due to a growth spurt? Also, one last question... Should I offer her more than just her am bottle while we are transitioning to EBFing?
    [Deleted User]
  • OP, thx for posting, no advice to give- just gleening from the experience here. Twins, c-section at 35/1 on 12/24. Didnt see for 12 hours, NICU, were started on FF, and pacis, and having hard time getting them to latch/ suck. Milk is now coming in, so am hopeful! :-) We have some learning to do....
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  • Remember with premies it just may take longer for it to click. My daughter clicked right around her due date. My daughter born at 34-1 didn't get to even try latching for 5 days. It's hard work for them and while we struggled at first she finally got it and still nurses twice a day at 15 months. She even uses the same paci's that she was introduced to in the NICU before she was ever aloud to breastfeed.
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