I posted this on the breastfeeding board and thought I'd throw it out here too!
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! Breastfeeding a Preemie
Also he just decided he didn't like the shield around 38-39 weeks and we went on without it. So that's not a forever thing in most cases either.
Keep up the great work!!
As far as tips:
I always had my DH give her a bottle once we got home from the nicu. Mama was boob only!
We found night nursing to be very helpful tip getting her to love the boob.
Definitely let her linger as long as she wants-in the evenings we'd spend hours snuggling, nursing, repeat! Thank goodness for Netflix!
I had the opposite problem w my singleton - he refused bottles. So I wanted to make sure the babies got bottles early and often bc I work FT. We came home w instructions to half BF / half bottle and we just switched EBF. They gained and we never looked back.
We always nursed in the same spot. I also tried to get a full feed in and would latch and re-latch. I had a very forceful let-down and you can catch the spray in a burp rag if that's the case.
I nursed my older son for 13 months and would have loved to do the same with her... but that has proven to be very challenging and frustrating. Nipple confusion is indeed a real thing.
5 DIUI - BFN
IVF#1 - BFP - AJ 7/12
FET#1 - BFP Due 7/24/14
Have you ever looked at www.kellymom.com? Fantastic resource for BFing and what to expect.
I tried to do one bottle every couple of days bc I was returning to work and had a prob w my oldest refusing a bottle so I wanted to make sure they stayed "in practice" w a bottle. But if she's having wet/dirty diapers and your boobs feel empty when she's done feeding, and she's gaining, you don't really have to do bottles.