Tell me your Breastfeeding Success Stories — The Bump

Tell me your Breastfeeding Success Stories

I am on day 7 of the NICU and my baby girl is doing well but to tired to try to breastfeed for more than 1 time a day and even then doesnt get much. I am pumping and tube feeding with dreams of being able to exclusively breast feed when we go home but my supply is just keeping up with her now and Im so nervous that as they increase her amounts i wont be able to keep up.

I would love to hear some preemie breastfeeding success stories from you ladies :D

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Re: Tell me your Breastfeeding Success Stories

  • DD was born at 34 wks 5 days, and I started pumping the day after she was born. I pumped every 2-3 hours even at night. While she was in the NICU (a total of 10 days) I BF her a couple times, but really the nurses wanted to know how much she was taking so I stuck mostly to bottles.

    once we got home I started to BF every other feeding and eventually went to EBF. I still pumped in the beginning just to make sure I was making enough, but DD really took to BF, and we are still BF now at 19 months! Good Luck!

  • Here is mine! I'll encourage you every step of the way if you want but if it doesn't work out I'll also tell you that's OK! It's really hard being a preemie mom. Sometimes it's just another thing that won't cooperate with us.

    Becketts is having some success currently so hopefully she'll jump in with her own story :D 

  • I'm still BFing my twins who were 28 weekers.  I think our success is due to a number of reasons being that my babies were pretty good eaters, I am stubborn and wouldn't give up, I had a good milk supply and "equipment", and lots of good family support.  We intiated BFing right along with bottles while they were still in NICU.  The LC gave me nipple shields to help them stay latched on.  I had to use them for longer than normal because we all became a little dependent on them, but eventually they got it once they were about 2 months adjusted.  Don't get discouraged about you supply just yet.  It takes many weeks to get that established. 
  • Urbanflowerpot has been a huge inspiration! I finally feel like DD2 and I have a BFing success story to share.

    DD2 was born at 35 weeks and was 3lbs 8oz (IUGR). I pumped (and pumped and pumped!) during her 2-week NICU stay, and while we made some BFing attempts, we made the very deliberate decision to go home on bottles to get home faster. Once home, we started working with a LC, going in 1-2 times per week for weight hecks. It was an incredibly slow process. Our LC was an amazing support and cheerleader! Basically, we had to work on DD's latching skills and build her endurance. She currently takes about 90% of feedings BFing. She gets 2 bottles in the morning (one is so I get a little sleep!) and I pump 2-3 times per day. And if she's really fussy after eating, she might get an extra ounce by bottle. 

    For us, the most important thing was our LC. I am sure I would have quit trying if it wasn't for her encouragement and support. It was also really helpful to ask questions on this board and the BFing board. And a healthy dose of stubbornness didn't hurt!

    Good luck!  

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  • My daughter was born close to 35 weeks, and she spent 1 week in the NICU/ISCU before going home.  I am glad that I used the breastfeeding consultants at the hospital while my daughter was still in the hospital.  It has been easier to breastfeed my daughter now that she is home.  But the one thing that I ran into is that when we were out shopping or going somewhere, that I thought I could just breastfeed my daughter.  And the truth is that she fell asleep on me, and I was in a lot of pain with all the milk in my breasts.  So I have learned that I have to breastfeed when she is really hungry --which is normally during the night.  I try to pump as well.  And because my daughter was not making her weight, I added some formula since I could not keep up with my daughter during the night. 
    imageimageLilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Premature Baby tickers Lilypie Premature Baby tickers image BFP on 07/18/08. Miscarriage 07/30/08. BFP 3/25/09. Confirmed second miscarriage, no heartbeat, no growth beyond 7 weeks, 5/19/09. TTC again, on baby aspirin, due to value of 23 on Anticardiolipin Antibodies. BFP 11/15/09. Brown spotting, Beta 3735 11/25/09, Beta 5602 11/28/09. Anticardiolipin Antibodies now negative, still on baby asprin. On 100 mg of Prometrium (progesterone) until 10 weeks. Good heartbeat at 1st appt. 12/16/09. Started taking fish oil. Perigestational hemorrhage and red bleeding 12/17/09. 2nd Ultrasound-8 weeks, still a heartbeat 12/17/09. Baby measured 9 weeks, still a heartbeat 12/23/09. Good NT Scan on 1/8/10, heartbeat 164. EDD 7/28/10. TEAM BLUE! Aidan Thomas born on May 26, 2010. Baby #2, BFP 11/27/11, EDD 6/5/12. TEAM PINK! Noelle Elizabeth born 4/30/12. Blessing from God, Blessing from God, Blessing from God, Blessing from God.
  • image runningmommy519:

    DS was born at 35 weeks 1 day due to severe IUGR and I also had pre-e. He spent 21 days in the NICU. We started attempting to breastfeed when he was a week old. He could only do once a day too at first and he'd fall asleep at the breast A LOT. Once he was doing one really good feeding we increased to two. Then three, four etc etc etc. It took time but I refused to give up. He went home EBF. We do give him one bottle a day so that DS can get his multi-vitamin with iron. He's gaining like a champ too. 

    Try not to get discouraged and keep at it. Don't be concerned about your supply. It's still being established.  

    Thank You! I hope my story turns out like yours. I want to leave EBF so badly because I get literally no support for trying here from the nurses I want to show them all how awesome my little one is. (The doctor is great and supportive but he is only here for like 30mins).

    They keep asking me about formula and bottle etc and its starting wear on me

    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • H was born at 29 weeks. We started non nutritive BF at 31 weeks and he started actually nursing with a nipple shield by 32-33 weeks. He ended up being better at the breast than with a bottle, but came home at 35 weeks getting 2 bottles/day. He was EBF by 38 weeks corrected. He is  now EBF when we are together, he gets pumped milk when I work. It IS possible, but it's certainly not easy, and as Urban said, we'll cheer you on no matter what happens.

    I think the first thing to focus on is your supply. Check out the resource blog (where Urban's story is). Try power pumping or hands on pumping to increased your amounts over the next few days. If that doesn't work, talk with an LC about using herbs, or something else to increase supply. In the end, having a preemie makes establishing a good supply very challenging and it just doesn't happen for everyone.

    Having a good supply will help your LO transition to the breast, because they won't have to work quite as hard.  The other thing that helped us was a nipple shield. It helped H latch on more strongly. I was afraid we would never get rid of it, but we did, and in the end I would have nursed for a year with it if that's what it took.

    Finally, be patient with your LO. Give them lots of opportunities to "practice" but try not to focus on the bad sessions. It takes lots of time and patience! Every baby is on their own timeline. Do lots of skin to skin in the meantime for your supply and for LO to smell you and know you are where the milk comes from.

    Finally, find something that relaxes you. Get your haircut, get a pediacure or sleep in one day. This is a stressful time, but it will get better. Keeping your sanity is the most important part!

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  • I was determined to make BFing work even though I had a LOT of factors against me (e.g., my baby was born at only 29 weeks, I had a c-section, I wasn't able to start pumping until day 3 because I was on magnesium sulphate, I only have one working breast because of a past surgery, he was in the NICU for nine long weeks, etc. etc. etc.). 

    I never was able to pump 8-10 times per day while Jack was in the NICU... on a good day I'd pump 7-8 times, but there were plenty of four-times-a-day days. Still, I had more than enough milk for his feedings plus my freezer and his crate in the NICU freezer were overflowing, but I worried what would happen when he needed a lot more than what I was producing.

    I had a setback of a thrush infection, which made pumping excruciating. It also caused my supply to tank. Even so, I worked with the lactation consultants because I was so determined to make it work.

    Then Jack came home... I turned in the hospital pump (Medela Symphony) and bought a Freestyle, which did not work AT ALL for me (barely any milk came out and I thought my supply was drying up). My thrush came raging back and because of the pain, I couldn't BF and was only pumping twice a day. My supply tanked to only 3-4 ounces per day. I thought it was all over!!

    We quickly depleted my freezer stash, and it was a terribly sad day when I mixed the first bottle of formula for Jack. I felt like a complete failure. (To make it worse, Jack hated formula. He would fight the bottle after he tasted what it was and would have a horribly sour look on his face, as though formula were poison. That didn't help my Mommy guilt, I can tell you!!)

    Fast-forward to this week... I decided enough was enough, I was still determined to make BFing work. So, I rented another Medela Symphony and started pumping diligently. My milk is quickly coming back, but here's the best part of it. Jack has been "asking" to BF (by rooting, a lot, literally going for my boob in a very obvious way). Unlike all the practice sessions in the NICU, which were hard work because his latch wasn't quite right, something has clicked now that he's past full term and he GETS it. He latches on like a champ and goes right to work! It's so easy now... all those times in the NICU, it was stressful and felt like extremely hard work.

    Today, he breastfed five meals (one was while I was waiting in a doctor's exam room this morning!). The more he breastfeeds, the more milk I'm producing, so I'm quickly catching up to his needs. To think, just one week ago, I thought it was all over and I was going to become a formula mom, and now we're on the road to exclusive BFing!! It's amazing!

    You have to be determined. My advice is to keep pumping as much as you can, and keep having BFing practice sessions as much as your baby will tolerate. Call upon lactation consultants and see if they can meet you right in the NICU. But, don't get discouraged if it seems like hard work. Eventually, it will click for her and what had been hard work will become so easy and natural.

    It is WELL worth being determined to make BFing work... there's not just the cost savings factor (which is huge), but the convenience (boy how I hated the double work of pumping, then later having to warm the bottle etc.). Not to mention how your body custom-creates milk that is nutritionally perfect for your baby and it creates antibodies to protect her against various germs you're exposed to. You absolutely can make it work... if I can do it, anyone can!!

    Julia ~ six miscarriages ~ our sweet miracle baby, Jack, due 5/3/12, was born at 29w1d on February 17, 2012, weighing 2 pounds 8 ounces Lilypie Premature Baby tickers BabyFetus Ticker
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