My son was born at 32 weeks and is 9 days old. The doctor told me that he will likely be moved to the level 2 NICU today... and one of the major steps towards getting him home is to work on his suck/swallow reflex. Can anyone walk me through the steps I should expect and a general idea of timing (although I know every baby is different)? He's been doing well with his gavage feedings, and I've been told that we may start on a bottle by Friday... how does introducing the bottle and the breast work?
On a related note, I had an emergency c-section due to HELLP syndrome (totally out of the blue)... my numbers were bad enough that we couldn't give the baby more time... and my doctor and the neonatologist consulting the day of the surgery emphasized that I shouldn't feel bad if I couldn't produce breast milk at all. I'm doing much better, but I'm still recovering. I've been pumping 6-7 times a day, but I gather I need to be hitting 8 to 11... it's been hard because the NICU isn't well set up for breastfeeding (we have to move a bunch of screens, there's no surface where I can clean the pump, etc.), and we don't have much ready for our son around the house. So there's a lot to do. Can anyone tell me what the actual target volumes are for production? I'm trying to figure out how much I need to ramp up my production. I'm at a point where I may be capable of waking up to feed, but I'm torn between recovering more quickly for when he gets home, spending time with him and increasing my supply. I'd like to get a feel for whether my supply is actually a problem... the NICU nurses make me feel terrible for not hitting 8 times a day, but I'm totally exhausted by my current schedule (and my abs are incredibly sore at night). I've been working under the assumption that my son needs me around more than anything... although the more I learn about preemies and stimulation, the more I realize that my presence may be more about me than him.