feeding woes-advice needed — The Bump
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feeding woes-advice needed

So our girls are 5 weeks old today and are doing great, except I'm struggling to figure out a good feeding routine.  Currently, they eat every 3 hours and feeding time is an extensive and draining process, both for me and them.  During a typical feeding when I'm by myself, I nurse one baby, bottle feed the other, pump after both are fed, finally wash/make bottles for next time.  The whole process usually takes me close to 1 1/2-2 hours.

After leaving the NICU, the dr wanted us to continue with alternating bottle feedings with breast feeding.  The bottles are breast milk, fortified with a NeoSure (1 tsp to 5oz of BM).  One of our girls has choking episodes when breastfeeding (episodes of bradycardia where she holds her breath, then gasps, resulting in choking).  Needless to say, she has done it since we left the hospital, but it has only gotten worse as her suck continues to strengthen and my milk flow increases (I basically "fire hose" her...).  So, until further notice, she is completely bottle fed, while my other daughter still nurses every other time.

Because of her choking episodes, tandum nursing is completely out of the question and I'm nervous to even try tandum bottle feeding.  Does anyone have any advice or good methods to help our feeding time go faster????  I didn't even mention how awful feeding time is if they both happen to wake up at the same time...I seriously feel like all I do is feed and the only time I'm interacting with them is while they're eating. :(

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Re: feeding woes-advice needed

  • I alternated bottle feeding and breast feeding (switching which baby got what each tiem)...I know you don't want to do that because you aren't nursing one of the girls. But, I fed them at the same time everytime.  I would breastfeed one baby on a boppy in my lap and would bottlefeed the other baby in a boppy in front of me.  On occasion I would also bottlefeed both at the same time, by putting them on boppies in front/or to the side of me.  It helped early on to roll up a receiving blanket to put in the "hole" of the boppy underneath the baby to support them a bit more.  I know you said you didn't necessarily want to feed them at the same time though...but I thought I'd share my experience in case you decide to try it. Even feeding them at the same time, I felt like it was all I did. It really was exhausting, especially with pumping, but it does get easier!!
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  • My girls were high maintenance eaters as well, choking and having a lot of issues with their breathing.  I could only feed one at a time, I needed all of my attention on them. 

    The girl who chokes, does she eat with her arms flung out to the sides?  If she does, if you can curl her in and bring her fists to her center, that will help her be more organized in her eating.  Beyond that, it just takes time to outgrow this.

    Can you make up enough bottles for the entire day?  Or at least for a few feedings?  That should cut at least one step out. 

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  • image erinruns:

    My girls were high maintenance eaters as well, choking and having a lot of issues with their breathing.  I could only feed one at a time, I needed all of my attention on them. 

    The girl who chokes, does she eat with her arms flung out to the sides?  If she does, if you can curl her in and bring her fists to her center, that will help her be more organized in her eating.  Beyond that, it just takes time to outgrow this.

    Can you make up enough bottles for the entire day?  Or at least for a few feedings?  That should cut at least one step out. 

    Thanks for the advice.  Yes, she squirms quite a bit when feeding (bottle and breast).  When she was BF she was not very good-wouldn't latch/stay latched, very wiggly, would get frustrated when she didn't have instant gratification.  I will have to watch for this at the next feeding.  Also, I am starting to make enough to get a couple bottles ahead.  I'm able to skip the bottle prep stage every other feeding.

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  • I agree with getting the bottle prep stuff done ahead of time. That will help, but basically right now it's just going to stink no matter how you do it. They take forever to eat and if they are hungry they won't wait! I almost lost it on an hourly basis and actually lost it on probably a daily basis at that age.... I totally know how you feel with only being able to interact with them by feeding. I felt the same way. That's basically all they do and when I had help, they would help with the other stuff but of course if you're BFing you're the only one who can do that.

    You are doing great. I can say that confidently because I know that both you and the babies are alive and healthy. Seriously, it stinks but I hope you are getting the emotional support you need to make it through. It will get better. Until then vent here and get help from anyone you're comfortable with. You're doing great.

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  • One of my girls also has regular choking episodes she has laryngomalacia but I still breastfeed her, she can handle it better now at 9 weeks and chokes much less often so it does get better! I was worried that it would give her a feeding aversion, but the ENT said that's only in older kids, as infants the drive to eat is too strong. Did the dr at the hospital say the choking was too dangerous to continue breastfeeding?
  • image MrsJeffsWife2B:
    One of my girls also has regular choking episodes she has laryngomalacia but I still breastfeed her, she can handle it better now at 9 weeks and chokes much less often so it does get better! I was worried that it would give her a feeding aversion, but the ENT said that's only in older kids, as infants the drive to eat is too strong. Did the dr at the hospital say the choking was too dangerous to continue breastfeeding?

     No, the dr didn't say to stop, my husband and I decided that on our own. After watching her turn blue several times I was done risking it. :( we haven't given up completely.... I still try every few days just to see where she's st with it. It's encouraging to hear that it will get better. I just hope she doesn't totally refuse the breast once shes outgrown the choking. 

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