Late Preterm BF help — The Bump

Late Preterm BF help

Hello ladies I'm hoping someone out there has been in my shoes and can help. My daughter was born on Friday at 36 weeks via c/s. She spent two nights in NICU for breathing issues, but now is with me. Her first feed went great, but since then has gone down hill. Now just attempting to latch makes her pass out. I'm pumping and my milk has come in already. I just want to nurse her. Any advice or tips?


Missed MC 11/17/10 Our little miracle born 1/27/12 Natural MC 7/19/12 Missed MC 1/22/13 Our family is complete DD 12/27/13
Abnormal ANA, PAI-1 4G/4G homozygous

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Re: Late Preterm BF help

  • I just had twins at 36 weeks that are now a week old and also in the NICU. My LC has had me exclusively pump for now because they needed to conserve energy during the feeds and their mouths are too small for a proper latch. I am however encouraged to put them to the breast after they take their feed. When we get closer to their 40 week gestational age and their mouths get stronger we will transition to breast feeding. That's just what schedule/plan I am on. A LC would obviously know best for what would be a good approach for you! Good luck!
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  • My DD was born at 36 weeks, and was "not ready for prime time" per my LC :-). I would DEFINITELY go see an IBCLC as soon as you can; your LO may benefit from using a nipple shield at first (we used one for 2 weeks), because she wasn't effectively latching (we did a weighed feeding with the LC to check).

    What we wound up doing was nurse for 8 mins (longer, and she would be too tired), then I'd pump while DH gave her a bottle of what I'd expressed the previous time. Once her weight gain was on track, we extended the length of her nursing sessions to 10, 15, and finally as long as she wanted.

    We also did collarbone and TMJ massage to help loosen up/strengthen those muscles to improve her latch.

    Overall, we saw great improvement when she reached 38/39 weeks - our LC said that, in addition to the strength issue, they get much better at coordinating the suck-swallow-breathe rhythm at that point.
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  • I had similar issues (a 37w c/s for IUGR). My babe was small and just couldn't get latched, even with extensive help from a LC. We finger fed until my milk came in, and then used a nipple shield until she got bigger. Definitely seek the help of an IBCLC to help decide which direction to go.



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  • I also had a 36 weeker (4lb 9 oz) who spent 3 days in NICU then 8 days in SCN.  For the first few weeks, I gave pumped bottles with fortifying powdered formula added.  If need be, I gave a part formula/part BM bottle.  I also attempted to nurse at each feeding 9typically after he had some milk from the bottle so he wasn't freaking out).  AT first, he would just pass out trying to nurse, then we discovered he had a tongue tie. We were also using a nipple shield in the beginning.  I think what really helped us to get over the hump was the regular attendance at BF support group (3x per week) and the once a week private LC appointments. At around 4 weeks, after the tongue tie was addressed, things started to click.  First it happened at the LC appointments with their help, then at BF group- agai9n with some help from the LCs then finally at home on our own- and then we were able to ditch the shield.  At the time it felt like FOREVER  but now 10 months out- and still nursing it was a lot to go through but worth it.


    Hang in there! 

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    BFP#1 11/12/11 ~ No heartbeat 12/12/11 ~ D&C 12/19/11
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    BFP#3 7/16/12 ~ EDD 3/26/13 ~ It's a BOY ~ DOB 2/26/13

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