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Premature baby & breastfeeding

  1. #9
    elsmum is offline Registered User
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    Hi Bubbly

    I'm also another mother of a preemie - born at 34 weeks exactly, and my boy weighed in at 1.77kg. He's now coming to 9 months and doing well!

    My milk supply was also very low in the beginning, and they had to tube feed formula initially. I was pumping every 3 hours, even in the night. One breast was producing less milk as it was engorged/had very big lumps. I had to place hot towels on my breasts and massage them before each pump and over time, both breasts are producing similar amounts and more milk. I use Avent duo electric pump to save time pumping both at once. My boy is still on total breastmilk now and will feed direct from me unless I am away at work.

    Many people say that eating fish will help increase supply, which you can try.

    Breastfeeding a preemie is definitely tougher compared to a full term baby.... Hang in there during this difficult initial period, as it will definitely get better!

    Rest well and take care!

  2. #10
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Another good site which explains about kangaroo care is Kangaroo Mother Care at http://www.kangaroomothercare.com/
    This site was made by Dr. Nils Bergman, who is one of the doctors who pioneered this type of care.

    In fact I would suggest kangaroo care and lots of skin-to-skin contact for any babies who are having problems breastfeeding, whether they are premature or full term.

    LLL in Hong Kong has a copy of the video tape Rediscover the Natural Way, which is advertised on his web site. If you’d like to borrow it please contact me on 2548-7636 or at [email protected]

    Best wishes,
    SARAH

  3. #11
    Seb's Dad is offline Registered User
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    (written from my husband's account)
    hi
    you have gotten some very good advice from the pp's regarding breast feeding.
    my children were born at 26 weeks and as i didn't get to hold them for one month, direct breast feeding was impossible, so i expressed. after i could hold them, breast feeding was still too tiring.

    having a baby in the nicu is very stressful, but if you can (and if you cannot, please do not berate yourself), do keep expressing.

    in regards to kangaroo care, even if your sweet baby is on nasal canula (basically anything besides a vent) you can make the request for kangaroo care. the benefits of kangaroo care are proven and massive and government hospitals are aware of this (my children were at queen mary at they were quite pro-kangaroo care).

    speaking to your baby is also good, singing...she has been listening to your voice for so many months, what a comfort to hear it now.

    is your babe on a ng feeding tube or feeding independently?

    good luck to you. the nicu is a tango, one step forward, two steps back...feel free to send me a pm to vent or ask any questions if you so wish.

    all best.

  4. #12
    Bubbly is offline Registered User
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    Thank you for all your advice and support. Yes, having a baby in NICU is very stressful. Everyday, before I go, I always have a funny feeling (hard to describe this but I am excited yet anxious at the same time is closest to the feeling I guess). When I arrive, if I see her condition has improved, I am over the moon, but if it is the same, I feel a little sad (luckily so far, it has not gotten worse!!)

    My baby is feeding independently now and is not wired up anymore, so I will speak to the nurses about the kangaroo care (may have to wait till the nice nurse is on duty, some of them make me feel as if I am in the principal's office, always telling me off for doing this and that!)

    My husband is probably the noisiest in the ward when he gets in there as he talks to our baby and sings to her as well. I am not quite as good as I always go blank and don't know what to talk to her about!

    Milk supply has gone up slightly, and I am pumping religiously every 2 - 3 hours (getting in around 9 bottles a day). Would like to do more but energy level is getting lower and hospital visits take up a few hours, but one positive aspect is I always manage to pump more as soon as I get home from the hospital. Contact with my daughter must be increasing the volume, so I am hopeful.

    Thanks once again all for the encouragement. It really helps me get through everyday and encourages me to keep going. :woman

  5. #13
    Bubbly is offline Registered User
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    Just wanted to let you all know that my milk supply has increased, I am managing an average of 50ml a session, sometimes going up to 90ml! It is ample for my baby now as she is only drinking 40ml each time, but I am sure when her appetite increases, so will my milk supply. Although I am not sure whether it's the mother's milk tea, the chinese fish soup, the sleep, the massaging or pumping every 2 hours which has helped, but it doesn't matter as long as something is happening :)

    She has also gained back all the weight she lost from losing water in a week, which is a good sign the docs say. So all seem to be going well.

    A truly big THANK YOU to you all for all your supportive words and advice. It really really helped.

  6. #14
    Seb's Dad is offline Registered User
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    (writing from husband's account)

    that is really good news on many fronts.

    hang in there. send me a pm if you have a bad day and need to vent. remember you have been through a lot too...be gentle with yourself.

  7. #15
    Bubbly is offline Registered User
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    New Challenge!

    My baby girl finally came home last night and it goes without saying, we are over the moon! I tried to BF her directly but have found that my nipples seem to be too big for her little mouth. She would suck just the nipple part and not be able to get any of areola into her mouth. Subsequently, my nipple will fall out from her mouth. Hope I am explaining this well!!

    Anyway, anyone had experience with this? I am going to try and let her BF directly for each feed, at least for a few minutes and then give her the bottle. It seems that she is taking so much effort to drink from me that I am worried she may not be getting enough for all the energy used.

    Any suggestions are highly appreciated!

  8. #16
    JennyB is offline Registered User
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    Hi Bubbly,

    Fantastic news that you have your baby home already!

    I've heard that preemies sometimes don't learn to breastfeed effectively until they are nearly full-term age. I would recommend that you give Sarah a ring directly (contact number posted earlier in this thread), as she is one of the foremost lactation experts in HK. There may be techniques which she can tell you about, to speed up the process of teaching your baby to breastfeed. Good luck!

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