Now that our moonbeams are showing up en masse, I thought we might need one of these. I know we all don't plan to BF, but for those that are, feel free to post here and let us know how things are going! Nursing like a champ? Rough start? Pumping? Let's encourage one another and brainstorm together when needed!
Some helpful sites:
KellyMom--lots of breastfeeding info and links, complete with a "Can I do this while nursing?" list.
Pg.org's Everything Breastfeeding board
Great idea!! I do plan to breastfeed (am still nursing my 2yo). We had the usual rough start that most mom's seem to find, but plowed through it. She was/is also a very picky nurser, so I have dealt with lots of frustrations along the way and have had thoughts of weaning many times.
I do hope everyone who wants to nurse can.
Here's something that helped me get through those first few days where it felt like Violet was nursing 99% of the time: http://www.llli.org/FAQ/colostrum.html
Stomach capacity of the newborn
When mothers hear that colostrum is measurable in teaspoons rather than ounces, they often wonder if that can really be enough for their babies. The short answer is that colostrum is the only food healthy, full-term babies need. The following is an explanation:
A 1 day old baby's stomach capacity is about 5-7 ml, or about the size of a marble. Interestingly, researchers have found that the day-old newborn's stomach does not stretch to hold more. Since the walls of the newborn's stomach stays firm, extra milk is most often expelled (spit up). Your colostrum is just the right amount for your baby's first feedings!
By day 3, the newborn's stomach capacity has grown to about 0.75-1 oz, or about the size of a "shooter" marble. Small, frequent feedings assure that your baby takes in all the milk he needs.
Around day 7, the newborn's stomach capacity is now about 1.5-2 oz, or about the size of a ping-pong ball. Continued frequent feeding will assure that your baby takes in all the milk he needs, and your milk production meets his demands.
Yay!!! I need this thread! BF a preemie is entirely different than BF a full-term baby. He isn't strong enough to suck strong enough to get everything he needs all the time (so sometimes we have to supplement with EBM in a bottle), and sometimes he just wears himself out nursing and falls asleep. Eating for a preemie is like running a mile (so I'm told). But he seems to be getting enough when he nurses since his diapers afterwards are really wet and he seems satisfied for a few hours.
Anyway what Jordan posted is so true! When they first started to give Matthias food through a the feeding tube, it was only 6cc's (same amount she referenced). Now he's up to 40-50cc's per feeding, which is about an ounce and a half. He's only 35 weeks so his belly is a little smaller than a full-term baby, but the amount is about the same. It's fascinating!
Anyone else here have a REALLY strong letdown? Sometimes Matthias chokes on the milk b/c there is so much, and then he's super full after 5-10 minutes. They had me stop pumping before I nurse him so he could learn how to handle the letdown, and so he would get milk quickly and not tire out.
Wow I just wrote way too much, sorry!
Thanks! Great idea!
Christina + Rory = a grand total of:
Amelia, Anthony, Andon, Noah, Mason, & Trinity-woof
Pumping day six (well five really) and I just got 25cc It's increasing but so slow. Trying not to get frustrated.
She's still on tube feeding and I think she's up to about 50cc now...getting mostly formula but I'm doing what I can.
I have been allowed to try breastfeeding 3 times now and she seems eager and like she know what to do but she will suck once or twice and come off. It's a start I guess. I just have been letting her hang out there while they do the tube feeding hoping she gets the association...
Dylann 11/03, Drew 6/05, Daisy 4/10
Julie you are doing great, try not to get discouraged! Pumping is really hard, and it sounds like you are getting a good amount.
If you want to increase your supply, the LC at our hospital recommend (when pumping):
Pump 7-8 times per day, 20-25 minutes each time. Always pump 2 minutes past the last drop.
Massage the breast while pumping. A baby gets milk with sucking and compression, but a pump only really simulates the sucking.
Drink plenty of water.
You are doing awesome! Also with preemies, it's a great start for them to latch on at all in the beginning. It's more for practice than actual nourishment at first. If she is trying and you are pumping, you are both doing fantastic!
Hugs...I know how hard it is.
Way to go all of you who are pumping. I always thought pumping was way harder.
Meagan as to the forceful letdown and oversupply I had that with Hawkes. I did not know it until later though. I was told that you should nurse from the same side every feed until that breast is empty and then switch. Also to nurse in an upright position leaning back with them vertical on your tummy. Overactive supply is hard enough with a full term baby, I could not imagine with a premie. Something I would also sometimes do is pump or hand exspress till I got past let down and then let him latch.
I had a horrible experience BFing DD. This time, I've already seen a lactation specialist. I've started hand expressing colostrum (I have an abundance already) that I am freezing to take in when I am induced incase there are similar issues to what S had. I'm already getting MUCH MUCH more than the days after S was born. I'm really feeling positive about it this time around!
Matt is actually nursing much better than Sara did (which is crazy since she was full term and he is a preemie). He latched on right when he was an hour old and is doing great. We were also supplementing with formula but now that my milk is in, he is just getting breast milk. I am still nursing my 3 year old though and I think that is helping a lot with my milk coming in. Also I have not had any pain and I think that is why as well.
I only pumped drops the first few times I pumped... nowhere near a teaspoon! But I now know that what I pump is soooo not what baby gets!
My advice if you are only pumping (for whatever reason) is to start out double pumping 8-10 times a day but for 10-15 minutes daily (AND a minute or two beyond the last drop). And you need to pump overnight a couple times for now. Also, you can put the pump parts directly in the fridge. You don't have to clean it every time, BM does not spoil quickly. Just take off the cold bottles and put on new ones before the next round. You can pour cold BM into cold BM from the same day but not warm into cold. Not washing the pump parts will save you tons of time!
Also, gently squeezing downward at different places on your breast can increase what you pump or feed the baby.
As for your mental state... don't pump while staring at a wall. At the very least, watch tv... but learn to make or buy a hands-free bra so you can read or eat or get on the computer during pumping time. The time passes so slowly otherwise and you start to feel the pump is evil.
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