I'd just like to add thhat you may want to go ahead and schedule an appt. with the outpatient LC. They are much more helpful once you have a baby that is healthy enough to take home.
My Isabelle was 33 weeks, and it was a struggle to get the Dr.s to let me BF. THey wanted me to pump and then feed from a bottle to get her home faster. Being a NICU nurse, I new that it would be really hard to get her back to the breast, so I resisted their advice and put her to breast every 3 hours or so. Even with that, it was difficult with such a small baby that tired easily.
I ended up having to use a nipple shield until she was about 38-39 weeks adjusted age. Then I was able to get rid of it. We have always EBF, even through the hard times.
But, my best advice for BFing a premie is nurse every 2-3 hours (make it your primary job!!!!), get hooked up with an LC you like, and find the LLL in your area and go to a meeting.
Duh! The SNS is a great idea for you! We used one at the hospital and for the first couple of weeks at home. It was a LIFE SAVER for us. My DD was 4 weeks early and would just fall asleep as soon as I put her to the breast. We did a lot of skin to skin as well. I think calling an LC and getting an SNS could be very helpful to you.
Right now I'm pumping 8 times a day. I find I have to stay more hydrated than when pregnant or else I get horrible headaches. Our NICU LC gives everone a notebook to record when they pump and how much they get. She says that gives her a much better idea of what the supply issue.
I only nurse once a day. I am only up there for 1-2 feeding times. When I first started they tube fed her at the same time so she could get the association of nursing = full tummy. The first 3 times DH or a nurse used a small syringe to drip milk at the corner of DD2s mouth which helped her suck. After that, she would latch but fall asleep after 3 minutes. Initially the very brief nursing session conked her out for the next 2 feedings so they would just tube feed her. After 2.5 weeks, we are at the point where she does a full nursing session. We do skin to skin when I nurse.
At this point, DD2 is pretty eager for nursing so I don't expect it to be a problem to move her from breast to bottle.
DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
November 2010 (13 weeks)
DD2 August 2011 (33w5d)