my baby was 35 weeks 0 days, 6lbs 7.9 oz. and we fought to bf her and eventually gave up and gave her bottles to get her home. we were ebf 3 wks after release.
here's a post i wrote to another mom when millie was 6 wks old...
wow...your post sounds eerily familiar. my son (11) was 30 wkr and had feeding issues. he didn't take solid foods until almost 3 yrs old.
my youngest lo is 6 wks old and was born at 35 wks. she was 6 lbs 7.9 oz 19 1/2" lost down to 5lbs 14 oz in the nicu. she was in there for 17 days and didn't even get to attempt feeds until day 7. she was a lazy nurser, whether we used bottles or the breast, and sometimes she would have negative outcomes on the breastfeeding! we would weigh her before feeding, feed her, weigh her again only to find that she either didn't gain or lost a few grams. it was all very frustrating.
then we were told that she had risk factors for osteopenia of prematurity (aka rickets) and were literally guilted into fortifying her breastmilk with human milk fortifier and eventually neosure infant formula. i was told things like 'your milk just isn't enough' and 'you are doing things all wrong' when i would insist that my milk was good for her and she would tell me when she needed it and how much. when we weren't there at her bedside, she was gavage fed while laying in her crib. we had asked that she not get any nipple besides mine, but she was given bottles during the night one night.
we fought tooth-and-nail with those people until we finally relented and decided to play there game in order to get them to release her. we had thought about checking her out ama, but were threatened with cps/dhs so we just gave in and bottle fed her ebm with the fortifier.
she came home at 2 1/2 weeks on all bottle feeds. a few days after she came home, i started introducing the breast. she was still lazy, so we used the SNS and the nipple shield. i found that that did nothing to increase her suction or her hunger as she would just sort of lay back and let the milk drip in.
i decided to try her with the nipple shield and eventually she got hungry enough to latch on to the shield and nurse. i don't know how much she got, but she had milk on her lips so i knew she was getting something. she burped, latched back on for a few minutes and then slept for a few hours until i woke her for another feeding.
i was then nursing her with the shield on the right side, pumping the left side, and then every other feeding topping her off with the ebm fortified to 24 calories. she was (is) getting the vitamin drops and vit d supplements as well. it was, to say the least, exhausting, confusing and frustrating. at least i could take comfort in the fact that dh could help feed her when i felt like i might drop? nope. he could feed her but i still had to pump.
we went to the lc at the health dept. about a week later. she was 4 weeks by this time and we had slowly started weaning from the shield. i would latch her with the shield, get the milk flowing and the nipple drawn out, and then unlatch her, remove the shield and latch her again. she was getting very frustrated with this arrangement. the lc said to pump for a few minutes until i felt letdown and then try to latch her.
we did this and it seemed to work, so then we started working on her latching onto the left breast with the nipple shield. she would fight it, but eventually she got the left breast to actually release the milk! i would feel letdown every time and sometimes it would spray her at first, but she just wasn't strong enough to get the milk to come out after the initial spray (that would usually choke her and/or make her vomit!). meanwhile i was still nursing her on the right side, using the nipple shield on the left side, pumping after every feeding, and topping her off with the ebm with fortifiers.
it took us about a week longer to be able to ditch the shield on the leftt side but i did it the same way as i had the right side. we ended up only using the sns about 6 times because i didn't feel like it helped stregthen her any. when she was about 5 wks old, we got to about 80% breast feedings, with the bottles thrown in when i was exhausted (daddy feeds) and for her vitamin supplements. i just watched her during her feedings and afterwards to see how long she could nurse at one time and how long she could go without needing to nurse. i also could feel her suction getting stronger as time went on and knew that she was strong enough to pull milk from my breast. she was sucking the bottles down in gulps and in record time by then, so that was another indicator that she was ready to start nippling at the breast.
then the sore nipples returned. i was sore in the beginning from the pump, and now i am sore again from relearning to breastfeed. i honestly believe my left breast was 'stingy' because it was used to the pump and i am one of those cases where the baby wasn't being as effective as the pump.
we also ended up with vomiting and green poops. i asked my ped about them and she said to just pump and bottle feed or switch her over to all formula to straighten her out (GRRR). we decided to try block feeding and after a few days we are seeing bright yellow poops and the vomiting has decreased significantly. i believe wholeheartedly that she was OVER eating due to the over supply and the spraying letdown. she was also getting huge gas bubbles at first and then her tummy would hurt so she would comfort nurse and get more milk and then when we would lay her down, milk would literally run out of her mouth!
anyway, sorry for the novel. i was hoping that by typing this all out you might be able to mimick what we did or at least try some of the things we did. my best advice would be to watch your lo and see how she responds to all bf. you are amazing for pumping for so long for your son! i only made it about 6 months and then put him on the medical formulas. don't give up!