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Just starting my pumping-for-a-preemie journey

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

With both of my other children combined, I think over my cumulative four years of breastfeeding, I pumped a total of five bottles, lol.  This exclusively pumping business is very new to me (as was pretty much everything else about this pregnancy and birth, but that's another post). 


Anyway, my little guy was born three days ago at 25w5d gestation.  He is not eating yet so right now, my 10 oz or so a day that I produce is way more than the NICU needs, so they're freezing it for me until he's big enough to start having some tube feeds.  For now, they put a little bit on a swab and wipe out his mouth with it (they call it "oral care"). 


Anyway here's what I'm making now.  It's either still colostrum, but a whole bunch of it, or "buttermilk" (since it's butter-colored, lol).  I'm supposed to go home today so I'll square away the pump and stuff on my way home.  I am on WIC and I called them yesterday and they said I didn't need an appointment for a breast pump, so I'm going to stop on my way home and pic it up.  The hospital filled out a paper for me to give to them. 


113011 colostrum.jpg

post #2 of 10

Start saving for a deep freezer now!  LOL  I had my first at 30 weeks and, when they sent him home from the NICU, they also sent two ice chests FULL of milk.  And I'd only been leaving them with what I pumped when I was at the NICU visiting!  I had a freezer full at home as well.


Congrats on your new baby and I'll be sending you strength to get through the many hours of pumping.

post #3 of 10

My 27-weeker has been home about 1 month now.  We have a chest freezer FILLED with milk and she doesn't even really like frozen milk.  I'm donating most of it but since she's been home I've mixed in that early 'buttermilk' with her usual bottle of pumped milk (the official colostrum she got while she was there, but otherwise she just got what I pumped fresh).  Pumping actually felt like one of the more reliable and successful aspect of being in the NICU for me.  Getting up at night sucked but I needed some proof that I was her mother, and having a forced time to sit and be maternal every 3 hours helped.  The pumping/ breastfeeding rooms in the NICU also gave me a place to go sob for while if I needed to.  Best wishes for your experience.  It sucks but the good part of it is that it will end and you will bring home a newborn some day.


post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Since I'm on WIC, the LC filled out a paper for me to get a hospital grade pump from them.  I called yesterday and they said I didn't need an appointment.  DH and I stopped by on our way home from the hospital, and they don't have the hospital grade pumps at my local office and the breastfeeding counselor there called over to the clinic that DOES have the right pumps and made me an appointment for first thing in the morning.  Meanwhile, all I have for overnight is a manual pump. 


Just before leaving the hospital, though, we stopped one last time to see Jonathan and they told us that they started tube feeding him today, 2 CCs every six hours.  :D  So that bottle that I posted is like a week's worth of means for him, LOL.

post #5 of 10
I hope you got your pump today, mama!
You sound so strong but it must be devastating to have Jonathan born so early and separated from you in the NICU. Have you checked out the NICU and preemie parenting forum? I bet the ladies there have some words of wisdom for you.
I have not had a preemie but I did have a sleepy term newborn who didn't transfer milk well. My advice would be to pump, pump and pump more - like every two hours during the day with one longer four-hour break for sleep at night. Make sure you have well-fitting flanges for your pump. The standard ones are 24 mm but many women find larger ones more comfortable.
The typical breastfed baby drinks between 19 and 32 ounces a day - average is 25 ounces - so you want to establish a good supply for when your little one is bigger and stronger and able to nurse from mama
Please don't forget to take care of yourself - eat, drink and rest as much as you can.
Good luck hug2.gif
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I did get my pump today - an Ameda Elite.  :)  And since I posted, they have started tube feeding him.  Yesterday was 2 CCs every six hours, and today they changed it to 2 CCs every four hours.  :) 


And yep, I'm definitely someone who needs the larger flanges, LOL.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Little guy's getting 11 CCs every three hours now!  :D  They gradually kept increasing his feeds over the last week because he was tolerating them well. 


I am still pumping, but my output isn't increasing as fast as his intake.  Even so, for now, I'm still making WAY more than he needs.  Converted to ounces, he takes just under three ounces a day all together.  And today, I pumped 20 ounces, lol.  By the end of Saturday (my second week of pumping), my little form wants me to be at 20-30 ounces, so it looks like I am well on my way to doing that.  :)

post #8 of 10
You're doing a great job, Andrea. Does it help to look at photos of your little guy, or smell a blanket he's used?
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by cameragirl View Post

You're doing a great job, Andrea. Does it help to look at photos of your little guy, or smell a blanket he's used?

I just think about him.  I'm blessed to have a fast and easy letdown, even with a pump.  I hope it sticks around.

post #10 of 10

Hang in there Andrea. I'm thinking of you always friend!  Anything you need?  I can always look through my things if you need some extra storage bags or something.

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