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preemie advice (x-post) - Page 2

post #21 of 27
I'm glad they found someone to donate - this means someone known to them who is not a health risk? I am O- and if I were closer I'd see if I could donate. It's one of the rarer blood types.

I hear ya on trying to avoid a transfusion - we never faced this with the girls but I almost had to have one after my first miscarriage and I begged my doc to do anything to avoid it. She helped me out and my blood count stayed just high enough to keep it from being a certainty. My strategy - drinking 4 liters daily of half gatorade/half water and eating steak and spinach cooked in an iron skillet three times daily - would not work for your neices/nephews (darlin' ya gotta tell us what they are! Boys, girls, one of each? Names? Are they cute? etc etc).

From what I am told, the good news on a transfusion is it can really give a much-needed burst of energy and vitality when it is needed and administered properly. So - keeping fingers and toes crossed...
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response Amy. They're boys. The thing is that they don't need O-. One of them is O+ the other is B+ sigh.... I think the donor is only kinda known- like someone from work or something- not a family member or close friend for sure... I would have insisted using a family member who matched instead of O- but that's me...

I hear ya on avoiding it! I did some reading and apparently the standard of care with preemies in this situation now the first thing to do is to STOP doing blood tests (they cause the anemia themselves by taking so much blood out of the little munchkins.) Oh well, said it before, this hospital is 5-10 years behind cutting edge.

post #23 of 27
Mine were born at 32 weeks and then we got transferred from a bf-ing friendly level III to a bottle pushing Level II NICU. So my girls both came home on bottles. Actually - I thought they sent Maribeth home too early just so she could go home with Megan and free up the bed because they were full. She was was too disorganized with suck/swallow/breathe to even TRY to nurse - but the nurses managed to force bottle her for the required 48 hours - basically with her just swalloing what came into her mouth w/o sucking. Megan I got nursing at home within a couple of weeks of her coming home, Maribeth took several months as in the beginning - even attempting to breastfeed her would tire her out so much she wouldn't eat (remember she wasn't sucking and was 4 lbs even on discharge around 35 weeks gestation age and losing weight). So I pumped and bottle fed her. Once Megan got really good at nursing -I would use the EZ 2 nurse pillow and get megan latched and nursing and only put Maribeth one once Megan had triggered a milk let down.

So having a good pump at home is crucial and it might take a while for the babies to make the switch to breast - but it can be done. Basically - she wants to aim for getting them on the breast by around their due date. If they are still on bottles AFTER the due date - then more likely to stay on bottles - just some preemies really dont' have the energy to breastfeed in the beginning. Some hospitals will do SNS or finger feeding instead of bottles - but we managed to switch from bottles o.k. It just took time. Maribeth just wasn't able to co-ordinate nursing until just before her due date.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. I'll try to stop worrying about the bottles

It's good to hear others' stories.

post #25 of 27
Oh - I didn't realize you were so worried about bottles. My girls had both breast and bottle until we were able to end supplementation at 9 months (Alicia) and 10 1/2 months (Annika). They breastfed on demand around the clock as well. We are still going strong.

Remember also that many moms who work out of the home pump and their babies receive bottles during the day when they are separated and then breastfeed all night and all weekend.

My girls learned to suck both ways and sometimes got confused as to which was which, but a few sucks into each feeding method and they'd fix their suck for the current feeding method. And one time I thought Alicia was developing a bottle preference (around five 1/2 months she went through a stage where she wouldn't suck to bring on let down, just got mad that the milk wasn't running into her mouth like the bottle) but we worked through it.

I do wish I hadn't had to supplement, but it kept me breastfeeding, odd as that sounds.

Hope things continue looking up for the twins in your life!
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
My biggest worry about the bottles was getting them to the breast at all. This SIL has her last dd at 35.5 weeks and the same bottle-happy hospital had her in the nursery for ~10 days. It took SIL about 3 months to get her to the breast. And with twins and a 4 yr old pumping and feeding for twins can get time consuming!

In the latest news- right now each twin is taking 1 bottle a day (whatever that means...) and they want them at 8 a day to send them home. Today they will try 3. Does this make sense to those who have been there/done that?

thanks so much for all the info and support!

post #27 of 27
Coming in late, but my twins were born 2 months early (31w+1d to be exact), stayed in the NICU for exactly 4 weeks and aside from the usual issues from being born early, like some early bradycardia while feeding, reflux, being sleepy, and slow to nurse well... they were and are totally fine. Within a few days, they left the critical care room and were put in with the other "feeder-growers" in the adjoining NICU room.

Reading these posts, I think (being honest!) you need to stop worrying about bottles. Full term baby, sure, but not 32 weekers. Right now, the important thing is get these babies growing and second only to that is get them HOME. If you have to show they can take 8 bottles a day then so be it. That sounds pretty standard to me and my twins were lucky enough to be at one of the best NICUs in the country. Believe me they are far better off at home then they are there, bottles of EBM or not. Also, I don't know of any babies born that early who don't do things backwards - out of necessity - for example, the first thing in my dd and ds' mouth was an NG tube, followed by a pacifier (which believe it or not is a GREAT thing, so they learn to associate sucking with feeling full), followed by a bottle, and last came my breast when they were 1 week old. The best thing I did was pump my brains out (at least twice between 1am and 5am, plus at least 6 other times during the day using a veeeery powerful double electric pump... Medela Lactina to be exact). This ensured dd and ds were only getting my milk, which is far and away the most important thing, especially for preemies (my milk was so creamy and rich -- preemie milk is truly unbelievable! ).

Many babies, preemies especially, don't develop good nursing reflexes until they are much closer to their original due date, even 1-2 weeks beyond. Mine were weak and clumsy nursers until they passed their due date then all of a sudden they "got it".

I was in the NICU from morning until night, and when they closed for 1 hour during the day for rounds, I was pumping and resting in the mother's room nearby. I was bound and determined to breastfeed -- EVENTUALLY -- but knew that the fact that they were exclusively breastmilk-fed was paramount to all.

So anyway, yes, they got bottles in the NICU. Lots of them. We worked on nursing as much as we could, but frequently they would need to be supplemented (with my milk) or skip a nursing because they were too tired and be tube-fed instead. Once they hit 35 weeks they were able to take a full day's feeding by mouth (mostly bottles, 1-2 nursing sessions each), and they came home.

From that point, I worked daily with an LC who specializes in preemies. She came to my house and helped me eventually ditch the bottles in favor of finger-feeding, Medela SNS, and just nursing. By the time they were 1-2 weeks past my original due date, they were nursing exclusively.

The best book I ever read was Mothering Multiples (by Karen Gromada) - it's the La Leche League book for nursing (and parenting in general actually) twins.

I hope those babies are healthy and thriving, and get to come home soon.
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