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Need Help with pumping, bottles, gas, nursing my newborn preemie twins! - Page 2

post #21 of 25

preemies

hi there,
my girls were born at 35 week,s and spent 10 days in the NICU..
first, bottles, we first used the little ones from the hospital with the one time use nipples that were easy to suck from then we graduated to playtex wiht the liners bc you can really squeeze the air out of them. my one baby was really gassy too and had bad reflux so we had to elevate her and everything! we didn't actually start exclusively nursing till they were three months old. like, three months after they were actually born, not thier gestational age..
I don't quite understand the LC either. Itis hard at the beginning. no two ways about it. but you will find a groove. when we first started actually nursing I found it easier to nurse one at a time to make sure they got my total focus to ensure they were doing it right.. I dont remember much about the first couple of months.. I thnk i was really sleep deprived. =) aren't we all!!
we didn't have to supplement with formula all that often bc I was VERY insistant on the breastmilk. I ate ALOT and my midwife gave me fenugreek to pump up my supply. maybe check with you dr about that?? also, the more they nurse, they more milk you will make. at least, that has held true for us..
I forge tthe other questions, but if I can, I will try to go back and answer some more!!
Also, the gas releif drops did help also although I used those as a last resort.. I tried walking her and bouncing lgihtly on my thighs, belly rubs, etc..
HTH! good luck!
Blessings,
MadziesMom
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ladies,

Thank you so much for all your support and advice! I have switched the babies to Dr Brown's bottles and they seem to like them but still have a lot of reflux and gas. The dr said he didn't want to change their formula yet since it's a high calorie formula and they are preemies. They're gaining weight just fine, tho - so I'm going to talk to him again about it this week...

The breastfeeding is not going that well. We got a Supplemental Nursing System and tried that for a few days but my supply continues to go down. So... I think I'm going to call it done with the breastfeeding efforts. It's so hard to feed them bottles, pump and practice breastfeeding - there isn't time left to eat right, drink fluids and sleep (not to mention wash bottles, do laundry, etc)... and the milk supply drugs were giving me cramps and I was worried they would pass to the babies...

So, I'm going to give myself credit for pumping for 2 months and giving my babies plenty of breastmilk while I could. And now I'm going to stop worrying about it and enjoy them and try to get some rest.

I do appreciate your support and advice! Thank you!
post #23 of 25
I'm glad your babies are doing better with the new bottles. I'm sorry you weren't able to make it breastfeeding, but good for you for giving them such a good start. I know how much work pumping and bottlefeeding is - you did a LOT in those two months.
post #24 of 25
I had 31 weeker boy/girl twins who were in the NICU for 4 weeks and came home from the hospital = 35 weeks. I went through EVERYTHING you are going through. Just reading your post took me back. I pumped and did VoluFeeds of EBM and breastfed and Medela SNS, cup feeding, spoon feeding, finger feeding and pretty much every single thing you can do when you have weak/sleepy nursers combined with bradycardia, reflux, a lackluster supply, first-time mom ignorance about what normal BFing should be/feel like/work like, and tons of jitters left over from NICU days about whether they're gaining/growing, MEASURING every single feeding (and not trusting that, you know, they will actually grow if I don't know to the 3rd decimal place how many cc's they've just consumed), and so on.

First of all.... HUGE kudos for sticking it out. :

1. Hire an LC immediately and make sure she has specific experience with premature twins. Both - twins AND born premature. Mine was a godsend and I could write a tome about what to do and what not to do, but you need someone coming there and watching the babies and working through it with you.

2. Get the reflux under control. This means researching it (positioning, etc.) as well as potentially medically through the ped.

3. Honestly this is going to annoy the hell out of you but I would just write dairy off completely until you know what you're dealing with. SO MANY preemies with gas/reflux etc. have major problems digesting dairy (casein) so Google dairy-free diets etc.

4. NO NIPPLE SHIELDS. Not with lazy/sleepy preemies.

5. Hospital-grade breastpump (Medela Lactina pref.) double-sided pumping for at least 15 minutes at a time at least 8x/day including at least once between the hours of 1am-4am.

6. Nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse. And yes it makes sense to try to get them on a routine otherwise you'll never make it pumping. First one to cue to feed gets nursed, then the second one (on the other side), then pump. Lather, rinse, repeat (switching sides).

7. Mylicon Drops before every feeding. Dosing is on the bottle.

8. If you can these 2 positions are BEST for gas and reflux: 1.) tummy-to-tummy frog-legged kangaroo style (they way you hold a newborn naturally to your chest) and 2.) on a slight incline (i.e., in a baby seat or a crib/pack in play with the mattress elevated) on their LEFT side. Use those soft foam things or rolled-up receiving blankets for propping them on their side.
post #25 of 25
Just wanted to say you have every reason to be proud of sticking it out with the breastfeeding for so long when it was so hard for you - you got your babies the best stuff when they needed it most and it sounds like you did all you could do, and that's awesome! I also wanted to say I admire your courage for being willing to make the tough decision to stop breastfeeding in order to keep your sanity and be able to be there a little more for your babies. I imagine that was a really tough choice to make. I hope that it will help you - enjoy the extra time you have to love those little ones and keep providing the best you can for them! Good luck getting the reflux issues worked out!
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