She couldn't get out of NICU until she was weaned off the IV fluids and was getting stuck for blood sugars right before every new feeding. Around halfway into this process I started supplementing (I was already pumping) with a makeshift SNS (and holy moly they can't have SNS's available in NICU easily?!) because my milk wasn't coming in yet (shock, 2 days after giving birth via c-section at 37 weeks) and I wanted her out of the NICU. I expected that I'd have to supplement as I did with Orion with my low milk supply.
She is a sleepy baby. I have to changer her diaper, then leave her in JUST a diaper to nurse. Sometimes have to brush a cold washcloth on her to get her to eat. Take breaks to burp her. Go into a colder room. Have Matt caress the palm of her hand. Tickle her chin. Blow cold air on her from my mouth. Push a little more formula into her mouth via the SNS for her to get a taste.
Gets worn out very easily. If she gets hungry enough to cry I better be rushing to get the SNS set up or she'll not have enough energy to eat much. I have to wake her to nurse or she'll easily go 4 hours between feedings if not longer. Sometimes we need to finger feed her to get her to eat enough, and now that she should be getting about 40ml-60ml supplemented per feeding half the time she will NOT finish that much. Spits up after 20ml, refuses more, falls asleep to the point that I can NOT wake her up. So her pattern is usually one feeding 40ml, next feeding 2-4 hours later 20ml. Plus whatever I'm making that she's accessing, and I don't think its a lot she's getting from me when she nurses. I have to use the largest SNS setting to encourage her to have enough energy to eat more, and while her suck can be good and strong, she falls asleep and gets fluttery suckles or only sucks-swallows when she's got enough milk from the SNS drip to bother.
She is having enough wet/poo diapers. Her electrolytes are fine, so she's not dehydrated.
The LC was completely useless about HOW to get her to eat more. Just to get her to eat more. Said she did not recommend using the extra calorie formula "at this point". Didn't even tell me about using the larger SNS tubing for pete's sake. The LC's in the hospital were more helpful, but even they weren't much more helpful past latches and pumping.
I'm also dealing with tongue thrusting to a shallow latch (or spitting my nipple out entirely). Getting better at learning how to get her to latch deeply, but its still an issue.
And my low supply issue. I'm taking more milk plus capsules, pumping (but trying to pump after every time she feeds is just about impossible, its just took me two hours of feeding/napping/feeding/napping to get her to take 60ml of formula). I CAN get domperidone prescribed by a pedi at kaiser, but they want me to wait a couple weeks to see what my supply does first.
I've contacted the local LLL leader and got an email back from her but I sure could use some more help on the breastfeeding issues.
Oh Mama, what a hard road you are walking! Keep going - you CAN do this!
So here are my thoughts - take any ideas that may be useful for you and forget the rest :)
With a history of low supply, a baby in the NICU and a C-section, I would be demanding domperidone. The research shows that mothers of babies in the NICU who take it make more milk. And your baby needs your milk. In my experience, mothers who take it to bump up supply (with early babies) often have to take it for a shorter time and have more success the earlier they start on it.
As far as the sleepy baby - I feel for you. My guy was a 38 weeker, had no medical issues and was SO sleepy. He lost over a pound in 3 days. Formula tends to make them sleep deeper and longer than breastmilk in the beginning as it is harder to digest. Have you considered donor milk until you get your supply up?
Sorry - must get my boy to bed. Will write more if I have time later. Good luck with it all!
Hi Lisa!! Congrats on your rainbow baby!!!!
Are you in So. California? I know an AWESOME LLL leader in Orange County.
I really think you are doing all you can right now. It's just sounds so exhausting. How big is she? You said she ws 3 weeks early...maybe when she gets to her due date she'll be more active and "wake up". I've heard that can be the case with small babies born early.
Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10
oh, another thought. Have you tried to let baby self latch? Will send links soon.
OK, wearing baby now, so all is well. Here are some links that may help: