My daughter was born 10 weeks early. She is now 6 weeks old.
I started pumping for her about six hours after she was born, and it went fairly well. She was getting enough to survive, and they only had to give her IV fluids in the NICU for a few days, because I had been on magnesium three times, trying to stop my labor, and her mag levels were faily high. Slowly, they kept increasing her milk intake and decreasing her fluids until she was just on my milk. I kept pumping every 2-3 hours to build up the stash in the hospital freezer just in case something happened and I couldn't get to the hospital to see her one day and bring fresh milk.
Fast forward to the beginning of her fourth week in the hospital. I noticed that my supply was dwindling, and instead of being about to pump 3 ounces every 3 hours, like I had been, I could now only get one ounce. This was no longer enough to feed her, because she was eating just over an ounce at every feeding. Luckily, they had that stash in the freezer, so the only formula she was ingesting was a little teaspoon of it that was added in order to increase her calories and bulk her up.
She came home 27 days after she was born. Within four days, my milk stopped completely. I kept pumping around the clock, hoping to get something to give to her, but i got nothing. This entire time, I had been using a manual pump, by the way.
My parents surprised me last saturday and rented a Lactina pump for me, and I am now getting just under an ounce every time I pump. It's less than half of what she eats every feeding, but is enough to feed her milk overnight so that she stays fuller and sleeps longer.
I put her to breast at every feeding, and she is strong enough to suck on the nipple for a while, but not big enough to latch. I have large, flat nipples, so she has to work extra hard.
Has anyone had success in breastfeeding a preemie after they've come home? I so desperately want to end up being able to exclusively breastfeed her, because I missed everything that is "supposed" to happen during pregnancy and after having a baby, and really really want to establish a good strong bf relationship with my darling babe.
Here's my tiny little sweet pea:http://www.flickr.com/photos/samanthab/153152748