Baby in NICU, having bf trouble - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-14-2004, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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My son was born at home on Monday and was transported to the NICU due to aspirating meconium and blood on the way out. That night, he had "seizure-like activity" and they gave him a loading dose of phenolbarbitol (sp?) which really whacked him out for a few days. He had an IV for the first three days, then they had me try bfing, but would feed him through a gastro tube in his nose when it didn't work (he wouldn't latch on--too sleepy or too upset). He was on an every 3 hour schedule Thursday and Friday where I had 30 min to get him to feed before they'd hook up his nose tube. I've been pumping throughout all of this (he's only gotten formula for 2 or 3 feedings, yay!) and my supply is more than keeping up with him. As of yesterday (Sat), we were taken off the clock, so long as he ate at least every 4 hours. He still gets sleepy at the breast, or munches my nipple. Mostly, he seems to be missing the "swallow" part of suck, swallow, breathe. He didn't pee enough with mostly breast feedings yesterday, so we're cup feeding him some today so he can be released.

Any help for how to convince him that my nipple is his friend would be appreciated.

Mama to Peter (3/8/04), Leo (3/12/06), Timothy (7/24/10), and boy #4 due on the summer solstice 2014
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#2 of 6 Old 03-14-2004, 06:48 PM
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Have you seen a lactation consultant with the initials IBCLC?

Have you talked to a La Leche League leader?

Have you taken a tour of
Sleepy babies:

You can search for any bf topic at kellymom, such as "sleepy baby" or "cup feeding" etc.

Have you tried posting questions at the boards at

I am concerned about the advice to only nurse "at least every four hours" if that is the average...that would mean about 6 feedings in 24 hours, and although every baby is different, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a new baby nurse about 8 to 12 times in 24 hours.;100/6/1035
Newborns should be nursed approximately 8 to 12 times every 24 hours until satiety...In the early weeks after birth, nondemanding babies should be aroused to feed if 4 hours have elapsed since the last nursing.
Good luck, please keep us posted!

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#3 of 6 Old 03-14-2004, 09:00 PM
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My aunt, who is an IBCLC, passes on this information:

She suggests touching his chin with your breast before putting your nipple into his mouth. There is suggestion in research that the touch on the chin is what encourages a baby to open his mouth.

She also suggests lots of skin-to-skin contact, and that you take a bath with him.

Give me a call and I'll come help all I can. I also have a name to call in town here, so if you need that, we can get you set up.

No, I think I'll give you a call. talk to you in a bit.
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#4 of 6 Old 03-14-2004, 10:01 PM
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I don't have any advice, but my homeborn dd was transsferred to the ICN of a university hospital for meconium aspiration, also. She spent a total of three weeks in the hospital, and after one week of having only IV fluids, and another week of with the bottle/NG tube feedings, she was able to start nursing in her third week and continued nursing successfully until she was 2 1/2 yrs old. You have some good advice and support here- I hoep the latcation consultant can be of help to you. If the baby is still needing the NG tube, maybe they can leave it in instead of putting it in and out all the time? Godo luck to you and your babe, mama!
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#5 of 6 Old 03-14-2004, 10:15 PM
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Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy! I hope this is all behind you quickly. It certainly sounds like you are on the right track (thank goodness you're a good pumper too!!).

There are 2 great threads here that deal with this exact issue. There is wonderful information in each of them...

Pumping and BFing Babies in the NICU

Nursing Sick & Preemie Babies

Good luck!
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#6 of 6 Old 03-15-2004, 07:51 PM
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Phenobaritol SUCKS!! Is he still on it? ds was on it for the first 9 months of his life. For the first week he was too sleepy to nurse too. I bottle fed him in the nicu (because of an Nazi nurse), then as soon as we got home, he was only given the breast. Once we figured out how to latch, we were great for a LONG time.

However, the first while can be tough. Even if you continue to tube him, you can still nurse him later. The pheno makes him very sleepy. It takes a while to get used to it.

Get ahold of the lll group close to you and call the leader. They can arrange to get you some good help. THe earlier you get help, the better!!

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