Feeding issues (NICUs and formula) - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 33 Old 10-15-2008, 08:21 PM
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I am so sorry you are going through this! My baby is thriving with Simply Thick and Prevacid just as one example of how to handle reflux...Reglan is considered "more serious" and not a first choice in my NICU...
Are you doing Kangaroo care? That really prepares baby for breastfeeding. My NICU had us kangaroo first, then we did "lick and learn" sessions where we kangarooed and I held him skin to skin with him nuzzling my breast/nipple (not trying to latch or force his mouth near my nipple). This just gets them comfy and familiar without using energy or stressing out. In the beginning they had me pump at the bedside right before so I would be empty and any sucking would be "non-nutritive" There is so much you can do to prepare for breastfeeding even if they don't want you to actively breastfeed! Good luck, I hope this helps. Kangarooing is the most important (according to our NICU LCs)
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#32 of 33 Old 10-16-2008, 12:05 PM
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I haven't been to this board in a while (2 years) because it's still hard for me to talk about my son's NICU time. I just wanted to offer my support and a couple of the things we did.

My son was born at 30w5d and spent 2 months in the NICU...the first month was just to finish developing/growing, the second was because he developed a bone infection. I had to be rather blunt and direct with the docs and nurses regarding our wishes/latest medical research....and it wasn't something I thought would've been necessary. Being a teaching institution, I would've thought they would've been more up-to-date, but they weren't. (My husband and I are both in medicine.)

Luckily they never mentioned formula. But we did have other issues.

Breastmilk doesn't thicken with rice cereal because of the amylase in breastmilk....it breaks down the rice cereal....so the rice cereal just ends up as filler....less nutritionally/calorie dense....therefore not ideal for preemies who need as many nutrients/calories per mL as possible.

I'm not sure that Prevacid is FDA approved for neonate preemies....at least it wasn't 2 years ago. We had to wait until he was 4 months old to use Prevacid....but I agree that it was better than the Reglan. They might have started using it "off-label" or it may be approved now. You'd just have to ask.

My son wasn't a spitter and so the reflux was always questioned by the docs...but he was clearly miserable after feedings if he was laid down too quickly afterwards, or if he was fed too much at one feeding....you could even hear the liquid slosh back up into his throat! So for him keeping him upright was the best solution. When he came home I would wear him upright in a sling or wrap after every feeding...and at night would prop him up so he slept on an angle.

We had the same struggle with nursing/bottling. Eventually it became the fight I gave up on (in the NICU). I let him come home bottle-fed....and we learned to nurse at home without the other NICU stressors....it took about a month....and I still had to pump because I was producing more than he could nurse...but it was nice not to have to make a bottle in the middle of the night. We only have 1 LC in the area and she is not affiliated with the hospital he was born at....so I had to hire her services after he came home.

I did have to fight for Kangaroo care....and I wondered whether it was worth it...but I have talked to several Neos in other areas/states and all unanimously agreed that it IS worth it. I would try to KC him every visit....and when he came home. He only rooted a couple of times during KC and one of those times he was with my husband! My husband's eyes got sooo big!! It was funny!! But he definitely brady'd less during KC.

As much as you end up feeling like a pain-in-the-ass, it's best to speak up and question. Even now I wish I had spoken up more...and as it was the docs avoided me.

Good luck and hang in there!

(And FYI, our biggest issue became the IV antibiotics for the bone infection....they wanted him hospitalized for the whole 6 weeks. My DH and I couldn't do that...esp since the bone infection was a result of him being there in the first place! Luckily, the peds surgeon was on our side and fought with us to get him home.)
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#33 of 33 Old 10-17-2008, 12:24 AM
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I would also push to get them to stop the formula. It is your baby so it is YOUR decision on how you want to feed the baby. My daughter was a nicu baby and was given formula because I didnt' stand up for her and I think she wouldn't have had as many problems with reflux if I had. Giving him formula will only make the problem worse and not better. s: Just keep pumping and keep up the good work...and put your foot down you are allowed to.

Megan: Wife to DH (2-19-09) Mother to DD (3-26-07) and DS (8-14-09) Exclusively breastfeeding, babywearing and cosleeping.
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