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Alright, we've all been there. What did you feel about the NICU and how they had such scheduled feedings? Like, "full feedings are 3ml's every 3 hours, please stick to this schedule upon going home."

Hu?

I may be a first time mom, but common sense to me says feed your baby when she's hungry, don't let a clock make that decision.

Agreed?

My baby would be very angry at me if I only gave her 35ml's every 3 hours!

She is currently consuming about 55-65ml's every 2-2 1/2 hours since being home a week. Do you think this is okay? I mean I trust my judgement that she is hungry, (and takes the bottle like it's her last supper!) I just would like someone elses opinion that I am doing the right thing, and not going to end up hurting her in the long run.

(Side note, yes I am FF'ding. I was strick enough and lost my milk supply when she was about 5 weeks old in the hospital.
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First of all, don't feel bad about losing your milk supply. It happens to tons of preemie moms.


Secondly, once ds came home I fed him every 3 hours or whenever he was hungry. If that was 30 minutes from the last feeding, then fine, but I never let him go more than 3 hours. He was a super sleepy baby, so sometimes I had to wake him up.

M.
 

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I dropped the schedule as soon as my girls were awake enough to demand feedings. When they needed to be awakened for feedings at first, I'd wake them every 2-3 hours. As soon as they started to be more alert and show signs of hunger, I'd feed them. I think that makes perfect sense. If she isn't throwing up her extra formula or showing signs of being gassy/uncomfortable/overfed, then I think you're doing fine to feed her when she seems to want to eat as much as she seems to want to eat!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BethLS
Alright, we've all been there. What did you feel about the NICU and how they had such scheduled feedings? Like, "full feedings are 3ml's every 3 hours, please stick to this schedule upon going home."

Hu?

I may be a first time mom, but common sense to me says feed your baby when she's hungry, don't let a clock make that decision.

Agreed?

My baby would be very angry at me if I only gave her 35ml's every 3 hours!

She is currently consuming about 55-65ml's every 2-2 1/2 hours since being home a week. Do you think this is okay? I mean I trust my judgement that she is hungry, (and takes the bottle like it's her last supper!) I just would like someone elses opinion that I am doing the right thing, and not going to end up hurting her in the long run.

(Side note, yes I am FF'ding. I was strick enough and lost my milk supply when she was about 5 weeks old in the hospital.
)
Check out the "milkshare" yahoo group for oversupply moms donating their breastmilk. I have seen a few ads for milk available in MI over the last few weeks. Have you thought about trying to relactate? Even if you end up only getting a few ounces per day and adding that to your dd's formula, it will be a good benefit to her and you.
As for the schedule -- definately feed on demand. Both my 29 weekers starting eating nearly double what they were taking in the hospital as soon as they got home.
 

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I just made sure that the girls were getting at least what they advised (45 ml every 4 hours). As long as they got 270 ml each day, I was fine and I only kept track for a week maybe. Then felt confident enough about how they were doing plus they had had 2 check ups at the peds by then.

The only problem we ever had was with Shira who was using food to soothe her GERD so she would want 2 oz every hour and then would spend the rest of the hour spitting it up (at least half of what she took) and screaming in agony. Obviously she was a different situation because she had such severe GERD.

Now...does your dh/dp have a hard time grasping that they aren't still "on a schedule"? Dh is always asking whe they eat next and I'm always saying when they're hungry.
 

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I think the reason for the scheduled feedings in the NICU is just the sheer fact that it's one nurse taking care of multiple babies, and they can't necessarily wait to hear baby's queues (and alot of babies don't cry that much in the NICU anyway - they're busy SLEEPING and might need to be woken up for a feed). I think it'd be difficult to do on demand feeds in the NICU (unless the parent is there doing the feeds).

I completely abandoned the schedule once I got home, and I just fed on demand like I'd planned to with a full term babe. You do need to wake baby up if he/she is sleepy and might miss a feed. Preemies sleep alot. But once you get around due date or so and they "wake up", it gets easier to do on demand feeding.


So sorry your milk supply didn't hold up.
Pumping is HARD.
 

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Our preemie LC insisted that we feed on demand and "at least" every 3 hours. So essentially, don't let him go longer but don't wake him up if he's still sleeping so that he'll have the strength to nurse.

We tracked all feedings: time spend nursing, amount of ebm or formula supplement, how much milk I managed to pump, etc. for the first 6+ weeks and she gave us target amounts per 24 hour period that increased with his weight. We almost never made the targets but the tracking showed us that Ds ate between 5ml and 35ml at feedings and ate every 30min-3hours around the clock.

So from our experience, I say ditch the schedule!

ETA: I used nursing language but we were following the same pattern for breast and bottle. Ds had lots of bottles those first weeks.
 

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After 4 in the NICU I can tell you they DON'T feed them enough on their stupid schedules. Feed as much and as often as they want!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by liberal_chick
First of all, don't feel bad about losing your milk supply. It happens to tons of preemie moms.


Secondly, once ds came home I fed him every 3 hours or whenever he was hungry. If that was 30 minutes from the last feeding, then fine, but I never let him go more than 3 hours. He was a super sleepy baby, so sometimes I had to wake him up.

M.
I agree, our ped said untill she weighed 7lbs (I have no clue why 7lbs is such a magical age) we needed to feed DD every 3 hours, that didn't mean to not feed her if she was hungry in an hour, but it did mean to never let her go more than 3 hours. We had to force her to eat every 3 hours for a long time before she actually started getting hungry on her own.
 

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DS went home at 37 weeks and 4 1/2 pounds. He was taking 60cc every 3 hours in the hospital at that time. We were told to give him 60cc approx every 3 hours "on demand" and that we could stretch it to 4 hours if he wasn't hungry or if he was sleeping. But at the 4 hour mark we were to wake him/feed him. We switched to breastfeeding over the next 2 weeks and then we just fed on demand which turned out to be every 2-4 hours.

I really don't think you can go wrong by feeding her when she's hungry, particularly when she is taking more than they had suggested - we all work so hard to get our preemies to gain weight!

It sounds like you are doing a great job!
 

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One of our nurses was very realaxed about how much they took. She said that sometimes they are sleepy and will only eat a bit but other times the will guzzle it down so you just want to make sure that it averages out and more of the feedings are at or above "the minimum". If that's the case, we shouldn't worry about it. Others were very anal about us keeping track. IME it was the younger nurses who were more comfortable with letting the girls set their own schedules.
 

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In the nicu we were in, they had 50 beds. At one point 1/2 were micros and new so they had their own nurse per baby. That meant the others were doubled and tripled up. Also they brought in extras from other nursing depts. So they had to stick to a schedule.

Towards the end, she was 30 ccs of breastmilk w human milk fortiefier and then the premie formula added to it every 3 hours. I also went in and breastfed.

Now home for 2 months plus, I breastfeed her over night, she co sleeps w us. And we give her about 4 4 oz bottles daily of breastmilk and formula. She also breastfeeds as well about every 2-3 hours. So this kid is packing on the weight and eating a lot. Some days she really breastfeeds a lot and others she might wait a few hours. Depends if she is growth spurting.

That first week is tough since the baby has to adjust to coming home to a quiet place, etc. I remember Maggie loosing a bit of ozs that week but put it on quickly.
 

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The schedule was dropped pretty much when I started BFing more than a few times in the NICU. By the end of our NICU stay I was sitting by her crib BFing on demand from around 5:30am to after 10pm (yes I would go out while she was napping and take walks get something to eat etc.). She still had the midnight/3am feedings by NG tube - until 3 days prior to leaving when DH gave her her first bottle of EBM and the nurse did the 3am one.

When we got home I gladly gave up the pump and just BF on demand when ever DD was hungry - usually more like every 1.5 - 2 hours.
 

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In was nursinng when we left the hospital. So she nursed when she wanted to. she nursed every 3 hours or so. 2 weeks out of the hospital they had me supplement one bottle of high calorie formula a day. I fed her until she was full. She took 90-100 cc's! Within 2 months of being out of the hospital She was weaned for my own medical reason. She is now 5 months (2 months adjusted) and takes 4 ounces every 2-3 hours.
 
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