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My newest addition was born May 8th (due June 14th) about 5.5 weeks early, and she is very healthy (aside from newborn jaundice) and thriving at home. She weighed 5 lb 5 oz at birth, and after 4 days was 5.0 lbs. She has been home since and has been nursing relatively well, but is still at 5.0 lbs at 8 days old. I think that some of her feedings aren't optimal because she's hard to position on my breast because she's so tiny. I feel like I'm going to break her jaw if I try to pry open her mouth (silly, I know), and her little head is so small when I'm positioning it. I'm just awkward, I guess. This is my 3rd child, so I know the drill as far as newborns go, but she is so much smaller and more delicate, it seems.<br><br>
My issues are that I need her to nurse more efficiently so that we can get rid of the bili blanket (#s are still rising). I need her to gain weight because she is "suppose" to have started increasing weight after the initial loss. I need her to stop clicking when she nurses, or just latching on to my nipple (I have huge nipples & areolas). Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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First thing I would do is call your local LLL and/or IBCLC.<br><br>
Here is a link to some info-<br><br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/preemie/preemie-links.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/preemie/preemie-links.html</a><br><br>
Sorry I can't be of more help. Perhaps you can pump and syringe feed her also, to get her gaining and growing so she can nurse more effectively?<br><br>
Also maybe check out the preemie parenting board here -<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=371" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...play.php?f=371</a>
 

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She's not as fragile as she looks, & she won't break. You're going to have to get in there and pull her little jaw down. I had to do this with my middle daughter. When she was born, she was smaller (by a good bit) than one of my breasts. If you're large-breasted like I am, you might want to hold your breast back a little, but really treat her like she's a normal newborn you have to work with! She will get better as she gets older, have no fear of that (Linda's the one we call Dyson 'cause she sucks like a vacuum. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">)
 

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My DD was small (5 lbs 6 oz, but she went down to 4 lbs 8 oz, which is a big weight loss, bigger than "normal") and also had a lot of trouble widening her mouth enough to get a good latch. Also, her suck was not all that strong. What I found was that what she really needed was patience and time; once she got close to her due date, she could latch easily. I just had to buy her that time.<br><br>
So in the meantime, I did whatever I could to get food into her so that she could grow and get rid of the jaundice and be less groggy. Once they are less jaundiced and groggy, they latch better anyway. So we used a supplemental nursing system, so that when she did latch and nurse, she got enough to help her gain. I pumped between feedings to fill the supplementer and maintain my supply. If she was too groggy to nurse long, we syringed the milk into her. It was a lot of work, and you definitely need a good LC to supervise the process and help you get on the right track, but in the end she weaned herself off the supplements right around her due date, and has been doing well ever since.
 
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