I wanted to share the happy news that Zephan is doing really well with breastfeeding!
He's 33 weeks 2 days and in the last 24 hours, breastfeeding is really clicking. Last week, I was feeling a little discouraged because he was very sleepy and he seldom seemed hungry. We were also having trouble with the HMF.
This week, however, he's tolerating his feeds really well and he has a lot more energy. He's growing - 4 pounds 4 ounces, up from 3 pounds 13 ounces at birth two weeks ago!
Yesterday, we tried breastfeeding with a nipple shield. Zephan had been able to latch, but after sucking a few times he would stop to breathe and let go of the nipple. With the shield, he figured out how to keep the nipple in his mouth. Last night, he took 10 cc at one of his feedings by breast.
Today, we tried nursing without the nipple shield for fun after I had pumped, but it totally clicked! He latched on and stayed on for 15 minutes. At the next feeding, he did it again, this time getting 1/2 an ounce. He's been wide awake at each feeding and is giving us really clear signals that he's hungry and interested in nursing.
Anyway, I'm so excited. And hopeful that he'll be home soon...
The doctor this morning said it will probably be about a week. It is an open ended question, but the goal is already to take 5 out of 8 feedings by breast. When he's able to take 8 feedings by breast (or if we decide to go to demand feeding, a certain number of ounces over the course of a day), we can go home...
That is awesome! Congrats! It's interesting to see the different rules for different hospitals. We were told our baby had to take all her feedings by mouth for 48 hours but then were discharged after about 36 hours of her being exclusively bf (except she got part of one feeding by cup from the nurse when I hurried home to see my other kiddos).
I would not be surprised if it is sooner than a week. We have usually been out of there in 2 or 3 days once breastfeeding clicked. I would start making sure that everything was getting done to be ready for discharge like carseat tests, hearing tests etc. so there are not any delays when they decide Zephan can be discharged. I'm so happy for you and it is great he is latching without the shield!
We're all laughing. Today he took 60 cc by breast at one feeding. His "full feeds" are 37 cc...
I think we've got a few more days because he's desatting a lot after he eats. All of it seems pretty normal - when he's trying to poop or dealing with a little reflux - but there have been a few scary times when he dropped into the 60s or lower.
He's just 34 weeks today and is still pretty little and sleepy, so although he's a great breastfeeder I think we need a few more days to make sure we can do it at home!
I'm glad it's going so well, Sara! My 30-weeker, A, was breastfeeding all of his feeds by 34 weeks, so I was kind of psyching myself up for that this time around. Alas, N has been super sleepy at the breast for the past few days, and I have been so frustrated! BUT this afternoon, I tried him with the nipple shield and we're quite sure he got a full feed. I'm so thrilled!
How do they determine how much Zephan gets? Test weighs or pulling back on his NG? We did that a little at first, but then he wasn't doing so well for a few days, so it wasn't worth it anymore...
I'm hoping tonight's BFing session goes well. If it does, I'll probably be bunking in come Monday, and hopefully we'll only have a week or so until N comes home, too!