did/do you breastfeed?

Julie - posted on 12/09/2008 ( 14 moms have responded )

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We're trying but Haley still needs fortifier so I can only breast feed 3-4 times a day and I still have to pump all the time. Lately she's been crying when I first put her on to breast feed and then after a few sucks she cries again. I try to stay calm and then she relaxes and then she's fine and will feed for about 15 minutes on each side ( even with that long of time she doesn't always get enough to be full for very long ). Any advice? She's always been randomly crying and we can't seem to figure out why. It happens more at night. She'll be sound asleep and wake up screaming, not hungry though just screaming and it takes a while to calm her. She does it when we are holding her too so I don' t think it's just that she wants to be held. Any ideas for me?

14 Comments

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Tamara - posted on 01/22/2009

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Good for you for sticking with the breast feeding! I am so happy that it's going better. I was able to exclusively breast feed by 26 weeker until he was 13 months old. Yes, their growth is a little slower than if they are fed formula, but they still do catch up. My son is now 27 months old. No one can veen tell that he was a preemie.

One other thing, I too did cranio sacral therapy with my son. I know it seems a little "out there" but I truly believe it made a world of difference in his development. I would definitely check into it!

Keli - posted on 01/21/2009

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My son has reflux so I'd have to agree it definately sounds like reflux. There are actually several types of reflux including silent reflux which is where they don't actually spit up but the stomache contents just goes up their throat and back again. So it hurts but there is no vomit.



I tried to breast feed but because he was in a humidy crib for the first week I couldn't hold him to do it. So by the time I was able to try he just wasn't interested, I also had to suppliment feed because I just didn't make enough milk to satisfy him.



I'd suggest if your doctor just doesn't seem to listen to your concerns get a second opinion. Your her mom listen to that inner voice, if you really think there's something wrong there probably is...



Good luck I hope it works out for you

Crystal - posted on 01/21/2009

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wow if nothing it's theraputic to read that the struggles my daughter and I have had are not that unique with breastfeeding and preemies.  My daughter was born healthy but tiny at 35 wks (4 lbs, 8 oz at birth).  I wanted to breastfeed exclusively but being that she was so tiny and we were just barely avoiding the NICU, we immediately supplemented with formula while I pumped round the clock getting a little colostrum.  This was supplemented at the breast with a guage/syringe contraption and nipple shield.  The main problem was that my daughter was so sleepy from being preemie and jaundiced that we had very little time to get the volume into her, and she seemed unable to stand the energy use needed to suck. 



We worked with lactation consultants at the hospital full time and left with an exhausting routine using the guage and requiring another person's full help to keep her awake, etc.  Eventually my husband and I switched to bottle feeding using the pumped breastmilk so we could watch the volume. 



Unfortunately despite constant pumping and as much attempted breastfeeding as possible, my supply is now low and we will probably have to supplement with formula a lot more as her intake increases.  This has been very disappointing and despite using Reglan and Fenugreek I've seen no noticable increase.



I'm continuing the pumping and breastfeeding routine as long as I can, but if it gets to a point that the breastmilk is negligible in amount we may have to go full formula.  :-(

Amanda - posted on 01/20/2009

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Breastfeeding is hard so congratulations for giving it a try. I had twins in September (at 34 weeks) and had a really hard time breastfeeding because they were given bottles before I ever had the chance to put them to the breast. I would say take advantage of the time you have with her on the breast and then supplement with formula to meet her nutritional needs. I tried to breastfeed and pump but only made it 3 months. Any breast milk is good for your baby. My boys have been on formula only for 1 month and they are growing fine and have never been sick, yet. I can tell you that while I was breastfeeding and pumping I started giving formula only bottles before bedtime so they would sleep longer. Sometimes breastfeeding or bottle feeding can take a lot of a babies energy.

Amy - posted on 01/20/2009

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Hi Julie,  My name is Amy i had my little boy Bailey 11 weeks early.  He was exactly thbe same as your little girl very irritable , and he still is today at 8 months old,  i have just recently been told by a peadiatrician that some premmie babies just don't accept change easily and unfortunatly i've got one of those babys.  It's hard slog but you'll get there.  As for breastfeeding i fed Bailey for the first 4 months of his life i too had to use a nipple sheild because his tiny little mouth asnt big enough for my nipple.  He put on weight very slowly and because he was in and out of hospital so many times since he left NICU my milk just dried up i tried everything to bring it back but to no avail.  It was very hard for me because i knew my milk is what he needed but his health was the main thing he needed to get stronger quicker he is now 7.5 kilos!!!  Good luck with everything!

Julie - posted on 01/20/2009

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So Haley finally figured it out! I have been able to just breast feed for 1 month now! I'm so proud of her. She's still growing ( not as fast but still growing at a good rate ). She does not have nearly as many bowel movements now but the doctor said it's ok. She's been cranky the past few days but I think she's teething. To answer your question Sarah...she was 4 weeks old the first time I nursed her! She was only 33 weeks gestation but she did so well for her age. Every nurse in the NICU was shocked at how fast she progressed. She was home before by 35 weeks gestation! She grew really fast and was up to 4 lbs 5 oz by the time she came home. She was born at 2 lbs 9 oz. She's somewhere around 9 1/2 lbs, she doesn't have an appointment until thursday so we'll get an official weight then.

Sarah - posted on 01/20/2009

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I know how you feel! How old was Haley when you started breast feeding? I had to use a nipple shield as Ryan was so small. At 6 months old he is still only 8lb 15oz and we still use it as he won't latch on without it. He has settled a lot now and it will get easier even though I know it doesn't seem so now

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I'm sorry you're going through all of this.  I'm not sure about what could be causing the crying but I can tell you my experience with breastfeeding.  I very much wanted to breastfeed and tried very hard to make it work.  I didn't produce very much milk at all and I made the switch to formula.  I pumped while each girl was in the NICU but they still had to get formula there because I didn't produce enough.  Even though I would have preferred to breastfeed and I have felt so guilty, I am glad that I switched to formula.  My oldest is almost 3 and is doing very well.  My youngest is two months old and is growing like a weed.  I do think breast milk is best but formula is a very good alternative.  You have to be sane to be the best mom you can be for your child.  Make sure you consider your needs too.

Kelly - posted on 01/19/2009

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Lots of puzzling things going on with your little girl. Sorry to hear that. My daughter had lots of little issues (one of which was reflux). I wanted the most natural approach I could find and have loved every minute of cranio sacral therapy. At first she went 3 times within one week and then once every 2 weeks for a month, and then once a month for 3 months. Now I only take her in after a vaccination or illness/mood change. Her body has healed itself with the guidance of the therapy and she's doing awesome. Look into it and see if there is a provider near you. It falls in the realm of infant chiropractics. You could call a chiro and ask for a referral to someone they know. It's been the BEST thing we've done for our daughter since she left the NICU.

Stephanie - posted on 01/19/2009

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I was going to say it sounded like reflux too. We were just told our little guy has reflux and that it is very common in preemies...which we had no idea. He is also always gassy and burps a lot. We're going through the same struggle and not sure what to do. Just wanted to say I know how you're feeling and hopefully things get better soon.

Julie - posted on 12/10/2008

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She is elevated when she sleeps. She starts crying actually right before the let down. I think she's just impatient with that. She doesn't spit up hardly at all. She doesn't have many symptoms of reflux besides the screaming so the pediatrician doesn't think that's it at this point. She's just always straining with gas and I can't seems to get that under control. I don't eat gassy foods. I elevate her bed. We give her gripe water. We tried mylacon but it made things worse so we stopped. She has plenty of tummy time. I burp her a lot when she eats especially a bottle. I just don't know what to do.

Michelle - posted on 12/10/2008

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Yeah it sounds like reflux to me. Does she spit up a lot? Try elevating her when she sleeps to see if it works better for her. Also when you nurse does she start screaming at the let down stage of nursing or is it more at the time when she is just regularly nursing? If it is at the let down stage you might want to consider pumping some before she has and eat and then letting her come on.



I nursed my 31 weeker for nearly a year and it was tough but it finally came down for me to stop when I had to make the choice of taking a lot of things out of diet because of his reflux or making him better. I think that was about 11 months of age (9 months adjusted)



hope this helps. Good Luck and congrats~!

Jayme - posted on 12/09/2008

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Talk to your doctor and see if it is possible that she has acid reflux....this causes a baby to cry out for no apparent reason. The doctor can give her medication and recomend a formula

Courtney - posted on 12/09/2008

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I pumped while he was in the hospital and when we got home i tired to nurse but he would suck a little then freak out and would stop sucking so i would switch to the bottle and the doctor told me that the important part is that he is eating well and gaining weight that it does not matter if it is from breast or bottle or if it formula or breast milk. I found it easier to switch to the 22 calorie formula otherwise i was feeding him and pumping and never slept and did not get much milk increase so he ended up eating more then i was producing.

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