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Breastfeeding Magazine

Breastfeeding a Preemie in the NICU

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One mom’s breastfeeding story of nursing
a preemie baby in the NICU
Submitted by Christina
(Texas, USA)

Preemie Baby in the NICU

I have breastfed 2 children (still on the second).

My first experience with nursing was very difficult. My son was a preemieborn 6 weeks early and brought straight to the NICU.

Luckily I told them I wanted to nurse so about 4 hours after having him the lactation consultant came in with the hospital pump all my equipment and sterilized bottles. I pumped every 3-4 hours around the clock. I even had the nurses wake me up so I could pump.

Then I would take my little bottles of barley there colostrum up to the NICU so they could put it on my son’s lips so he could taste it. After 3 days I had to leave my son behind but I traveled with my rented pump and bottles in hand.

Every day I would pump around the clock. I would bring a cooler with expressed milk in the bottles to the hospital with me and felt I was doing something to provide for my son. The nurses all new I was only wanting him to have breast milk no formula. Also I always arrived at the same time every day to visit.

Finally after 2 weeks I was able to nurse him right from the breast. What a rush that was. I was so elated he caught on quickly. Well a month goes by and they said he can’t go home cause he was still having trouble (he had acid reflux and was on 2 medicines for it) I said it is funny that he has trouble when he has a bottle but he never has trouble at the breast (ex. heartrate drop, oxygen drop).

The doctor said if you think so you need to stay here and exclusively breastfeed no bottles of pumped milk. So I did and 3 days later he came home. He was breastfed exclusively till he was just shy of 1 then I had to supplement formula and breastfeed when I was home. He is now 5 years old and as tall as a 7 year old!! I am so glad I never gave up.

My daughter was a little over 2 weeks early and was put at my breast right away and has not left since…15 months later. I still love EVERY minute of it!!

Where Do You Want to Go Next?

Want to read another mom’s story of breastfeeding a preemie?

or Submit Your Own Breastfeeding Story?

…Learn the benefits of Nursing premature infants?

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