Breastfeeding for premature babies: Hi - I'm new here, I... - NCT


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Breastfeeding for premature babies

FayeMM profile image

Hi - I'm new here, I had my baby girl 3 weeks ago, she is 8 weeks early and currently at the Neonatal. I want to fully breastfeed her but I am still struggling. Anyone had the same issue? Could you recommend tips/ ideas please on how you dealt with it? Thanks

15 Replies

If you use Facebook, join the group uk breastfeeding’s probably more responsive than on here and there will be so many ladies who have been through similar.

Congratulations, and good luck xx

Thank you so much . I will check them out. Xx

When my lb was in NICU there was a specialist breastfeeding team there who were brilliant so worth checking if yours has one. I expressed every 2 - 3 hours day and night to establish supply and so my lb was getting my milk instead of formula until he was able to breastfeed x

Yeah, I express less than I should, max of 6 times a day, which not great and now I am struggling because of that. I can’t establish supply and getting very soar breast.

Seb9 profile image
Seb9 in reply to FayeMM

Can you speak to the feeding team at the hospital to use one of their machines? The hospital grade pumps are much better than home ones. They should be able to change the sizes so they fit you and don't make you so sore.When pumping I've found you need to be relaxed and comfy, maybe have a picture of baby or some of their clothes to get your love hormones flowing to make that milk.

You can also try massage on your breasts to encourage production.

Use nipple cream in between pumping and leave them to air dry a bit afterwards too for the soreness. A nice warm shower helps too.

The more you pump the more you should produce, but if it's getting too stressful or your finding it too much, baby can have formula and still thrive so whatever you you do, don't beat yourself up or feel guilty, baby will be fed and cared for ♥️

FayeMM profile image
FayeMM in reply to Seb9

Thank you so much for your kind words ❤️ & advice that’s very helpful.

There are exclusive pumping fb groups which may be able to help. If your flange size is wrong it can be painful. Also you may need to try different pumps. I didn't get much with my first pump. Changed rent the medela symphony then got a bella baby pump from ebay. Both were great.

FayeMM profile image
FayeMM in reply to SRA8

It turned out that I have a breast infection which was the reason for the pain and I am taking antibiotics for it now. So I hope that will work!

Hi, Hope you and your little one are doing well. I was a similar position to you just a couple of weeks ago. My little girl was also 8 weeks early and is coming up for 4 weeks. We have been home just over a week now and established breastfeeding 2 weeks ago.

In order to encourage her to latch on I used to do skin to skin and hand express a few drops of milk onto her lips. I found my biggest challenge was being around when she was awake as she wouldn't feed when she was asleep. Due to her being tube fed every 3 hours in my absence she was always full and didn't wake up when I was around.

In the end I was staying at the NICU for over 12 hours at a time and moved to demand feeding, however the nurses didn't like her to go longer than 3.5hrs. We encouraged her to wake up by doing her obs and changing her nappy. If she didn't feed well she would be topped up a small amount through the NGT.

Just be patient it will happen when your little one decides she is ready. I'm sure you are doing an amazing job, try not to stress about it. Im happy to answer any more questions you may have as we've been through a similar experience.

FayeMM profile image
FayeMM in reply to Chicapreg

Hey - congrats on having your baby’s home. I can’t wait for that day.

I am currently trying with her half an hour before her feed. It’s seems to get better. My breast pain turned out to be an infection and I am taking antibiotics for it. So fingers crossed it goes well!

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience xoxo

Hi! My friend bf her 25 weeker :) I would recommend joining a Facebook group and getting help from your local bf groups or infant feeding team. My friend sometimes had discouragement from drs etc but she was strong willed and did it all herself. You just need the right support.Is your pump flange the right size? Are you pumping in the middle of the night and around 8-10 times per day? X

Hi - yeah my pump flange seems to be the right size. I got checked last night at the maternity assessment and they said it’s a breast infection and I am getting antibiotics for it, so hopefully that will help me. I tend to express during the day around 6-7 times. Xx

My little boy was born at 35 weeks and couldn't latch so I used breast shields. Now at 8 weeks I don't have to pump and he's exclusively breastfed. You could talk to the feeding team to ask of they think it'd be a good idea. Shields can be helpful for premature babies to get more milk from breasts.

You can contact your local breastfeeding group here:

I’m in hospital with 34 week twins. I’m pumping every 3 hours to establish milk production and putting babies to breast each time. My little girl has just started latching after a week and little boy latched when not too sleepy and full but is on a feeding tube.Pump, lots of skin to skin, nose to nipple etc and just keep trying. Good luck xxx

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