Monday, December 13, 2010

The challenges of preemie breastfeeding

You know how when you have a baby and you bring them right to breast and it's all wonderful and sweet?

Well I don't! 

However, I did think that once my preemie started breastfeeding that BAM! we'd be good to go. I didn't know that she might breastfeed once...then not do it again the next time, or for days at a time. No one TOLD me this. So when this happened to me, I felt SO frustrated! I tried to hold onto the fact that she COULD do it and I knew that. But each time that Ella wouldn't latch on or would fall asleep at the breast or even worse, would decide that the ugly green curtain behind us was far more interesting then mamas breasts, my heart broke just a little bit. Each time she didn't breastfeed, the nurses would reassure me that it was perfectly normal for preemies to do that. I should not actually say that no one told me that preemie's aren't consistent with breastfeeding. When we got to the NICU, we were given an inch thick packet of information. Yup, I sure did read that. Uh huh. What with all the dying preemie worry I had as well as the 2 year old with major separation anxiety. You betcha. 

So, once Ella started breastfeeding I was soooo many of you may remember from my original post Breastfeeding Success back in October. She breastfed three days in a row so I thought we were set. Dreams of disappearing NG tubes danced in my head. But then I was rejected. This inconsistency happened for a LONG time. WEEKS. It was very disheartening. I didn't stop trying, I didn't stop pumping and I didn't stop hoping for the day when Ella would breastfeed more then once in a single given day. 

I found some information that I thought was really great for preemie breastfeeding. I URGE you to share this information with anyone you know who has or is facing having a premature infant. 

I also urge you to check out Dr. Sears book "The Premature Baby Book". I am currently reading this book and I swear, it could be called "The Premature Baby Book for Mama Christa and Ella". 

PS. Ella DID start consistently breastfeeding eventually...but that's a blog post for another day. 

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