Your baby arrives early and you did plan to breast feed does this now mean because the neonatal staff have whisked away your baby to the NICU to be cared for that you cannot breast feed ? the answer is Yes.
Your milk will usually come in after the birth of your baby in around 3 days But immediately after the birth your breasts start to produce the first milky substance colostrum.It contains valuable nutrients and anitbodies that help build up the infection ressistance in your baby.
If you can only get to feed your premature baby at least once with this milk it has given baby a good head start.A premature baby in the NICU may not always be feeding from a breast or bottle straight away so there is no need to start worrying about if baby will or won't latch on afterwards.Sucking reflexes may often need to be learnt especially in very early babies which would have had the time in the womb to have developed these inside.The nursing staff may at first attach a feeding tub which feeds directly through the baby's nose and into the stomach.You can be using a breast pump if you prefer to use your own milk at this point until fit enough for the first breast or bottle feeding trials.Speak to the Staff neonatal nurse to express concerns or wants.
Breastfeeding can make you very thirsty Make sure to stay hydrated. Drinking a glass of water or juice just before or while pumping can help with your milk supply.Letting your premature baby use a dummy before feeding is fully established will help develop your babys sucking reflexes before first feed trails commence.
La Leche League
Tel. 0845 120 2918
National Childbirth Trust
Tel. 0870 444 8708
If you decide to skip breastfeeding and decide on using a bottle for a premature baby you will need to buy a variable flow teat because your baby will have such a small mouth.Until ready for a newborn bottle size we have found some stores stock these bottles that help premature babies feed easier and for a tiny baby with special needs
buy this product direct from Dr Brown's Preemie Bottle
Dr Brown's Premature Feeding Bottles 60ml/2oz comes with level 1 teat. Preemie teats available to purchase separately
lookout for this specialist baby bottle