Nursing a preemie has been a challenge. I challenge I really thought I was up for. But, sometimes I find myself wanting to give up. Those give up moments come after 45 minute battles of trying to get Zachary latched (and staying) on the breast.
Sometimes he will latch on great, and nurse all his feedings all day. Other times, he
cries screams and refuses to latch on. Oh, and there are the times he just wont wake up even after 4.5 hours of sleeping. Pedi does not want him going more than 4.5 hours without eating. He is little and needs to eat and gain his weight so he can get bigger and stronger. I think he could sleep the day away if we’d let him.
During the night is when we have the most trouble. Maybe because I’m exhausted and fighting a screaming baby who could potentially activate 2 year old screaming toddler at 3am. It all just gets so frustrating. When I’ve had enough of trying to get him to latch, he gets a bottle of expressed breast milk. Then, I feel like a failure.
There are a few problems going on here…. 1. I have one flat nipple, didn’t know that until I tried to breastfeed. 2. My good nipple (his favorite side) hurts like fucking hell!!! Not bleeding or cracked, but OH MY GOD, when he does latch on I could cry. I have milk, I pump and I get plenty of milk for him. Somehow, someway this has to get better. I want it to work, I don’t want for both of us to get so stressed out during our nursing time.
Laurie went out and got me a nipple shield. Who ever invented this thing is a freakin’ genius. I put it on, and he latches on with little fuss onto the flat side, and it helps with the pain on the other. Only problem is, it’s so easy to use, I want to always use it. It is for temporary use, but it works so well!!! For right now, my during the day plan is to work with him latching without the shield and only using it when it’s really needed, and at night, using it because it’s amazing and he nurses without having that battle at 3am. When he latches on, I love it! I love being able to provide his food for him and to hear him gulp the milk, and the milk drunk sleepy baby I get afterwards. But, I just wish it came easier. I hope that this is all just because he is small, and has had mostly bottles for all of his feeds in the NICU. This is new to him, and new to me. We were only able to nurse one feeding in the NICU and I really wish I took advantage of the LC there. Hopefully, we’ll find our groove.
I use lanolin after each feed, beast shield, I try many different positions, anyone have any other tricks of the breastfeeding trade? If you had to wake your baby to feed, how’d you do it?