This post is part 2 of a post series that I writing about my experience leaving the NICU with bottle fed preemie babies (twins) and our adventure transiting to exclusive breast feeding. Read about Stage 1 here!
Well, unfortunately I have not major progress to report other than the fact that the boys are getting stronger and bigger, which I think is helping them nurse a little more efficiently. I am using Medela Nipple Shields when I nurse once each day (sometimes more). I think these help a lot, however when I nursed Luke this morning it was pretty painful despite my use of a shield. I don’t think that is a good thing, maybe he is tongue tied? Cole still seems to do pretty good with nursing. Both of the boys though will usually unlatch after 10 or 15 minutes and seem disgusted with nursing. I can usually get them back on, but I wish I knew why they were doing that.
I also purchase a three bottle set of Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles with slow flow nipples for 0-3 months. They are much more like what they would experience nursing. We tried them out once and they both accepted them, but they didn’t really seem to be thrilled with the feeding. I really like them though because I feel like they create a feeding experience much closer to nursing that the bottles that we came home from the NICU with. I decided though that I should put them away for now because I need them to focus on learning how to nurse, not learning how to nurse from a bottle.
Thankfully milk supply has not been an issue for us. I know that I can produce enough milk for them, we just need to get the mechanics figured out. A friend suggested a SNS (supplemental nursing system) to use while trying to nurse so I didn’t feel like I needed to follow up with a bottle. I’m not sure if I am ready to make that kind of investment yet.
My friend Katherine, a lactation consultant @ Breastfeeding Essentials, is going to be coming over this weekend with my special ordered shields, professional grade scales, and breast feeding smarts. After her visit, I’m planning to go 24 hours cold turkey and see how things go and use diaper output as a gauge to see if they are getting enough. (24/7 bf-ing on demand, both babies) Wish me luck!!!