Pumping frequency for preemie nutrition supplementation

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Pumping frequency for preemie nutrition supplementation

Postby Menehune » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:16 am

Hi MOMs! I just got my two babies home from the NICU last week. Per doctors discharge instructions, we are supplementing their breast milk feeds w formula to boost their caloric intake so they can catch up in their growth and development. Essentially, I only breast feed them 2-3 times per day, and I have to pump enough to mix up their special formula mixes. This creates a huge time crunch between bottle feeds, pumping, diaper changes, taking care of myself, sleep, etc.

I'm trying to strike the right balance. I just wanted to see what other MOMs found worked for them in terms of pumping frequency per day (especially MOMs of NICU babies w nutrition supplementation), how long you were able to do this for your multiples, and any other tips/tricks you can share!

Best,
M
Nearly 5 years TTC#1
IVF #1 June 2013, Long lupron, follistim/menopur, 11x5-day blasts, freeze all due to OHSS
8/23/13 FET 3x5-day blasts transferred, BFP 6dp5dt, betas 380 @ 10dp5dt, 810 @ 12dp5dt, 38,185 @ 22dp5dt, U/S 9/26 Twins!
B/G twins arrived at 34w+3d, spent 13 & 21 d in NICU
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Re: Pumping frequency for preemie nutrition supplementation

Postby projecttriplets » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:54 am

I will speak for the mom of triplets, but I was there close around :) My wife had little breast milk from the very beginning - she used an advanced pump (Medela's Lactina), but it was still a hard toll to produce that little sip of breast milk every three hours for the first month. The quantity was enough only to 'spice up' the formula. Actually, in terms of weight gain and sleeping schedule, the formula feeding was a wonder. I doubt we would have such a rigid bed time schedule, successfully continuing up to this day (3 years of age), if formula feeding did not start from the very beginning.

As soon as we got home in one month after the birth, the milk disappeared whatsoever. The conclusion in our case was that we enhanced the formula with breast milk as long as it was possible, but continued without it, very successfully.

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Re: Pumping frequency for preemie nutrition supplementation

Postby babydust2me » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:29 am

I don't really have much advice either. I pumped every 2-3 hours while my 2 were in the NICU and I never made enough to get the exclusively on breastmilk. I was hoping that they'd get more when they were at home nursing instead of pumping. It didn't. So I started nursing them, topping off with formula, then pumping, but that got really overwhelming really fast. My supply never took off and by the time they were 6 weeks old, I just switched to exclusively formula. I think the nurse, supplement, pump routine is probably the best to get things going but unfortunately continued nursing wasn't in the cards for me.
Cassidy (29) DH (30) TTC#1 since Oct 08

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Morgan 3lbs13oz & Reagan 3lbs10oz born at 33 weeks after 3 years TTC
19 days in the NICU

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Re: Pumping frequency for preemie nutrition supplementation

Postby buggie » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:08 pm

Sadly no advice here either. I had 29 weeker twins, never had a good supply, and when they came home from the NICU I had to stop pumping as there was NEVER time to feed two refluxy babies who each took at least 30 minutes to finish a bottle, then pump, then clean everything (while cleaning up the two babies who inevitably had just barfed up their entire bottles), and start over all day and night.

Exclusive pumping is HARD. It's double the amount of time as either breast or formula feeding (pump the milk for 15 minutes, then bottle feed the babies for however long), and you have double the number of babies already!

I must also say I wasn't super committed to breastfeeding and I detested pumping, plus I had PPD. All of that added up to a big breastfeeding fail. But hey, my kids left the NICU and are happy healthy toddlers so I call it a win regardless!!!

Cassidy - You mention never having enough to get them on BM exclusively... I actually did! And then they started drinking more than 25mls per bottle and I couldn't keep up! lol I think they outpaced me when they were like 3 weeks old and weighed nearly 3 pounds :D Exclusive breastmilk is easy when they only need a few MLs!
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TWIN BOYS Emmett and Beckett arrived at 29w2d!
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Re: Pumping frequency for preemie nutrition supplementation

Postby Menehune » Fri May 02, 2014 10:38 pm

Thanks so much for your responses. Right now, I'm providing about 50% of breast milk for each of them and supplementing with formula then pumping. I just started getting into a groove the last few days but my hubby is going back to work on Monday (sob) so everything might go out the window. I'll just have to see what I can manage!
Nearly 5 years TTC#1
IVF #1 June 2013, Long lupron, follistim/menopur, 11x5-day blasts, freeze all due to OHSS
8/23/13 FET 3x5-day blasts transferred, BFP 6dp5dt, betas 380 @ 10dp5dt, 810 @ 12dp5dt, 38,185 @ 22dp5dt, U/S 9/26 Twins!
B/G twins arrived at 34w+3d, spent 13 & 21 d in NICU
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