5 doctors weighed in:

What is the best way to breastfeed a preemie?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Nursing Staff

Nicu nurses are some of the best you'll find.
Highly dedicated & exceptionally well trained, they also have a lot invested in your premie. Still, they have different comfort levels & different personalities, good days and bad days. Show your appreciation for the nursing staff and maintain a good rapport. They can become your best nicu advocates and they'll help you reach your breastfeed goals.

In brief: Nursing Staff

Nicu nurses are some of the best you'll find.
Highly dedicated & exceptionally well trained, they also have a lot invested in your premie. Still, they have different comfort levels & different personalities, good days and bad days. Show your appreciation for the nursing staff and maintain a good rapport. They can become your best nicu advocates and they'll help you reach your breastfeed goals.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Pam Yoder
Thanks, Dr Rodbell. I learned a lot from Postpartum nurses, lactation consultants, NICU and Step-down nurses and my preemie!
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Lactation Consultant

This is what they do best.
Out of the hospital, their services can cost upwards of $60 per hour, but in the hospital, it's included. Utilize the hospital lactation consultants whenever possible.

In brief: Lactation Consultant

This is what they do best.
Out of the hospital, their services can cost upwards of $60 per hour, but in the hospital, it's included. Utilize the hospital lactation consultants whenever possible.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Thank
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Football Hold

Being "scrunched" can make it harder coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing.
The football hold allows your preemie's body to remain stretched out. Using a pillow to support your premie can also help.

In brief: Football Hold

Being "scrunched" can make it harder coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing.
The football hold allows your preemie's body to remain stretched out. Using a pillow to support your premie can also help.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Thank
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Take Care of You

Remember to take care of yourself.
In order to produce adequate, rich milk, your body needs a lot of energy. You just delivered a baby, and you're dealing with stress of having a baby in the nicu. Make sure to eat a well-rounded, robust, and healthful diet, yourself.

In brief: Take Care of You

Remember to take care of yourself.
In order to produce adequate, rich milk, your body needs a lot of energy. You just delivered a baby, and you're dealing with stress of having a baby in the nicu. Make sure to eat a well-rounded, robust, and healthful diet, yourself.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Thank
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Make Practice Runs

Practice latching when your premie is not hungry, ie.
After a feeding. Latching is a learned skill, and sometimes babies will show more patience--and will actually learn faster--if they're not so hungry.

In brief: Make Practice Runs

Practice latching when your premie is not hungry, ie.
After a feeding. Latching is a learned skill, and sometimes babies will show more patience--and will actually learn faster--if they're not so hungry.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Thank
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Latch when Empty

If your premie has trouble latching, practice latching after pumping.
Often times, it's easier for a baby to latch when the breast is not as full. Eventually, your baby will figure out how to latch on even when you're full.

In brief: Latch when Empty

If your premie has trouble latching, practice latching after pumping.
Often times, it's easier for a baby to latch when the breast is not as full. Eventually, your baby will figure out how to latch on even when you're full.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Thank
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Pump Often

Even if you can't put your baby to the breast, and even if your baby is taking only a small amount of milk, pumping will help maintain your supply, and it may give you some milk to spare.
Freeze any extra milk for future use.

In brief: Pump Often

Even if you can't put your baby to the breast, and even if your baby is taking only a small amount of milk, pumping will help maintain your supply, and it may give you some milk to spare.
Freeze any extra milk for future use.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Thank
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Kangaroo Care

Even if your preemie can't nurse yet, ask the nicu staff about kangaroo care.
This allows for skin-to-skin time. Assuming your premie isn't too fragile, the warm touch of a parent is healthy for his emotional state, and kangaroo care promotes infant-parent bonding. It can also serve as a source of encouragment and re-invigoration for parents amidst the often stressful nicu experience.

In brief: Kangaroo Care

Even if your preemie can't nurse yet, ask the nicu staff about kangaroo care.
This allows for skin-to-skin time. Assuming your premie isn't too fragile, the warm touch of a parent is healthy for his emotional state, and kangaroo care promotes infant-parent bonding. It can also serve as a source of encouragment and re-invigoration for parents amidst the often stressful nicu experience.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Thank
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: With Love & Patience

Aside from the technical challenge of breastfeeding, per se, you may have to navigate related challenges, like 1) stress of the nicu experience itself.
2) unexpected setbacks. 3) ever-changing nicu staff, with different personalities, expectation, & comfort levels. 4) tubes, wiring, monitors, etc. 5) less-than-private nicu nursing environment. 6) maintaining your supply... (see "tips" for more).

In brief: With Love & Patience

Aside from the technical challenge of breastfeeding, per se, you may have to navigate related challenges, like 1) stress of the nicu experience itself.
2) unexpected setbacks. 3) ever-changing nicu staff, with different personalities, expectation, & comfort levels. 4) tubes, wiring, monitors, etc. 5) less-than-private nicu nursing environment. 6) maintaining your supply... (see "tips" for more).
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Thank
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