Baby Emmett, breastfeeding, NICU

NICU day 67

Today was a good day. Last night was another fussy night because of the reflux, but we’re still seeing way fewer events.

The best part of the day was that we had a major breakthrough in breastfeeding. Part of that is definitely thanks to the tongue tie clip, but a big part is thanks to the nurse who suggested we try nursing with a nipple shield this morning. Without going into too much detail (because my coworkers and father-in-law read this blog), the nipple shield helps create a shape that makes it easier for a baby with a tiny mouth and under-developed muscles to latch onto (think more bottle nipple than human nipple), and also helps reach the roof of their mouth, which stimulates their sucking reflex. The difference was like night and day, and he actually nursed for about 15 minutes straight instead of the on-off-repeat cycle we’ve been on.

Unfortunately, toward the end of his feed, he had a pretty big brady. The nurse said that’s a common issue for preemies. The whole suck-swallow-breathe thing can be tricky for preemies to coordinate and he must have forgotten to breathe temporarily, which made his heart rate drop. The nurse warned us we could start seeing those pretty frequently now with feedings, which is kind of disheartening. Just when we overcome one hurdle, a new one presents itself.

The rest of the day went really well. I came home around noon and D headed back for the afternoon and will stay there tonight. I’m happy to report we have officially reached 6 lbs!


2 thoughts on “NICU day 67”

  1. Yahoo Emmett! And yahoo mom…this nursing win is big. Eating, weight, less events – the last big hurdles (and passing a car seat test). I also did nipple shield. In fact, unintentionally Braden used his for several months. I think most of the time you try to wean them sooner, but B never did anything sooner. Lol. (uh…when I was a first time mom juggling nursing and putting it on made for some awkward/funny stories when getting ready to feed him in public. Note…get 4 or 5 of them and keep them in your diaper bag.) The upside was…he used bottles and boob feed from the beginning and I think the shield and the nicu were the reason. Oh…and I never had supply issues with the nipple shield when I used it for months which is what some folks say you have to worry about. Braden liked that thing so he got to use it until he didn’t need it. One day we tried without and he latched and away we went. The downside? Yep…more desats and/or bradys at first. Think of it like stamina building now. You don’t just run a 5k one day after sitting on your couch. You work up to it. This is where we were still working on it at home, it was weeks before he was exclusively nursing and off his supplement bottle. B was also the slowest eater in history, for months. He took 20 to 40 minutes per feed for a couple of months. Then still 15 to 20 after a few months. I don’t think we got to 10 min or less until he was into solids. I note this because Ellie has been down to 6 to 10 minutes for at least a month now. She’s way more efficient and my supply is more manageable. I don’t know if that was adjusted age thing, nipple shield thing, a boy thing or just a Braden thing. So excited for you. This is great news.

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