1. her hips, shoulders, head should be in alignment. (at an angle so that her nose can get air.)
2. i should hold the breast from underneath, squeezing it to properly align with her mouth
3. the pillow should be tilted upward, placed just under the breasts to support the baby. (i had it down close to my waist, angled straight.)
4. she also taught me how to know when she's sucking and when she's actually feeding. when she feeds, she takes in more of the breast than just the nipple. she sucks quickly and lightly, and then when the milk comes, she slows down and takes big long sucks. (this made me understand the settings on my pump!)
5. the crossover works well for preemie mommies. large boobs as well as small. (best choice for large because it leaves the hand free close to the breast for positioning and helping the baby latch.) the football is ok, but you have to come from the side if you have gigantic h's. otherwise the weight of the breast can hinder the feeding. the lc said that feeding a preemie is actually harder position-wise because of their size. luckily, i have freakishly long arms to hold her. :)
6. AND no fear mommas- ever worried about your nipples pointing downwards? well, it turns out that is more natural for feeding! we may not win a hawaiian tropic contest, but we can feed our babies more easily- and what is more important? (come on, the bikini wouldn't hide the stretch marks anyway right?)
7. as far as nursing pillows go, the breast friend is head and shoulders above the boppy. although, the boppy has many other uses. (prop for belly time, prop for back time, prop for seat, prop for nap.) just in my short time with nns, and a few feeds today, for just feeding/holding i'd use the bf pillow over the boppy when i could.
so, with those helps, she latched on, and fed for 12 minutes! they were all so impressed with her feeding that they held that gavage feed. they ordered that she be put on a sliding feeding, based on how long she nurses. less than 5 minutes is 3/4 of her feed. 5-10 is half, and more than 10 minutes and they hold the feed completely. i'm sooo excited! since she's doing the cannula twice a day for 3 hours, i should be able to cover 4 feedings. :) this evening she fed for another 12 minutes. the lc told me that a feeding can range anywhere from 8-20 minutes, depending on the baby and mommy. 12 is apparently her magic number so far.
her eyes got a little puffy today. (you can see in the picture below.) they said that sometimes their ducts around their eyes can get stopped up. so the nurse showed me how to massage along the brow line to clear it up.
happy mommy and little bird
after the first time she nursed. she was smiling SO much. this is the closest i came to getting a picture.
snuggled into bed. she held it all by herself!
what an exciting day! last night she weighed in at 3lbs 4 oz. all the nurses who haven't had her for a while are amazed when they see her. she's such a little chunk now. triple chins. she was down 15grams tonight, but with her overall gain i'm not too worried about it.
i bought 7th generation wipes 2 days ago. at the nicu they use really hard paper towel/napkiny cloths just wet with water. (remember how the "baths" in the nicu were the puke buckets in l&d? well, the "baby wipes" in the nicu are the washcloths for showering in the labor and delivery wing.) i thought the 7th generation would be easy on her bum, and wouldn't have the harsh chemicals of regular wipes. i had always understood that her diaper rash was caused by the harshness of rubbing her bum with the rough paper towely sheets. upon doing some research online i found that most often diaper rash is caused by a change in ph. (not sitting in a dirty diaper necessarily.) this is especially common in preemies because of their sensitive skin. it breaks down very easily. i even found a school of thought that says you should only use wipes when there is poo... that a wet diaper doesn't change the ph, and will do no harm. (whereas wiping the pee away will change the ph in the skin, drying it out and irritating it.) i did this research because wren just developed a pretty gnarly diaper rash. almost to the point of bleeding. this is only her second one. her primary was on today and she said it could be caused by the wipes, but also could be caused by her loose stool. (it hasn't been as cottage cheesy lately.) i'm thinking of making my own wipes. anyone have a recipe they've used successfully?
(am i that crunchy? really?)