Some days I feel like a human dairy cow, just so I can make sure my son gets all the proper nutrition he deserves since he working so hard. I am OK with fact that I had to do it, its what us moms are suppose to do for our babies. We birth them and take care of them by protecting them and changing the poopy diapers and feeding them the milk from your body. I am just feeling so tired and worse for wear on the whole thing, my little guy is only 3 pounds and he cannot breast feed. He has a tube that goes down his throat into his stomach That is hooked to a pump that puts the milk directly into his tummy. No tasting or anything he gets 16 ml over 50 minutes every two hours, sometimes they will allow us to out 2 ml in his mouth, but he is not coordinated enough to suck swallow and breathing yet. I know some adults who are not coordinated enough for that. But when your kid is eating good and not spitting up or getting upset tummy’s or not pooping blood, you find that strength and that energy to keep pumping every 2 hours or a minimum 8 pumps a day. By the time your child is 3 weeks old you should be producing 600 to 800 ml of milk a day as per my lactation consultant.
Yes I know moms of non preemies get to meet with these lovely ladies as well, but you don’t have them calling you at home to book an appointment to see them, or see them once a week to talk about your boobs or milk supply. And when you have your supply drop off so bad for no reason, making you feel like you are a bad mother because while these nurses and doctors are doing most the work caring for your child you can’t do the one job you can do for them, these ladies are your best friends, they have magic tricks to make the milk come. From simply holding your child or using a warm towel around your breast, to a magic pill taken 4 times a day while you pump 10 times a day. They will listen to you cry because you are only producing 290ml instead of 600 ml a day, but they will tell you everyone is different and some women can make to much milk some women make too little, that doesn’t make them good or bad mothers. It makes them human.
Another problem I have noticed with myself and a few preemie moms is finding that drive to pump while your child is sick and taken off feeds. This happens too often in the NICU and it could take weeks for a little one to get back up to what is considered a full feed. Now the doctors and nurses are not barbaric and stop feeding the babies for shits and giggles , no what you need to remember is that they are early and their little bodies aren’t designed to eat real food, or milk, yet. So there are things that can arise that will render them NPO, which means no food. But they do get the vitamins proteins and fats through an IV so even if they aren’t eating they are still getting the nutrition they need to grow up big and strong. I have mentioned certain things that can render the babies NPO above, and when your baby is NPO you as a mom find it hard to make yourself pump because that food isnt going to your baby its going in your freezer or the hospitals freezer. To sit and wait for your baby to get better which could be hours, days or even weeks. When your child is that sick you literally can do nothing to physically care for your child. You sit and watch the nurses and doctors work while you may get to hold their little hand or do kangaroo care if they are not that sick. I know its hard because I have gone through it, I am going through it but you just have to think ahead for that milk.
Soon your little one will be better and soon after that eating 16 mils every 2 hours, thats 192 ml a day. Plus if you pump less than 8 times a day to many days in a row, your supply will drop drastically, it takes weeks to pick your supply up and by then your kid could up to full feeds. I know its hard but you should try and power through for the bigger picture. You are not alone in this fight. Remember “two steps forward one step back” the NICU motto. It shows you are going somewhere just at a slower pace.