Sorry I'm late to this thread!
Welcome home Charlotte! I hope you're all settling in together and getting to cuddle her whenever you want without having to ask the nurses for permission! How good does that feel!
Harrison was born at 32 weeks and spent a month in NICU and SCN. We were fortunate that he was healthy when he was born, he was just small and had to grow.
I had such a hard time with my milk supply but I persevered and I breastfed him until he was 13 months! I do feel really proud that I was able to nourish a premmie baby for that long. It's a hard road, but with lots of support you can do it!
I always find lots of info on these websites:
Kellymom - http://www.kellymom.com
La Leche League - http://www.llli.org/nb.html
I agree that hiring a hospital grade pump was probably the best thing that I could do. I used it every three hours around the clock and I double pumped. I hired it from a chemist.
I was on Motillium which I think helped, but once baby starts sucking at the breast, that's the best way for your milk to start flowing! I remember expressing TINY amounts (at the hospital we were given the specimen jars as they fit on the pumps and I would only get up to the bottom of the label on a specimen jar - what's that, like 5mm?!)
Now that you've got Charlotte at home, the best thing you can do is to have her always at the breast. I'd probably limit dummy use - let her fulfill all her sucking needs at the breast. Feed her at least every 3 hours during the day and perhaps 4 hourly at night.
She might be very sleepy - I know Harrison was. When you feed her, get her up, put her on one side let her feed for a while (I'd say at least 20 minutes), give her a burp and then change her nappy to wake her up. Pop her back on that same breast to make sure she's gotten lots of the hindmilk and then swap her over to the other side.
I think kellymom suggests to keep swapping side to side, to keep her awake and actively sucking.
When Harrison was in hospital one of the nurses in NICU took a photo of him in his little crib and printed it out for me and she told me to look at the picture when I was expressing in my hospital room. I even would sit by his crib at the hospital and put up his picture and look at him and the picture and express. Then when I came home I always had his picture there with me and sometimes I even had a piece of his clothing. This can help with your letdown.
QUOTE(SaraSteve @ Oct 1 2009, 12:13 PM)
That is really good advice Chelley...and on that topic of baby still meant to be on the inside...as her due date looms closer, i am finding i am very sentimental about my whole pregnancy. Whilst i absolutely adore Charlotte - i feel like it all happened so quickly and I wasn't quite ready to have her. I wasn't big and uncomfortable like I am sure I would have been if I had the chance to carry to full term.
I had also been at work the morning I gave birth to her - so I hadn't even started maternity leave yet! Her nursery wasn't even finished! And i never got to do the nesting I planned to!
I just feel a little sad that I didn't get to finish my pregnancy - I didn't get to the point of wishing it away. Is this normal? Her due date is next Friday and I am just feeling a little overwhelmed I suppose!
Thank you for being great sounding boards ladies.
I had all these feelings too! I wanted to get the nesting bug (tupperware cupboard could have done with a cleanout!
) and I too hadn't started mat leave, I had left work for the Christmas break and then was going back in the middle of Jan after holidays but I was admitted to hospital on the 3rd Jan (Harrison was due 13 March). I still didn't have a replacement for my job and I had to go in when Harrison was in hospital to train another secretary!
I missed that I never got "really big" (even though I was massive at 30 weeks) and never got to spend those last weeks of pregnancy with my husband (my waters broke at 30 weeks and I had to stay in hospital until the baby was born).
So I totally understand all of your feelings.