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    My Premiee and her eating
    master1977 posted:
    She is still in the nicu and her main problem is she hasnt figured out the bottle feeding yet so most of her feeding is going through the tube going to her stomach. Its so scary and i wonder when she will start taking the bottle?? Does anyone have any similar experience or advice? Thank You Stephanie (Momma)
    bcmom1 responded:
    How early was she? What is her gestation now? I don't know how to say this without sounding insensitive, so please don't take this the wrong way. If you are only waiting on eating from a bottle, that is pretty good. Not that it's good, but I guess it could be worse? I don't know, it still doesn't sound like that is coming out right :pbpt: Anyways, have they tried using a soothie pacifier with her? Our NICU nurses used the soothie as a way to train DD's sucking muscles because it is the same shape as her bottle nipples. Babies don't get the sucking reflex until 34 weeks gestation, so they really shouldn't be able to start bottle feeding until then. I understand how scary it is, DD had a feeding tube along with other tubes and monitors. They were keeping it in when she first started bottle feeding, until she decided it was too uncomfortable and yanked it out :smile: Once she began to understand bottle feeding, she got it really quickly. They began trying the bottle at around 33 weeks and it took her a few days to master it. She was kept longer than that because she was having difficulty breathing while eating. Now, she is like a perfectly, healthy newborn baby. We have no problems with eating or breathing. Best of luck to you and your daughter! Congratulations :smile: I hope she learns this bottle feeding stuff soon and gets to come home. The NICU is no fun :chagrin:
    mrv77 responded:
    It took a while for DD to get the hang of the bottle. She was having a lot of choking episodes and it was pretty scary. But once she got the hang of it she was a pro. It takes time just be patient and work with her. When you are nervous she gets nervous. I want to say that it took about 3 good weeks for her to finally get it. Pay close attention when the nurses feed her too they have a few techniques that can be helpful. Good Luck
    master1977 responded:
    She was born at 34 weeks. I am praying hard that she will pick up on her bottle feeding. Thanks for your replys!!
    MrsTang responded:
    My DD was born at 33 weeks and 5 days and was in the NICU for 2 weeks and 3 days. The only issue that held her up was the feeding. She had a feeding tube for all but the last 36 hours of her NICU stay. The suck swallow and breathe coordination doesn't develop until 35/36 weeks in utero, and can be delayed in preemies. It is VERY common for a preemie to have feeding issues. The good thing is that once they figure out how to eat, they never go back to having issues. One day it just clicks, and they start eating like crazy, so be patient and keep trying. This is the hardest part because the baby is SO close!!! I eventually got my DD switched over from bottles to exclusively breast feeding. It took some work and quite a bit of patience, but now she is (almost) 4 months old and nurses like a champ. I'm hoping to get her right on a sippy cup and bypass the bottle experience completely. Best of luck to you!!
    preemiewithrefluxdoingwell responded:
    My son is 8 months old today and he is doing very well. While in the nicu he had trouble sucking from a bottle. The thing you must remember is she is not suppose to be doing that yet. St. E. gave my 33 weeker a preemie soothie paci. This helped to strengthen his muscles. It took him a week and a half to figure it out, but every baby is different. For instance how early was she? The sucking reflex isn't suppose to happen till they are born. Even when he came home we still had to remind him to suck. Don't stress out, I know you want her to come home but let her decide when she's going to drink the so many cc's they give her. Remember when she feeds she burns energy to so she tires out especially if she's really early. Also we were told little girls catch on quicker than boys. my son was 1month and 3 weeks early and he took 1.5 weeks to consistently drink 45cc's in 30 min. maintain his body temp. suck breath and still gain weight. Keep working with her she wiil get it. And trust me she may be tiny now but give her a few months. She will grow so fast and catch up to other babies her birth age you wont beleive she use to be a preemis.. But most important don't stress out!!!! GOOD LUCK to you and your little angle
    Jcg0301 responded:
    Hello master1977 - I have worked in the NICU for almost 5 years now. Rest assured that it takes time to teach a premature baby how to eat. Watch for signs from the doctors like 1) them increasing her feeds, 2) them attempting to bottle feed small amounts 1 time per day, then 3) them increasing her amount and bottle feedings to 2, then 3 times a day. It is a learning process for your baby. It will take time, but most seem to get the hang of it. Some need a little help with coordination and may drop their heart rate or O2 saturation level early on. Don't panic if this happens. Most babies can recover themselves quickly and it usually only gets better from their. We are hear to teach them and they want to's all in the love and dedication you have to working with her that will get her through. Hang in there mom!
    TrishDV responded:
    I went through this and it is very hard. It took my son a really long time to begin bottle feeding. It was the last thing to hold him up from coming home. Be patient, it just takes time. I'm sure she will be ok.
    tra0819 responded:
    Hi Stephanie, My DD was in the same boat. She was born at 35 weeks and drank fine the first day then decided to stop. they put her feeding tube through her nose and while they would feed her trough that I would hold the soothie in her mouth (she would only suck on it if I held it in her mouth). They also tried the bottle for no longer than 30 minutes at every other feeding before they did the tube feeding. they didn't want her to try more often than that because they burn so many calories trying to eat. My baby was in the hospital 9 days... now 13 weeks she won't stop! :) I am sure she will pick it up soon!
    cheeezie25 responded:
    Don't worry, my boy was 33 1/2 weeks... no major medical issues other than common preemie things... that said, all of the nurses thought he would be drinking his bottle like a champ once he hit 35 weeks, and it didn't happen... 36 weeks rolled around and still no go! He could drink from the bottle, but not for every meal and he wouldn't always finish his feeings. I started to think that it would NEVER happen. Turns out he was anemic from RH factor blood issues (I am ngative and he is positive), and that could have affected how quickly he started feeding on his own... It was right after the 36 week mark that he "got" it. Since then, eating has been his favortie activity! He's like a bottomless pit, I don't know where it all goes. He only gained 1/2 lbs during the three weeks he was in the hospital... since he's been home, he's been gaining, on average 2oz per day, and at 9 weeks, is probably around 10lbs (was only 5 at birth)! Just don't fret too much... it's not really something babies work up to, instead they will just wake up one day and it will be like they never had a problem with it to begin with. HTH!
    Carolyn53114 responded:
    I have a preemie in the NICU at this time and she is not yet 36 weeks gestational. This is the last thing we have to work on to get her home. It takes time but the important thing (and I have to remind myself of this as well) is not to push her too hard since that will burn unnecessary calories and frustrate her. My baby took 2.5 bottles yesterday and I jumped for joy. She takes full bottle for the nurses and I fed her a full one yesterday but she still has a long way to go. Be patient and be thankful this is the only problem you are currently dealing with!
    morwilmom replied to master1977's response:
    My daughter was born at 25 weeks. She turned 6 a few weeks ago. She was in the NICU for over 3 months and I did not think she was ever going to get the bottle.Hang in there, it will be ok. Preemies keep that fighting spirit as they grow and she will keep amazing you :-) Good luck.

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