preemie intrested but not wanting to breastfeed

  • I have a preemie that is now 5 weeks old and 39 weeks gestational age. Eversince she was in NICU she has been interested in breastfeeding (ex. rooting, opening mouth toward breast etc.) but I guess has since gotten used to the bottle. I pump but would like to breastfeed. I try her on the breast but all she does is root and mouth at the nipple. She never latches on expect after baths. I try several times a day but no success. Any suggestions?

  • My suggestion is to buy a "nipple shield" from your local Target or Walmart. It looks like a silicone nipple pastie that attaches to your breast. The baby then latches on to the nipple and pulls your milk into the nipple. These are great for babies who need a little something more like the bottle to latch on to. Then when your baby is nursing well, you can begin to wean her off of the nipple shield.

    You can find it in your baby aisle by the breastfeeding supplies. Otherwise, you can call your local La leche league or see if your pediatrician can recommend a lactation consultant in your area.

    Hope this helps

  • hello.....i have a two week old baby girl I have also tried to breastfeed but she does not lacht on i pump too that seems to wrk but it takes time

  • I also had a preemie, but at 29 weeks and started breastfeeding her just under 4 lbs. She was pretty successful at the nicu and would latch on a bit here and there. I was excited and convinced breastfeeding at home would be a piece of cake. I took her home at 4 lbs and tried to breastfeed her but I wasn't having much luck because she too would not latch on for a feeding. It was stressful because I didn't want to give up and have the breastfeeding option slip away after feeding her with the bottle only. I tried doing both for a while but after the first week of her being home she didn't gain weight and I switched to pumping only and giving her my milk in the bottle. I primarily used nipples that are shaped like the breast and she took it eventhough the hospital gave her regular nipples. I eventually got rid of any regular shaped nipples to ensure she could breastfeed easier in the future. I read that it is really really hard for such small babies to be able to latch due to their small mouth size and the fact that it takes so much energy out of them. So I didn't try to breastfeed her until after she was 6lbs. She latched on so much better when she was bigger and I was so excited! I still continue to pump for most of her milk but will breastfeed occasionally throughout the day. I have actually found that pumping has been much easier for the both of us. Feeding her with the bottle prevents spit-ups because I can keep her upright and I don't have to worry about leaving one breast full and waiting for her to eat again and empty the other one. She was so small and the was no way she could empty them like a normal newborn so it was painful! The Medela freestyle pump is my huge helper and is as good as the hospital pump that I rented while in the nicu. I hope you dont give breastfeeding up because I think there is still hope when she is bigger.Try not to listen to the negative nellys! Good luck!Big Smile

  • My baby was born at 37 weeks. Initially I was having some difficulties having him latch on, he didnt quite know how to suck, and was trying to basically lick the nipple. The nurses gave him what the called "oral theraphy" which was simply having him suck for like 2 minutes on this hard pacifier so he could get better at sucking. I started using a nipple shield and girl it does wonders. He latches on perfectly and without any problem or stress from my part. Plus its nice and easy which helps in the middle of the night when you are half asleep. I also pump and have his daddy give him a bottle here or there, just so I can rest. Good luck and congrats.