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Successfully Breastfeeding A Preemie Baby – Member Story

Nicola Rigby is a member of Breastfeeders in Australia and has offered to share her story about successfully breastfeeding her preemie baby.  We hope that other families may feel encouraged and boosted by this story.

Nicola successfully breastfeeding her preemie baby

We had our second baby on the 28th of Feb at 30+1wks. Elsie was born prematurely due to my cervix shortening.  She did incredibly well from the moment she entered this world.  She had her first breastfeed at just 1wk old (31wks).  Baby’s aren’t supposed to develop their suck, swallow, breathe reflex until they hit 34-36wks gestation.  Elsie continued to breastfeed more and more each day.  She was fully breastfed with no top up NG feeds by 35wks and we were discharged home at 36+4 fully breastfed.  She has never had a bottle (downright refuses it).  She is now a happy and thriving 8mth old (5.5mths corrected).

Skin contact is very important in establishing breastfeeding. Both Elsie and Nicola were undressed
Principles for attachment are similar to those with a full term baby
Elsie had her first feed at the breast at just 31 weeks.

Did breastfeeding your first baby help prepare you for your second?

I did breastfeed my first baby but he had issues with attachment so we used a shield for the first 6wks then he developed reflux and failed to thrive so we had to comp feed and I was only able to feed him for the first 6mths.  Breastfeeding my first (Locky) did somewhat prepare me for Elsie although I’m also a midwife.

Did you have help from an IBCLC or other professional while establishing breastfeeding with Elsie?

I did have a lactation consultant visit a few times in the nursery also which was great.

Elsie always was and is a huge boob fan!
Elsie is still breastfeeding, and shows no signs of stopping
Elsie is now a thriving 8mo (5.5m corrected)

Do you have a breastfeeding story you’d like to share with us?  Please email us at breastfeedersinaustralia@hotmail.com

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