My son was born at 35 weeks, he was 4 lbs 2 oz, and was in the NICU for 11 days. While in there we tried introducing the boob but he would get tired really quickly, so we would end up finishing his feeding with a tube, and eventually a bottle.
By the time he left the NICU he was doing well with a bottle and I'd been given a pump, so I decided to EP and feed him by bottle. He's now 7 weeks old, almost 3 weeks corrected.
Over the past couple days I've noticed a slight decline in what I've been producing. Last night I only had one extra bottle in the fridge where usually I'll have at least 4.
This morning after his bottle I tried putting him on my boob just to see what he'd do. To my amazement he latched on perfectly and fed like he's been doing it his entire life. He never ceases to amaze me <3 I took him off after a few minutes because he'd already had a full bottle and spits up more the more he eats.
So now obviously I would like to continue him feeding by breast. But I have some concerns. Latch is apparently not a problem so I'm not worried about that.
Since he's been used to getting 3 oz per feeding, what do I do about that? How long should he nurse before/if I take him off? How will I know my breasts are empty (since I've heard pumping doesn't completely empty you out)? Should I give him anything by bottle before/after a feeding? Should I pump between feedings or not bother? What do I do with the supply I have in the freezer?
If anyone could help me with those questions, that would be great. Thanks!
Put him to breast as often as possible. You don't have to stop him, he'll know when he's done. Your breasts will never be completely empty, they will feel like your breast did before you got pregnant (that's the best way I can describe it). You can continue to pump, it will tell your body to make more. As for the surplus you have, you can use that to finish his feedings if he isn't getting quite enough just yet.
i would just let him feed as often and as long as he wants too. offer him both breasts. he will stop when hes had enough and you will start to produce as much as he needs. supply and demand. :)
I would just offer one breast until he starts to pull away. Don't offer the other side at the same feeding unless he nursed off the first side for at least 20 minutes. If you switch back and forth too much it can cause a fore milk/ hind milk imbalance.
Throw away the stopwatch & just nurse that baby! Nurse on one side until he's unlatches, offer the other side if he wants it. Lots of skin skin will help. lay in bed with baby just in a diaper, you topless & just snuggle :) it will help encourage frequent nursing. Babies often want to nurse very frequently at first.
Quoting Boobie On Demand:" Put him to breast as often as possible. You don't have to stop him, he'll know when he's done. Your breasts ... [snip!] ... to make more. As for the surplus you have, you can use that to finish his feedings if he isn't getting quite enough just yet."
:!::!: all this! just feed on demand mama. as long as he's having wet diapers (minimum of 4-6 per day) and seems otherwise happy and satisfied, then he is getting enough. you don't need to supplement with the bottle or watch the clock. Just be aware that his breastfeeding habits may be different than the bottle feeding ones. he might want to nurse more often and may nurse only 2 minutes or might want 40 minutes. just follow his cues. I'd suggest just nursing off one side per feeding at first. if he nurses for at least 5-10 minutes and then unlatches on his own, you can offer the other side. he may or may not take it.
you can keep pumping if you like having the extra supply in the fridge, but if he's got a good latch and you are able to stay with him most of the time (not going to work, etc), then you shouldn't really NEED to pump. He's still young, so you're still making plenty of milk. The "decrease" you noticed could be a growth spurt on his part, where he is now drinking more milk or it could be your supply regulating a bit. nothing to be concerned about at this point. =D