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Breastfeeding Success With NICU Babies
My son Hodeyah came at 28 weeks at 2 lbs 6 oz and spent three and a half months in NICU. I knew I wanted to breastfeed and told the pediatrician that he was not to be given any formula. I kept my milk up with a breast pump. Initially I pumped milk and he was fed through tubes. Just when I began to get frustrated I was told to try latching him on the breast. He was a pro from day one. My husband and I placed him on and squeezed some milk in his mouth and he sucked until he had a huge bowel movement. That was all the encouragement needed.
My days were spent breastfeeding at the hospital and I also had to express milk to take every morning for his night feedings. The pediatrician and nurses tried to get me to supplement with formula but I refused. They said the growth rate would have increased more rapidly.
Hodeyah was exclusively breastfed for 2 years and 11 months. I enjoyed every moment of it. I was not ashamed to breastfeed in public and that made everything so easy. My reasoning was that women walk around showing more of their breasts than I would ever show while breastfeeding. So I was seen breastfeeding in the malls, at airports, on airplanes, and every other place one can imagine because I fed him on demand.
If there was any discomfort such as engorgement or sore nipples, I simply cannot recall. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.