Our newly home, 12-week-preemie is now 12 weeks old, or age 0 for practical purposes. In the last month at the hospital she got used to a three-hour feeding schedule. Now after a couple of weeks at home, as her weight approaches 5 1/2 pounds, she wants to feed more often, every one and a half to two hours, but is not interested in feeding more than 2 ounces at each feeding. Do you have any suggestions for encouraging her to eat more at each feeding but less frequently? She is getting pumped breastmilk and direct breastmilk and is now starting formula.
Congratulations on your little baby
really getting going on the breastfeeding
! And congratulations to Mom and Dad for the extra effort to get her breastmilk over that long hospitalization. Preemies sometimes tire out during feedings, both breast and bottle, and quit early. Give her a play break after seven to 10 minutes of feeding on one side. Change sides after the break. Be sure she's not swaddled too tightly as she'll get a bit lazy if she's too warm. Her feeding pattern is pretty typical for an age 0 baby
: every one and a half to three hours. While she's doing some catch-up growing and using extra energy because of her prematurity, she may know that she needs extra feeds. Follow her lead on this a bit and her schedule is likely to mature as she does. She's had to do a lot of new discovery and learning at home, and being more in charge of her sleep and wakefulness, as well as feeding, is part of that adjustment. Consult your local lactation consultant if things don't begin to settle out. You've done all the investment in breastfeeding
and it would be a shame to miss the payoff now by switching over to formula at this point.