Breastfeeding Premature Babies

by Birth Without Fear on October 4, 2011

Heidi recently wrote this guest post on working through fears in pregnancies after loss, trauma and birthing a preemie. She emailed me this photo recently and just have to share. I know you’ll love it and it will touch your heart as it has mine. All babies need their mommy’s love, comfort, milk and cuddles, but preemies need extra skin to skin and care so they can grow and heal. It’s amazing how resilient these little babies are! ~Mrs. BWF

preemie baby

This picture is of the first time I breastfed our preemie.  He had just come off ventilator after 3 months, but was still on oxygen and was gestationally about 35 weeks. He wasn’t due for another MONTH, but was 3 months old in this photo.  :)

They had the lactation consultant and our primary NICU nurse setting up privacy screens and getting supplies and a nursing pillow.  They went to get a nipple shield just in case, but when they stepped back into the room my preemie had latched on like a pro and was happily nursing away.  They were stunned and our nurse snapped this photo while they stood there laughing and shaking their heads.

After exclusively pumping for three long months, nursing him for the first time was one of the sweetest and most amazing feelings of my life. Nursing a preemie is a huge, HUGE challenge and we certainly faced hurdles before and after this photo was taken.  But however brief the time and however small the amount of milk, it’s a priceless gift to breastfeed our babies – for them and for us! ~Heidi

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