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KellyJo208

NICU baby learning to eat

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KellyJo208

Hi everyone. I’ve got a baby in NICU who was born at 30 weeks and he is now 36 weeks. He is doing great except that he is not making progress with eating. We started feeding him orally (both breast and bottle) about three weeks ago and he ramped up a little at first but seems to have plateaued. I breastfeed him 5 times per day and he usually does well (about 15 minutes) at two of those and then at the other three just won’t do anything. The nurses bottle feed him three times per day. Last week he was taking about 40 ml via the bottle at some of his feedings but now it seems he is only taking 15-20ml (or nothing).  

The NICU staff keep telling me that babies of diabetic moms are just slow when it comes to learning to eat but they don't know why.

 

Have any of you had similar experiences? How slow are babies of diabetic moms? I’m wondering how long your babies took to learn to eat…unless they were really fast J. It is so hard to be patient with the little guy. 

(Yeah, he's big--he was 5lbs at birth. I swear my A1Cs were in the 6%s the whole pregnancy!)

post-35029-0-97600800-1411407467_thumb.jpg

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dowling gram

My daughter-in-law is not diabetic but she had twins. One was 5.2 pounds and one 5.6 pounds at birth. She breast fed but because there were 2 she also gave them bottles. The smaller one ate like a horse right from the start with both breast and bottle. He started gaining weight from the day he came home from the hospital. He'd empty that 4 oz. (118 ml) of milk in short order and with his weight gain we knew he was getting enough nourishment.

 

The larger one would take forever and most times he only drank less than half a bottle. He gained weight very slowly. The doctor said he had a poor sucking reflex. and while the smaller one filled out with normal baby fat the larger one seemed skinny. It took a few months for him to catch up with his brother.

 

Today they are both healthy, happy soon to be 9 year olds and you'd never know they were so tiny at birth.

 

I don't know about diabetic moms but I do know that it's not just diabetic moms that have babies that have a poor sucking reflex. Your  baby looks like he is doing just fine so relax and enjoy him. Before you know those baby days will be behind you.

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rubidoux

He is adorable! Congrats!

 

My first wasn't early but he was very slow to really nurse like he meant it. The first couple of weeks the doctor had me stressed out about his weight, but he always gained just enough that it they didn't try to intervene. I always thought it was just his personality. I would say that he never acted like he wanted to eat, food or milk, until much older, like 5 yrs. he did really like nursing by around 9 months, but I don't think it was so much about nourishment. I started offering solid food at about 5 months, but he didn't start eating on any kind of regular basis until about 15 months. And then he never had a big appetite.

 

My second one latched on the second he was handed to me, nursed like a champ, started out big and got super chubby, has always had a good appetite and LOVES any kind of junk food (unlike his brother, who was always fine w real food, lol).

 

My blood sugars were MUCH better during my first pregnancy, so I don't think high blood sugars mucked things up for my first. I have always worried, though about how my lows might have affected him.

 

Now that my little one is 5 1/2, I am pretty sure he's exactly the same size/build as older one was at that age.

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GrammaBear

KellyJo - Your little guy is absolutely adorable.  I was not diabetic when my youngest son was born,

but he was a laid back baby when it came to nursing also.  He acted like all he wanted to do was sleep.  It

took him about 3 weeks or more before he began to gain weight.  Try not to worry and enjoy him while he is

little.  They grow up wayyyyyyyyy too fast.

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Sprockets

I have nothing really constructive to add but I wish you the best of luck.

 

My daughter volunteered at a Pediatric Occupational Therapy facility and worked with infants with feeding problems.  She found it very rewarding and she was amazed that the specialty existed.  She is a senior in college and wants to get her Masters in Occupational Therapy.

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jwags

My last daughter was full term but only 5lb 2 oz when she was born. I was not diabetic but I was almost 40 when I had her. If I remember it took 2-3 days for her to start nursing successfully. She is now 25 years old and very healthy. Since your baby was a preemie it may just take a little longer.

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Dustin B

I can't comment on the child of a diabetic mother being slower to catch on as I (Dad) am the type 1 in our family. I can share our little story though. My wife and I had twin boys born last November and we had eating issues as well. Ours were born at 34 weeks and 1 barely ate enough to keep from getting an NG tube and our little guy ended up having an NG tube for about 5 days. We were told that they will come around in their own time, it just has to click with them that they have to eat. I know it's frustrating for you guys, we sat in the NICU praying they would eat the 15mL's/ feeding that they needed to eat to meet their quota. One would do ok, and the other would get to 7-8mL's and just tire out and wouldn't eat another drop. Those daily weights were so nerve racking since thats what they used to gauge their process. Hang in there!

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Lizzie G

Awwwww congratulations he is very cute!

 

My babies were born at 40 and 41 weeks so no personal experience, however, by a weird stroke of misfortune, not 1, but 3 of my closest friends have all had babies at 27 weeks (for different reasons, none of them have diabetes).  The common theme with feeding is that all the babies have shown an interest in rooting around by 33/34 weeks, however, the babies sucking reflex is not developed until at least 34/35 weeks so it is only around the 35 week mark that breast/bottle feeding has been introduced - 33 is pretty early and perhaps this is why progress is slow.  the other thing is, with all of these babies, the progress was in very tiny increments, and they all had an NG tube until right up to discharge (one of them was born on july 21 this year and is moving towards discharge in next few weeks but this was the case for the other two born sept 7 2010 and may 19 this year).  so be patient, its nothing to do with diabetes, its just a long process.  also, as my friend was saying the other week, when they push things early (like for her moving to a lesser form of breathing support) it is often not well received, so maybe they just started him a little early and expected a bit much from him?  he will get there, and often in the NICU it is one step forward, 2 back.  wishing you lots of luck and love x

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jwags

My DIL had a baby last year. The first few months she had a heck of a time getting him to nurse . He did real well on one side but had no Interest in the other side. I think for some babies it is a learning curve. My DIL is not dibetic and my grandson was born 3 weeks early.

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Tanikit

My own babies were born at 38 weeks and only spent a few days in NICU so ate fine. My SIL however had a NICU baby this year born at 31 weeks and they tube fed him for ages and then tried to breast and bottle feed him and it took a long while before he was eating well enough to go home. (She is not diabetic) I think he went home when he would have been 38-39 weeks gestation. They are just so young and have been through so much - give him time - I know by this point you are probably dying to have him home though. The other thing is - are they watching his eating or watching his weight as a baby born that big will not gain as readily as a baby born tiny since the weight is not genetic at that point. I know with my own daughters who were born 8 pounds 6 ounces that they were constantly scolding me in the early months that the children were falling on the growth curve - they just were not meant to have started where they did, so obviously they would fall. Nonetheless he needs to be latching and suckling well. Hugs - you will have him home soon.

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