I am now looking after Gilly who is five weeks old but was born four weeks premature. Luckily, I was able to join the family early and arrived when Gilly was three weeks old. At that time, to help gain weight, Gilly had been fed every three hours day and night and had reached a great weight of over 7lbs/3.17 kilos. I have cared for many premature babies and there is no reason why, if over 6lbs, they cannot be put straight on to my routine. Gilly, having been woken every three hours, was exhausted not drinking well and falling asleep whilst being breast fed. By structuring and lengthening her feeds and making sure she is actively feeding, Gilly is now feeding every three and half hours during the day and allowed to feed whenever she wakes at night. This was once a night and on a few occasions in the last week straight through the night, 11 hours, and she is putting on weight. Although frequent feeding day and night is advised, to stimulate milk supply and help baby gain weight, exhaustion counteracts that effect for both mother and baby. An exhausted mother can often find it hard to supply enough milk for full feeds to sustain baby for any length of time therefore only getting enough milk to snack frequently. The more rested the mother the better the milk supply to satisfy baby’s appetite.
Now Gilly’s mother is well rested, sleeps 8 hours at night and has enough milk to store in the freezer! Happy days!