Here’s a question from Kirsten in Barrie, ON:
Q: I have a preemie born at 26 weeks, he’s now 33 weeks and I hope to start NNS (Non-Nutritive Sucking) in the next 2 weeks. Do you recommend a position best for preemies?
A: Thank you for your question, Kirsten! For those reading this blog who are not familiar with the term ”Non-Nutritive Sucking” for premature infant the practice of allowing a premature infant who has not yet developed the ability to nurse at the breast to become familiar with the idea of nursing. In the womb, around 32 weeks gestation, the fetus begins to display bursts of sucking, so when a preemie reaches this age they may be ready to begin spending time at the breast. There will be no intake of milk, but often what happens is that babies “lick and sniff”, and may latch on briefly and then fall off. All this is very beneficial for Mom and preemie, as NNS helps digestion of the feeding (still given by tube), promotes better sleep and calmness, as well as giving the baby a very pleasant feeling of being at the breast which makes the transition to full breastfeeding later much easier. It also increases milk production for Mom.
The positions most use at this time are cross-cradle and football hold. With cross-cradle on the left breast, you hold your left breast with your left hand (with thumb above the areola and fingers beneath) and you lay the baby across your lap tummy-to-tummy with you and support the baby’s head with your right hand. This allows you to support his head more, and gives you more control to guide him to your nipple. You just reverse this hold when you use the right breast.
With the football hold on the left, tuck the baby under your left arm and support his head with your left hand, while holding your breast with your right hand, reversing this when you feed on the right.
For both positions, the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow will really help to support the baby’s body and prevent back and neck strain for you. All the best to you and your little boy! I’m sure that in the next few weeks he will graduate to being able to fully breastfeed and you’ll be a happy breastfeeding couple!
Originally posted 2016-09-10 08:30:10.