Prematurity can be frightening
I have a premature son who is now 8 months. He still looks like a 3 or 4 month old and as a concerned Mum, I can't help but wonder if he is developing well. His paediatrician hasn't made any major comments other than the fact that he is smaller than most babies and needs to catch up. I breastfeed my son and he seems to eat well but it seems to me that he likes to snack. He doesn't normally eat until he is full and I don't know if there is anything I could do to help him with this problem to possibly increase his feeding intake. Also, is there any thing I can do to help make sure my son is reaching all of his milestones as a premature baby? I know he will need plenty of time to catch up to other children but I just want to make sure I am being the best Mum I can be.
Helping a premie put on weight
I just read another of your posts where you mentioned your son had been born 2 months early.
Obviously, if he is only the size of a 3 or 4 month old, at 6 months of age (adjusted), then it makes perfect sense that you're concerned about his growth rate.
I believe you may be onto something with your concern about the fact that he seems to snack rather than take a full feed and fill his tummy.
There are a couple of things that come to mind that may help baby to put on weight.
The first is using compressions when you are breastfeeding so that your baby is getting more of the hind milk during a feed. The hind milk has more fat and calories and helps babies put on weight.
Here's a video by Dr. Jack Newman, that shows you how to do this (there are actually 3 videos that will play, one right after the other which will show how positioning and compressions can help baby to drink more during a feed).
Here's another video that shows the compressions even better, which helps baby get the extra hind milk he needs.
The other thing that we want to check is the quality of your breastmilk. Some women have very "watery" breastmilk and others have milk that is very high in fat. Most women will produce breastmilk that is somewhere in between that.
My guess is that you've been under stress for at least a couple of years. Your body naturally had extra stress during your pregnancy because it was creating new life and putting a lot of extra into creating bone, blood and critical organs for your baby.
Then your stress level likely went up when you had him early, and had to deal with a hospital stay.
Bringing a premie home was probably stressful in that you had to learn about caring for him and may have even had to learn how to use certain kinds of monitoring equipment to monitor his breathing. Then there were the extra doctor visits and all the worry that goes along with giving birth to such a young baby.
Stress can reduce the quality and quantity of breastmilk. Putting baby to the breast often is important, as is position so that he sucks in such a way that effectively stimulates milk production.
I'm going to create another post with more information on how to improve your breastmilk which will include a video for you. This system is set up to only allow 2 videos per post, so I need to do it this way.