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Since my triplet girls were born on January 13, 2014, my life has revolved around them. One is still in the NICU unit of the hospital and 2 were just released and are now home! All are doing well, progressing at different stages. Since the beginning, one of the main issues was feeding. All 3 of them had feeding intolerance in the beginning, and I have learned more about premature babies and feeding than I ever wanted to know!
Thankfully, all are now on their way! In the NICU they start feeding preemies through a tube that is either from mouth to tummy or nose to tummy. It is called gavage feeding, and you fill a syringe with the amount the baby is getting, attach it to the tube and let gravity feed the baby. Every 3 hours the nurse checks the tube and their tummy for any residual, and depending on the amount, color and consistency of the residual, the baby either gets fed again or perhaps food is withheld due to intolerance. After 6 episodes of intolerance total among the girls, I was beginning to think they would never eat!
Preemies also lack the coordination to suck, breathe and swallow that is needed to drink from a bottle so they have to practice and learn. Happily my girls seem to all be quick learners on this front and are progressing nicely!
I did want to share my top 3 feeding items! As you can see above, the Phillips Avent Soothie Pacifiers are a favorite. That is Miss Charlotte pictured above! These are what my girls have in the hospital and also at home. We have used the pacifiers while the girls were being gavage fed, since having them associate a full tummy with sucking is super important. These Soothies have been great for the girls!
Because my girls want to drink from the bottle but cannot remember to breathe while they drink, slow flow nipples have also become a staple. The ones pictured are from Phillips Avent but there are many brands. I buy most of my baby supplies online, because I just don’t have time to get out to the stores, as I spend most of my time in the hospital with the babies. Walmart.com has been my go-to for baby supply shopping! Most items have free shipping when you spend over $50, which I normally do since they have just about everything on Walmart.com!
Also, the boppy has been key to good feeding position with the girls. The nurses want me to feed the babies in an almost sitting up position to reduce the likelihood of choking, since the babies are so new to eating. I find that sitting with the Boppy really helps me hold the baby up and be comfortable during each feeding session. How cute is this flowery boppy?
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