Long post/My personal experience, I hope this can help by poohchild1970 ..... Ask Barefoot Herbalist
Date: 9/29/2005 9:01:38 AM ( 16 years ago ago)
I have twins born 2 and a half months early. They were in the NICU, neonatal intensive care hospital, for 5 and 6 weeks, respectively. Both were exclusively breastfed from birth, I pumped like crazy. The youngest of the twins had reflux, the older one did not. They did prescribe medication for her that I refused, but while she was in the NICU she did get it. You have little control with preemies.=(
I am not sure we have enough information to really give you exact correct advice, but I can tell you that in the case of my children, reflux was due to an immature digestive system that could not handle the "food" that was given. When digested, it creates a gas situation as well as a heartburn feeling in the throat and chest. The stomach produces more acid to digest the food and as soon as the babies lie down, the acid moves into the throat, causing distress. It happens in babies that are not premature as well, and normally lasts about 3 months, or until the digestive tract matures or sadly, becomes accustomed to what it's being fed.
I would think that even if she is not open to holistic methods she would try anything because nothing is worse then your child in distress while there is nothing you can do for her. Plus, I think they use recording of crying babies as torture methods in Germany. LOL It's really not a fun thing to expereince.
The switching from breastmilk to formula could be a very big problem. Their little digestive systems are very sensitive and can not cope very well with switching foods like that. They are made for breastmilk only. So really she should decide breast or bottle. Hopefully she chooses breast. Mom's diet will tell you why she is not producing milk. More fruits, more natural foods, more pure water, less(no) processed foods. If you think about how the body makes milk, it takes from what the mom gives it in the forms of foods. If the food is not there, it takes it from the body(past food), which in the long run is pretty draining on Mom. So no matter how you look at it, food is to blame. No coffee, no alcohol, nothing that dehydrates the body. There are many herbal teas that increase the milk production, I am not a pro on herbs, but I will bet you if you called Mrs. Barefoot she can tell you.
Other things you can do that I did and worked to a certain extent were the following. Place a foam ramp under the baby for sleep. You can get them at any baby store or Walmart for like $10 and it elevates the baby upper body so the stomach acid stays in the stomach. Also, we made a device that attached to the crib that vibrated the mattress at night. The vibration seemed to help with digestion, kind of like ridiing in a car. You can buy mattresses now that vibrate, but they are expensive. We placed large, heavy pillows all the way around our big bed so the babies could not roll off, then we put a vibrating bouncy seat on the bottom of the bed and it gently vibrated the mattress, as well as created white noise. It worked everytime. Also, after I breast fed Jaden, I would let her fall asleep on my shoulder upright for about half an hour so that most of the milk had left her stomach before I put her down. With Dillyn, I had to bounce her and pat her butt for about an hour. I was very lucky in that I was home with them all the time. So if it was a particularly bad day, I would just hold Jaden upright all day long, or until Dillyn needed something. It was rough and COMPLETLEY a blurr!!! =) I also got a baby sling, just a long piece of fabric that I literlaly slung around my shoulder and tied to carry Jaden around on the days she was fussy. Consequently, she always wants to be held. She absolutely LOVED that sling. When we went out, I never used a stroller with her, I carried her everywhere. She would snuggle in and just be happy being along for the ride. Those are GREAT!!!!! I recommend the sling over the backpack style ones because they are thin and not bulky and the baby is right against your body, which they LOVE. It also takes the pressure off your back by spreading it over your whole upper body. They are cheap on ebay too, like $15, or you can make one for the cost of about 3 yards of fabric.
I would also give them warm sponge baths at night and I would gently massage the belly area. They really liked it, babies love to be touched, and it relaxed them enough that they would sleep a little longer, giving me a break. It's rough with 2 babies let me tell you.
As far as bonding as referenced in the previous posts, any Mom will tell you that you love your children as soon as they are born. Your desire to protect them is instinctual and I would not ever come betwen a mother and her child. But it takes time for you to "fall" in love with them. That bond deepens and grows as the relationship grows, just like any other relationship. I personally feel that breastfeeding, the actual act, is part of that process and logically speaking that bond will probably take longer to form if the baby is exclusively bottle fed. That goes for baby bond with mom as well. Babies want to be close, skin to skin contact is best. So if she decided to bottle feed, it's best to do in a quiet dark room, with skin to skin contact. For anyone who tells you that is crap, let me say that the 5 weeks my children were in the hospital, the only time they were alert and relaxed and "comfortable" is when I was kangarooing them. I would put a baby, wires and all, underneath my clothes, on my skin and we would just rock. They were on monitors of all sorts, blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc. Both childrens monitors would read perfect numbers when they were being held by ME, not a nurse, but me or their dad. They know who loves them. Babies are full sized spirits in a little body. Treat them that way and they will grow to be very happy children!
Rmemeber that the only way a baby has to communicate with you is to cry. You can't go wrong picking up a crying baby, period. There is no such thing a spoiling a baby either. They cry because they need something even if that means just contact.
Anyhoo, I hope I have been able to give you a few ideas. Certainly no expereince is the same and no one has all the answers, but it's always true that this too shall pass. Best wishes!!!
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