Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nuzzling and Nippling

Cooper continues to get stronger and bigger everyday. He is now 3 lbs 5 oz! His bed is set to 27 Celsius, the lowest setting they go to, and they continue to lower his settings on the high flow nose cannula. He had his last dose of caffeine today. He had been on caffeine since birth to help him remember to breathe but since he is breathing so strongly we are going to see if he can do without the caffeine.

The biggest accomplishment in the past day involves feeding. He had been nuzzling and nippling. I didn't realize those were different things so here is what the nurses mean when they say those words. Nuzzling is skin to skin with mom and practicing latching on. Nippling is being fed from a bottle. We have had some success nuzzling, but the nurses say that preemies tend to do better with the bottle and once they strengthen the sucking muscle they do better at breast feeding.

He started nippling last night and will be offered his bottle twice a day. Last night he started sucking right away, then stopped to take some so breaths then back to sucking. That is exactly what they want him to do at his age. He ended up drinking 5 mL from the bottle, then got tired, so the nurse completed his feeding through the feeding tube. This morning he reacted the same and again got 5 mL. They are not concerned with the amount he gets at this time, more concerned about letting him suck, swallow, and breathe altogether. He has a ways to go, but he's still doing great for his age.

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