All three babies are for the most part fed by feeding tube (Swedish: näringssond) that goes in through one of the nostrils, down the throat to the stomach.
All three currently get 20 ml (little more than a table spoon) breast milk every two hours. We are now taking part in the feeding whenever we can.
First we check the feeding tube. With a syringe connected to the tube you pull out if there is anything left in the stomach. If there isn't any milk left you test the liquid for acid, just to confirm that the tube still reaches the stomach. Then we give the "stolen food" back trough the tube. We now know the tube is all right to use.
The 20 ml milk is prepared in another syringe and given through the tube. This will take something like 20 minutes, longer/slower if the baby had milk left in his/her stomach from the previous meal. If you feed too quickly the milk comes up again through the mouth.
We usually give the babies some milk in the mouth/on the lips too, using a tiny syringe. This is to teach how you normally will eat in the future. (Elin is eager to get this extra milk and is now getting one or two ml extra this way.)
When we are done feeding we flush the feeding tube with little bit of sterile water from a small syringe. 1 ml is more than enough to fill and flush the 45 cm tube.
Anna is working on her own milk production. Today she was able to provide 40-50% of the demand, but it's going in the right direction. We're thankful of the donated breast milk in the meantime.
In one photo you see Filip, his tube and most of his dinner in a syringe.
In the other Elin gets her bonus milk dripped on a pacifier while she simultaneously is given her dinner through the tube.
(Sorry if I don't use the proper terms in English. English reference literature is sparse in the ICU...)