Hi, my son was born with a lip cleft and palate cleft. Therefore, he is not able to create a vacuum to nurse. During my pregnancy I was told that he would never be able to nurse. Still, right after he was born I let hem nurse and he did. He wasn't able to get any milk, but he did latch on a bit and moved his jar and tongue up and down like my (still nursing) 2 year old does.
When he was 3 weeks old I got help from a lactation advisor. She helped me with the latching and expressing milk when he was latched. At a point he got about 1/5th of the total intake right from the breast. The rest he got with a feeding tube when he was latched on or with the Haberman feeder.
But then he started to strike. Later on he was diagnosed with a high suspecion of acid reflux. He was treated for it, got medication and now seems to be over the most of it. I stopped letting him nurse during this period of him crying 24/7.
After these weeks of only crying I tried again, but he could not latch at all. He didn't even want to try. But, now he has no problem in drinking with his cheek against my naked breast, he will even lick the nipple when he is totally relaxed, but he has no clue what to do with the nipple and throws himself backwards when the nipple is in his mouth. His lip was closed 2,5 weeks ago, by the way and is healing fine.
I tried nursing with a nipple shield, a lactation aid etc. Nothing seems to help. He refuses. I have enough supply. I still pump all the milk for him.
Can anyone help me? Give me some more tips... links to article... own experiences in getting a 5 month old baby to nurse. His cleft is not an obstical for the nursing when he is latched on, I believe...
By the way: I'm Dutch and live in the Netherlands. I have contact with LLL here, but they do not have any other tips for me. So, I'm trying international now!!
Thanks alot already!