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Thread: Experimental breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Tallahassee, FL

    Lightbulb Experimental breastfeeding

    I need your input!

    My 3 1/2 month old has never orally fed, besides 1 bottle her first day of life (before going into shock from heart failure). She is exclusively G Tube fed, until we get cleared to try oral feeds after her next heart procedure (provided that goes great) which is coming up in the next week or so.

    My ultimate goal is to breastfeed her someday; she has Pierre Robin Sequence (http://www.pierrerobin.org/what-is-PRS.htm) with a very large cleft palate that makes sucking impossible (like drinking through a straw with a hole in it).

    She will have her cleft palate repaired at around a year of age. At that point, I don't want her to reject the breast since bottles are easier or familiar.
    She gets very MAD when I put her to the breast at all, since it is not her paci. We have been advised not to stress her until after her heart procedure. So we have to wait for to work on her latch for right now.
    Yet once we do get cleared to feed (I anticpate she will be around 4 1/2 months old), I have ideas on how to procede and I really need your thoughts and ideas!!!

    There are 3 avenues I thought we may persue once we get cleared and until her palate surgery:

    1) Haberman Feeder (aka Medela Special Needs Feeder) -- Which is a bottle that mimics the breast. It relies on pressure from the tongue instead of sucking to release milk, and has a valve to prevent both milk overflow and air intake.
    This will get her used to using her mouth.

    2) The Supplemental Feeder (SNS by Medela)http://www.milksmile.com/images/new%20sns.jpg
    The tubes are taped to the breast and allow for milk flow while LO is at breast. This of course assumes a latch takes place.

    3) Nipple Shields . . . I don't know if these would be a good help or not. It might get LO to the breast in the first place (then I could attach the SNS to the shield) and kind of go back and forth between the two to get her used to both. BUT then I may have an extra step of weaning her from the shield (whereas if you have an idea to bypass the shield in the first place ?)

    Anyway, please please give me any thoughts at all you have! Any combo of these 3 things or does one seem better than the other. Any tricks or advice you have will be awesome. I have met a leader in my area and a consultant and I have all 3 products mentioned above. I have no problems with my supply and DD's weigh gain is fine!

    pumping sucks
    But I'm EPing for my baby girl!
    Josie Grace -- 9/9/2008
    Heart Baby
    with Interrupted Aortic Arch (repaired at 2 weeks old), large cleft palate and G-tube with no oral feeding -- yet! But soon!

    ***Josie had her heart cath 2/12 and had perfect results! She is doing very well

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Experimental breastfeeding

    It sounds like you've really done your research,and all three of your suggestions sound very well thought-out.

    I would go for option #2 to get her interested in the breast and what it can offer her.

    In the meantime, can you increase your skin-to-skin contact? This can really help with latching. Also, attempting to latch her when she is sleepy can be successful. For example, if she is used to sucking her binky in the night, slip your breast up to her instead.
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes

    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gulf Shores, AL/Oxford, MS

    Default Re: Experimental breastfeeding

    I've never had to use any supplemental system, so I have no real advice for you...just prayers headed your way!!! I hope everything works out for your daughter and your family...good luck, and all the best!!

    I'm a full-time single mama and a full-time law student!! Loving every minute!!

    Mommy to Izzy , born 8/23/08!!! Check out our blog!

    BW: 8lbs. 8oz., 20 in.
    3 months: 11 lbs. 14oz., 23 1/4 in.
    6 months: 17 lbs. 9oz., 26 1/2 in.
    9 months: 20 lbs. 0 oz., 27 in.
    12 months: 22 lbs. 12 oz., 28 3/4 in.
    15 months: 25 lbs. 12 oz., 29 3/4 in.

    for 18+ months! Now we only nurse on one side because mama's other side is predisposed to recurring mastitis!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Experimental breastfeeding

    Just wanted to say I have used an SNS for the first 6wks of my DS's life due to no lactation after birth. I found this to be a life saver as I am sure without it I would have given up. We did lots of skin to skin and I only used the SNS once he started to fuss at the breast due to no/low milk to keep him sucking activley and thus increasing supply. If you can get lo to latch then I would suggest this system as it saves you from the extra work of expressing AND feeding seperately, instead you just express after the feed for the next feed and I only used it in day time hours as it was quite messy and time consuming (although not as much as bottle feeding)
    good luck and well done for perservering through this difficult time, and also wish you well with your lo operations.

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