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!