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Thread: Anyone start bf at a year?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone start bf at a year?

    Hi,
    I'm looking for stories, support, tips in preparing to begin nursing my babe at a year of age.
    She's currently 6 months old. She cannot bf due to cleft palate, but will have surgery to close it at 11-12 months old.
    Anyone have any experience, or have heard of anyone else beginning to breastfeed an older infant?
    I pump for her, so she's on breastmilk exclusively.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,950

    Default Re: Anyone start bf at a year?

    hello and welcome! My son was born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate, and I pumped for him as well (he is now 5). What I will say is that after surgery to repair his palate, he refued to drink...period. He wasnt allowed to have ANYTHING in his mouth, he was given liquids via open cup, or syringe with a red rubber cathater attached to it. And he HATED IT...but my son was an extremem case, most kids post repair do much better then my son did.

    Next issue is that our cleft palate babies do not know how to suck, dont have the muscles developed to create a suction, and will be sensitive in the mouth due to the repair. I believe it takes 6 months post op for the tissues to heal and have the capability to create a proper suction. It took my son well over 2 months post op to be able to drink from a sippy cup, I still had to cut holes in the silicone top of the cup. It was well over 2 years that he finally was able to drink from a straw. he also has low oral motor muscle tone, not sure if its cleft relate, but assuming it is.

    Am I saying its impossible? no, each kid is different, but the suction required to breastfeed is most likely something that your baby wont be capable of doing for a long time post palate repair. Your baby may also reject the breast, its foreign to him...unless you have been comfort nursing, just allowing him to come to the breast.

    Did your baby also have a cleft lip? Do you work with feeding or speech therapists? Do you have a cleft palate team?

    good luck and CONGRATS on EPing...I know how much of a commitment that is, and when you have a special needs baby on top of that, WTG!!! You are doing a wonderful thing for him!

    please ask any questions that you still have and I hope to help out.
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    a little village with some trees, people, and a canal in it, Derbyshire, England
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Anyone start bf at a year?

    Hi northern mama,
    i'm sorry I don't have experience of this but i just wanted to say - what a wonderful example you are! such commitment to giving your baby your breast milk. and to want to give the breast for the first time after sugery - what a lucky lucky baby to have a dedicated mummy.

    so many mums give up to the formula after encountering 'problems' with milk supply - you are a wonderful role model. well done you, and i wish your baby all the best with the surgery xx

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