just because i couldnt breastfeed doesnt mean i.....
....cant help another mom :)
i joined my local LLL chapter on facebook to see if i could hook up with some possible donors. one of the woman on there posted about her 3 week old daughter's huge loss and poor weight gain and was thinking of using an sns because she was getting to dependant on the bottle even after only a few days of using it.
well i have had one sitting in my house for the past few months and didnt have the heart to throw it away. that darn thing was not cheap! plus even though i know i am no longer breastfeeding parting with the things associated with it are hard for me. so when i saw this woman's post i thought maybe she might like to have it. i told myself that if it could help another little baby avoid my son's situation then it would be worth it. and sure enough when i offered it she said yes! well she only lived a few minutes away from me so stopped over that same evening. i showed her how to put it together, how to clean it, when to use ect. her daughter was only getting a few oz of supplement a day (4-6) and she had successfully breastfed her first daughter with no supply issues in the past so i started asking questions.
it turns out her dr. was only counting wet diapers (4 per day) and not poop diapers (4-8 yellow, seedy poops a day) and he was also measuring the poor kid on a different scale every single time. the baby was alert. was rooting around and nursed the entire time i was there. but she was on the thinner side for an almost one month old. not crazy skinny but still for an almost 9 pound at birth baby she had lost quite a bit of weight that she had not regained.
so we started talking about the baby and latching and all sorts of things. it turns out the baby does a lot of clicking during her nursing. and she will nurse and nurse and nurse until she gets so tired she falls asleep then wakes up hungry 5 minutes later. not totally abnormal, but with the poor gain i asked to look at her mouth. having two children with tongue ties myself i know what to look for now. her upper lip was not tied, but it me it looked like she DEFINITELY had a posterior tongue tie. the baby could not lift her tongue up towards the roof of her mouth at all. she also could not thrust her tongue out towards her lips. and when her tongue does move only the sides would curl up. that along with the clicking made me think that a tongue tie might indeed be the problem and that mom didnt have a supply issue at all. it looked like a clear cut case of a transfer issue on the babies end.
i explained how if a baby cant nurse properly and doesnt transfer milk well it will decrease her supply. it will also make a baby tired and she will burn a lot of calories working so hard to get that milk. i told her to go to an ent and get it checked as soon as possible and to switch over to the sns in the mean time and to throw the bottle OUT!
i check my facebook today and what do i see? she had gotten her in yesterday afternoon. she was tongue tied. very badly. the ent said she could barely move her tongue at all. one little clip later and mama says baby was happily nursing, the clicking was gone and she is slowly weaning her off the supplement since she has already had twice as many wet diapers today than she did yesterday :)
sometimes it hurts to think of not being able to do this for my own child. i wanted to breastfeed so badly. but then i think about how much this experience has taught me and i cant help but think of what a blessing it is too. if my experience can help even one mother and child continue to successfully breastfeed then maybe in a strange way i should be thankful that at least i can share my knoweldge and help other mothers who struggle to breastfeed! there is one little girl out there right now who is getting breastmilk and will continue to get breastmilk and i could not be any happier for her :)