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Cheeseless! March 14, 2012

My daughter turned 3 months old a few days ago! I was concerned that my little one seemed to be fighting the techniques we were taught in speech therapy, so I took her to our hospital sponsored breastfeeding group to see the lactation consultant and weigh her before and after a feeding to test her intake. I was shocked and excited when the lactation consultant said she had a much better (wider) latch and she drank 3.6 ounces – her highest measured amount in her life – since she started with about 0.25 ounce this improvement is unreal! She also weighed in at 10 pounds 2 ounces – up 10 ounces in 1 month, lower than our LC would like to see – but, a gain none the less! Our LC noticed my daughter’s red eyes, splotchy skin, “junky” breathing, and green mucusy stool, and said she believes the lack of weight gain now is most likely to malabsorption caused by allergies – she suspects a dairy allergy. I have to admit, it is frustrating when each time we correct a problem, another is uncovered . . . but, thankfully, she seems to do better with each correction and each issue is less severe than the one before. I hope soon this will all be behind us! But, for now . . . I am left cheeseless!

  My 10lb 2oz 3 month old – she’s still itty bitty, but, that doesn’t stop her from having belly rolls…and going swimming!


Suck/Swallow Therapy March 3, 2012

Revising my daughter’s posterior tongue tie helped so much, she went from removing around 1/4 ounce of breastmilk to removing about 2 1/2 ounces. Still, she seemed to constantly break suction while nursing. I chose to revise her upper lip tie as well, she can now flange her lips more and she no longer has a painful looking mark on her lip after nursing; unfortunately it did not solve the problem with poor suction.

We had already seen a speech-language pathologist through our county’s “Birth to Five” early intervention program, and she had helped us some, but, seemed to think my baby was nursing well enough and we opted out of the program. Our lactation consultant (IBCLC)recommended a specific team of speech-language pathologists that specialize in infant sucking and swallowing issues and work in the NICU where I delivered. I had low expectations, but, the IBCLCs I have been working with have given me great advice so far, so I made the appointment.

My daughter (12 weeks old now) had her first appointment with the new speech-language pathologists yesterday, they were AMAZING! They did the most thorough oral examination of anyone so far, and were able to see that my baby has a perfect range of motion and a perfect latch, but, they noticed when she breaks suction (and slides further towards the tip of the nipple, not having enough areola in her mouth) that she also retracts her tongue. She is nursing like she is still tongue-tied! What amazed me, is that they went on to suggest some techniques (the main one being to provide cheek/jaw support, which also encourages her tongue to come forward and in turn results in stronger suction). We will work with her during bottle and breastfeeding both (as I suspected she “nurses” the same way regardless if it is bottle or breast) for two weeks, and then we will see the speech pathologists again . . . they seem optimistic that my little one will be much improved by then, but, if not they will keep working with us.

I just cannot believe throughout this journey how many different types of professionals can help so much! I only wish the information and resources were more readily available.