Overcoming Challenges:

Stormy's Breastfeeding Story

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Conor Newborn
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My second son was born at 40+3 weeks and got off to a rough start.  He was in a posterior position and ended up being born ear and cheek first.  He was stuck with the cord wrapped around his neck, had shoulder dystocia, meconium aspiration and hypoxic.  They took him to the bedside cart and worked on him right away, trying to get him to cry…meanwhile we were crying and anticipating his cry.  His APGAR was a 1 when he first came out, then a 5 five minutes later and finally it was 9 five minutes after that.  I was FINALLY able to have my skin to skin time with him.  He was so shocked he wouldn’t latch/nurse during the golden hour.

My first son weaned just shy of his 4th birthday when I was 9-10 weeks gestation with the second pregnancy.  Being an experienced breastfeeding mother, I told myself “I’ve got this!” and started working on his latch and positioning.  No matter what I did, I could not get him to open wide and gape his mouth to get a deep latch.  The clicking, gas and reflux were awful!  I didn’t have any pain luckily, but I think it was partially due to my first son just weaning.  

He had his anterior tongue tie clipped in the hospital and we saw short term relief from that.  Based on what I learned working through major tongue tie issues with my first son, I immediately took my son to a provider for a posterior tongue tie evaluation and revision at seven days old.  I also started on bodywork right away for his tight mouth and body with some CST and chiropractic care added in periodically. 

We saw a local IBCLC/ARNP locally due to his insufficient transfer of milk and it was concluded that he had a weak/dysfunctional suck, weak tongue and weak jaw.  She recommended for me to start pumping and supplementing some expressed breastmilk after nursing sessions; we were hopeful this would help satiate him and help strengthen his muscles.  My son was also diagnosed with torticollis and was enrolled in early steps/intervention as he was behind in fine and gross motor skills as early as 6 weeks old.  Early steps enrolled him in weekly OT and PT and we continued to add in some CST and chiro.

We had another laser tie revision at 10 weeks old and continued weekly OT and PT until I went back to work at 13 weeks.  Expressing my milk at work was possibly the main reason I was able to maintain my supply, especially with his weakness and insufficient transfer of milk.  My son reverse cycled at daycare, so luckily, I made more than he took at daycare.  I saw my local IBCLC/ARNP again and she recommended doing SNS with my expressed breastmilk.  This was hard for me emotionally as I never had to do supplement with my expressed breastmilk with my first son.  I felt like a failure and it was extremely hard adjusting being a new mother of two, especially with this going on.  Luckily my husband was supportive and helped me tremendously.  Luckily, I only had to do it short term and he started getting stronger and transferring better.  He was discharged from PT when he started crawling around 5.5 months but continued to see OT on and off for feeding therapy after he started solids until 18 months.  

Everything fell into place shortly after he started crawling.  His reflux symptoms started getting better shortly after he started sitting up.  I continued to pump at work until 18 months and we are still nursing strong at 2.5 years old.  We overcame many challenges to get here and we will see how far he takes us. 

I wanted to take a moment and thank those that helped me along my 6+ years breastfeeding journey with my two children, especially the IBCLCs at North Florida Regional Medical Center (LaChelle, Courtney, Olga and Julie), Mary Ryngaert, IBCLC/ARNP, Kim Fuller OT at UF Shands Mag Parke, Claudia PT at Kids on the Move, Dr Myers Pediatric Dentist at Myers Pediatric Dentistry, Marita Guilderson CST and many family and friends.  

Stormy – mom of Raylan (7 years old) and Conor (2.5 years old)

 

August 2020