Some might be offended that I am using the word 'survived.' Sorry, but that's how I feel! I didn't think I would make it without having to use formula. I didn't think our routines would survive, because it wasn't sustainable. Turns out, only some people are able to have a tongue and lip tie release and then be perfectly fine. Most people need additional training and help. We were in the latter group. Here are some key things I learned:
It is soo so so so important to make sure all of these steps are completed, even if you think things are fine after a release, I would make sure you checked all these boxes. The consequences of not doing so are far-reaching and surprising. Even things like crowding of teeth and a child's future of dentition are affected. Children can become picky eaters, have articulation and speech issues, can develop sleep apnea resulting in poor sleep quality, which can affect how they learn and attend during the day. It snowballs slowly over time.
The earlier these things are fixed, the better the outcome for the child will be. The tissues in the palate are not yet formed, so it is easiest to mold the palate now before those bones fuse together.
how i am surviving
This is my feeding station. I don't go here to feed exclusively every single time, but it is often. It's a hot mess. I'll explain a few of the things I have here and why.
Mentally and emotionally I was drained. Picture this: Baby is screaming and flailing their little body, sliding off the breast. You know they are hungry and are ready to serve, you shove the breast into their mouth, making sure you do the thing where you line the nipple to the nose, you pull them in quick. CHIN FIRST (I hear in my head). The latch isn't good- and it hurts! So, you try again. You unlatch, then re-latch. Same problem. Now he's on and he's eating... for about 15 seconds. The baby is screaming again and you are screaming too. "IT'S HERE! IT'S IN YOUR MOUTH! WHY AREN'T YOU EATING?!" Also you're tired and hungry. Did I drink enough water today? This was my reality for awhile. It's heartbreaking to watch, but it's so much harder when it's you. Your baby is struggling to eat and it's your job and your job alone to provide them with that food, and you feel like you're doing a bad job. In tears I would say, "I get why people give up and bottle feed, this is so hard!" ..."But he is gaining weight!" people would say. I was relieved at that, but you just know in your gut when something isn't right. I needed help. Fast.
SURVIVING is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
I agree with the controversy and I will say I always try breast first, then if I need to add the shield I do. If I can remove the shield partway through feeding, I do. That being said, I think it is absolutely necessary and would not have made it this far without it.
Click Here to read Part 3 of my breastfeeding journey !