Friday, August 15, 2008

Great appt. with the LC!!

Our appt. with the LC this morning was completely worthwhile. She was a huge help and very encouraging with respect to keeping him on breastmilk vs. formula for supplementing, and supplementing at the breast as much as possible rather than using bottles.

Firstly, she checked his tongue and said that he is not tongue tied - not even a little - so that's good news. She confirmed that the whole problem appears to be his latch, and she did say that latch is a common problem for Downs babes, as well as slow weight gain. She showed me some oral exercises to do with Finn to encourage a better latch, as well as some pointers to help adjust his latch once he's on the breast.

She showed me how to do breast compression while he's nursing in order to get the maximum milk transfer possible.

And, she basically told me to ditch the SNS I had bought, and instead she *made* an improvised one for me which is nothing more than a baby bottle with a larger hole cut in the nipple and a hospital grade feeding tube inserted as a sort of drinking straw. This tube is a bit more rigid than the tubing that came with the SNS I bought and it actually stays in his mouth without my having to tape it down or do anything else except slip it into the corner of his mouth once he's latched on. Phew! So the SNS I bought was a waste of 50 bucks . . . live and learn I guess.

So I nursed him while I was there doing everything she had showed me, and she weighed him before and after the feeding and he took a little over 3 oz. (that's good!).

She also confirmed that nursing is especially valuable for Downs babies because the tend to have weaker immune systems, and because it develops oral-facial muscles that bottle feeding doesn't, which will help with his speech later on.

So I am very pleased to say the least :)


Carla said...

Yes, yes, yes! I have checked this blog about a half dozen times today awaiting an update on your LC appointment. I am so glad the appointment went well, you got some good and helpful information, and that it was money well spent. I'm sorry about the waste of money on the SNS though. I bet you can sell it or donate it. I look forward to hearing how all the new methods, etc. continue to work.

doulamom said...

who was the LC?

Heidi said...

oh, yeah! i'm glad the meeting with the lc went well. i wondered about it all day.


Laurie said...

Im SO glad to hear that it went well!! Go Finn!

heather said...

Sorry to keep leaving comments. You're probably thinking who is this girl that keeps checking out my blog? :) But I just wanted to say amen to all the LC said as far as oral muscle strength and antibody protection with breastfeeding. I know a few of the moms in our support group continued breastfeeding because their peds said they prefered a smaller baby with the breast milk benefits over a heavier baby with formula. But I forgot to add in my last comment that I added some formula powder to my breast milk in the SNS to help add more calories, too. My pediatrician had some calculation that I followed but don't remember now but that could also be something you try if weight gain continues to be slow--which is typical for babies with Ds. It took Morgan 4 1/2 months to get to 10 lbs. and she was almost 8lbs. when she was born. I was just grateful she wasn't my first to try breastfeeding. It was already hard enough with having previous experience.

T-rex said...

YAY! I am SO glad the LC is in your corner and had useful, helpful suggestions to offer. It sounds like she has you and Finn heading in the right direction and hopefully this means more food for Finn and less stress for you!

Also AMEN to the benefits he's getting from the boob. The immunities we could have guessed but I wouldn't have considered the facial muscle angle, however that is a GREAT plus that sticking with this could make it easier for him down the line. Any little thing you can do for him now that helps out later is such a boon.

As for breast compression, it was SUCH a lifesaver for us, too, since my kids don't stay latched long enough to get enough food (lazy, fidgety bums that they are!) and that cuts the feeding time in half and ups their efficiency as well.