This is literally liquid gold. I’ve always breastfed my babies. I exclusively breastfed Sobral till he was 18 months old. I thought breastfeeding new baby would be just as easy as it was with my other babies. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
My baby was born with a tongue tie and it went unnoticed for the first week of his life. So I thought I was feeding him adequate amounts of breastmilk, but I actually wasn’t. He wasn’t able to transfer the milk from my breast down his throat because he wasn’t able to use his tongue to suck correctly. So for the first week of my baby’s life, I was unknowingly starving him. He lost a pound, developed jaundice, and it was all because I thought he was feeding okay. My milk supply came in about 3 days after I gave birth so I obviously thought he was eating, he wasn’t. It wasn’t until we met with a lactation nurse (5 days after birth) that she informed us that he had a tongue tie and this could be the reason why he wasn’t eating enough. I felt so hurt that because I was so adamant of only -exclusively- breastfeeding, I was starving my baby. And I don’t know if you are aware, but jaundice can be very detrimental in newborns if it isn’t treated right away. He had dangerously high bilirubin levels in his little body all because he wasn’t getting enough milk in his system to flush it out. At that moment, the thought of exclusively breastfeeding was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted to do was feed my baby and make sure he was getting all the nutrients he needed to grow. I kept thinking about all the “breast is best” propaganda out there, and thought, “screw that! My baby needs to eat!” Even though breastmilk does have the perfect amount of goodness babies need, I wasn’t producing enough milk to satisfy my baby’s needs because he wasn’t feeding well. I felt like my body was betraying me so at that point, I was so thankful for formula. All a mother wants is to do everything she in her power to make sure her babies are able to grow healthy and happy.
It is now two and a half weeks after birth and my baby has since had a procedure to clip his tongue tie, but he is still unable to latch. I have started pumping in hopes of increasing my milk supply since my baby is unable to do so. I will have patience to help him latch, but if he is unable to, I will continue to pump what my body produces and supplement with formula if need be. What has happened to my baby is very eye-opening for me. I am no longer a “breast is best” advocate, I fully support “Fed is Best” now. It honestly doesn’t matter if you breastfeed or formula feed your baby. As long as baby is getting everything he or she needs, it’s all that counts. I learned first hand that sometimes the breast is not AT ALL the best. And that’s okay. It doesn’t make me any less of a mom. What matters is that I am helping to nurse my baby back to health.