Breastfeeding is recommended by all medical professionals, but in the end, it is the mother decision or choice whether to breastfeed or use baby formula
The Importance of Breastfeeding
Can create a special bond between the mother and the baby.
Delaying pregnancy, by shrinking the uterus to pre-pregnancy size.
Weight reduction more than usual in lactating mothers.
Breastfeeding is linked to normal weight gain and prevention of overweight in children as they grow up.
Linked to higher IQ.
When comparing between breast milk and baby formula, there are many ways in which they are similar, for example they both provides energy, nutrients, hydration and growth for the baby.
But despite all of that, baby formula doesn’t come to close matching of how healthy and beneficial the breast milk is, and this is a simple comparison between the two types of milk:
Fight infections and other conditions
Nutrition and easy to digest
Better gastrointestinal tract functions
Skin to skin contact
Lack of antibodies that can fight infections
Can’t match breast milk complexity
Possibility of gas and constipation
Can be given by anyone
Breastfeeding is recommended by all medical professionals, but in the end, it is the mother decision or choice whether to breastfeed or use baby formula, there are many barriers that can lead to the mother not breastfeeding her baby: being very busy, travel, death, critical medical condition, or just choose not to breastfeed.
In these situations:
The baby can be breastfed by another woman
The mother can use the pump machine, and milk can be stored
As a breast milk substitute, with the help of the dietitian, a baby formula can be used that is close to the breast milk.
To store Breast milk, you can refrigerate for 5 days, or freeze as follows:
In cases where freezer is inside the refrigerator (0 to -18℃); milk can be saved for 9 months
If the milk is saved in deep freezer (-4 to -20℃) it can be kept up to 12 months
Can Baby with Cleft Lip Breastfeed?
Babies with cleft lip and palate are usually difficult to breastfeed, because of having difficulty in sucking. Mothers can use the pump and feed their babies with special bottles that can be provided by feeding specialist or speech therapist. But babies with cleft lip and no cleft palate usually tolerates breastfeeding well.
How To Breastfeeding?
Position is very important when breastfeeding a baby, right positions help in baby and mother comfort and make the process easy.
There are many positions that the mother can apply, but it is preferred that the mother uses the modified football hold or the straddle position to prevent chocking or milk leaking from nose in babies with cleft lip.
If the mother is having inverted nipples, she can use syringe that can help the nipples stand out
What are the added Benefits of breastfeeding for Babies with Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate?
It is known that babies with cleft lip or cleft palate are more likely to have ear infections, by consuming breast milk the protection against these infections are increased, as the mother antibodies pass on to the baby. This also can be beneficial in babies facing surgery.
Breast milk is less irritating to the mucous membrane than formula, because it is a natural fluid, as chocking and milk leakage from the nose may occur.
Breastfeeding can help in enhancing speech skills through strengthening the face and mouth muscles, leading to more normal facial formation.
In some babies with cleft lip or cleft palate, it is easier to breastfed over a bottle, because the breast is more flexible and molds itself to the shape of the lip and mouth.
How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Getting Enough Milk?
Infants should be nurse every 2-3 hours (8-12 times for every 24 hours), including night feeds.
Swallowing noises and normal weight gain are signs of the baby is getting his need. If the baby shows no difference in weight or height for more than three months, then it is advised to consult a dietitian.
Patience is important when breastfeeding, it will take time and effort.
If it is needed, a consult with a lactation specialist that can help you with breastfeeding (position, baby sucking, signs of chocking, signs of hunger, etc.), and even if the mother would like to use the pump.
There is no special baby formula for babies with cleft lip or cleft palate. In some cases, when the baby does not consume his or her requirements, high caloric baby formula is required to prevent further weight loss. Specialized dietitians can help you with your baby getting his nutritional needs to support his weight gain and normal growth.
It is easier to feed babies with cleft lip only, while babies with cleft lip and cleft palate are harder to be fed, because of the opening in the roof of their mouth.
The goal for babies with cleft lip or cleft palate is to reach their nutritional requirements within feasible amount of time, without having difficulty in breathing or chocking by inhaling food or milk into the lungs and to avoid taking too much air while drinking.
Here are Some Tips for Feeding the Baby with a Bottle:
The medical team can help you choose a special bottle, the one with a specific nipple, or wide base. These bottles are well designed in a way that helps the baby to use pressure when they are unable to create a vacuum to extract fluids. The caregiver can control the flow of the milk easily. Air entrance will be prevented because of a one-way valve membrane between the bottle and the teat that allows milk to be filled before the feed. the sensitive nipple has a slit valve that closes when the baby pauses or stops suckling. also, by squeezing the teat, it will help improve the suckling technique and will ensure that adequate milk will be delivered to the baby.
Distribute baby feeding into more frequent but shorter timings throughout the day, especially the first week after birth. This gives yourself and your baby time to learn how to feed. Reduce meal time into 30-40 minutes maximum, as any longer time length will cause exhaustion and will make the baby burn more calories than is needed for weight gain.
Giving time after each meal for babies with cleft lip is very important for burping. Because of the opening in the roof of their mouth, it allows them to inhale a lot of air, so they need approximately 10 minutes to help them get rid of excessive air and prevent other uncomfortable symptoms like gases. Filling the nipple with milk while feeding is another way to reduce air inhaling.
Holding the baby in the right position can help him/her feed better and prevents formula from entering the nose. he/she should be placed upright. the baby must be held using one hand so the head, neck and shoulders are in a straight line while holding the baby bottle in the other hand.
Baby face should be calm during taking his/her meal, if signs like: no breath between sucking (3-4 sucks), coughing or head pulling appear, you must give the baby a break and after calm behavior returns, you can reefed him/her again.
It is very common that the babies with cleft lip or palate inhale milk into their noses, in this case try to stay calm and hold your baby in a more upright position until the milk is out of the nose, and wipe them slowly with soft fabric.
Although we do not endorse any product, your doctor might recommend a certain feeding bottles that can be bought through these numbers: (Consult a cleft team or pediatrician before pursuing any changes in feeding.): +965 / 22247404, 60618009, 69602802.