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“I am having breastfeeding problems and currently pumping and bottle feeding to ensure milk is getting to her.” | Pregnancy Interviews

An interesting tête-à-tête with our customer Cassandra Fields:

Is this your first time having a baby?

This is my fifth pregnancy; fourth baby. I'm a mother to a seven and five year old boys (Jerry and Ned), and a two year old girl (Ophira Elizabeth). I had a miscarriage between the two boys.

Can you share your most memorable and the most scariest moments during pregnancy?

This wasn't my most difficult pregnancy or delivery. It was, however, the most challenging postpartum experience -- mothering 3 other children and having breastfeeding problems. At 3.5 weeks at baby's check up she still had not gained back her birth weight. A IBCLC was consulted and turns out that she had a lip tie as well as a tongue tie preventing her from transferring milk properly. At 5 weeks of age she'd only gained 5oz on her birth weight and I was devastated. Unfortunately the only provider in my area to diagnose and treat (required a tongue revision, minor surgical procedure) did not accept insurance which meant out of pocket expenses that were not anticipated and not exactly cheap....this on the heels of my family relocating for my job, paying two mortgages waiting to sell the home we moved out of while I was due to birth any day (stressful), and currently on unpaid maternity leave. Given I was able to breast feed all of my others with minor difficulty and simple latch corrections this was all surprising. We are currently post tongue tie revision with a follow-up appt tomorrow to see if milk transfer is better -- but currently pumping and bottle feeding to ensure milk is getting to her and weight gain improved.

What tips will you give to other moms and would-be moms?(Dietary tips, Exercise tips etc)

Honestly the best advice I can give a woman is to not make decisions based on the experiences of other mothers or the poorly depicted experience of all things pregnancy/birth on television. How to have your baby, how to feed your baby, how to parent your baby -- these are all your choices and every mother-baby dyad is unique. Make decisions about how you "do" motherhood based on your needs and your baby's needs as you are experiencing growing, feeding, and raising them. And remember -- self care is not a luxury and is not selfish...it is a necessity.

Update we got a message from Cassandra: milk transfer has improved and speech therapist has been recommended to work on exercises to strengthen sucking reflexes. She still needs supplementation but we are learning to do this through a supplemental nursing system (SNS). Planning to bottle feed pumped milk while I'm away at work and nurse at night using this aide.