So I didn’t talk about this much before now because I was secretly afraid we’d get to the physical therapy place & they’d go “what? your baby is fine, just let him grow! it’s you that has the problem! just nurse nurse nurse”
Our ped referred us to a clinic in Orlando, and we got a free evaluation at this awesome clinic as part of a study (remind me to talk about class and opportunity and breastfeeding when this is all over. I have many thoughts.) and the diagnosis is he’s broken.
I mean, not forever we hope. But out of 4 possible areas where there could be trouble in his mouth, three of them are fudgeed up. His lateral tongue movement, his “midline” tongue movement (which is what makes your tongue flatten against your pallete)- his jaw is weak, weaker on one side than the other (he should be able to chew on my finger 15-20 times in as many seconds, and he chews once on the right and 7 x on the left), and his upper and lower lips have poor muscle tone. And his pallete is narrow and a little high but she says she’s seen worse.
So she said hopefully within three weeks of doing the therapy (which we will do at home, and hopefully not have to follow up because that would cost 300 dollars) we will see an improvement and he’ll be able to breastfeed.
So at the least, three more weeks of pumping. I can do that.
I feel validated, and hopeful. Sad for the poor kid, working as hard as he can with his (very strong) cheeks to compensate for all this other stuff going wrong, and still not able to get the milk!
And sad for all the people who weren’t able to breastfeed due to a mystery reason, and whose kids later have feeding/speech problems. She said there’s a correlation, and that correcting this now will not only help us breastfeed but will circumvent problems later on in life. This is where my feelings about class and money come in. Why isn’t this help available to everyone, everywhere? If we hadn’t had money in savings to pay the holistic ped, we’d never have found out about this study and I’d either be bottle feeding or going along hoping he’d grow out of being lazy. For the record, the PT said no, this would not ever have worked out on its own.
And! we discovered that I should always be riding in the car when I pump. I still haven’t pumped enough today to totally feed him so we had to buy some organic formula at the whole foods (swooon) down the street, but I am getting enough to do half of every feed. Something about the car makes me let down right when I put the pump on. Maybe I’m an exhibitionist; Maybe the thought of all those truckers looking down at me hooked up like a heiffer relaxes me. Hello, Internet. Welcome to my blog where you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know and much you didn’t, about my tits and their current function.