A tongue tie, colic and acid reflux formula feeding
Jen had been on the postpartum roller coaster with her first baby and wanted it to be different the second time around. Feeding was at the root of her mental angst, with breastfeeding being at the core. When breastfeeding didn’t go as planned, due to many factors including a tongue tie, she got the blessing from her pediatrician to switch exclusively to formula— “do it, and don’t look back”. With that, Jen rid of the breast pump, sad reminders that she couldn’t produce milk. It just was not worth her mental health to be constrained to the pump— or the guilt. We chatted with Régine Brioché, MD, FAAP, and Bobbie Medical Advisor, about reading the signs and knowing how to react so that plans can meet the reality.
I broke down when the Pediatrician asked how breastfeeding was going.Jen
Dr Régine: Most birthing individuals plan to breastfeed their newborns. This decision is made very early on in the pregnancy. However, some mothers encounter problems with establishing breastfeeding that is beyond their control. No matter the feeding journey, it is essential that every parent remember that their mental/emotional well-being is paramount. If you are not in a healthy mental space, it will be virtually impossible to provide your infant the best possible care. I applaud Jen for wanting to breastfeed her second child despite the feeding challenges experienced with her first. Even more important is that she will not sacrifice her mental well-being to make that possible. Unfortunately, as a society, we have placed undue strain on the childbearing parent to breastfeed because “breastfeeding is best.”
Dr Régine: Successful breastfeeding requires work from both parties involved (mother and baby). One hindrance to breastfeeding is the baby’s inability to latch appropriately/ effectively. Some babies with tongue ties are unable to extend their tongues, allowing for a deep latch. As a result of the shallow latch, the mother’s nipples get bruised or damaged. Despite the pain, many mothers will attempt to suffer to provide nourishment. What can occur is that this pain leads to the release of stress hormones that can diminish one’s milk supply. Surgical correction may be required to “free the tongue,” but this is not guaranteed to lead to a better latch.
I told the Pediatrician I wanted to exclusively formula feed. She said: do it and don’t look back.Jen
Dr Régine: Jen’s story serves as a reminder that providing the best nutritional care does not necessarily mean breastfeeding. For her household’s overall health and well-being, forgoing breastfeeding and pumping was what worked best for her family. Her son is thriving while being exclusively formula-fed.
To support you through your feeding journey (and to drown out the sound of the pump), we’re bringing parents a first of its kind guided meditation with our partners at Mindful Mamas. If Jen’s story resonates with you, we suggest listening to ‘When You Wanted to Breastfeed’. Open the app below: Click Guided > Feeding Baby > When You Wanted to Breastfeed. This content is brought to you free by the team at Bobbie through November 30th, 2021.