Food is what keeps us alive. Humans can not live without hydration and nutrition. Everywhere you look people are eating but what if you can not eat? I mean physically eat? That is the reality facing parents raising children with disability. I know because I am one of those moms.
In mommy group forums you see debates over whether breastfeeding or formula feeding is best for a baby. I have observed that they can become quite mean. Around the time that I was a first time breastfeeding mom the media was blasted with the controversy made by Super Model Gisele Bundchen comments that Breast Feeding should be a “Law.”
That comment left me personally feeling like a failure. I had cracked, broken nipples with huge sores because at the time I didn’t know Lilly had huge feeding and swelling issues. The Hubby actually took the decision away from me when he saw the latest breastfeeding injury and started Lilly on a bottle. “If you’re in this much pain it’s not worth it.”
At the time I didn’t know I had three years of feeding and swallowing therapy ahead of me, and with follow-up clinics once released. That it would take me 6 years to get Lilly off the bottle and onto a straw thermos. Even now, at age 6 and a half, she still has trouble with some textures when chewing.
It was most likely during that newborn stage the reason why she cried so much was because she was hungry and not gas like we were advised. Once on full-time formula she became a more content baby because the bottle nipple were easier for her to suck.
Lilly’s brain injury affected the area the controls the muscles in her mouth. They where underdeveloped as a baby, we have worked hard to build them up, and still do!
But as a first time mom I had no idea this was the reason why I couldn’t breastfeed my child. I felt like I was a failure because I couldn’t provide for my child in the simplest way; making her food.
Six years later, after breastfeeding two children, and with more wisdom and knowledge than I had back then I can honestly say; the only thing that matters is if a child gets there feeds. Not how they do it.
It doesn’t matter if it is through , g-tube, n-tube, bottle, breastfeed or by formula. All that matters is that babies are feed.
If you’re a mom in a similar situation please leave a comment down below.