“Give them a little time….”

Christa Herzog-IslerSwitzerlandIBCLC

“the anaesthetist was sure he would latch on immediately after the operation. Unfortunately he didn’t, he would turn his head and cry inconsolably for the first day and a half….I expressed my milk and gave it to him with a syringe…then I was holding him and he started sucking my arm so I sat down and he latched on as if it were nothing…..we went back to our room and he nursed for two hours – he seemed to be making up for lost time. After that I had to nurse him standing up and walk with him, but after a week everything went back to normal.” (bilateral cleft lip)


“They had advised me not to latch him on for 24-48 hours after the operation. I expressed my milk and gave it to him with a bottle. His hunger was satisfied but he was irritated, and something told me that it wasn’t just the pain of the operation. After a whole day like that, I took things into my own hands and decided to nurse him. He settled himself in a way so as not to knock his nose and he started milking with his lips very very slowly, he sorted it all out himself in other words, and he calmed instantly” (bilateral cleft lip)


“Pumping milk for 7 months was the hardest thing I have ever done – but every time I sat down to nurse with her after that, made it all worthwhile” (monolateral cleft lip and palate)


“…..a couple of midwives accused me of crying because ‘my son wasn’t perfect’…..from amidst my tears I replied that my son WAS perfect, a perfection that their eyes could never see, and that if I was crying it was just for what the future might bring….yes, we are strong, but it’s also good to confess that sometimes we do feel overcome by this difficult journey.”


“And then I decided, enough. I had pumped my milk for seven months. I still remember one night when he woke up, before his operation, and he did manage to nurse a little bit because my breasts were full, it was dripping out of the sides of his mouth. I managed as best I could juggling the needs of the other members of the family. I would have liked him to nurse and I do regret that, but he’s healthy, and happy, and that’s the most important thing.” (monolateral cleft lip and palate)


” ……celebrate every little success you get. Because every drop of colostrum is worth its weight in gold and every day you succeed you have given your baby a wonderful precious gift. Whatever you manage will be a massive achievement, not a failure because you couldn’t do more.”


“I’m sick of everyone instantly dismissing the idea that we’ll be able to breastfeed our baby, ever,
I refuse to accept that it will be impossible and will at least try everything I can to make it work.” (prenatal diagnosis)


“If I had been told that it wasn’t possible to breastfeed my daughter, then I wouldn’t have tried!” (cleft of the soft palate, exclusively breastfed for 3 months, stopped for other reasons)


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