Monday, June 9, 2008

Post Surgery Feeding Tips

Most of these have been gathered from reading the Cleft Advocate and Wide Smiles emails. Just thought to share them here:

Lip Repair (3/19/08)
1. Offer the bottle on the opposite side of the repair. Or if it is a bilateral repair, on either side. Holly would gently press the nipple between her gums. Again, the nipple was neither too new(too hard) or too old(too much milk).

2. If this is too hard for your little one. Try a syringe. Offer just a few drops at a time. Ask the hospital for 10cc syringes, and ask for several. So it isn't so hard to keep the formula coming.

3. There are special bottles, like the Soft Sipp or Zip-n-squeeze, but we didn't have to go there. I'll let you know after the Hard Palate Repair.

4. After the first two/three days, begin alternating Tylenol, plain with the Tylenol w/codiene. Codiene can suppress the appetite.

Soft Palate Repair (6/4/08)
1. I approached this like having tonsils out. I figured her throat would be sore, and keeping it moist the first few days would be important. So offer the bottle often.

2. Same applies, not too new or too old of a nipple.

3. Offered apple juice, not cold, but not warm either.

4. Added more Karo syrup to bottles to make avoid the constipation from the pain meds.

5. Mylicon help the first two/three days with the sore throat. Not because of gas, but just to coat her throat to help her swallow medicine or formula. Today is Day 5 and we don't need the Mylicon anymore for that.

6. After the first two/three days, begin alternating Tylenol, plain with the Tylenol w/codiene. Codiene can suppress the appetite.

Hard Palate Repair (10/8/08)
(Now that we have been there, here is what worked for us)
  1. Must say, that no one thing really worked. What I can gather from other's experiences is that you, too, must try until you find something that does work.
  2. We brought a bottle, a cup, a Soft Sipp and medicine dropper. In the end we used all four to get through the first 5 days after surgery.
  3. Day 1, Holly was still drinking pretty well from her bottle. (12 oz total)
  4. Day 2, no bottle, we used cup and Soft Sipp (12 oz total)
  5. Day 3, cup (maybe 10 oz)
  6. Day 4, cup, dropper, sherbet, Chocolate Silk (6 oz total, worst day)
  7. Day 5, bottle only. This was our turn around day, Holly has improved so much every day.

Other things that made a difference: Holly got an extra IV of Zantac, in addition to her normal doses of Prevacid that really, really helped.

All medicines were very, very difficult to give, Tylenol, Keflex, even Prevacid. We thinned out the each dose with water. That seemed to help some. Now a week later, she is able to take medicine better, but not quite as good as before.

Above all else, I prayed each day that God would show me how to best feed Holly at that moment. Each day was different. Perservere, watch for wet diapers and hang in there!

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