Feeding bottles for babies born with cleft lips and palates

img_8204-2img_8135 img_8138 img_8145A huge thank you to Jane Sibley, who has just sent out 52 soft feeding bottles and 84 teats (funded by Interface) to the nutritionists at CoRSU hospital.  Jane visited CoRSU in March last year, and took out many soft feeding bottles and special teats – she has kept in touch with the nutritionists there, and the babies and mothers are really benefiting from the bottles, enabling the babies to feed properly and gain weight, until they are well enough to have the cleft surgery required. Interface have decided to fund a regular supply of these bottles, which are difficult to source in Uganda.

This is part of Jane’s report from when she went out to Uganda in March last year.  You can read the full report here.  (Lorna and Bertha are both nutritionists at CoRSU hospital).

Lorna has been in contact with me since my return to the UK to let me know about her success starting two, 4 week old babies on the soft bottles. apparently the babies came in to CoRSU malnourished and they took to the bottles without a problem. Bertha said in an email to me “The bottles are working exceptionally well for the newborn babies and those of 1, 2 and 3 months.” Another thing that the nutrition team had hoped I would be able to do was to introduce the use of electric breast pumps to the resident mums at CoRSU. Many mums that have babies with cleft palates struggle to keep their milk supply going because the cleft prevents successful breastfeeding. The babies cannot create a vacuum that is necessary to draw the milk from the breast or to suck strongly enough to increase the breast milk supply in line with the babies growth. Malnutrition is caused by this lack of breast milk or by diarrhoea from feeding young babies on cow’s milk (as an alternative to breast milk) whose digestive systems are too immature to absorb it. The use of a breast pump will increase the mother’s milk supply because it stimulates the breasts to produce more milk than with hand expressing. It is also quick and efficient, meaning the mothers are more likely to persevere with expressing for longer. The mothers on the ward looked on in amazement at the first mother who used the breast pump. It was a touching moment when a group of mothers crowded around the mum using the breast pump who instantly gained ‘celebrity status’! I have since heard from Lorna that the breast pumps are continuing to be used successfully.