Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Comfort After Surgery

I recently had a question left in my comment section about comforting the baby after a lip repair. This question comes from a mom who gave birth to a baby two months ago who is scheduled to have his lip repair on December 16th. Rather than respond to her question in the comment section, where the answer might not be found, I have decided to answer in a post.


Hi Ella! Congratulations on the birth of your baby. I know it's hard having a baby with a cleft, the emotions and thoughts you are having are some that all of us with cleft affected babies have had and have dealt with.

I know how anxious and scared you are for the upcoming surgery. Please know that I'll be praying for you and for the surgery.

"Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Phillippians 4:6

As for comforting the baby after surgery...

If surgery there in Indonesia is anything like it is here in the States, they will keep the baby overnight. Find out ahead of time if you can spend the night with your baby in the hospital. He'll be on pain medications. Be sure to find out how often he can have them and then be on the nurses to make sure they administer them like clockwork. If you can stay on top of getting the pain medicine regularly, it keeps the pain at a minimum.

I know he's still tiny, but bring any toys or stuffed animals or blankie that he might be attached to, with you to the hospital. Having things he finds comfort in will keep him distracted from having his arms in arm restraints.

But more importantly, you are his biggest source of comfort. Hold him, rock him, walk him, sing to him. Just be there for him. The nurses and caretakers will be strangers to him and he'll find comfort in you just being with him.

Once you are home, stay on top of giving the pain medications every 4-6 hours or however they are prescribed. If you can keep the pain medication in him for a few days, it really does make a difference in keeping his pain at bay.

As for feeding, we were able to go right back to using Rachel's special bottle, the Haberman. Try feeding him about 20-30 minutes after you've given him his pain medication. Depending on what type of medicine he comes home with, sometimes a side effect is suppressing the appetite. So he might not want to eat. Just keep pushing the liquids as often and as much as you can if that's the case.

After about 3-4 days, he should be back close to normal. Pain will pretty much be subsided. You'll just have the annoyance of the arm restraints for 2-3 weeks.

I hope these ideas and suggestions have helped. If you go to the left hand side of this blog, there are posts specific to all Rachel's cleft issues. Check out the posts regarding her lip repair. There might be something else there you might find helpful.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you may think of in the coming weeks prior to surgery. If you sign Rachel's Guestbook and leave me your email address, I can email you directly in the future.

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