Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Stance Regarding the Value of Breastmilk for Charlotte as Nutrition & Medicine

We are committed that Charlotte gets all of what breastmilk has to offer which includes a heavy infusion of Omega 3s for her brain.   Neurosurgeons are using Omega 3 supplementation as an essential component of their TBI patients with dramatic results. Good nutrition is the basis for Charlotte’s performance meaning when she consumes the ultimate nutrition; it has and will continue to positively impact her therapies.

It's not JUST that breastmilk is high in the "good stuff", it's that formula/sugar laden drinks and foods are high in the bad stuff such as corn syrup and vegetable oils. In other words, it's a win-win for Charlotte to receive BM as her primary fluid along with healthy complementary foods.

We have attempted to understand your explanation of the food "challenge". Reason being if Charlotte could take in the "calories" by solid foods and liquid then she would not need a PEG put in to go home. We understand that many children "drink their calories" and have no room left for food.  This would understandably be a concern if we were talking about anything other than breastmilk which is easily digested and 99% bio-available. It doesn't sit in the stomach for 4-6 hrs. like commercial formulas do. Also water is "filling" as well and can discourage eating plus it contains no nutritional or medicinal value. Shouldn't we be concerned where the calories are coming from- not just counting calories?   I implore you to produce the studies that show water and high calorie supplements are healthy.

It is clear to us that Charlotte may not be able to take in orally the required fluid amount thus requiring a PEG to go home - so be it. We are very pleased with her eating and drinking of nectars including the amount she can eat now. Progress is expected. But we feel strongly that breastmilk remain a main staple of her diet - any way she can get it. And discontinuing it would only compromise her health & well-being. We have come too far to allow that to happen.

Yes, Charlotte has a traumatic brain injury - we are not denying that. But you act like the TBI child is so different that "normal" anything doesn't apply. She is still a human baby so human milk is what she needs.

Side note: An influential mainstream nonprofit focused on protecting healthy infants is in the process of writing a story about Charlotte's journey through JDCH.  A similar story was done from her stay at St. Mary's. Much of it will be about the courage and camaraderie it took on your part to open up to new ideas, let down your guards, and get Charlotte where she was to where she is now. The goal here is not for her merely to survive, but to THRIVE. She needs live nutrient dense specialized food to do that. Human Milk is a Super Food! And you are Super Heroes for breaking with the past and making it happen.

We appreciate your cooperation.

Maria Parlapiano RN IBCLC

* here is another heartwarming story of a child who was adopted by a couple when she was near death and is alive today because of donated breastmilk