Dr Jezamine Lim On Breastfeeding
Dr Jezamine Lim Iskandar, wife to comedian Harith Iskandar shares on the challenges she faced while breastfeeding her first baby Zander- the tongue tie.
Although she keeps a low profile the stunning Dr Jezamine Lim Iskandar needs little introduction. As wife to Malaysia's most famous comedian Harith Iskandar and a mother to two adorable children, Zander Xayre Iskander, 4 and Alessandrea Jayne, 2 as well as a medical officer pursuing her PhD in stem cell and tissue engineering, she is known as a beauty with brains.
However, charmed life aside, she did face some challenges while breastfeeding her first baby boy Zander, who was born in 2012.
Tongue-tie and breastfeeding
Baby Zander was born via a Cesarean section because he was a big baby and the problems began during confinement when mom and baby were trying to establish breastfeeding. Although Jezamine had long made up her mind to exclusively breast feed her baby for as long as possible, baby Zander had great difficulties latching on.
It turned out that Zander was born with a tongue-tie. When babies suffer tongue-tie, they often cannot open their mouths widely, thus not latching on to the breast at the correct angle. Instead he may latch onto the nipple, and 'gum' or chew it, causing severe pain and eventually, nipple damage.
The impact of a significant tongue-tie on the ability of a baby to be breastfed is very often severe. Not only is the mother in pain from incorrect latch and maybe injuries to the nipple, but the baby is unsatisfied and cranky. The inability of the baby to remove milk efficiently from the breast causes for milk supply to drop and breastfeeding to fail.
For Jezamine who was very determined to breastfeed, it was heartbreaking to see her son frustrated and angry at his inability to latch on and feed properly. She resorted to expressing milk and feeding him with a spoon while waiting to see if the problem would solve itself. But that did not save her from the negativity of people around her.
“When you’re trying to do something good for your baby and it ends up with the baby wailing in frustration, the people around me, for example family members who are present in the house at the time, tend to worry, I guess. This is when they would start to subconsciously go all negative and question my decision to pursue with breast feeding” said Jezamine. “It was extremely difficult for me to stay positive when family members were saying “This is not going to work, so why don’t you just put the baby out of his misery and give him some formula?”
Dealing with tongue-tie
Thankfully Harith remained supportive of his wife, whether she chose to keep trying to breastfeed or resort to formula. Jezamine is all praises about her Harith as her pillar of strength and comfort and an amazing father to their two children.
After a couple of weeks of exasperation and with the advice of a lactation consultant, the couple sought professional help to remedy Zander’s condition. Baby Zander underwent a small operation to correct the condition and after that, according to his proud mummy, was able to feed like a pro!
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