Supporting Direct Breastfeeding in a Tracheostomy-Dependent Neonate: A Case Report
Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
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Objectives: There are numerous well-described benefits to breastfeeding to both infant and mother. Even in healthy children with an uncomplicated perinatal course, there may be significant struggles maintaining a breastfeeding relationship. Infants with a complicated clinical course have been shown to benefit even more from the provision of breastmilk, however they are seldom encouraged to feed directly at the breast. There are no reports of successful direct breastfeeding in an infant with a tracheostomy. Methods and Results: We present the case of a breastfeeding dyad including a trach-dependent infant with congenital idiopathic bilateral vocal fold immobility who successfully initiated and maintained an inclusive breastfeeding relationship. Conclusion: This case illustrates that successful direct breastfeeding can be achieved in an infant with a tracheostomy. If a patient is felt to be capable of oral feeding via bottle, there is no reason that there should not be a trial of direct feeding at the breast, for the benefit of both members of the breastfeeding dyad.