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Mother Who Almost Starved Baby To Death Speaks Out
Having a baby places a huge responsibility on a parent. Baby cannot eat or move without your help and completely reliant on you to survive.
It’s something that does not come naturally to everyone immediately and there are they may be some complications after the birth of your child too.
As newborns can’t speak, there may be something wrong and there is no way for them to communicate the problem to parents.
For one Mom, who prefers to be named Mandy – her son couldn’t communicate the fact that he was starving, even though she was breastfeeding him constantly.
Naturally, she was incredibly concerned when her son wasn’t putting on any weight. The Mom was at a loss as to why he was starving and it eventually took numerous visits to doctors and paediatricians to diagnose what the problem was.
When her son was born, he weighed 6lbs 5oz and from the start, breastfeeding was difficult. She had flat nipples, meaning that her son couldn’t latch on properly and as a result, he was restless and unsettled. The hospital recommended she use a shield to aid her son’s latching, which did help for a short while.
One month in and her son hadn’t gain enough weight to be deemed healthy. She wrote a blog post for charity Fed Is Best, and said: “At his 1 month appointment he only weighed 6 pounds 5.5 ounces. He had only gained ½ of an ounce and his paediatrician suggested I talk to the lactation consultant. I went the next day to a group class, but the class was so large that I felt very overwhelmed and left early. I decided to go to the class offered at the hospital where he was born, where two of the nurses we had met would be teaching the class. The first thing they had me do was weigh him, feed him, and then weigh him again. When we weighed him after his hour-long feeding, the lactation consultant told me he had only eaten 20ml!”
A nurse suggested she incorporate formula when feeding her son, as well as a pumping schedule but to her confusion, her son was still restless when given breast milk. She wrote: “We continued the routine and he continued to grow and thrive, but my supply didn’t seem to be increasing, and he still seemed so restless while nursing. The restlessness turned into full on screaming after he nursed or drank a bottle of breast milk.”
Then the nurse suggested that she cut dairy out of her diet, in case her son was reacting to it.
Six weeks down the line, she met with her own doctors for a postpartum checkup: “She had experienced the same thing, so she sat down with me and went over things I could and couldn’t eat and what to look for on food labels. I also had a friend who did the same thing, so I followed her food plan, but he still would get so upset when he had any breast milk.”
At her wits’ end, she contacted her mother: “I was on the verge of a mental break down when she said, ‘he needs you to be healthy and sane far more than he needs breast milk.’ It was in that moment that I felt a little bit of weight lift off my shoulders. […] I was having a really hard time accepting it and was worried that she might push me to keep breastfeeding. Her beautiful response: ‘You’ve tried harder than 99% of the moms I’ve worked with to make breast feeding work, and it’s totally OK if you stop and exclusively formula feed.’”
The Mom then moved to a formula for her son, and suddenly saw a dramatic change in her baby’s behavior and he started gaining weight steadily.
Mandy’s story isn’t rare. Many new Moms struggle with breastfeeding, especially when there is a stigma around not breastfeeding your child. Perhaps her story will allow a little break for new mothers, and make the point that a baby’s health is the most important thing to worry about.