Written by Holly Lake
I wish I had known about the Fed Is Best Foundation before my 1st son was born. I felt enormous pressure to exclusively breastfeed at my hospital. My son was born at 37 weeks, weighing 5 pounds,13 ounces and he struggled to latch-on and breastfeed at each feeding. When I told the midwife, she came back with a leaflet which described how to hand express. She told me to express 1 mL of colostrum into a syringe and feed that to my baby whenever he struggled to latch. I asked her if 1 mL was enough and she said it was because his tummy was very small and this amount would be fine until my milk came in. Note: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml.
I was discharged hours later not feeling confident my baby was getting enough colostrum. A midwife came out to see me at home on day 3 because I said I was worried about his feeding. He became extremely yellow (jaundiced), not very responsive (lethargic) and would let out random high pitch screams and would sleep all of the time and never wanted to feed by this time. He also would have random body spasms which doctors shrugged off as normal baby reflexes (later we found out different). The midwife said I could wait and see how he did overnight or go to hospital. I chose to take him to hospital. When arriving, we found that he had lost 12% of his body weight and his blood sugars levels dropped dangerously low to 0.2 mmol/L (4 mg/dL) and was he was jaundiced.
Neonatal hypoglycemia, defined as a plasma glucose level of less than 30 mg/dL (1.65 mmol/L) in the first 24 hours of life and less than 45 mg/dL (2.5 mmol/L) thereafter, is the most common metabolic problem in newborns. Major long-term sequelae include neurologic damage resulting in mental retardation, recurrent seizure activity, developmental delay, and personality disorders. Some evidence suggests that severe hypoglycemia may impair cardiovascular function. Neonatal Hypoglycemia
These are the signs your newborn baby is not getting enough colostrum during the first week of life. As many as 1 in 7 mothers have delayed onset of copious milk production. Supplement your baby and seek emergency care to prevent harm.
We were in hospital for 7 long days to stabilize my baby and we were STILL under a lot of pressure to breastfeed but within days of being discharged, I changed to formula and he started gaining weight significantly faster in only 2 days time as I did not trust having enough breast milk.
When my son turned 7 months old he started having seizures and he was diagnosed with infantile spasms epilepsy and the cause was confirmed from hypoglycemia, when he was a few days old from poor feeding advice.
He has scarring at the back, left side of his brain (left occipital lobe) from the hypoglycemia episodes and will need continuous monitoring as he grows up because the part of his brain that was injured is directly responsible for his vision. He has needed physiotherapy and will need speech and language therapy as he grows.
I will never forgive the midwife for the poor (negligent) medical advice that she gave me. My son will be on seizure medication for the rest of his life and will always be at risk of having seizures because of the scarring on his brain from the hypoglycemic brain injury, that was completely preventable.
I blamed myself for a long time and still do sometimes. I wish I would have given him a bottle. I hate how it has affected him and his future and my needless emotional suffering!
When we had our next son, I gave him formula straight away. PLEASE educate yourself with correct feeding information that the Fed Is Best Foundation is offering. It will save your baby’s life! #FedisAlwaysBest.
For more educational information we have parent resources available for FREE: Feeding Plan
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