From Australia: Heartbreaking moment mum realised she had accidentally starved her baby

by Claire Haiek

“I could have lost my baby and my own sanity.”

Mandy’s son at one month old. Image:

If you’ve breastfed for any amount of time, you will understand the uncertainty of not knowing how much your baby is consuming. Not being able to measure up a bottle and watch the milk level decrease can often lead to confusion and second guessing for new mothers.

One new mother has written about her experience in order to promote safe breastfeeding.

In the beginning

Mandy recounts her time in hospital where her baby boy was born weighing six pounds and five ounces. During their hospital stay he lost almost ten per cent of his birth weight. Mandy was given a nipple shield to assist with her baby’s latching due to her flat nipples and the pair were discharged from hospital.

Mandy continued feeding her baby who was becoming distressed both during and after feeds. The nipple shield would be full of milk after a feed, and she was often feeding for long periods of time.

Friends in an online mother’s group suggested that her baby was simply cluster feeding. At one-week-old, the doctor was not concerned because the baby boy was still having wet and dirty nappies.

Some red flags

It wasn’t until the baby’s one month check-up that someone suggested an alternative plan of action. Mandy’s baby had gained only half an ounce since birth and she was referred to a lactation consultant.

“I went the next day to a group class,” Mandy explains. “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.”

At the end of that class, Mandy’s baby was weighed before and after an hour-long breastfeed and it was discovered that he had only taken in 20mls.