Photo Credit: Goldmund Lukic / Vetta / Getty
As if being a new mom isn't thrilling, exhausting, and emotional enough, one iVillage woman from our community had to fight with the hospital in order to exclusively breastfeed.
After a mix of breastfeeding and formula feeding with her first two sons, she was determined (and prepared) to exclusively breastfeed her third. As meand3boys2009 reports,
"He was born via repeat c-section. As soon as I got back in the room, we latched. He ate and suckled constantly the first 48hrs.... At 50 hours old, my milk had not fully come in yet, and I wasn't getting much colostrum from the pump. The [pediatrician] on call came in and said he was concerned about dehydration. They did a blood sugar test and said it was on the low end of normal."
It’s true that when you have a c-section, it can delay your milk coming in. And granted, the hospital’s job is to protect the newborn, so when they feared that the baby would be dehydrated, it’s not surprising that they recommended supplementing with formula.
Our new mom did, in fact, supplement with formula at the hospital and continued to bottle-feed pumped colostrum, informing the staff that she would decrease the formula as her milk came in. She waited for further tests and another visit from the pediatrician -- neither of which happened by the time she was scheduled to be checked out of the hospital.
Imagine her surprise when she arrived at home with her (still nursing) newborn, to find a social worker at her house!
"I'm now a 'case' with CPS, and who knows how long [I] will have to defend myself and my son because I chose not to supplement that early. They were telling me my milk 'should be in,' I 'should be pumping more.' The one nurse even said something like, 'What if we let you leave and then read in the paper that your baby died in three days from brain damage from being dehydrated?' OH MY GOSH!!!! Who says that?"
Reactions from other women on the boards range from "over the top" and "absolutely ridiculous" to "I'm a lawyer. If you have general questions, please feel free to private message me."
Fortunately, this nightmare has a happy ending! CPS put our beleaguered mom in touch with a lactation consultant -- a service never offered at the hospital. After the baby's first check up with the family's pediatrician, his weight and other measurements were all perfectly normal. Happy, healthy, baby. After talking to the pediatrician, CPS cancelled their case.
What do you think of this case? Have you had to fight for your rights to breastfeed? Check out meand3boys2009's story on the boards, and leave your congratulations or share your story!