Perhaps one of the bigger arguments that continues amongst parents and nutritionists alike is breastfeeding or bottle feeding an infant. While it is ultimately up to the parent to decide how to care for their baby, people always have strong opinions in favor of one side. This is an argument that may never end, and at the end of the day, some mothers don’t have the choice of favoring one or the other.
Now, a photo of one mother feeding her newborn baby in a very different way is bringing this feeding style into the topic of discussion: syringe feeding.
Rebecca McKeever is a doula who welcomed her very first child in September of last year. She was struggling to get her new daughter, Andromeda, to eat 17 hours after she was born.
"A lactation consultant came to our hospital room to ask if we needed help," Rebecca recalled. "She saw that I was expressing colostrum but that Andromeda wasn't latching, so she brought in little cups and syringes so we could get some food in her. I expressed some colostrum into a cup, then put it into the syringe and fed her little drops at a time."
Rebecca could clearly see her daughter enjoying being fed, and said that she was extremely responsive to the syringe.
“She smiled and melted with each drop,” Rebecca recalled.
After trying this method for a bit, Rebecca was able to get Andromeda to successfully latch and begin to breastfeed.
“Then, a few minutes after getting that nourishment, she woke up a bit more and actually tried the breast! We had to do a mix of syringe feeding and breastfeeding for the first week. I was familiar with syringe-feeding because I am a birth and postpartum doula, but in the moment I really needed someone to suggest it to me!” Rebecca said. “It's amazing how much we all need help and reminding, even when we know things. Support is key."
Despite the fact that Rebecca is an experienced doula, another person was able to open her eyes to this other option of feeding! She is grateful for the help of her lactation specialized, and how eye-opening the entire experienced was.
At 3 weeks old, Andromeda was able to breastfeed exclusively, and Rebecca believes that it is because of the syringe feeding. "In that moment, I felt so empowered and happy to be able to feed my baby," she said. "Even if it wasn't in the 'traditional' way, it didn't matter to me! I knew it might take some time."
Rebecca’s Instagram photo received nearly 2,000 likes on Instagram, and countless comments from people praising the new mom and encouraging her.
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