A mum who was unknowingly starving her newborn son for weeks due to insufficient breastfeeding has opened up about her experience in a bid to warn others against making the same mistake.
Andrea Rodas, from Austin in the US, revealed in a Facebook post that her baby was initially ‘happy and chubby’ for two weeks after he was born, when he was exclusively breastfed, but then he started losing weight.
‘I was starving my son for weeks, and I had no idea — even though the signs were right in front of me the entire time’, she explained.
‘I had been exclusively breastfeeding Jogie since the day he was born. We had no problems. He was back at his original birth weight before he turned 2 weeks old, and he was a happy and chubby baby.
‘I can’t exactly pinpoint when things got worse. My first mistake was deciding not to pump anymore. I thought it was useless since I wasn’t producing 4 oz. in one session any longer. I was concerned, but everything I read said that babies can get more out of you than a breast pump can’, she continued.
When her baby started to lose weight, Andrea didn’t realise that this could be a sign of starvation – a mistake she says she hasn’t been able to forgive herself for.
‘Then Jogie lost weight, like an entire pound. For everyone else, that would instantly be a red flag. But for some idiotic reason, I didn’t trust the scales we have at home. I will never forgive myself for making that crucial mistake.
‘He would cry, but I thought it was because he was full and didn’t want to be forced to eat any more. I’d give him his pacifier, and he’d be fine.’
It was only after Jogie’s nursing sessions got shorter – he started breastfeeding for three minutes when he used to nurse for 10 minutes before – until he eventually stopped completely that Andrea switched to formula.
‘I wish I had done it much sooner. He’s been a totally different baby. He’s so much happier! I wanted to publicly share my experiences in the hopes that it will help someone else’, the mum wrote on her Facebook account.
Andrea wants to share her scary story with other mothers, so that they don’t have to go through the same difficult situation with their babies.
‘My main message is that yes, your milk supply can dry out suddenly and seemingly without explanation. Everything I had read said breastfeeding was supply and demand and that the baby can help build your supply back up.
‘I want to warn mothers that this is not always true!’, she said before advising new mums to give babies formula or pumped breast milk if they have any concerns.
Andrea Rodas added a new photo.
She ended the post by saying that she still feels guilty about what happened to her baby: ‘I will never forgive myself for being so foolish. I cried myself to sleep and told Jorge that I should be arrested. I feel so naive and ashamed. I’m just thankful he survived.
‘I just want to educate other parents or future parents. Our children’s lives depend on it.’
Many mums commented on Andrea’s post to share their own experiences of breastfeeding and to offer words of comfort.
One wrote: ‘My son wasn’t getting enough of my milk and when I switched to formula one time I didn’t realize my sons bottle nipple was clogged and couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t eating and screaming. You’re not alone!’
Another commented: ‘Andrea, don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re a first time mom and there’s no one around to help you out along the way, when needed. The important thing is you noticed and took care of Jogie. That’s a mother’s instinct. Great job mommy!!!!’