Instagram user CarriageHouseBirth – a birthing and doula services provider in the USA – shared this pic of a sleepy baby being fed colostrum through a syringe.
The mum in the pic is Rebecca McKeever, who is herself a doula. She decided to try the syringe after her daughter Andromeda failed to latch on after birth: the pic was taken just 17 hours after she was born, and so she was still in that lovely sleepy newborn fug.
Rebecca told the Huffington Post that although she was aware of syringe nursing as a doula, at the time, she really ‘needed someone to suggest it’ to her for her own baby (yep, we all know about that post-birth brain fog, right?)
“A lactation consultant came to our hospital room to ask if we needed help,” Rebecca explained. “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 said that baby Andromeda ‘smiled and melted with each drop’ and just a few minutes after woke up a bit more and tried to actually breastfeed.
“In that moment, I felt so empowered and happy to be able to feed my baby,” Rebecca said. “Even if it wasn’t in the ‘traditional’ way, it didn’t matter to me! I knew it might take some time.”
Andromeda spent the first week having a combination of syringe and breast feeds, but is now exclusively breastfed.
Rebecca says she shared the pic in the hope it will encourage other mums not only give syringe feeding a go, but to reassure them that although breastfeeding might not establish immediately, just to go with the flow and ‘let go of expectations”.
What our mums said
Lots of you told us that you did this in hospital – and think it’s a great idea for mums who are struggling to breastfeed – usually because their baby won’t latch on for whatever reason.
Sophie J said: “I had to do this with my little one as we had a bad latch, I hand-expressed colostrum and she’d have it in the syringe while also offering the boob.”
Monica J told us: “I syringe-fed colostrum expressed before I gave birth as my milk took ages to come through after giving birth.”
“I did this for the first few days with my daughter as she wouldn’t latch, ” says Kelly G. “Such a good thing to do ensure they still get the goodness.”
And Vicki C said: “I did this with my first in hospital. The midwives helped me express and feed her with the syringe until we both learned how to latch.”
Finally, Janina T said this: “Yes – and how I fed my first in hospital. Fantastic way for them to get the goodness they need if they can’t latch 🍼.”
What do you think?
What a fab photo and excellent tip – had you heard of syringe feeding? Have you tried it? Do let us know on over on Facebook