Breastfeeding can be a beautiful thing. But for some moms, it can also be incredibly difficult, and in some cases, dangerous. A silent breastfeeding complication almost cost Deseray Valdez her son, and she’s speaking out to help educate other new moms.
Deseray Valdez says her third baby was born healthy, and passed his first checkup with flying colors. But a breastfeeding complication turned his first few days into a nightmare.
Once home, Deseray says she noticed her baby’s skin didn’t look quite right. She noticed it was becoming yellow, which is a sign of jaundice. Deseray rushed back to the hospital with her newborn, where the baby was admitted to the ICU.
In the hospital, Deseray learned her new baby was starving and suffering from severe dehydration. As it turned out, the nursing mom was only producing an ounce of milk at a time.
Deseray says her son spent three terrifying days in the ICU, undergoing light therapy and getting fluids and nutrients. Luckily, he made a full recovery, and is now a healthy and happy 3-year old. But Deseray is speaking out in the hopes that her story can help another mom.
“You’re always told here that breastfeeding is best. You’re a mom, it’s natural that the milk is going to drop. You <will> have enough milk to provide for your baby. It was not the case on any of my three babies”, says Deseray.
Low supply or milk production is a fairly common issue a lot of women face early on. Unless you’re pumping and measuring output, there’s no concrete way to know how much you’re producing. But, there are things you can watch for, which can indicate an issue with supply. Monitor urine output and bowel movements (after your milk comes in, your baby should have 6-8 wet diapers a day). Look for uric crystals in the urine (sort of like red dust), or watch for meconium that lasts for several days. Most importantly, watch for changes to your baby’s behavior, like uncontrollable restlessness or unusual lethargy.
If you’re nursing and have any concerns about your supply, reach out to a local breastfeeding support group, or talk to your pediatrician. We know it’s not easy, but it can be a lot easier with the right support system.