Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's 2010 People!!

I can't recall if I've mentioned, on here, that I volunteer helping breastfeeding moms when I'm supposed to be cooking dinner in my spare time. I may only get one or two calls a month. Unless, that month has a major holiday or I have just given birth. Then my phone will ring nonstop and I'll have to order my children not to answer any number they don't recognize. (Please don't think I'm horrible, its just that it took twice as long to convince Hank that its bedtime than it did to write this paragraph. And I can hear he still doesn't believe me ;) Goldie blessed me by going to bed at 8, which means she'll wake up screaming any second. See, I need every minute in my day.)

Yesterday I decided to answer a call that I had already ignored once. Well, I must have taken too long navigating the farm animals and Zhu Zhu pets because I missed it again. So, I did what I never do, and called this unknown person to see what they needed.

It was indeed a breastfeeding help call. A grandmother calling for her daughter. She began describing a baby that, although full term, had medical complications and was transported to a NICU in a larger city. She seemed unsure of what to tell me or where to even begin. The mother had an emergency c-section and the nurses had refused to show her how to pump or get a lactation consultant to see her. That's when my DS mommy radar went up.

Me "I hope you don't mind me asking, but does the baby have a suspected diagnosis. Its unusual for a mother to not receive help after several requests."

Baby's Grandma "Well, yes he does."

Me "Its okay, I understand, I have a daughter with Down syndrome"

BG "Oh, that's what they think he has. You really do understand. I'm so glad I called you."

Do you get what happened to her daughter? The nurses decided that because her baby has DS "he won't be able to breastfeed anyway" or "it won't matter". Then again maybe they were too busy feeling sorry for her and didn't want to "burden" her with pumping for her baby. This story is very familiar to me. I have a friend who experienced the same thing almost 4 years ago when her daughter was born. It was a different hospital in a different state, but the same attitudes. That talk a friend and I gave last year, we need to keep giving it.


My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. I just can't believe this is still happening. It is so unfortunate. Hopefully, this mom will get the encouragement and help she needs to have a positive experience. It's great you were available.

Cindy said...

Very sad. If only everyone- especially nurses!!!- knew the wonderful benefits of breastmilk- they would be jumping up and down to help as much as they can, no matter what! Johnny, my baby with ds, was my best nurser right from the beginning! :)
Thanks for sharing!

Wendy P said...

Breaks my heart. I'm so glad you called them back.

Amy said...

Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog!

I'm so sad to read that professionals are still not supporting women who want to BF their children w/Ds. I could find no one to help me as we struggled in my daughter's (now 15 y.o.) early weeks/months. Despite having a local regional neonatal center, no one was willing to help us :-( This mama did not give up though!

L.Howerter said...

I'm curious to know... I have heard that some DS babies are born with cleft pallets.. is that true? could that be a reason they would refuse to help the mother? I am curious because I am pregnant and 41 and I have read the chance of having a baby with DS increases greatly at my age.

Lisa said...

What a wonderful service you're providing, Brandie!

Mel said...

So amazing, and how intuitive of you to know. Great story.