Breastfeeding- When you’re child is ill
I had planned to post about the controversy around the breastfeeding photograph on the cover of TIME magazine, however just as I started writing the post, my baby boy Finn developed measles.
He contracted it I believe at an earlier hospital stay, and as he was only nine months, he had not had his MMR vaccination.
He was very unwell, he slept and slept, trying to feed occasionally but this set off coughing fits. Eventually I started getting engorged breasts again due to the reduced feeds. He then developed secondary breathing problems and I took a 2am trip to A and E and was admitted where they gave him steroids and oxygen when he slept.
I spent the next 48 hours with him, like a newborn again, as he started to get better, all he wanted to do was breastfeed, many of the nurses, whilst supportive, were bemused, ‘does he do nothing but breastfeed?’
Well normally he would be feeding every 3 hours or so during the day, but I was overjoyed to have him on the mend, and able to provide him some relief from his distress, even if I didn’t put him down for nearly 3 days.
I also co slept with him, as I usually do at home. I was asked to have him sleep in a cot, but I knew neither he or I would get any sleep so they brought in a bed for us to share.
It was quite a surreal experience, being in hospital with him, scary but also in some ways a blessing, to spend 3 days one on one with him without the distractions of other people, trying to find a job, my laptop…
To step outside of your normal life and look at your child and really have to face the fact that they are mortal and appreciate their place in your heart and in your life.
I was thankful for my breasts and my milk and to be able to be proactive in helping to heal my child within the hospital setting, listening to other babies in distress was very hard, and I felt for those other mothers that sometimes struggled to comfort their children. There was a little tiny baby on the ward that was alone for the two days I was there, I don’t know the circumstances, but to see such a tiny baby only held a few times a day by the nurses feeding her, was heartbreaking.
I did have a slight worry that Finny might regress to wanting to be fed and held constantly, but within two days of us leaving hospital, he is nearly back to being his usual quirky, giggly self, happy to play alone and demand feeding every few hours!