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Miracles Still Happen

One day I visited a mom at home who had faithfully attended all my classes. Her pregnancy finished two months earlier than expected and hoped for. After the birth of her premature baby, the baby is transferred to the children’s hospital, after a couple of days the mom is discharged home. She goes home without baby. She is separated from her baby. She can’t even visit her. She had so much hoped to breastfeed her baby, but now her baby is in the hospital and she is home. Her baby is too small to breastfeed; Even if she were close to her baby, she wouldn’t have been able to latch her baby to the breast. She does start hand expressing milk the day after the birth of the baby, she continues to do this for five to six days, but not with a lot of success. She is ready to quit. She tells her dad: “I so much wanted to breastfeed, but I don’t know if I can do this!” My co-worker in Taiyuan, also a good friend of hers, connects with her and encourages her to start pumping with a good electric pump. She gets hold of a double-sided electric pump and starts pumping (15 days after the birth of her baby!). Initially she only gets a little bit of milk. Her friend encourages her: pump more often, keep going, don’t quit. She reads all the information about breastfeeding on my website, not just once, she tells me: “I sometimes just forget and then I have to go back to the website and re-read it!” She keeps pumping, she reads about power pumping and then starts to do some power pumping (frequent pumping in a short period of time). Meanwhile, her friend and others encourage her to keep going. And with good results: her milk supply increases day-by-day. She freezes her milk. And when her baby comes home, 28 days after birth, she has a good milk supply. She holds her baby close to her breast. Mom is patient. She just holds her for quite a while and slowly but surely the baby looks for the breast, latches on and starts sucking. Gentle, light sucks at first. From the moment the baby is home, mom feeds her baby regularly at the breast, on demand. The baby gains weight and hasn’t seen a bottle ever since she came home. When I visit, she is six months old and still fully breastfed. She’s put on weight beautifully and has been very healthy. Mom is so thankful! And me? I’m surprised, but very thankful too and encouraged! This goes beyond what I have learned about pumping and milk supply, and about transitioning a preterm baby to the breast. I think it is beautiful and perhaps reason to sometimes give things a chance when we have doubts!

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