After experiencing a textbook pregnancy, on track and ready for a natural birth, I suddenly went into premature labour at 33 weeks. After several hours of the doctors trying everything to keep my baby girl inside, I went in for an emergency c-section. I’d suffered a massive placental abruption. During the surgery, I lost more than half my blood volume. I woke up several hours later in ICU, surrounded by my husband and family in tears. It had been touch and go for me and my baby girl. We were lucky to be alive.
Premature babies younger than 35 weeks struggle to digest formula, so it’s vital to give them breastmilk. Given the trauma my own body had suffered, it seemed unlikely that I’d be able to breastfeed Kelsea. Thankfully Dr Barrow had called in Judy, who I’d already chatted to on the phone in anticipation of my due date. Judy met my husband and I before I went into theatre, and helped me to express vital colostrum, which was the first milk Kelsea received after she was born. She visited me in ICU in the days that followed, and patiently helped me to express milk that would go to the baby girl I hadn’t even met yet.
In the few days that followed, Judy helped me to get my supply up to be enough for Kelsea. My husband only ordered donor breastmilk once, when I first came out of theatre. Nothing can prepare you for the trauma of your baby coming early, the utter helplessness that comes when this tiny little creature you are meant to look after is connected to ventilators and tubes and has tiny IVs in their head. At times it felt like the only thing I could do for her, the only way I could be a mother, was to give her the breastmilk she so desperately needed.
We were initially told that Kelsea would be in NICU for a minimum of 5 weeks, in order to learn to suck and feed independently. Thankfully, with my paeditrician’s support, I started breastfeeding Kelsea very soon after she started to feed independently. Initially she didn’t latch properly, but after my session with Judy, she took to it like a duck to water. And as a result her sucking on the bottle improved dramatically overnight. She eventually came home after just 3 weeks in NICU. I believe a big part of this was due to her breastfeeding, as well as the unbelievable care she received from Dr Dance and the Sandton MediClinic NICU sisters. And despite hearing horror stories of chapped nipples etc while breastfeeding, I did not suffer from this at all. Learning how to latch Kelsea properly was invaluable!
Judy helped me enormously over the course of this huge trauma. If it weren’t for her, it is unlikely I would have been able to breastfeed my tiny little girl. I would highly recommend Judy’s services. They are an investment in the physical and emotional welfare of you and your baby. Her constant encouragement, concern and support got Kelsea and I through a very hard time in our lives. Thankyou for everything Judy, we are so grateful <3