Mom's 'freak' breastfeeding accident is more common than you might think

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A mom is speaking out about the terrifying moment her newborn son almost choked to death while she was breastfeeding.

Rebecca Taylor took to Facebook to share what she describes as the “scariest day of my life by far,” in an incident that happens more often than you’d think.

“Did you know that babies could choke on breastmilk? Like seriously can’t catch their breath, call an ambulance trip to the emergency room choke? Well I definitely did not. Thankfully he’s OK now, but for a brief while he wasn’t, and I’ve never felt more panicked or lost in my entire life.”

The frightened mom will never forget the sight of her newborn on the brink of death.

“He turned blue and I really thought I was going to lose him,” she explains.

“Watching my teeny tiny new baby get hooked up to an oxygen mask with all sorts of tubes and codes being called out is one if the worst things a parent could ever witness.

“They’re just so small and helpless, but most importantly irreplaceable. I’m so thankful to God and wonderful paramedics that he’s OK and home where he belongs.”

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The mom-of-two had never heard of such a thing happening to a baby while nursing.

“Point is, apparently this ‘freak’ accident can actually happen to babies and it’s more common than I thought,” she says.

“Especially when you have an over active let down and produce too much milk (something some people wish for). Sure wish I would have known that and been more prepared for something so insanely scary.

“I had no idea this was possible, I mean I understand how, I just can’t believe it. I breastfed my daughter for 18 months and nothing like this ever happened to us.”

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The newborn had a chest X-ray and has to be monitored for aspiration pneumonia, but is in a stable condition.

After the scare, Taylor reached out to a lactation consultant — as well as fellow breastfeeding moms — for answers, here are some suggestions:

  • Consider laid-back nursing, in which you are reclined and the baby lies on you. This allows the baby to control the rate of nursing.
  • Try block feeding to lessen your supply. It involves restricting the baby to one breast for three-hour or longer blocks of time before giving the other breast, which signals the body that there’s lower demand.
  • See a speech pathologist specializing in infant feeding. A little coughing, gagging, or hacking can be fixed with positioning.

You can find out more about managing an oversupply of milk while breastfeeding by clicking here.

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