When I was pregnant with my first child I assumed I’d breastfeed without issue. Of course, right? It was natural and the path I very much wanted for myself and my son. Only like many mothers, it was anything but easy. His inability to latch combined with my stress level and fear of failure meant regular visits to lactation consultants that often ended in tears. That was eight years ago, but the memory remains vivid. So I have complete empathy for the pain an Oregon mom named Tobie Beeson experienced when she was unable to breastfeed her child. Thankfully, as shared on Breastfeeding Mama Talk’s Facebook page, when she asked for help, help was there.
Tobie’s situation was far more dire than mine. It wasn’t her child’s inability to latch that caused the issue. It was Tobie’s lack of milk supply. After struggling to nurse her previous children, Tobie tells Her View From Home that she was diagnosed with insufficient glandular tissue. She had seen lactation consultants weekly with her other babies. She says she tried “natural supplements, fenugreek, goat’s rue, brewer’s yeast and more.” She even tried ordering Domperidon, a drug said to help with breastfeeding, from Canada.
And even when she had her 6th (yes, that’s right—6th!) baby, a sweet little girl named Aurora, Tobie tried yet again. She tells Her View From Home, “Now with Aurora I had an amazing midwife and we started blood tests trying to find a cause for my insufficient glandular tissue. My thyroid is fine, I’m not vitamin deficit, and again no answers. We tried creams as well as iodine drops, hopeful to just be able to breast feed my daughter.” But like before, she did not produce enough milk. And then things got worse. All of the different types of formulas she tried (for sensitive tummies) made Aurora spit up the entire bottle and have stomach pain.
So now what? Formulas weren’t working. And there was no breastmilk coming from Mom. Tobie says her baby was starving. So she she turned to Facebook for help, asking for breastmilk donations. Little did she know there was a whole village of mamas out there, ready to help. Once word got out, Tobie says nine moms came together to compile a donation of 2,800 ounces of milk! She had to make a 15-hour drive with her kids and fussy baby to Washington to pick it up, but you can bet she made that drive. The Facebook page Breastfeeding Mama Talk shared a beautiful image of sweet baby Aurora sitting among bags and bags of “liquid gold” that would fill her belly and help her get healthy again.
Tobie describes her happy ending by telling Her View From Home: “Just 4 days after, she’s happy and smiling, not crying, zero spit up, and her color is back. I can already see her cheeks filling up again and watching her sleep blissfully full instead of out of pure exhaustion from crying is just the best thing in the world.”
She also expresses her sincere gratitude in the Facebook post, saying, “I just want to say thank you. Thank you to all of these moms who gave without question, without judgement, but instead gave with their hearts. My little Aurora will grow strong and healthy because of your gift.” Sometimes it truly takes a village. Good job, Mama, for reaching out and letting that village know you and your baby needed help.