Mum shares 'scariest day of her life': She accidentally choked her baby with her own breastmilk

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Read about this mum's terrifying experience and how you can deal with problems concerning accidental choking here...

While many breastfeeding mums struggle with poor milk supply, there are mums who have issues with having "too much milk." Though having a forceful let-down or an overactive milk supply can be managed by adjusting your baby's position or increasing the frequency of feeding, there are certain complications mums should know about, which are far more common than we think.

Rebecca Taylor had to discover one of these in a painful way through a 'freak accident', when her newborn son nearly choked while she was breastfeeding.

She recounts her scary experience in a post on a well-followed Facebook support group, Breastfeeding Mama Talk.

"Scariest day of my life by far. 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," began Rebecca, who noticed something was wrong when her newborn son started to struggle with his breathing. "Apparently this 'freak' accident can actually happen to babies, and it's more common than I thought. Sure wish I would have known that and been more prepared for something so insanely scary."

Panicking, she watched her precious little one hooked up to an oxygen mask and various tubes. She described it as "one of the worst things a parent could ever witness."

"He turned blue and I really thought I was going to lose him. I had no idea this was possible, I mean I understand how, I just can't believe it," she confided in her post, recalling how she breastfed her daughter for 18 months but had not experienced anything like this.

"He turned blue and I really thought I was going to lose him. I had no idea this was possible..."

Mum shares 'scariest day of her life': She accidentally choked her baby with her own breastmilk

She sought the help of fellow mums in the group, hoping to learn from their own experiences.

Of the 300 responses, one of the most helpful came from a lactation consultant, who suggested looking into laid-back nursing. To do this, the mum must assume a reclined position as her baby lies on top of her during a feeding. The purpose of this is to minimise forceful let-down by positioning the breast against gravity. Other positions that might help, according to KellyMom, are the reclined football hold, reclined cradle hold, or holding your baby to your chest as they are sitting up on your lap.

La Leche League International offers similar suggestions. Aside from laid-back nursing, they also believe block feeding can help keep regulate an overactive milk supply. By keeping the interval between switching to another breast during feeding at about three hours, you can "trick" your body into thinking there's a lower demand for milk.

Seeing a speech pathologist who specialises in infant feeding could also help. While proper positioning can address coughing or gagging, cases of aspiration may warrant further consultation with a specialist.

* Republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines.

READ: Breastfeeding during pregnancy 101: What you need to know

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza