Newborn chokes on his mum’s milk during breastfeeding
“I put my finger gently into Eddie’s mouth to see if there was any milk still there and I couldn't see anything but knew he had choked.”
Victoria Dawson, a 30-year-old nurse from Ruskington, Lincolnshire, had the shock of her life when her newborn son Eddie choked on her breastmilk.
Within seconds his tiny body went limp in her arms, and when Victoria looked down at her four-week-old, he had turned completely grey and stopped breathing.
“He started coughing and spluttering and when I pulled him away he was completely grey and had gone all floppy,” she said.
The mother of two then shouted to her partner Alex for help and sensing the panic in her voice came running into the room holding a phone and called the paramedics.
Victoria’s nursing instincts kicked in and immediately she knew she had to do something.
“I put my finger gently into Eddie’s mouth to see if there was any milk still there and I couldn’t see anything but knew he had choked,” she recalled. “I gave him some firm but gentle back slaps but he was still floppy and the colour had drained from him—he was born jaundice so he went from yellow to grey.”
She saw that he wasn’t breathing, so she gave him rescue breaths while her partner was on the phone to the emergency services.
The medics advised her to put Eddie on the floor and administer a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation or CPR.
“I don’t know how many compressions it took, maybe five or six, but he took a big gasp of air and slowly started to come back.”
“There was a big gap between the next breath and I still didn’t feel any relief until the paramedics arrived,” she added. “It seemed to go on for the longest time but it was actually probably only a minute.”
When the paramedics arrived, they gave baby Eddie oxygen and rushed him to the hospital where he stayed overnight for observation.
Victoria said the experience was terrifying, and that she must have cried for two days solid after it happened. “I was very anxious with feeding afterwards and still worry now but we’re getting there slowly.”
“I had performed CPR on adults but never thought I would have to use it on my own child,” she said. “We really thought at that moment we had lost him but luckily my instincts kicked in.”
Mums, if you find that your baby suddenly stops breathing, here are life-saving tips you can do.
- Ambulance services at 995.
- Put your lips around their mouth and nose and blow steadily for up to one second.
- If you’re on your own, you need to give one minute’s worth of CPR before you can call for help, taking your baby with you.
- Give five puffs in total. Using two fingers in the center of the chest, give 30 pumps at a rate of 100-120 per minute
- Repeat, but with two puffs and 30 pumps until help arrives