It seems these days that moms — and nonmoms — can spend all day arguing about which way to feed their child is “the best.” With breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, there isn’t room for much else in the debate spotlight, but one heartwarming photo of a mom syringe-feeding her baby girl is changing that by going viral, bringing this method of feeding to center stage.
Rebecca McKeever, a doula who became a new mom in September 2016, was having trouble getting her sleepy and fussy daughter, Andromeda, to eat about 17 hours after her birth. “A lactation consultant came to our hospital room to ask if we needed help,” she told The Huffington Post. “She saw that I was expressing colostrum but that Andromeda wasn’t latching, so she brought in little cups and syringes so we could get some food in her. I expressed some colostrum into a cup, then put it into the syringe and fed her little drops at a time.”
McKeever said that the little lady loved feeding this way and seemed to be smiling with every drop of milk she got. After the first feed this way, Andromeda perked up a bit and successfully latched for a little while.
“We had to do a mix of syringe-feeding and breastfeeding for the first week. I was familiar with syringe-feeding because I am a birth and postpartum doula, but in the moment I really needed someone to suggest it to me! It’s amazing how much we all need help and reminding, even when we know things. Support is key.”
Andromeda is now 3 weeks old and exclusively breastfeeding, but McKeever is nothing but grateful for the trial-and-error start she and her baby got on that first day. “In that moment, I felt so empowered and happy to be able to feed my baby,” McKeever said. “Even if it wasn’t in the ‘traditional’ way, it didn’t matter to me! I knew it might take some time.”