"Compassion House" is a Christian birth and midwifery training center in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Casa Compasiva A.C.

Casa Compasiva A.C.
Birth Center

Keeping Mamás and Bebés healthy: Breastfeeding Support

Yesterday at Casa Compasiva we had two women come for breastfeeding support.  Both are new mamás, both babies are one month old. 

Mamá number one was a Casa Compasiva mamá who was risked out when it became obvious to us that she was developing pre-eclampsia and needed a higher level of care. Her baby was delivered via emergency cesarean a month ago with her plan B and she has struggled with breastfeeding since.  

Studies show that having a c-section elevates the risk of breastfeeding complications since skin to skin is delayed and medications can make baby drowsy, affecting effective sucking.  Also, the shock of having to change your birth plan can affect mamás on an emotional level which also causes complications in bonding, proper attachment, and milk production.  

Since the cesarean rate in Mexico is so elevated (in some places up to 85%) we see many mothers with breastfeeding complications and a recent publication shows that Mexico has the lowest rate of breastfeeding in Latin America.  

Mamá number two is a mother who found us from a google search and came alone to her breastfeeding appointment, which struck us as odd.  When I asked her how we could help her, she explained that a week ago (at 20 days old) her baby was admitted to the local government hospital with pneumonia.  She told how she had noticed baby having breathing problems and how she had taken her in to be checked 4 times, but each time was with a different doctor who told her it was a simple cold and sent her back home.  It wasn´t until baby was truly struggling that the doctors took notice and admitted her.  

Government hospitals are overworked and understaffed and it is very common to hear cases where potentially dangerous conditions "fall through the cracks" and aren't properly diagnosed until they become truly life threatening.  It is especially difficult for breastfeeding mamás who are limited to 3 visits a day and aren't allowed to touch or hold their babies.

As the mamá explained her case and how she is struggling to provide the 2 ounces of breastmilk 3 times a day for her baby, she began to cry.  I listened, let her unload emotionally, and provided encouragement and prayer.  When we got to the point of physical examination, she was able to express her required 2 ounces with ease. Once again, emotional stress was affecting milk production along with the added complication of not having baby to provide stimulation. 

Casa Compasiva is keeping mamás and bebés healthy through breastfeeding support, which often times is just a case of listening to mamá share her feelings and get her emotions out.  Praying with them and over them and for their babies is a vital part in this support, and we always see a sense of peace come over them afterwards.

By the way, we weighed baby number one and found that he had gained 500 grams since his last appointment and we were able to contact other Casa Compasiva mamás to get donated breast milk for bebé number two until the stressful situation resolves and mamá can peacefully resume full lactation with her baby at home.

Friends, you are part of this.  You provide low cost, and often free, prenatal, birth, and postpartum care for these mamás and bebés.  Thank you for participating in giving loving care to them!  

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