This Viral Photo Shows A Lesser-Known Breast-Feeding Method

Breast-feeding has numerous benefits for both mother and baby, but it doesn't always come as naturally as we might assume. And, as one viral photo shows, there's more than one way to breast-feed.

After giving birth, Rebecca McKeever found that her sleepy newborn, Andromeda, was having trouble latching onto her breast to feed.

“A lactation consultant came to our hospital room to ask if we needed help,” McKeever told 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.”
The photo, posted two weeks ago by doula services group Carriage House Birth, shows McKeever feeding her baby via a syringe. When a baby is finding it difficult to breast-feed, as McKeever's newborn did, syringe feeding is an alternate method to make sure that the baby gets colostrum, the concentrated milk that is produced in a mother's mammary glands during pregnancy and is expressed in the earliest days of breast-feeding.

Colostrum is often termed "super" or "high-octane" milk because, in addition to carbohydrates and protein, it contains important antibodies that can protect the newborn from bacteria and viruses.

As McKeever mentions, she expressed her milk (squeezing it out of the breast, whether by hand or by pump) to store and to feed Andromeda via syringe.

“She smiled and melted with each drop,” McKeever told Huffington Post. “Then, a few minutes after getting that nourishment, she woke up a bit more and actually tried the breast! We had to do a mix of syringe feeding and breastfeeding for the first week.”

Since being shared on Instagram, the photo of McKeever and Andromeda has gotten over 2,000 likes, with other Instagram users chiming in to share their own experiences with alternate breast-feeding methods.

"I did the same with my ten pound newborn," one user commented. "Too sleepy and content to nurse. Love."

"Thank you for sharing," wrote another. "It is so amazing to see all the different ways that parents feed their babes."

The photo, as well as McKeever's experience, shows that not only is breast-feeding not always easy, there's also more than one way of doing it. As McKeever told Huffington Post, "things might not always go as planned in a perfect picture" when it comes to breast-feeding — and parenthood in general.

“It’s amazing how much we all need help and reminding, even when we know things,” she said. “Support is key.”
Advertisement

More from Body

Brittany Mostiller still remembers the moment when she realized that she couldn’t afford an abortion. “I didn’t know anything about this Hyde Amendment ...
Earlier this year, Lena Dunham was hospitalized to treat a ruptured ovarian cyst, unintentionally shedding light on an often ignored area of women's health...
If your eyes tend to glaze over at first mention of the latest Health Hack That Will Change Your Life, we can’t really blame you. Although we are literally...
Pregnant women get a lot of advice about motherhood, even when they don't ask for it. And in the first episode of Expecting, from Refinery29's comedy ...
We're in plus-size pool party heaven
Summer is over (for real). So it's time to face the facts: You're going to get a cold. Actually, you're probably going to get colds — plural. The average ...
The pelvic exam — complete with the stirrups and the speculum — isn't anyone's favorite thing about having a vagina. But it's really important because it's...
(Paid Content) Stress sweat is different from regular sweat in that it feeds off bacteria and causes odor. Then you start to think about it — producing ...
A few years ago, two Michigan urologists noticed a curious pattern among their patients: Upon returning from a Disney World vacation, patients would ...
It shouldn't be this complicated, all this body stuff: size discrimination, weight bias, the multi-factioned movement fighting to reverse it. At its core ...
On principle, I am skeptical of any internet health recommendation that has the word “challenge” tacked on to the end of it. These wellness fads come and...
Although he had been dead for decades, Jim Morrison said something a few years ago that shocked people. He wasn’t speaking from beyond the grave, but in ...
In April, I ran a story called “The Medium-Sized Woman Problem.” The “problem,” of course, was not the women themselves, but the way in which we frame ...
Jill Krause writes about all things mom, parenting, and relationships at her blog, Baby Rabies, and she has some words of advice for the non-pregnant ...