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Breastfeeding Through Surgery

by Ruth-Ann Currie, Mississauga, Ontario

My son was injured during the hospital birth; the nerves to his left arm and hand were severed by pulling his head and shoulder away from each other.

The staff were not at all helpful about nursing. I persevered through projectile vomiting, colic, nursing strike as well as medical testing that I quickly learned to say NO to.

Nathaniel had neurosurgery at nine months old and orthopaedic surgery at 2 1/2 years. For that one he had to wear a plastic and metal brace the length of his torso, for three weeks constantly and three months at night. If you could see that brace, you would know it was a nursing challenge. I specifically pressed the doctors to do his second surgery before he weaned, but they wondered why. I knew I had nothing better to comfort him with through all he had to endure. Since hes weaned himself, hes had a couple of rough colds/chest infections and I have felt so helpless not having that instant soother option.

My son turned four just before Christmas, and quit nursing altogether in September. He had cut down to token bedtime nursing a few months before that. It was so natural a weaning, and he was so content, that I was grateful for my decision to follow his lead.

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