Infant Feeding Team, Cheshire East
The Infant Feeding Team were contacted by a mother’s Health Visitor as mum was experiencing negative feelings whilst feeding her baby. Although she didn’t want to stop breastfeeding, she was struggling to cope. Mum was visited at home by the Infant Feeding Co-ordinator and it was discovered that she had a condition called Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-Mer).
Baby was feeding frequently, and mum was experiencing feelings of fear, anxiety and depressed mood at the beginning of every feed. There was concern about the effect this would have on her mental health as she had previously suffered with depression and anxiety. Mum felt that she needed to have a break from breastfeeding at points in the day, for her to cope with the rest of the feeds. So, she gave her baby some bottles of formula milk as the option of expressing breastmilk would still result in symptoms of D-Mer.
After a discussion with mum and her Health Visitor, the Infant Feeding Co-ordinator approached the Hearts Milk Bank. The milk bank provides donor milk to sick and preterm babies, but unlike other milk banks, also provides donor milk to families in the community. Their aim is to provide donor breastmilk to every baby and mother who would benefit, ensuring equity for all.
10 litres of frozen pasteurised breastmilk was delivered to the family by volunteer drivers working for the blood bank service. It meant that baby could continue to be exclusively fed breastmilk and has allowed mum to manage her symptoms of D-Mer. The joint working between the Infant Feeding Team and the family’s Health Visitor has ensured mum has been supported throughout her journey.