Local Mother Advises Others of Breastfeeding Complication

Posted: Updated: Dec 26, 2017 07:40 PM

MCALLEN – A local mother is spreading awareness after nearly losing her infant to a silent complication.

“It was very terrifying,” recalled Deseray Valdez.

The first beautiful days of life with her third child took a sudden turn.

"Knowing that my child could have died on me and then getting high levels of jaundice due to the dehydration. It was just devastating for me," said Valdez. 

The mother was discharged from the hospital. Her son even passed his first check-up. The nursing mother said that's when she saw her son’s skin change.

"Then he was getting yellow on me,” she said.

Valdez found out her newborn was starving. He was dehydrated. She rushed back to the hospital where only then, she learned she was producing only an ounce of milk at a time.

"They ended up admitting us into the ICU," said Valdez. She recalled they spent three terrifying days with the baby boy in intensive care.

Burlene Carrizales is a lactation consultant at Lactation Care Center RGV. She said she’s seen children come in dehydrated.

"Many times they are weak or lethargic. You can imagine if you have a stomach virus and you’re mildly dehydrated. You are going to feel weak not have very much strength, babies are going to feel like that also," said Carrizales.

Carrizales helps women struggling to breastfeed. She explains that each case is different. Sometimes health reasons, the infant’s latch or delays in production can cause a woman to not produce enough milk for several days.

"So by monitoring the babies wet and dirty diapers, by monitoring the baby’s weight gain, looking for signs of satiety after the baby nurses, that will show a mother that her baby is getting enough milk from the breast," explained Carrizales.

Valdez said it became clear medical reasons kept her from producing.

In regards to her situation, Valdez said, "You’re always told here that breastfeeding is best. You’re a mom, it’s natural that the milk is going to drop. You’re going to have enough milk to provide for your baby. It was not the case on any of my three babies."

She said her case is now part of a larger study on women who can’t produce enough milk.

Valdez said today her son is doing just fine. He’s 3 years old now and she said he’s thriving, with no after effects.

For mothers who are facing these struggles, the Lactation Care Center RGV provides assistance to most women at no cost. It's located in McAllen. For contact information and free resources, visit their website.

Carrizales said infants may show some of these red flags for dehydration. She says parents should watch for:

  • Little to no urine
  • Too few bowel movements
  • Uric crystals; looks like brick dust
  • Meconium lasting several days
  • Unconsolable restlessness or unusual lethargy

Carrizales recommends women always contact their physician. She also says women with nursing questions can contact their center at 956-292-7711 for help.

She encourages nursing mothers to keep a diary of feedings and diaper changes.

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