Mother pens heartbreaking blog about her newborn son's death

A mother is capturing people's attention with a blog post about a rare but devastating experience with breastfeeding.

KUSA - A mother is capturing the internet's attention with a blog post about her devastating experience with breastfeeding.

Jillian Johnson wants people to know how her newborn died as a warning for other families.

She says her son Landon wasn't getting enough milk, and eventually his heart stopped even though she was breastfeeding him. 

Johnson says he went into cardiac arrest and passed away when he was 19 days old.

She says she waited five years to share her story because she was worried about being judged.

Now, her story has reached millions, including more than 120,000 people on the 9NEWS Facebook page.

While Johnson doesn't say in her post where she lives, a local expert gave a rough estimate that around 10 percent of women have trouble producing enough milk.

Susan Healy, a lactation specialist at St. Joseph, did say it's unusual how quickly Landon got sick and they've never seen a baby pass away under these circumstances.

Still, they want to let mothers know how to detect the issue quickly.

"If you’re really concerned let someone know," Healy said.

Over the weekend, Healy talked to a mother who was having trouble feeding her baby.

During her 41 years as a nurse, she's learned to quickly detect the signs a baby isn't getting enough milk.

"We really can't see what’s going on when breastfeeding, but we can tell by what comes out in their wet diapers and stools if they are getting enough to eat," Healy said.

It can be a tricky problem to catch because the baby can look like they're eating.

"By two weeks, a baby should be at its birth weight. And if it's not, that's a big red flag," Healy said. "A red flag that the mom isn’t producing enough for this baby."

At Saint Joseph, they can weigh a baby before and after eating to get a good gauge if the baby is eating enough.

Luanne Williams with the Mothers' Milk Bank said they assist women in similar situations, like families who have adopted babies and babies born prematurely.

The milk bank has been around for 33 years and 11,000 moms donated their excess milk to help others like them.

"With sick babies that are in the hospital, often it’s a great way and only way to prevent diseases and issues for the baby to thrive," Williams said.

Some mothers worry about being judged if they don't breastfeed or if they can't, since many doctors encourage it if possible.

But nurses and lactation experts say to put pride aside.

"If you have a problem and your baby needs formula, it's a good option," Healy said.

The very existence of the milk bank makes it clear mothers facing this issue aren't alone.

For more information and support, you can the Mother's Milk Bank at: (303) 869-1888

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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