When new mum Ronja Wiedenbeck was taken ill and unable to breastfeed, she was stunned to find over 1,000 women willing to “volunteer wet nurse” her infant son.
Ronja, 26, has struggled with ovarian cysts and was rushed to hospital in severe pain last week. Put on strong medication, she was unable to feed 11-month-old son, Rio.
Amateur model Ronja turned to Facebook group “Breastfeeding Yummy Mummies” in a desperate plea to find moms willing to feed Rio, who refuses formula or bottles.
Within an hour, a complete stranger was by Ronja’s side nursing Rio.
“When he was about to be fed by the first lady he looked at me, almost to ask for approval. It filled my heart with such joy and massive relief,” said Ronja. And, as time went on, over 1,000 moms from across the UK contacted Ronja offering their help.
Five separate moms came to breastfeed Rio, with two even taking him home to nurse throughout the day before returning him to Ronja in hospital.
“I was pumped full of morphine and it seemed instinctive for someone to feed him in a way that he has been used to and he’s comfortable with,” explained Ronja.
She says she’d never considered wet nursing before but was so worried her son would become dehydrated while she was in a hospital that she decided to give it a go.
And she’s glad she did: “I’m so grateful and totally overwhelmed with the response to the message.” “It’s such a loving and selfless act and incredibly heartwarming to see.”
“There is so much negativity about breastfeeding, it is absolutely incredible to have this support when I needed it.”
Volunteer wet nurse Michelle agreed, saying, “It’s amazing to hear the number of people who have helped or offered to help Ronja — that’s mommy power for you!”
Ronja is now off medication and back home able to feed Rio while the doctors carry out further tests.
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