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Paralyzed Mother Breastfeeds Newborn

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

At first glance, you might read the above headline and think that I'm talking about a mother frozen in fear. Actually, I'm talking about 26 year old Abigail Witchalls, a young English woman that was brutually attacked during the early days of her pregnancy, but lived to tell about it.

From the Independent Online

Mrs Witchalls, 26, was in the early stages of her pregnancy when she was stabbed with a three-inch blade in the back of the neck in the quiet Surrey village of Little Bookham in April.

She was not expected to survive and was administered the last rites. On Friday, however, she gave birth to a baby boy weighing 5lb 6oz. Although five weeks premature, the birth was natural and Mrs Witchalls was yesterday successfully breastfeeding.

Witchalls was given a fifty percent chance of survial due to the severity of her wounds. Even if she did live, it was thought that she would be completely paralyzed. According to Witchalls, the baby growing inside of her served as inspiration for her recovery. While she still requires 24-hour nursing assistence, Witchalls can now breathe on her own, talk, eat and even move her right arm on her own. She requires assistence with the baby to be able to nurse, but she believes in breastfeeding strongly enough that she's doing it anyway.

The familiy issued a statement to the press just after their son was born:

Abigail and Benoit are delighted to announce the arrival of their second son. Abigail had a natural birth with very little assistance and did not require a Caesarean section. The baby weighed 5lb 6oz and was born a little early, at 35 weeks, but is still healthy. With help to support her newborn, Abigail has started breastfeeding successfully.

I just can't even say how inspirational I find this.


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