"I was giving both Samantha and baby Raphael the best possible gift of liquid gold"
Mandi Madeit, South Africa
In 2017 my domestic helper Samantha had her precious baby boy, Raphael. Samantha was part of our family and we were so excited to welcome her baby boy into our lives. We’d spent months getting everything together for his arrival. From clothes to car seats, carrier and his cot. My youngest was just 20 months old so luckily I could hand down most of her baby things. His arrival was so exciting, my children absolutely loved having a new baby in the house.
When Raph was about 3 weeks old, he started struggling with colic and was keeping Samantha awake all night. She was exhausted and her milk supply started to drop. By the time he was 6 weeks old Samantha was really struggling with a little PPD and absolute exhaustion. One morning she came into the house handed her baby to me, and begged me to give him a bottle from my expressed freezer stash. and just sat crying. She didn’t know what more to do. Baby was hungry. Formula feeding was not an ideal option for her because it is expensive and would be difficult to maintain the expense when breast milk is free.
That morning I sent her to nap in my sons bed, gave baby Raph a bottle of my expressed milk and wore him in the baby wrap while they both got a few hours of desperately needed sleep. As I was still breast feeding my daughter and was expressing daily as a donor for The South African Breast Milk Reserve, I started to express a little extra for baby Raph.
For the next few weeks, I taught Sam how to express so she could increase her supply and sent her home daily with an expressed bottle for Raphael’s night time feed. This worked well and things were going great.
A few weeks later Sam came down with a terrible case of flu and once again her breast milk supply dropped considerably. Add to that a serious growth spurt from Baby Raph and we went through another phase of no sleep for either of them. Samantha came to me one morning I was sitting on the couch while feeding my daughter and she put Raph in my other arm. Both of them crying. We had no defrosted milk. She asked me to please just latch him and make him stop crying.
Naturally, I latched him gently and he drank directly from the source. For the next few weeks while Sam took some Eglynol for her PPD and milk supply, baby Raph joined my baby Maya for their morning tandem feed. It just worked. And was way easier than expressing even more than I already had to. Maya and baby Raphael were so cute together, such a special bond. Maya even got her own brown baby to match Raph.
To me, this was the most natural and simple thing to do. This woman helped me raise my children and spent everyday in my home, the absolute least I could do was help her with her precious baby. And while it cost me absolutely nothing, I was giving both Samantha and baby Raphael the best possible gift of liquid gold.
I have since left Johannesburg and moved to Durban but made sure Samatha had a stable job with a family friend. Samatha managed to keep her milk supply up and got a handle on her PPD. She also managed to feed Raphael for over 2 years and he is a gorgeous healthy boy.