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    • Mauriche Van der Merwe
      Participant
      Post count: 6

      It is our natural born instinct as mothers to feed and nurture our children, so when the time comes to stop these feeds and the act of nurturing, we sometimes cannot accept it willingly. It’s a mother’s need to feed her child.
      The decision to sedate, withdraw or withhold life sustaining treatment and to allow natural death is sometimes something that has been coming. It’s usually done when you have exhausted all options and the parents often realise that it’s in the child best interest to help them not suffer anymore. A parent can only see a child suffer so much, then they would prefer it to end, on behalf of the child’s ease.
      However, stopping feeds is something quite unnatural, because eating and drinking is one of our primary needs, and you would think that even in the process of dying it would be necessary. We as parents tend to worry when our children don’t eat enough, because they aren’t getting their nutrients in and they’ll lose weight and go hungry, and just because a child is dying, doesn’t mean that thinking goes away. Or at least for parents and caregivers. It’s the first step in realising that the time has arrived and that you need to let go.

    • Cindy Stirk
      Participant
      Post count: 12

      Mauriche, i couldn’t agree more

    • Sue Boucher
      Keymaster
      Post count: 21

      Thanks for sharing your very personal experience of this, Mauriche. As you say, it feels so unnatural for a mother to stop feeding their child and goes against our natural instincts. Tracy and I have found that even healthcare providers, such as enrolled nurses and carers in care facilities, who do not know why feeds are withdrawn at the end of life, find this a very difficult concept to deal with. One admitted to us that she felt she may have caused the child’s death because she was not able to get her to eat anything the night before she died and felt so guilty.

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