Boy Meets World star Danielle Fishel is opening up about the medical setback that almost claimed the life of her newborn son and the role that her own breast milk played in it.
The actress welcomed son Adler into the world on June 24, but it was not an easy start to his life. As the New York Post reported, doctors learned that the newborn’s lungs had filled with fluid, and Adler had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit of Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles for three weeks. Danielle told fans at the time that she felt “powerless and useless” as they waited for his condition to improve.
During the stay, doctors found that the breast milk that Adler was taking through a feeding tube was only adding more fluid to his lungs, so he was switched to formula and eventually grew healthy enough to leave the intensive care unit and go home for the first time.
But things would not get better once he got home. Adler was drinking formula while at the hospital, but switched back to breast milk when he was allowed to go home in August. Adler then fell ill again, and Danielle learned that her breast milk played a role.
“When he was a little over 6 weeks old, we were given the green light from our doctor to try breast milk again. Adler latched easily, which felt like a miracle for a baby who had never been breastfed, and we were off and running,” she wrote in an essay for Good Morning America.
“Then, during a follow-up X-ray four weeks later, we discovered the fluid had come back and we immediately halted all breast milk and he had to go back on the MCT formula.”
In recounting the harrowing first few weeks of her son’s life, Danielle said she was overcome with feelings of guilt but mostly felt grateful to have a network of support that allowed her to eventually return to work and watch after her son. She also asked for people to be more sensitive of the stress and guilt that mothers can feel, especially in trying circumstances like what she faced in the first months of Adler’s life.
“The next time you see a mom with her baby or young child, look her in the eye and honestly tell her she’s doing an amazing job. Because you are, mama. I see you and you’re doing great,” Danielle wrote.