As Teddy approached 9 months and we are still chugging along on our BF-ing journey, I was thinking about the lessons I learned while breast feeding. The first of many lessons came when Teddy was just 4 days old and he was nursing what seemed to be 24/7.
Lesson learned: there is no such thing as "normal".
A very frantic version of myself called a supportive lady at the Haddonfield LLL. "Why is he nursing so much? ...Is he getting enough? ...Is he latching properly? ...What do I need to do??" were among my many questions. The experienced LLL rep simply answered "you have a high-need baby". While I don't know if I agree with the term 'high-need'-however well it sums up Teddy's personality, this general answer to all of my questions seemed to be the only answer that made my questions disappear! He nursed so often because he needed to, because he wanted to, because, for Teddy, this is what being a newborn meant. Although, I found mamas going through the exact same thing-glued to the rocker or couch with a newborn nursing baby attached 24/7-everyone seemed to tell me a different time frame as to when it would end. Eventually he would nurse every 2 1/2-3 hours (which is considered "normal" for newborns but took us nearly 7 months). I was surprised to learn how well babies can follow their instincts to get what they need, without help or any intervention from myself. I literally had to just sit back and follow Teddy's lead and everything worked itself out... eventually:)
It seems like all the standards of "normal baby behavior" are based off the seemly consistent schedules of formula-fed babies. I'm not sure a mama using formula would have learned this lesson. ??? Does the heaviness that keeps a formula-fed newborn's belly full for 2-3 hours diminish the ability and need for those babies to follow their instincts? I'd love to hear some lessons from a mama using formula- (insert pitch for more voices from the mama community!!!)
A Voice For The Community
"I am blessed. I had a wonderful and encouraging support system in my husband, family, and a few nurses who sensed my determination and frustration. I had opportunities to attend support programs and join groups of supportive women who understand. I have formed friendships and am surrounded by great people who share their knowledge. And I have learned. I have learned that every woman not only has a right to choose what is best for her and her child but to make an informed decision and receive support" Jillian, nursing mama to Jack Angelo
This is place to share the stories that come along with being a nursing mama. Wether you breast-fed your baby for 1 day or 3 years, we're not here to judge, simply to listen. Listen to what happened when you tried your best for 3 whole weeks only to be defeated. Listen to how being a mommy changed the way you looked at the world. And all the other stories, insights and moments that fall in between the complex and the truthful lessons you learned from your baby.
Read. Enjoy. Share. This is the voice of the nursing community.