October 13, 2009
Infant growth charts can be a massive source of anxiety for new parents. Your baby is measured and weighed and compared to standardized curves that tell you how big your baby should be. Actually, that’s not what they do, but that’s how it often feels for a parent, and if your baby falls into the lower percentiles, it’s so easy to panic, even if your baby is totally normal for his/her age.
A nursing mom’s milk supply can also be a huge source of anxiety. A lot of women only breastfeed a few weeks, and there’s definitely a lack of readily available information about how your milk and your breasts change if you continue to nurse for 3, 6, 12 months, never mind if you nurse for years. The information is out there, but you have to look for it.
That’s what this post is about: infant growth charts and milk supply.
The background: last week, one of my best friends wrote me an email. Her first child is roughly 4 1/2 months old, and at her last well-baby check-up, registered in the 20th percentile for weight. My friend was concerned, wondered whether her milk supply might be dwindling, and she asked me for my thoughts. I sat down and wrote her a loooooong email (I had a lot of thoughts on the subject!), and I thought I’d share it with you, too. Of course I’ve taken out personal details regarding my friend and her baby.
Here were my first 2 pieces of advice:
1. First of all, Don’t Panic! Your milk supply hasn’t disappeared. If it has diminished, there are plenty of ways to increase it. And most important of all: 20th percentile is still normal. It just means that 20% of normal babies are at about that weight. And baby’s being at the 20th percentile for weight at her age doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your milk supply.
2. An extension of Don’t Panic! is that this is not a reason to supplement with formula. Don’t do it. Your milk supply really would drop if you did.
April 20, 2009
Welcome to the Motherwear Carnival of Breastfeeding!
Not long ago, I shared my tips for surviving a cold or flu as a breastfeeding mom. Today I want to talk about what to do if you’re healthy, but your nursing baby or toddler is sick. My advice is based on my own experience and is really focused on managing daily life while caring for your sick nursling. Ask your pediatrician about what your child needs during his or her specific illness, and if you are unsure about anything, talk to your child’s doctor first!
1. Nurse, nurse, nurse! This is the single most helpful thing you can do. Your breastmilk is a complete food, providing not only the most important nutrients, but also unique immune factors that will help your nursling fight his illness better than any other food or supplement you could imagine. Any time you are exposed to an illness, your immune system produces antibodies to fight the infection. These antibodies are passed on to your baby through your milk, making it one of nature’s most clever protective mechanisms for little people whose immune systems are not yet mature. In fact, when a baby or toddler is sick, breastmilk is often the only thing he will willingly eat/drink and the only thing he is able to keep down. So try not to limit your child’s time at the breast. Be aware that your older baby may give up solid foods for a while and may not return to previous eating habits for a while, even after he is healthy again. If you have recently begun weaning, go back to allowing your child to nurse on demand until the infection has cleared up. You can always return to the weaning process later. Right now, helping baby get well has priority. Depending on what kind of infection baby has, you may want to modify the frequency and/or length of feedings. This overview by kellymom should give you a good idea of what to do.
2. Revive your comfy nursing spot. If your baby is younger, you probably have a nursing station all set up. If your baby is Read the rest of this entry »
November 13, 2008
November 10, 2008
In honor of International Babywearing Week, I give you this adorable image of Marie and her papa. It wasn’t so long ago that she still had to be “worn” to sleep for naps, and Toffi would often succumb to sleep himself after he had successfully gotten Marie to fall asleep. This photo also features the sling I sewed myself. I made it so Toffi would have an easier time rocking Marie to sleep.
Our Ergo Baby Carrier is great for taking walks, but not as great at lulling a baby to sleep. So I did a little research, took Toffi’s measurements, and in an amazingly short time, we had a fantastic sleeping aid!This is one of my favorite babywearing pictures from our family, but there are so many more amazingly precious photos over here, at Adventures in Babywearing. You should really check them out (and prepare to get all sappy – bring Kleenex)! Also, take a look at these stylish slings and wraps. One of the bloggers posting a babywearing photo or story will be winning one!