Monday, June 12, 2017

Human Pacifier

Drunk on Mommy's milk
In the days that followed my first week of breastfeeding struggles*, I noticed that my little one went from a newborn who just wanted to sleep to a baby who wanted to eat all the time. She was breastfeeding from either side every 30 minutes and refused to be put down in her crib or the co-sleeper on our bed. She would only calm down when she was on my chest. I really didn’t want her to cry anymore because I was perpetually tired. I wanted to get some rest while she slept, but it seems that wasn’t going to happen.

Settling on my chest
My days consisted of nursing her for 15-20 minutes, burping her, letting her sleep on my chest, and then all over again. On some feedings, she seemed to be really hungry so I would top up her feeding with an ounce of formula milk. On most feedings, she seemed to just turn me into a human pacifier.

My doctor told me that this was the baby’s way of helping me increase my milk supply. That and the baby is looking for comfort in the form of her mom. Imagine being all cozy and warm inside your mom’s womb and suddenly being removed from this happy place. So it was natural for the little one to look for this cozy, familiar place in the arms (or chest) of her mother. Just as well, it is recommended to continue with the occasional skin-to-skin bonding days or even weeks after the baby is born to promote an easy transition from the womb, better heart and lungs, relief from any pain especially for babies who are colicky, and the transfer of good bacteria to name a few.
This is what happy looks like

As for the constant latching, I let her. I didn’t mind being her pacifier since I knew she would outgrow it. I also learned that by directly feeding the baby, the mother’s body gets a glimpse into the baby’s immune system through the baby’s saliva so that whatever antibodies the baby needs is produced by the mother’s body and transported into the baby through the breast milk.**

A very wise mommy friend told me that there was no such thing as spoiling your baby at this age. All the love, warmth and comfort are all they need from you and it is something that stays in their subconscious mind and heart until they are grown up. After all, the nights (and days) are long, but the months go really fast. So cherish these moments with your little one as much as you can.

*To learn more about my struggles with establishing breastfeeding, please read my post, Fed is Best.

**When a mother has fever, colds, cough, it is all the more recommended to direct feed so that the antibodies needed to combat any of these diseases is absorbed by the baby.

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