Breastfeeding Update

2 Feb

Things are changing! Emilia is so active and on the go that I sometimes only nurse her two or three times during the day lately — in the morning, before her second nap, and in the early evening — but I have to really work to get her to sit still now that she’s pulling up and walking with a walker. She never sits still and is into everything.

She started to “pop” her top two teeth last weekend (January 23-24) and was uncharacteristically irritable and miserable until we gave her Hyland’s teething tablets. These really helped, but I started to notice a drastic decrease in even the limited nursing we were doing during the day and a massive uptick in night nursing. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were among the worst, darkest, most exhausted nights we’ve had since the newborn weeks if you can believe it which resulted in more than a few hysterical calls to my mom AND Brian early last week. (Sorry to both of you and thank you for upending your schedules to come home early from work or drive out here to give me a hand for a few hours. It was so appreciated!) Michelle also came by to play with Emilia one night after work, which was a lot of fun and a much-needed change of pace for us as we’re struggling through this tough time, getting teeth.

Part of the reason I wanted to post an update now is because I’d wrongly wondered if this was the beginning of Emilia starting to self-wean herself off breastfeeding. I’d noticed a reduction in nursing the last time she was teething too (and an increase in night nursing) so I wasn’t terribly worried. I’m so happy I reached out to some of my online communities for advice though because it made me realize that I’m actually not offering to nurse enough and have also started to overfeed solids to the detriment of my nursing. I also learned that babies under 12-months don’t self-wean.

It’s funny because I’d been doing so well, nursing on demand, largely letting Emilia decide what she wants to taste, food-wise, whenever I’m eating something (and she has an incredibly diverse palette) but someone expressed concern that I wasn’t feeding her enough solids. I lamely tried to defend myself that my milk provides nearly everything she needs and that while she does get solids, we still consider my milk to be her main source of nutrition.

Since then, I’d been feeding Emilia more regular meals and didn’t realize the drop in nursing until this teething issue came up. It was eye-opening! I need to be better at not letting myself be influenced by advice without thinking it through and weighing what following that advice will mean as far as my plans for how I want to raise Emilia. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate and see the wisdom in the advice of a more seasoned parent or even say, a pediatrician, but ultimately, I need to trust that I know what is best and not worry so much about defending my choices to anyone else.

 

 

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