I was inspired to write this post after reflecting on Lily’s 5-month birhtday [TODAY] and hearing the words, “yep, she’s right on track!” after discussing her weight gain at her last [4 month] doctor appointment. I was paranoid my, “small girl,” [according to the peanut gallery] wasn’t gaining enough weight, or that my supply wasn’t providing her with the calories she needed. Here’s the backstory: with Joey and Anthony, I gave them breastmilk AND formula their first year of life. My breastmilk supply decreased around 3-4 months of age, and then became nonexistent around 7-8 months. SO, they were given formula from a bottle at around 4-months until just about a year. Did I think the same pattern would happen for Ms. Lily? Sure did. But just when I think I have it all figured out with my children I’m thrown for a loop…
I’ve shared my sob story that Lily won’t take a bottle. So what does that mean? Well, for the past 5-months I’ve had to trust in my supply for giving her the nutrients she needs to thrive. Guess what? They’re doing just that! She might be petite, but she’s mighty! And long. My sweet girl is doing just fine on the growth curve for weight and length. No, she’s not off the charts. But she’s following her curve, peeing and pooping, and generally VERY happy. So I’ll take that as a, “YES!” she’s getting enough breastmilk. A question that plagued me when I was nursing both Joey and Anthony.
Why do I think this third time of nursing is different? Well for starters, I don’t have to pump. I don’t have to be away from her for work or other reasons. That’s not to judge those who have to do those things— heck, I WISH I could get outta dodge for a few days and leave Lily with Ted or grandparents or a sitter. But I’m not risking the meltdown of the century. I’ve also come to learn I’m not an efficient pumper. So while Lily can sit and nurse and get more than a few ounces from my breast, if I sit there and pump I’m barely getting anything. What the heck?! Yep, our bodies do amazing AND crazy things.
I’m not sharing this news because I want a gold star in breastfeeding; in fact, I’m not the biggest fan of mother nature’s milk [you can read all about it here]— mainly because I feel TRAPPED in my own home, my own body. Yes, breastfeeding is a beautiful thing. I’m lucky I get to do it with my peanut. I’m just here to tell you that what works with one child might not work with the next. Children are all SO different from birth. Remember that! And remember to try a bottle at week two with your newborn… so you’re not stuck in the meltdown conundrum like this Momma is.
It’s so hard to trust one’s body and to know if your baby is getting enough. Especially when my first two weren’t and I decided to supplement with formula. Trust the growth charts. Trust your baby’s curve and patterns. Lily certainly isn’t a chubby baby on the 98% for weight, but she’s following her curve just fine. And again, her temperament is super happy and chill. Chilly Lily as Ted likes to call her!