I can remember just over a year ago the anticipation of waiting to give birth. I was happy, nervous and probably a little scared at the same time. I remember having dreams (or nightmares however you look at them) about being a parent and even breastfeeding. Being a dietitian, I always knew from the very beginning that breastfeeding was my going to be my choice of feeding no matter what! Look out, when I’m determined, I will never give up! I knew I was ready, I had helped and encouraged countless women (some of them friends) to breastfeed and I was ready. Well, after 23.5 hours of Hypnobirthing natural labor (there was my crazy determination again) and several heart rate issues, my daughter was born via emergency c-section. It was the first realization that I wasn’t in control anymore! I had committed to do everything right and I still had a c-section. Due to the hospitals strong commitment to Kangroo Care, once cleared by the NICU team, my daughter was skin to skin within minutes and nursing for the first time within the hour.
I was the lucky one…nursing went pretty smoothly for me, but it had its moments as I’m sure it does for most women. The overproduction of milk, the 364+ sleepless nights, oh, and the colic that resulted in a 6 month dairy free diet…but I was committed. Can you believe someone actually told me that my milk was probably bad and that was why she had colic? Just what an overwhelmed new mom needed to hear! I know the commitment I made to her was the best that I could have done for her and it was so worth it!
Why I am I telling your this today?
Well after 14 months my commitment is now over, my daughter, has decided she is done. It’s a sad day, but a day I have been waiting for at the same time! I think it is because I have such a strong commitment for helping families raise competent eaters, but I love every second of feeding my daughter and will continue to past this milestone!
Now, with that being said, I know that breastfeeding is not for everyone and I respect that! Even if you chose/choose to bottle feed it takes commitment, the commitment to be there and nurture your child with nutrition every few hours. Washing all those bottles everyday is a commitment in itself..haha!
These Tips are the Most Important Commitments to Feeding:
1. Hold your baby at every feeding
Feed your children so they feel protected and nurtured, that happens in your arms!
2. Feed on demand
The entire first year of feeding let the infant take the lead with feeding. Feed them when they are hungry and allow them to stop when they are full. Rigorous schedules can cause a poor relationship with food.
3. Allow them to decide How Much
Fortunately, with nursing it takes away the control because you really never know how much they ate. If bottle feeding you can still allow them to take control of how much. Throw out those books or ignore that advice that tells you how much your child should be taking at a specific feeding. Feed them until they are full! During growth spurts that may mean going and making another bottle!
It’s Crazy HOW you feed them even as infants can effect feeding later in life…huh?
Thanks you for listening to my story! How did feeding your infant(s) go?
Feel free to comment below!
Dana Snook, RDN, CIC