During my pregnancy my craving was ice cream. But during my last trimester I was advised to stop eating sugar. When I gave birth, I was so excited to be able to eat ice cream again and make up for all those cravings I hadn’t been able to satisfy. I knew that because I was nursing, that I’d have to eat healthy, but at least some sugar could return to my diet. But when my baby was about three months old, I was put on another new strict diet, this time for dairy, and my dreams of eating ice cream throughout the spring and summer months were squashed again.
I share my story because I don’t want other new parents to go through what I went through. My advice is simply to trust yourself and trust your child. You know what’s best for your family and your child knows what they need. Babies are born with personalities and preferences that can’t be accounted for in a one-size-fits-all parenting philosophy. Children are more resilient than we think. If Plan A doesn’t work, keep trying until something does.
I feed my daughter a mix of my breast milk, formula and donated breast milk from five different women. Not only has donated breast milk benefited my daughter’s digestion and overall health, it has introduced me to other moms that I’m now proud to consider part of my community.
My baby was seven weeks old when he was hospitalized for the first time, and he was either not nursing, or not nursing well for two-to-three weeks. There were many times when he wasn’t allowed oral nutrition at all, and I pumped. The third time he was hospitalized, however, was really difficult.
This is the story of how I, quite accidentally, became a milk donor after the birth of my second child. It has truly been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. Because I have come to believe milk donation is so important, not only for the babies who receive the milk, but also for the mothers who give it, I decided to write this essay in part to help spread the word so that other women will consider donation too.
Of all the things people felt like giving advice on while I was pregnant, no one ever told me that breastfeeding might be hard. One person warned me that sometimes it just doesn’t work, but I didn’t really get it. Why would it just not work?
The other day I was hanging out with my friend and her four-year-old daughter. My son, the aforementioned two-year-old, at some point asked to breastfeed. I’m trying to cut down on nursing him in public, but he’d just spent his first night away from me, so I figured I could make an exception. I helped him up onto my lap, pulled down my shirt, and let my kid do his thing.
I’m hoping for something simple enough for a toddler, that shows the basic baby stuff — baby sleeping, crying, breastfeeding, having a nappy change and so on. I keep coming across books where the baby has a bottle — and while that’s a valid choice, I’d really like my son to see pictures of a baby breastfeeding, as that’s what we hope our new baby will do!