I just got back from Adelyn’s 2-month-check up. I was looking forward to this appointment because a few weeks ago she started giving me some problems breastfeeding. She has been crying when I try to get her to eat. I tried a variety of things to coax her into feeding. I found that standing and walking with her worked best. This was all new territory for me because my first two were excellent nursers and would take the breast anytime it was offered. Not only was Adelyn not taking it at every offering, but also she was wanting to space out feedings and then would only nurse for about five minutes per feeding. So what did the doctor have to say? Chill out. At least that’s my interpretation of what he said.
During our struggles, Adelyn seemed to be getting enough to eat because she was acting fine and had enough wet diapers. But it bothered me that she seemed to nurse infrequently and quickly. Of course I turned to books and online sources. They all tell how often a newborn should feed (every two hours), but they fail to go beyond that. How was I supposed to know the ideal frequency for a two-month-old? After all, my first two fed every two to three hours for months. The books also all warned that if a baby doesn’t feed often enough, your supply could suffer. Great. So now I wasn’t only worrying about her ability to thrive, but also the level of my milk supply. Who said breastfeeding was easy? This being my third child, you’d think I would be a seasoned pro. After all, I nursed the first two exclusively for nine months each and they weaned after the age of one. The problem was the first two were very similar and never gave me any issues. They fed like champs. Well, perhaps they fed too well, as you can see below from Kenna’s plethora of fat rolls.
As for Adelyn, I had no idea how her weight was doing. I was tempted to put her in the produce scale at the grocery store to see what she weighed. Instead, I waited for today’s appointment. Turns out that she is holding steady in the 50th percentile at nearly 12 pounds. She is growing ever longer, measuring 24 inches, which puts her in the 95th. (She apparently didn’t get my height genes.) When the doc saw her numbers and took a look at her, he basically said she’s completely healthy and thriving. I told him about the fussy feedings and all I had done to try to get her to feed. He said I had done exactly as he would’ve recommended. Given her numbers, he thinks I have an abundant supply and she can handle a larger quantity at an earlier age than my first two kids could, plus she is so efficient that she can drain the breast quickly.
So what I’ve learned today is that each child is different. Just because you have three kids, it doesn’t mean you are a pro by any means. Breastfeeding can be stressful, but a healthy baby knows what she is doing. Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath. And at other times you need to throw away the books.