Day Five | Growing up
What has changed about breastfeeding Layla since she was a baby?
In some ways, nothing at all. Especially when she is teething or going through a wonder week or growth spurt, she can still nurse every two hours like a newborn around the clock. But her latch is wonderful now.
When she is nursing for comfort or distracted, she has started nursing acrobatics, which my nipples don’t love, but she doesn’t do it all the time, thankfully. And she definitely demands more attention while she’s nursing now.
I used to be able to nurse her and she would start dozing off right away, and I would be able to read or be on my phone working or something. Now, she is way too easily distracted for me to be doing anything else besides giving her focused attention while she’s eating.
How has cutting teeth impacted your nursing?
She’s really only bit me in a way that was painful once. And sometimes if she is falling asleep and loses a good latch her teeth will rub a little and I have to wake her up and readjust. But otherwise, it hasn’t really affected the mechanics of nursing much at all. Now, as for frequency of nursing because she needs comfort… Teeth cutting is rough. Some days I feel so drained from being human pacifier.
Does she bite or chew?
She bit me once hard enough to be painful, and I really startled her with my yelp. Then after that, she has looked me right in the eyes and started to apply pressure a few times, and I just tell her no really sternly and she kind of smiles. Fortunately, Layla is really good at communicating and understanding communication.
Has anything been challenging this time around?
I think just trying to juggle everything as a mom is always challenging. Running two businesses from home, while also trying to take care of your family when one of those members as a completely dependent infant will never stop being challenging for any mom ever.
What do you love about nursing?
I love how special the connection and bonding is when breastfeeding. I love how convenient it is. I love how good I know it is for Layla. I love that it also gives health benefits to me. I love that we have only begun to scratch the surface of identifying the ways in which breastfeeding is beneficial for our babies. It’s so amazing that we carry and sustain these incredible little lives with our own bodies. I will never stop being completely in awe of that.
Do you have any new goals about breastfeeding?
I mean, I still want to nurse Layla until she is at least two years old. On the days when she isn’t nursing frequently like a newborn though, she’s pretty independent. She really loves solid food, and she’s a very busy and active baby. So honestly, I’m not sure if she is going to nurse until she’s two years old or if she will self wean.
What little quirks does Layla have when she nurses?
She crosses her a little ankles. She has to be holding onto a handful of my shirt. Sometimes when she is really sleepy, she’ll start making a humming noises until I start singing or humming back to her. And if I take too long to do that, she’ll slap my chest to make sure I’m paying attention.
Have the positions you nursed in changed now that she can sit and wants to move more?
Sometimes. When I know that she is actually hungry though, we do have to find a quiet place for her to nurse. She just gets way too distracted. So, I still mostly cradle hold her unless we are in bed, then we side lie.
What advice do you have for other nursing mamas?
Push through even the times when it is hard. It is one of the most valuable an incredible gifts you can give your baby.
Anything else you think is important?
The only other thing that I can think of noting is that I value the benefits of breastmilk so much that, if Zack and I are not able to conceive another child together once Layla is late into her first year, I plan to continue pumping after she weans and donate my breast milk. I feel like if all Momma’s that can pump and donate, did for even just a few months after their baby weans, it would have a HUGE impact on babes in need.
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