I’ve written a lot on this blog about breastfeeding, specifically my troubles producing enough milk and worrying about my baby boy’s weight which started off in the top 25% of baby weights but then sunk quickly to the bottom 9%.
I’ve spent hours expressing milk to top up what he’s getting, taken so many supplements and medication, researched at all hours how to increase my milk fat or general supply.
But no matter what I did, he stuck in the bottom 9%.
I worried that it was me – had I not eaten enough at the start to get my supply going? Were the TV shows I watched too stressful and curbed my supply? Was there something wrong with my diet? Was I to blame?
And then I got angry. At the messages that I heard about needing to breastfeed or failing as a mum. At the high standards I hold which means that if I can’t do something 100%, I view myself as failing. At my body that was not doing what it should be.
And then a few things happened –
1. I went to see a paediatric doctor, who explained that a baby’s birth weight is linked to how efficient the mother is at growing the baby and after the birth, it’s down to ow good the baby is at putting on weight/finding their natural weight.
2. I came away on such a wonderful holiday with close friends and I relaxed. Whether it’s the hearty meals or the wonderful company but I seem to be producing enough milk, more than I’ve done in ages.
3. A break away from routine and the generously helpful hands has given me a bit of space and perspective about Jenson’s weight.
My son is beautifully chubby, with little sausage links and dimples on his arms, a cute round bottom and little double chin.
He’s also petite – he’s not as broad as his little best friend – but he’s perfectly proportioned.
And over the past four months he’s kept on the 9% track. Whether he’s been fed more or less, whether I’ve expressed more or not. He’s doing his thing, growing at his pace.
And so I’m going to remind myself of this if I get home and start to worry again about how he’s doing.
He’s doing fine. He’s doing his thing. We both are doing enough.