coping

Little Screams

She's not even a month old and she's already annoyed by all the milk. When the flow gets too fast she comes off the breast with a little scream and contorted face. She goes right back on cause she's a tiny baby that wants to eat more than anything but you can see it's already hard for her little brain to cope with the flow.

I think of it this way... a young baby (under about 2-3 months) will just "cope" with the milk, click their tongue, come off and on etc because their brain goes...

"hungry, hungry, hungry, nursey. nursey nursey, suck suck, gag gag choke choke, pop off, screech, still hungy hungy, nursey, suck suck, gag gag...."

their little brains can't quite come up with any other solution but to keep eating...

but at about 2-3 months if nothing is done, or if the flow is still too much even with trying to modulate it down, then the baby tries some secondary techniques that are available to them at that developmental stage. Coming off and refusing to go back on, screaming, arching etc. Their brains have "gotten tired" of fighting and they're stronger and older and don't keep going back on. That's what I'm trying to head off.

It's very frustrating for women who are told that nursing gets "easier at 6 weeks", which IS generally true, but for nursing pairs with OAM it's the beginning of things getting harder sometimes.

The bad news is that 2-3 months is the worst time, the good news is that 2-3 months is the worst time. If we can get through the next couple of months babies nurse for as long as mom and babe want to... we just have to get there.

6 weeks old

I can't believe she's 6 weeks already. Time flies.

I don't get nearly enough time to nurse her. Good news, she gets tons of milk in a short time. Bad news, she's certainly showing signs of disliking the milk, coming on and off and giving a little yell every time she does. Nights are better mostly, the milk supply might be starting to lower slowly. I've had a cold the last couple of days and the medication can reduce milk supply slightly so lying in bed sick has been slightly better than it might have been.

They say that 6 weeks is when "breastfeeding is established"... but they don't say that that's in best case scenerios. With overabundant milk that's just the beginning of the baby's coping, and their lack of it. I'm just waiting for things to get harder, at around the 2.5 month mark. Wait for it.

"I broke my baby", "My baby hates me",

"I have an ugly. screaming. thing.

A couple weeks ago I had a fat contented lovely baby. Now I have this.

She's got a weird rash, and flaky things on her face. Her neck gets sore spots in between the fat rolls. She's gassy, burps a lot, and has a red bum around her rectum. And green poo.

She screams at me. During nurses, after nurses, all evening.

She hates me, and nursing is making her ill, fat, and spit uppy. I'll just stop now, and give her something that's "better" for her."

Not this time, but I have in the past thought all those things. I've also heard them on the lips of dozens of moms who have gone through this. Around 1.5 to 2.5 months the beautiful well-fed breastfed baby that you held in your arms, stops smiling and starts screaming, pooping, and looking weird. They get baby acne, or the cradle cap starts to dry up. They look like they're in pain part of the time. You wonder what you've done wrong.

So at exactly the same time that all the "regular" ugly-baby things happen to your child - baby acne is hormonal at this age, and goes away by itself when the hormones rebalance in a week or two - your child hits a developmental step, and instead of just drinking the milk like before, they learn new coping strategies and start telling you had hard this is, and has been. And the gut starts to show more and more signs of lactose imbalance if the milk is still in oversupply. And let's not even get started on the latch. The wonderful strong sucking child, has been replaced with clicking, and popping on off, and the sore nipples are back!

Imagine if you didn't know this was overabundant milk (indeed, maybe you don't have to imagine because you're learning it as you read this)... how scary is that?

K is my beautiful baby even with the rashes, and the goo, and the farts. The acne will heal, the green poo will get better, and I will use these signs to tell me that my baby is asking me for help, from the one that they love most, from the one that they can scream to the most, and the one that can help them the most, their mommy. She screams because I'm her world, and she's asking for help. And I will help her.