As new parents, you mind and body are on overdrive which can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. With so many new experiences, adjustments and opinions being thrown at you, it's completely understandable that you'd feel overwhelmed.
In my experience, one of the most common worries comes soon after a follow up visit to the health care provider where they discover their baby isn't gaining enough weight. Time and time again, I receive emails or phone calls from frantic parents who thought they were on the right track but have now lost all confidence in their parenting abilities.
This can be an awful feeling for new parents - trust me....I've been there. As care providers, we need to focus on reteaching women and new mothers to trust in their natural ability to birth and care for their baby. We tend to get lost in this world of modern technologies and differing opinions and it has led us to doubt our most primal instincts which then leads to lack the confidence in something that should come naturally.
I'd like to share some wonderful write ups by two well respected doctors in the birth community. They both shed light on the issue of infant weight gain and the detrimental effect that our obsession with numbers can have.
Dr. Jay Gordon - "It sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet I have seen so many moms whose babies have looked healthy, nursed well, met developmental milestones one right after the other and have lost all confidence in breastfeeding due to someone telling them that their baby’s weight was not on the charts. This someone was looking at the scale and charts, rather than the baby." Read more.
Dr. Jack Newman - "Breastfeeding mothers frequently ask how to know their babies are getting enough milk. The breast is not the bottle, and it is not possible to hold the breast up to the light to see how many ounces or millilitres of milk the baby drank. And this is a good thing!! We are not supposed to know how much the baby is getting but rather is baby getting enough. Our number-obsessed society makes it difficult for some mothers to accept not seeing exactly how much milk the baby receives." Read more.
Your body created a miracle! A little miracle! Your job is to help nurture the little one, take it step by step to work at getting strong knowing it takes time. Make sure not to miss out on the little moments in front of you, by wasting moments lost over the number of pounds shifting on the scale.
~ The Pregnant Jock ~
I encourage you to have faith in your body - to trust that it was perfectly designed to provide for you baby, to follow your intuition and to watch your babe closely to learn their cues and know their needs.