When Buddu was born, she was 5 lbs. 14 oz. i.e. 2.6 kgs. She was full-term, born at 38 weeks and 1 day but was just 4 ozs. over the low birth weight category of babies in U.S. For an Indian child, she was perfect! Trust me, she was just the right size as I had to push her out. All breastfed babies lose weight in the first week of their life. Hence, we were called for a weight check on the third day of Buddu’s life. She was down to 5 lbs 2 oz. Since that time, the recommendation was – feed, feed and feed. 8-10 feedings a day. My mind starts calculating – 8 times a day, 24 hours in a day – every 3 hours; 10 times a day – every 2.5 hours. Ok. so feed buddu every 2-3 hours.
Easy-peasy you may say. But… But, when a baby takes 40 mins to nurse, 15 mins to burp and 10 mins of possible reflux, you only have 1-1.5 hours in between 2 feedings. This is round the clock – there is no night and no day. And as a new mom, you need your rest. So I had to sleep in-between 2 feeds which was almost impossible because I was so sensitive to Buddu’s sounds. Any noise she made and I was wide awake. Oh, did I mention I had a sore and cracked nipples too? Buddu had a good latch but her mommy did not know how to position her right. The Lactation Consultant (LC) at the hospital advised me to use the nipple shield but I think that caused me more troubles than did me any good.
There was no night and no day. Being peak winter, the days were short and it was gloomy some days. It was a challenge to stick with it. After 2 weeks, Buddu had gained 10 oz. in 14 days. A doctor in India might have said, good, she is gaining. But the doctor here said, she should have gained more. LCs say that babies gain 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. per day. So Buddu was gaining within limits. But the doctor advised me to add another feeding (%!#$@$@) or add 1 feeding of formula. I was so tempted to do it !!!
But, in my heart I knew, that breastfeeding is best. I persevered. Buddu got better at feedings and I got used to the routine and it worked out. Trust me it will work out! If you ever have doubts on if you should switch to formula, don’t! Unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from feeding your baby, there is no other reason that you shouldn’t. Yes, formula is not bad, but when you have something that is the best gift you can give the child, why wouldn’t you? Yes, your life will only revolve around the baby and you won’t have time to do anything else. But think about it, a few week old child is so dependant on you and your care. Give it all you have. Take help from family, friends and anyone else who is willing to offer it.
Breastmilk is just the right proportion of nutrients, gives your baby the antibodies it needs to fight the germs in this big bad world, is at the right temperature, is free and is just so comfy for the baby to nuzzle into mom and have a good meal. My baby is 6 months old now. She hasn’t fallen sick even once although my husband has had a cold 3 times already since she was born and I have been sick once with a sore throat. She still nurses 3-4 times a day and has started on semi-solids for her daycare feedings.