Even while I was pregnant, I always knew that babies feel everything their mothers feel. What I didn’t know was how much they did, especially during breastfeeding.
My baby had mild jaundice during his first days of life, and it worried me sick. I stressed out over what I mistakenly thought was a wrong latch, which caused him to not get enough food from me, which caused him to not poop and make his jaundice worsen.
I spent unnecessary sleepless nights trying to “teach” my baby to latch on correctly and became stressed and frustrated almost to tears. Apparently, he felt my stress and frustration, and decided not to eat.
Milo went on a hunger strike – and that’s why he didn’t get enough from me to gain weight. He was just as stressed as I was and decided not to eat, which of course stressed me out more. That was our vicious cycle.
The lactation consultant at my pedia’s office then advised me to relax before and during feeding. She told me to sit in a quiet place, put my feet up, and not to think about anything else while nursing. This worked instantly, and my baby fed and gained back his birth weight even before his 2nd week.
Another thing I observed was that my body produced the exact kind of milk my baby needed at that time of feeding. When it was scorching hot, I pumped milk and what came out almost looked like water. It’s as if my baby told my body that he was thirsty because he was hot, so my milk – which was all he drank and ate – came out as thin as possible to quench his thirst.
Isn’t it amazing how this kind of bond exists between mother and child? Mom’s body communicates to a baby’s supposedly immature brain and vice versa without them even knowing it.
Now if only my brain can tell right away exactly what his cries mean without me having to run through the crying checklist…