Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Gourmet

Milk Face
Originally uploaded by Hoetker4Life
Dr. Sears categorizes different "types" of breastfeeding babies with cute nicknames. I am happy to report Phoebe is "The Gourmet".

"This baby prolongs the meals as if savoring every drop and touch of breastfeeding. He relishes not only the taste of the milk, but the whole ambience of a gourmet meal at a fine restaurant. Enjoying every minute of this fine cuisine, baby licks, sucks, fondles, nestles, and goes to great lengths to draw out the feeding time. As another ploy to stall the end of the meal, he will turn away as if finally finished, only to smack his lips, stretch a bit, and reposition himself for another course. If you have the time and baby has the desire, cherish every lingering meal, as breastfeeding is a phase of life with your baby that passes all too quickly."

I am very fortunate Phoebe has always been a great eater. The nurse in the NICU said "Some babies prefer the breast." Because she spent so much time in the NICU (4 nights, 3.5 days) taking breastmilk via bottle, I was worried about latching on and how she would take to it. She had no problem.

I was also wondering about her sleeping so much in the beginning and how that would affect things. All the books say to feed them every 3 hours (and that sometimes babies want to be fed more often!) I find myself waking her up to feed her every 4 hours. Sometimes at night she sleeps for 7 hours at a stretch. She'll be 4 weeks old on Tuesday. And she's been gaining weight like a champ (the nurse at the pediatrician's office called her a "moose" when she weighed a hearty 8 lbs. 7 oz. just 2 weeks after she was born at 8 lbs. 3 oz. -- most babies lose about 10% of their weight in the first week after birth, so her gain was significant).

I've read a lot and heard a lot from women who complain about breastfeeding because it's painful. I'm here to tell you it's not painful for me. I'm not discrediting the painful comments (and the books certainly discuss this issue a lot) but I would just like to set the record straight from the "other side". I enjoy our time -- even in the early morning hours when she wakes me up at 1 a.m. or 4 a.m. She's so happy to eat and so cute I can't help but smile, even when I'm exhausted.

Phoebe's face when she eats is about 500 times as hilarious as the photo. My cell phone isn't the best at capturing these moments (and, really, I'm not about to get, ahem, "all" of the details in a picture because my brothers read this blog).

I'm just thankful she's not "The Yanker". Buy the book if you want to read what that is.

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