Saturday, December 10, 2011

Let the Guilt Begin

I knew this day would come. I expected it from other moms, maybe even from relatives, but not from health professionals. Silly me. I thought doctors and public health nurses were meant to monitor your child's health and encourage you to continue healthy practices for your child. Unfortunately, the public health nurse we saw most recently decided to lay on the guilt about how and what I feed my baby and whether or not I'm doing a good enough job. (I seem to have similar somewhat negative experiences with all health nurses, I'm not sure why). See, at Ellie's 4 month shots, she weighed roughly 15lbs. This week, however, at her 6 month shots, she was a couple ounces less than she was 2 months ago. A couple things could have caused this, one being that they weighed her naked this time and fully clothed last time. Another being that she's much, much more active than she was 2 months ago. Adding to that, she's grown longer rather than heavier. At any rate, our doctor (who also saw and weighed Ellie at 4 months and 6 months) saw no reason for concern, yet the public health nurse proceeded to lecture me on my milk supply, what solid foods I was feeding Ellie, and whether or not Ellie was getting fed or nursed enough. Needless to say, as a first time mom, I basically spent the week in super stress mode trying to nurse more often, trying to feed Ellie more solid foods, and stressing out that my milk supply wasn't sufficient. That changes today. After listening to my gut and doing my own research I learned what I had thought all along - that breastfed babies simply don't follow the same growth curves as formula fed babies and that standard growth charts used by health professionals are based on an average of both breastfed and formula fed babies. So while Ellie may seem small when compared to all other babies, when her weight is tracked on a breastfed-babies-only growth chart, she's right on the mean. So I am done worrying and stressing myself out. She eats (often and plenty!), she plays, she sleeps, poos, pees, and laughs. She's perfect and she's doing just fine!

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