Wednesday, April 28, 2010

As promised, worries about feeding

I spend a fair amount of time on Yahoo! Answers and it seems like a huge portion of the questions under Newborn / Baby (my most frequent haunt) revolve around feeding.

Feeding Worry #1: Is she getting enough to eat?
This worry has come and gone several times in the last 7 months. When Natalie was born, it took five days for my milk to come in, so I was really anxious about her getting enough to eat in the beginning. But, then she was a little chunka baby, so I wasn't worried anymore. Recently, though, I've begun to worry about this again. Natalie is thinner than she was before. She used to have all these leg rolls and a big tummy, but now, especially in the morning, her belly is to flat and I can see the edges of her ribs. We only nurse 4 times a day now, so I worry that she isn't getting the 6 ounces she needs at eat session, especially since she so often falls asleep after only ten minutes of nursing or less. But, we were just at the doctor and he didn't say anything. We had gone in to check her ears for an infection after her cold (turns out she was just pulling on her ears to show she was tired now that she had learned she had ears). She was measured then. When we went for her 6 month baby well appointment, she had gained less than half a pound, but had gotten more than half an inch taller. I also know that she is more active now and that she is supposed to slow down in her growth, but I still worry.

Feeding Worry #2: Are her solids and juice getting in the way of her nursing?
This worry is a lot less complicated. Natalie gets cereal in the morning and some jarred food around dinner time. Both of these are before her nursing by a hour or more. Everything you read says to have solids after nursing though so that the baby gets more breast milk. With the night time solids, I don't know how I'm supposed to do that. Eventually, I want her to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I can't be giving her solids at like 3 in the afternoon for her dinner. So, she gets them a little after 5, just after Mike gets home. But, some days that is only an hour before she nurses for bed time. It concerns me that I am preventing her from eating the most of what she needs the most, but I really don't know another way of doing it. I'm not going to give her carrots after nursing her to into a sleepy stupor.

Feeding Worry #3: Allergies
I have allergies to wheat and egg, which are very common in most foods. I'm fairly certain that Natalie is ready to try feeding herself finger foods, but I'm worried about allergies she might have inherited from me, or that she has other allergies that I don't have, namely milk. Most of the finger food items contain wheat, eggs, or milk. There are soft fruits and cooked veggies, but I those either take longer to prepare or we don't usually have them in the house, which means getting them and their possibly going bad before we use them. I want to give her a handful of Cheerios and see what happens, but did you know that Cheerios have wheat in them? Its just fear and worry that prevents me from doing it, but I'm terrified of her getting sick because of something I've done. I'm not so much worried about her have a case of diarrhea or vomiting. Those are unpleasant, but over and done fast. Instead, I'm worried about a horrid case of hives, and of course, breathing problems. I posted a question on Yahoo! Answers about this, but the only person who responded was a doctor telling me what I already knew. Her answer annoyed me because she thought she was being helpful, but she didn't answer my question at all. I wanted to know about parents with allergies and what happened with the children and she goes on and on telling me to only introduce one food at a time and start with rice first, blah blah blah. Then she says that they had a child with a sever allergy, but all she said was that there was nasal congestion. Nasal congestion, seriously? How about anaphalatic shock? How about facial swelling like Will Smith in Hitch? I hate that I worry about these things whenever giving Natalie something new to try.

Feeding Worry #4: Choking
My other reason for holding off on finger foods is that I worry Natalie will choke. In my head, I picture it much the same as I do her going into a shock from a food allergy. Kids learn to eat somehow though, right? She does chomp on everything in her mouth from her books and toys to the nub on her cub and the feeding spoon. Plus, the girl drools like crazy. It seems impossible that a Cheerio could survive all that and choke her, but maybe. Or maybe a piece of banana could. I have to give her these things at some point, I know. And I know that waiting isn't a bad thing. What she really needs is the breast milk that I'm worried she isn't getting enough of. But I don't like that the reason we aren't doing it is because I'm worried and afraid.

Feeding Worry #5: Poop
This sounds like a different problem, but I worry that I'm giving her food that is making her constipated. Natalie eats each new food for four days at least before trying anything else new or returning to something old. This is so that we can see if there is a reaction. So far, there hasn't been anything that seems like an allergy, but there have been days when she didn't poop. For example, when she had bananas for four days, there was no poop. And when she had peas for five days, her poop went from messy on-my-god-its-everywhere! poop to still mushy, but solid adult looking poop. I just worry that her little intestines are in upheaval because of the food I give her.

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