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Friday, January 20, 2012

Reverse Cycling is a Meandering Road

This post was written as part of the weekly Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Slacker Mom and cohosted by The Gnome’s Mom and Happiness Redefined. Visit the links below and link up your own story or leave a comment!

In last week's post, I wrote about tips for breastfeeding a toddler. This week's theme is reverse cycling.

When it comes to breastfeeding issues, if you've taken a class or read a book, you're likely to think that things are either going to go one way or another. Either your baby cluster feeds or he doesn't. Either you schedule your feedings or you don't. Either he nurses at fixed intervals during the day and night or he reverse cycles--he nurses less during the day (especially if you are working) and nurses more at night (especially if you cosleep).

The thing is, babies haven't taken that class or read that book. They do whatever they want to do. And what they do may not follow the textbooks or the general guidelines, which can leave you feeling confused and unsure of what to do.

I went back to work full time three months after giving birth to Baby T. I had an oversupply, so I was pumping 8 ounces at a time. Baby T would take a bottle, but he wasn't a guzzler. In fact, he would often only eat 2 ounces in one sitting. He would nurse well before going to sleep, and he would wake often, but he wasn't nursing all that much at night.

I started to worry that he wasn't getting enough calories. I was building up a huge stockpile in my freezer, I was pumping every three hours at work, but Baby T didn't seem to be eating. I would look at the 8-ounce bottles of breastmilk or formula that the other parents were dropping off for the kids in daycare, and I wondered when Baby T would graduate from his little 4-ounce Nuks. He never did.

Still, Baby T was gaining weight. He was consistently in the 90th percentile for weight. He was chubby and thriving and hitting all of his milestones on time.

I didn't feel like Baby T was attached to the boob when I was home. He didn't seem to be reverse cycling. But he wasn't attached to the bottle when I was away, either. Again, it was a lesson in just going with the flow. Baby T was healthy and thriving, and we were both happy. Even though he didn't eat solids until later than most babies, he still never drank more than 4 ounces of my milk at a time from a bottle. But I trusted that my body was giving him what he needed. Maybe he just nursed very efficiently. Maybe he nursed more during the weekends. I wasn't really sure, but I didn't really mind. Whatever was happening, it worked for us.


Jenny K said... Best Blogger Tips

I truly believe that going with the flow is key to breastfeeding success! Thanks for sharing your story!

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