Nursing a baby is a true act of love that requires lots of determination. For many moms, nursing never becomes a reality for a variety of reasons. I was blessed to have been able to nurse my older 2 children and currently I am nursing my third baby. While I love nursing and wouldn’t trade the bond for anything, it is not an easy endeavor. As you nurse and your baby gets older, you start to realize there are a whole new variety of issues you may face. While I don’t have the answers, I do know you’re not alone, momma.
- Baby is distracted.
Do you remember it? The moment your baby looked up while nursing and discovered you. It’s a magical moment. It makes you feel appreciated and loved all in one. As babies grow older, they can become distracted. Your normal nursing session may become short and disjointed. Baby may snack here and there and not get a good meal because they are just distracted and have better things to do, like play or eat or laugh. The list goes on and on. Try finding a quiet spot to nurse.
- Baby doesn’t want to be covered.
For moms who prefer more privacy when nursing, this can be a tricky one. I prefer to nurse covered, but there comes a point where you have to do what’s best for baby. All of a sudden your sweet infant hates the nursing cover. I have a gorgeous Hooter Hiders cover and I love using it. So, when my son, Levi decided he didn’t like it and began throwing it off, I wasn’t thrilled. Try using a soft, lightweight blanket if your little one isn’t into being covered. I had some success with an Aiden + Anais swaddle with Levi. Find new places to nurse or new things for baby to play with.
- Baby prefers baby food over breastmilk.
As babies grow, they do need solid foods, however, they still need their mommy’s milk, too. It’s important to make sure baby is getting enough calories in milk and food. For me, this meant offering to nurse before offering solid foods. I didn’t want my supply to drop and my goal was to maintain nursing past age one. Nursing at naps and bedtime for comfort also helps.
This hurts, no joke. My son bit me once and literally took a chunk away. I had to go to my midwife and get a special antibiotic ointment, and of course he still had to eat. Can we say, “Ow!”?
Babies often bite when they’re bored (or may grind if they fall asleep at the breast) at the end of a nursing session, so pay attention and know when to pull baby off. If your baby does bite you, be stern, say no, and pull them off. Don’t retaliate or laugh. Move on. It’s just one of the many lessons you will teach as your role as a mom.
So momma, if you’re still nursing, hang in there. You can do it. I plan on nursing my 4-month-old until she wants to stop, which is hope is way past 12 months. We can do this!
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she loves the bond nursing creates.