I know it is a common belief that babies are a passive partner in the whole process of birth, nursing and growth but it is not true. They arrive fully engaged with their own agenda and set of beliefs and needs. Babies are aware and awake and able to strongly express what it is they need and want. If you are paying attention your baby will be telling you everything you need to know, the trick is not to see it all through your own filter. Once you start cycling everything through your own set of beliefs it messes up the clarity of the message. Most mother choose to blame themselves when something is happening that they perceive as “wrong with their baby”. Wrong may mean:
- the baby doesn’t sleep enough, go long enough between feeds
- can’t sleep in public places
- can’t be left without being held
- doesn’t like the car seat
- doesn’t like the bath
- the baby sleeps too much and has to be awakened to feed
- the baby doesn’t like being changed
- the baby isn’t walking, talking, crawling or nursing
The baby is making decisions, the baby is an individual living with you. You do not form that baby from day one, that child is their own being.
Allow, listen, support and facilitate. Each child will unfold exactly as they are meant to if they are given the opportunity.
Recently I have had a baby in my practice that is choosing not to nurse. He has had every opportunity, the complete willingness of his parents, a gentle, loving birth, lots of milk etc. etc. and he clearly is not willing to take the breast. He is happy to take a bottle, he is happy being snuggled skin to skin but he is not happy to nurse. Is that allowed???? I can’t wait to see who this child will be – to so strongly be able to put forth his views that this point in life is amazing to me. I love it.