Saturday, April 26, 2014

Prepare Yourself: Your Baby WILL Loose Weight After Birth

Remember: Much of that is FLUID!
One of the scariest things that will happen to EVERY new parent is that each newborn looses weight after they are born.  Realizing that this is not only normal, but essential, is super-important so that you don’t panic, doubt yourself, feel like you're starving your baby; or the ultimate defeat: feel like everything you're doing is wrong.

Remember this, babies are born overloaded with fluid, they are submerged in fluid for 40(ish) weeks. While underwater they are practicing sucking, swallowing and hiccups!  When they are born they are little Michelin Men!  Eyes are puffy, lips are puffy, hands, belly, even their genitals are puffy!!!!  Over the first few days the brand new kidneys have to work overtime to get rid of that excess fluid which is why…
  • They loose weight!
  • They are super tired!
  • They are NOT hungry!
  • And we do not have milk yet. 
Babies are NOT supposed to have too much fluid in the first 72 hours after birth, which is why we only have colostrum to give them. Healthy babies should NOT be forced to take in even more fluids. If we bombard them with even more fluids on top of what they are already trying to process, we are asking their tiny bodies to do entirely too much!

Therefore, emotionally prepare yourselves for the fact that your baby WILL loose weight. In fact, realize that a baby born via C-section, or after a long labor with lots of IV fluids, will loose MORE weight because they are even more overloaded with fluid! Babies that make their way through the birth canal are squeezed with every contraction, which helps wring out some of the excess fluids. But again, even those babies WILL loose weight.

Taking all of that into consideration, when I assess a breastfeeding situation, I honestly look at the discharge weight of a baby as a more accurate weight, as the birthweight is skewed by too many variables!

Do like Cave Mommy: look at your baby and trust your gut. Cave Mommy did not have a scale. Is your baby satisfied? Sleeping? Producing nice and heavy wet diapers? Then we are good to go.

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