Saturday, September 21, 2013

Unexpected Guilt

My baby is nearly 12 weeks old now and one interesting consequence of breast feeding that I have encountered is extreme guilt every time she has a tummy ache. Let me explain what I mean. The first time I felt guilt was when we were admitted to the hospital for jaundice, she was dehydrated because my milk hadn't come in yet. I felt horrible, as if something I had done had hurt my precious baby. I cried a lot that weekend and felt a bit like a failure. 

Once we got home my milk came in with a vengeance and now I had oversupply issues and a strong let down that made my baby gulp and choke. She was also diagnosed with reflux and I couldn't help but wonder if it had anything to do with my food choices.

At a restaurant one day I'm pretty sure they gave me regular coffee instead of decaf or the small traces of caffeine in decaf coffee were enough to make her fussy and unable to sleep well. Either way I wondered if it had been worth it. Was I being selfish to put my desire for coffee above her health? 

Now, every time she seems extra fussy or seems to have tummy trouble I scrutinize everything I ate the day before. Was it the broccoli? Was the sausage I ate too spicy? Do I need to give up dairy for good? It's emotionally draining to feel responsible for her health and well being in this way. I know that breast milk is best and I love the bond I have with her because of it but this is one of the drawbacks.

They say that a mothers diet has little impact on the nutrients of her milk because your body will give baby the nutrition before it keeps it for you and they say that very few babies show true food intolerances but my gut tells me that a nice bland diet is probably best right now even though I love spice. I'm sure that I'll continue to scrutinize my diet and later when she is in the picky toddler stage I'll worry about getting enough nutrition in her and that's just a part of motherhood.

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