8.18.2008

The swig-taker guide

Disclaimer : This post is not for gentlemen and ladies who snigger or feel eimbarassed about the most important thing in motherehood.
My little tweety bird who is 3 weeks old is into taking swigs from nature's own bottle. The long idle hours spent in aiding this has pushed my brain to 2nd gear and I thought I should come up with a set of pointers or must-remembers for dummies like me getting into motherhood. My hubby dear beat me to it and posted the following on his restricted access blog which I reproduce here:
Future parents need to keep this in mind :
1) During the course of pregnancy people (could be random people who you really don't know) will ask how many weeks pregnant one is. Be ready with the exact date and the number of weeks. I always had a problem with this and with great difficulty I could manage to remember the due date.
2) Once the kid is born everyone wants the baby pics. No, there is no need to wait in the fond hope that the baby pictures will be bought for some million dollars. That ain't happening you can as well send the pictures right away.
3) After the kid is born stop calling it a IT. Its either a he or she. In India you cannot determine the gender till the kid is born (government regulations). So we call it, sorry the kid, 'it' so often that it becomes a habit (aargh).
4) The name of the kid is a big thing. The kid is going to be stuck with the name for the rest of its life. So you better be careful. In India we are not required to name the kid immediately after delivery hence there is some breathing space so you can take your time and be judicious. A friend of mine told me about his uncle naming his kid Freeshow for no apparent reason. He wanted to call him Frisho but he spelt it all wrong.
5) Remember your kid's name. This is the most important one of all. You cant go around confusing your kid calling it all kinds of names. Hello, if you have to spread the name you have to remember it. (Not sure if anyone apart from me and my wife have this problem).
Other parents can add to the list to help the people who do not really know what they are getting into.n
Now I will add on to this my pearls of wisdom that have been beaded from my experience so far :
1) Pregnancy is nothing. When compared to the entire lifetime of mothering, pregnancy is a cake walk. Dont give over importance to the fact that you are carrying a child, give more importance to the fact that you need to take care of a child your whole life.
2) Mothering may not be instinctive. While you might feel the pain of a crying child instinctively many of the feelings may develop with conscious effort. Getting up in the middle of the night from a deep sleep to attend to an inconsolably crying baby may not be the most instinctive feeling for a new mother.
3) Get a strong arm. Make sure you lift weights for atleast 6 months to strengthen your biceps and triceps before getting pregnant. You will need all the strength to hold your little one in the right position while she takes a swig. And you cant do weights while you are pregnant.
4) Learn to sit straight always. A swig can last anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour depending on your little one's mood. If one is not sitting right (assuming one is not into lying down) then it can result in pai ns in the neck and back. You dont want more pains than you already have at the moment. Voveran gel helps though.
5) Dont panic at every sniff. The little one can make a lot of sounds as it grows. Can be deep breathing while taking a swig, relax she is not choking. Can be passing gas from top or down which is very relieving for her. She can also throw up a little, this could be stuff she never swallowed. Or she might just be responding to your talk (the occasional "kak" or "keek").
6) Is what she is taking in enough? If she is peeing atleast 6 times in 24 hours then the answer is yes. If she takes a swig once every two hours then a session lasting 15 mins is also normal. If she is taking a long one for 45 minutes before letting up, that is also normal. Be happy coz there might be a long sleeping spell for your baby and you around the corner, if you are lucky it could last for 4 hours.
7) Dont underfeed. Your little one might take a break or sleep off while taking swigs. Do not assume the baby has had enough. Wake her up and she might want more. Put her down and she might bawl.
8) Swig on demand. Scheduling doesnt work with teeny weenies. They have a mind of their own and dont care about dictators.
9) Its ok to admit the pains. You are not a martyr for the baby cause. Find out ways and means to relieve yourself of the swig-taking pains. Posture and latching position is the number one culprit, trust me. See a lactation consultant(will be a separate post) if pains persist for more than 2 weeks. You know what, see one immediately so that you dont have to suffer. What would also be a good idea is to have such a consultant on board in every hospital. It would be such a big relief from all the inferiority complex, pinching, pulling and pumping that one is subjected to if one is not "naturally well formed". The doctors leave this business to the nurses who treat a piece of you with total disrespect. Lanolin or ghee does not help to cure the big picture problem.
10) Dont be a kid yourself. Do not take your frustration out on the little one. Mother's hormonal build is tuned to feel very bad when the kid is dissatisfied or disturbed. So scolding her will only increase your guilt.
11) Comfort swig or hunger? Doesnt matter, your little one needs you.
12) Talk to the baby. She will learn the sound of your voice sooner than you believe.
13) Midnight could be good morning. Your kid might start the day as soon as 1 AM. So what? You are anyway awake to give her a swig, you might as well enjoy a half hour of fun with her when she is in a totally good mood
14) You might get some pee and yellow spray all over your hand and clothes. Big deal, you got to clean her anyway, clean yourself too.
15) There are different cries they say. But it could also be that the kid employs the cry that is most immediately attended to, for all her wants. Smart one that she is. Most times your little one cries for hunger. Sometimes for obvious things like wet diaper and sometimes for being unable to sleep. But do check for stomach pain and discomfort with clothing. Some little ones hate sweaters and throw a tantrum which could drive you nuts and you dont know why!
16) They say it will all settle down. Lets wait and watch :)
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