My baby has been sick with a slight fever for a couple of days (which partially explains why I haven’t posted yet this week). Of course it’s always worse at night so I’ve had a couple of nights of very interrupted sleep. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect in a sleepy, foggy kind of way. The first night I was thinking how happy I was that he was nursing. My body once exposed to his sickness started making antibodies to it which were then passed back to him in the milk helping him fight whatever is bugging him.
It can be very stressful taking care of a sick baby – They want to be held more, nursed more, they cry more for no apparent reason. But when I sit down to nurse him my body releases oxytocin which is a relaxing hormone. So the act of caring for my baby also cares for me helping me to spend a little time letting go of stress.
|my sweetie when he’s feeling well|
When my middle son was the same age he was quite sick with some stomach flu. He couldn’t keep anything down including breast milk. However, the breast milk stayed down for about 15 minutes which was about 14 minutes longer than anything else. I knew that he was at least deriving a little benefit from it, and since breast milk is so highly digestible he was probably getting even more than I thought.
Finally (I had a lot of time for thinking because I was up so much), I thought about how my body has been able to feed this “little” guy and help him go from ten to nearly thirty pounds in his first year. He is definitely my biggest baby (wearing size 2T already!) and the least interested in eating solids. He plays with them and takes occasional nibbles but he much prefers to get his nourishment from nursing. I think his picture tells how well that is working for him.
I know I’ve posted before on the benefits of breastfeeding but my baby’s sickness has made me reflect again on how thankful I am that I have chosen this way to feed my babies.
How do you comfort your baby/child during sickness?
Jennifer is the happily married wife of a pastor and the somewhat-tired-but-oh-so happy mum to eight beautiful children. She loves to try new healthy recipes, sew, read to her children, garden and play the piano.
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