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OTHER ITA SITES:
10 Tips To Get You Through Frequency Days (Growth Spurts)
When I was pregnant I read a lot of books, I was well informed and thought I knew what to expect from a newborn. I was muddling through the days and weeks, as I believe is really the dance of the first time mom, until I reached week six.
Week six brought me a day where my delightful daughter changed the pattern and became overwhelmingly needy, wanting to be held at all times. She also wanted to nurse every 30 to 45 minutes. She only slept for short periods of time, and her minimal fussiness grew into enormous screams.
I just kept muddling through the day, but I was thinking “What the hell is going on?” “Is this the way it’s going to be from now on?” “How long is this going to last?” As the day progressed, I became more and more overwhelmed and frustrated. I felt completely inept and incapable of providing what my daughter needed. My thoughts turned to “I can’t do this.” “I can’t make this baby happy.” “What if this is how it’s going to be?” “I’m not a good mom.” “My milk is drying up, I’m going to be a failure at breastfeeding.”
As I continued down this negative spiral I finally made the choice to reach out. I was in tears and feeling like a complete failure when I called my best friend, who is also a mom at 9pm. I told her of my day, and her response was “No one told you about frequency days?”
I was a little taken aback, and I said, “No, What’s a frequency day?”
She went on to explain that there are times in an infant’s development where they go through growth spurts, 6 weeks is one of them, and they many times have all the behaviors I had been dealing with throughout the day. She also said that around the 3 month mark I might be faced with this situation again.
Lo and behold, we are at the 3 month mark, and here we go again.
Here’s the difference. I remember the last time and I have been a mother a little longer and I am feeling more confident in my ability to know what she wants/needs and in my ability to provide her what she needs.
Here’s what I’ve done to make this go around a little bit easier, hopefully these tips will help get you and your little one through your frequency days or growth spurt.
1. If you work from home, plan on taking time off. If you work outside the home and can, plan on taking some time off. Make you and your baby priority number one. These days won’t go on forever, but they are important in the growth and development of your little one.
2. Put nice clean sheets on the bed, you’re going to be there a lot.
3. Get a large glass of ice water and keep it near the bed at all times. Hydration is key to maintain your milk supply, and your sanity.
4. Find a book, magazine or the TV to entertain yourself with during the day. I usually make nursing a bonding time, but when it goes all day, I have to do something to keep my spirits and my energy up. When else do I have time to read that trashy romance novel or magazine.
5. Get in bed and stay there. Today is not the day to worry about the dishes, the laundry, or the stack of mail on the kitchen table. Frequency days (aka growth spurts) can really take it out of you. Give yourself a break. You are providing over 1000 calories to your baby and helping her grow. The chores will wait until tomorrow when you are back to your old schedule.
6. Learn how to use the side laying position to breast feed. This made all the difference for us once I figured it out. I also figured out that I didn’t have to move her from side to side, I could just rotate over her shoulder a little and she was able to reach both breasts from the same side.
7. My daughter tends to only sleep in short increments (15-20 minutes) on these days, so toward the end of the day, or if I am just feeling completely wore out I listen to a healing breath CD or do some type of meditation to help pull me back to center. (I listen to the CD on my portable CD player in bed with her, because she wakes up if I move off the bed)
8. Have a friend or two you can call so they can remind you that frequency days don’t last forever, you are doing a great job, your body was made for this and you aren’t out of milk.
9. If you are totally frustrated take a minute and go inside yourself, think about yesterday and know you will have easier days again. Think about how amazing it is to have a baby. Listen to your heart and feel all the love you have for your little one. That usually tides me over and helps me get back to a place of love and tenderness. I go there pretty frequently on those days.
10. Hand off the baby when possible. These are not days you have to do all by yourself. If you have some pumped milk, let someone else feed the baby, and go take a bath. Taking care of yourself is essential if you are going to be able to take care of your little one. Like on an airplane, you have to put on your oxygen mask first, before you put on your child’s. If you can’t breathe, you are of no use to them. So remember to take those breathers. They are important!
Those are my top ten tips. Our frequency day has turned into 3 days this time around, and although I have been tired, I have continued to feel confident in my ability to handle the situation, and by following these tips so will you! Good luck to you and your little one.
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