There’s a GI bug circulating around…well, basically everywhere. It’s at my older son’s preschool. It’s all over my play group. I initially scoffed at this bug like I always do because say what you will about my older son–that kid has an iron stomach. He has never, ever vomited.
I smugly assumed my family was impervious to GI trouble.
You know what happens when you assume, right? We’re in the thick of it now, friends (though not my older, impervious son. Just the baby so far). It seems to be just a 48-hour ordeal, but even so I spend a lot of time researching dehydration symptoms in babies.
There is so much pressure for me to give my 9-month-old liquids other than breastmilk. I was surprised to learn this.
Our pediatrician had given us the AAP guidebook to a baby’s first year as a reference tool. That book suggests pushing water, electrolyte drinks, even unset Jello. I think the assumption in the text is that babies are formula-fed because there is also a recommendation to water down formula twice as much as usual.
This advice seemed way off to me, especially since we’ve not yet given our baby any water or juice. It took 7 months to get him to accept breastmilk in a sippy cup, for heaven’s sake. And unset Jello? I had absolutely no idea people gave this to their children to drink.
My mother confirmed that this used to be a very normal go-to for dehydrated kiddos. Everything was seeming very fishy to me, when my gut was telling me to just keep on nursing my baby until this bug passed.
I was once more thankful we found such a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician, because when I called him to ask, he staunchly reassured me my baby needs nothing other than my milk. “Make sure to offer the breast frequently,” he said, “Because we do want him drinking more liquids.”
And so I walk around with my nursing tank unclipped, offering the breast for comfort and trying to convince him to take frequent sips.
I’m not used to feeling confident in my instincts when it comes to nursing, since I had a rough go with my older son. But I feel very strongly that my baby is on his way to recovery and is doing just fine with my milk. I was glad this hunch was backed up by our doctor.
As terrible as this GI bug might be (in terms of laundry and clean-up), I’m finding it to be very empowering. What a feeling, to know my body produces the “medicine” that will guide my son back to health! This short-lived bout with illness has brought me an important reminder that lactation is indeed my super power.