Do YOU Know When Your Baby Is Hungry?

Okay, so I am a Newborn Care Specialist, an experienced Nanny, a Family Science graduate, and I am a new mom that got to spend 10 days in the hospital with my baby and has had 4 wonderful pediatrician visits already... and NEVER ONCE was I taught all the hunger signs in a newborn! 

If I didn't know what to watch for how many other moms don't know either?  Millions I suspect. How tragic!  Now I know why so many moms give up on breastfeeding and give in to formulas.  Now I'm not saying this about the working mom, or those who never wanted to breastfeed, but for those of us who set out to breastfeed and had to supplement with formula, or even breast milk, and bottle feed their babies.

Today a lady from WIC called to see how it was going with a breast pump I "rented" and I went into the whole scenario of how my baby hadn't been gaining enough weight and how I am having to supplement her, and all the issues we are having with that.  To my utter blessing this call came at the perfect time!  I was able to go in same day and meet with lactation counselors and get great little tidbits, support, and a game plan!

I now have a renewed sense of confidence in my ability to increase my milk supply, in my baby's ability to demand/suck enough milk from me, and for all of this nursing business to get better with time!  As a part of my astonishment I want to share what I learned today that I never learned in my Newborn Care courses (if I was taught it didn't stick, sorry), from the hospital NICU and nursery staff, the hospital lactation consultant, my fantastic pediatricians, my doula and childbirth education, or anyone else that I came into contact with over this time. So here it is:

Hunger Signs in a Newborn:

  • baby making fists, usually near the face
  • sucking on hands and/or fingers (at 2 months there is a difference between this and the ravenous fist knawing)
  • rooting, which includes the tongue mouthing thing they do (mine does a slightly different form of this when "talking" so I had over looked the rooting form)
  • rapid eye movement when asleep (which seems weird b/c babies spend abt 80% of their sleep time in REM sleep but this is what they said...)
  • and one I figured out is anxiously sucking in pacifier when offered it then spitting it out mad that it's not giving them food, (mine screams, will take the paci again then spit it out and get mad)
  • and of course very upset behavior soothed only by the breast or bottle

Anyone who knows anything else or has an issue with any of these please respond!

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