When I was pregnant I started worrying about how I was going to raise Peanut. I was able to come up with a list of things I didn’t want to do. So I started researching parenting styles, to see if I fit in anywhere. It was during this quest I found Attachment Parenting and Dr. Sears. It seemed to me that I found something that I agreed with. There are eight basic principles to AP. I have included links to the official API page with the descriptions.
Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting During my pregnancy, this meant taking better care of myself. It even included an echocardiogram to check on a mitral valve prolapse. His birth was easy and hard at the same time. The contractions were easy, even when they were off the chart. The c-section was hard. I was in so much pain. I don’t think you can truly prepare for the parenting portion. Everyday is a learning experience. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that plans change. End of story.
Feed with Love and Respect – I knew I wanted to breastfeed. What I didn’t know was how hard it was. When Peanut was born, he latched for a few minutes and that was it. He just slept. By that night, we noticed he wasn’t able to latch so I pumped. But what took two days to get straightened out was that he wasn’t holding anything down. He was rushed to the NICU to have his stomach pumped. It was FULL of mucus. So, I pumped. Around the clock, or at least that’s what it felt like. I had a huge stash built up by the time he came home (12 days later). By that point, he would not latch. He only wanted his bottle. So I got a nipple shield and tried that. After a very long month and a half, full of frustration and tears, he finally latched with no assistance. Now, he is a little piglet. He eats some solids but nursing is definitely his food of choice. He comfort nurses for naps and I am OK with that. It still lets me cuddle with him.
Respond With Sensitivity – There are days when I didn’t think I could do it. I suffered from PPD for several months after Peanut was born. I struggled with the constant challenge of a newborn. I found help and then it got better. There are still days when I am on the edge, but it is so much easier to get past them. I accept that there are times when all he wants is Mama, and I cherish those moments because it won’t always be this way. One day, I will be chasing him around.
Use Nurturing Touch – Nursing has been another great bonding experience for me and Peanut. But I, personally, love baby wearing… MOST of the time. There are days that my back hurts, and the idea of strapping a 18 lb baby just isn’t going to happen. I have made most of my baby carriers, which is great because I can customize them to fit me and the hubby, who loves to wear Peanut.
Next week, I will finish this topic which is very close to my heart. That is probably the reason I work with Attachment Parenting International as Event Coordinator for AP Month. which happens October of each year. (Yep, shameless plug. Check it out!!)
Here is another post that may interest you:
First Time Mom has a great post on babywearing for the novice.