Skip to main content

4.16. To wean = gradually eliminate

There's weaning off a ventilator (breathing machine) in the ICU, and there's weaning a baby. Both are difficult, but as a mother who breastfed (reluctantly) for more than two years, I personally never want to go through the latter again.

1. One can wean off a ventilator using "Synchronous Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation": the ventilator provides a minimum of, say, 12 breaths a minute, and the patient supplies additional breaths. If all goes well, the machine delivers fewer breaths, and the patient breathes more and more on his or her own.

Similarly, the mother desperate for her body back may offer the breast for a reduced number of times or only fixed times a day. For example, 10pm, 4am, 7am, 5pm. Try telling that to the pacifier-rejecting baby who uses you as a human pacifier. All night long.

2. One can also use a T-piece (what it sounds like--T-shaped tubing), which replaces the ventilator and delivers humidified oxygen. The longer time the patient can tolerate without the ventilator, that's progress towards extubation (removal of intubation!) Nighttime weaning is not usually attempted until the patient can maintain spontaneous respirations most of the day.

Perhaps your toddler (who is way too old to be breastfeeding) will accept milk or water in a sippy cup, since she hates bottles and pacifiers with a passion. But as is true of T-pieces, even if the child lasts all day without breastfeeding, she will probably still scream bloody murder for boobies when she wakes up (ten times) at night.

3. Pressure Support Ventilation supplies less and less pressure with each breath, encouraging the patient to take over the work of breathing gradually.

Mom will probably produce less milk due to (depression and) baby being old enough to eat actual food during the day, so if baby can take over intake of nutrients without leeching off Mommy's bones and energy, that would be awesome. Just saying.

Yes, my child is almost seven and I'm done reproducing, but I'm still bitter, see? They should latch a few hungry babies all night long onto the WHO spokespeople advocating breastfeeding for the first two years of life, and see how fast they stop the lactation consultants from scaring sleepless new moms (with jobs and second shifts) with threats of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and "nipple confusion" if the mothers don't breastfeed on demand, and exclusively.

Ultimately, though, the best advice to a new mom or any mom is probably this: Don't let people tell you what to do. Because they will try. And none of them have any idea. Do what works (and is safe) for you and your family.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

3.2. ABO = blood type

In parts of Asia, people don't just consult the zodiac, star signs, and the eight numbers of one's birth (八字). There's an entire culture of personality decoding based on blood type. It all started in 1927 when Takeji Furukawa, a professor at Tokyo Women’s Teacher’s School, shared his research connecting personality traits with blood type. Since then, friends and romantic interests ask if one's A, B, AB, or O, and in Japan, people reportedly get discriminated against at school and work based on their blood type.


Correlation of personality with one's A, B, AB, or O blood has not been supported by many credible studies, but some people take this very seriously. If you know your blood type (and you really should), see if the traits below sound about right.

A: Contrary to the Western concept of a "type A personality," people with type A blood (and antigens) can take a long time doing something when they're not motivated, or finish the same task in a jiffy …

3.10. Crisis = time-limited, disruptive, challenge

Are you in a crisis? According to Erik Erikson, we all are. Erikson divides psychosocial development into eight stages. Each period comes with its own "crisis," which once resolved, yields an appropriate "virtue."

0-1.5 years: Baby learns to trust, or mistrust the world. The former yields hope; the latter does not. Seems like many of us are still working on this one.
1.5-3 years: Toddler's crisis (or rather, Toddler's parents' crisis) involves a battle between autonomy v. shame & doubt. Making it through this stage confirms the child's (free) will. No, _____, this does not mean you always get your way.
3-5 years: The Preschooler may struggle with initiative v. guilt, but "purpose" emerges as a way to make sense of it all (hence the Why? why? Whyyyyyyy? WHHHYYY?s). A little bit of guilt here and there is fine for the developing ego and superego.
5-12 years: The School-age Child feels anxious about industry v. inferiority, ideally striv…

TKD = taekwondo

We interrupt our regular programming of blood, guts and babies to talk about taekwondo, a traditional Korean martial arts form.

Tae = kick/strike with the foot.
The foot as a blade, as hammer, as hook, the blow that knocks someone out, a broom sweeping the enemy down, pushing an intruder to the ground.

Kwon = punch/strike with the hands.
The hands, fist or palm, can be knives, blocks for poles, a punch to the solar plexus, bladed support when one rolls or falls, or a friendly hand to help a competitor back up from the mat.

Do = the art, the way of life.
Like any relationship, one's journey in martial arts has ups and downs. There's a honeymoon period, initial excitement--passion or obsession, even. That may not last, but commitment does. There are milestones but also little bumps, minor or major injuries. Things get in the way of training, but some amazing people also support one along the way. Sometimes one learns to find fun in dressing in full storm-trooper sparring gear on a …