Last night as the Panda’s child latched onto her breast for the 2nd hour in a row, I tried to break the news gently. “Panda.” I whispered, because we all whisper these days. “Your baby is a milk vampire. You gotta do something or you’re going to end up green. That little vampire is going to suck all the white right out of you.” The Panda cursed me (as much as one can curse in a whisper) and told me that the Baby Panda was just hungry. Looking at the little butterball, I’d say so.
Most babies lose almost 10% of their body weight in the first few days after birth. It’s a scary and stressful time and parents agonize over their slowly emaciating newborns. When the mother’s milk comes in (or when the parents stop the madness and head to the store for a package of formula), it usually takes another few weeks for the baby to regain his original weight. Well not so for Giant Pandas. The Baby Panda went in yesterday for her 2 weeks of life check-up and the results were astounding. Not only had the Baby Panda gained back all of her original mass, but she had surpassed it by leaps and bounds. The doctor asked the Giant Panda about her milk supply and it was all I could do not to start mooing. The Panda is a two-legged cow if ever I saw one.
Needless to say, when the Panda told the doctor how much milk she was producing a day, the doctor’s eyes widened as much as mine do every time I see it. While not necessarily saying the words ‘milk machine’ out loud, I knew the doc was thinking it. I don’t know about human babies, but Panda Babies never seem to stop eating or drinking or whatever you call it when 18 hours out of 24 hour day are spent guzzling milk.