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stressed out - how to cope(9 Posts)
Just wanted to pick your brains on how people coped in the early days with their newborns. I'm up and down like a yo yo, one day fine, next day sick to my stomach with stress and anxiety, it's starting to get to me.
My baby has been apparently feeding well at the breast, but I saw a counsellor yesterday who said my latch was too shallow, so now that's stressing me out, that her mouth is too small! Then I saw my doc, who basically said I needed to take control of her routine so that I can get my sanity back. The NCT breastfeeding crew are telling me that I should be baby led. All the advice is getting confusing, and I don't know where to turn next!
Also, she's not settling as well as she did last week after a feed and seems to be more reliant on cuddling up to me to be settled at all, how can I break this?? Any ideas out there?
Confused and stressed out... arghhh!
Firstly I really do sympathise! I remember feeling exactly the same add you do now, particularly with ds1! Being a mummy for the first time was nothing like I'd imagined & I remember all to well desperately wanting to do the best for my baby but getting conflicting advice at every turn which just made me feel even more stressed to the point of feeling incompetent - if the so called experts didn't know what was best for my baby then what chance did I stand? You're not alone in feeling like this & you will be doing much better than you think you are.
For me what made a huge difference was actually realising the only 'expert' where my baby was concerned was in fact me. Other people can advise & guide you but let it be just that. Trust your instincts. I would be agree with the NCT in being baby led. How old is she?
She's 2.5 weeks today.
Have just tried some white noise to settle her from an iPhone app which has worked a treat, for how long though?!?
Did you try expressing milk? I've just got a breast pump and going to try it today....
At 2.5 weeks, I would just try and enjoy your tiny tiny baby. You are hormonal, have been through a lot, giving birth is hard work, and your baby is adjusting to life on the outside!
Honestly, please try to not stress about routines and stuff, they will come in time. At this stage I tried to make sure I got a shower every day and got out. Even if it was just for a walk up the road and back.
As for settling the baby, remember this is all new to her! Her tummy is adjusting, her eyes are being bombarded with light, her body is unfurling, etc. she jus needs cuddles, milk and love!
You sound like you are doing great.
Oh, and the conflicting advice? Carries on forever, at every stage there is more than one way to do something! You need to develop your own parenting style and have confidence in it! Easier said than done I know. Also, it's ok to change your mind!
I hope that helps!
Forget about pumping for now. It will just be extra hard work! Just feed her as often as you can and sleep when she sleeps. Try not to worry. I was exactly like you in the early weeks.
Agree it is good to go out if you can. Baby may sleep in the prM and you could walk to a coffee shop or something. Or meet a friend. Try and find a post natal group where you will find like minded mums. NCT will have some in your area I am sure.
Re the latch. Is baby gaining weight? Maybe a bf support group might be good or phone nct helpline. They are great to talk to.
Good luck and congrats btw.
congratulations! and i feel your pain, DS2 is 2.5 wks as well. it can be quite overwhelming, even the second time round. well done for getting lots of advice, now you need to filter out the useful bits.
is your DD gaining weight nicely, does she poo enough (i think at that age they're supposed to have at least 3 poos the size of a 2 pound coin each day, it says in my la leche league book)? if yes, i personally wouldn't listen to any of the advice and just keep doing what you were doing as it seems to work beautifully.
as for the settling, you already noticed that this tends to change quite frequently, and in my experience change is the only constant with small children. it took me ages to accept that, for the first few months i was watching DS1 like a bomb that might go off any moment, which indeed was very stressfull. someone already mentioned that the only expert when it comes to your baby is YOU, so i second going with your gut feeling.
2.5 weeks is still really new & tiny! At this stage she is still building & establishing your supply so feed her whenever she wants, that way she will build your supply to meet her needs. Trying to force her into a timed feeding schedule would have a detrimental effect on your supply & could lead to problems for you like mastitis if milk isn't being removed often enough.
It's still really early days in every respect & you're both still recovering from the birth. The first 3 months are often referred to as the 4th trimester with good reason - you're dd is adjusting to life outside of you! Please don't put pressure on yourself about what she should / shouldn't be doing in terms of things like a set routine that's done to the letter or self soothing etc. as it will only make you more stressed.
At this tender age you really,absolutely can't cuddle her too much, research has actually shown that by responding to your babies needs ie. Cuddles for emotional reassurance helps to make them more independent in the long run as they have the security in the bond with you to be so. With ds1 we cuddled him loads, cuddled him to sleep & all sorts of things that other well meaning people told us would make a big shiny rod for our back. We did it anyway because it was what he needed at the time & it hasnt made any rods. He's a happy confident 18 month old. Also this is a time for you & dd to get to know each & this stage where all she wants is mummy cuddles & milk is so short lived in the whole scheme of things enjoy it & make the most of it, they grow & change so quickly!
Regarding a 'routine' if you feel a little bit of structure (said very loosely!) would help you feel a bit more in control the best piece of advice I was given was don't look at the clock as babies have no concept of time, it's the order you do things in that matters. I started with a bedtime routine of bath, feed, cuddles. But seriously things will slowly but surely start to happen & fall into place as she's ready for them to.
In terms of coping with stress the biggest thing that helped me adjust was actually some things dh said to me as he's from a different cultural background so had a different perspective to mine & helped change the way I viewed things.
I'm at the 4 week mark, and would agree with the others that at this stage just be led by your baby.
I am a bit of a reader and had read the 'baby whisperer' which doesn't advocate a schedule - but does talk about a predictable routine. So I try to do things in a regular order - feeding, then activity (cuddles, walk, watching in the garden), then sleep, then feeding, then activity and so on...
It helps me because I'm structured, but I have to say at the stage you're at I was all over the place because of conflicting advice from well meaning family, midwives and doctor!
Eventually you start to learn and enjoy your baby, and maybe have had some more sleep you can start to recognise patterns, and decide how you want to parent your child - there's no right/wrong way ultimately its down to your personality, your babies character and how you want to do it.
Do make sure you get help with the baby though so you can get some sleep, its remarkable how much the stress levels reduce and you can see things clearly if you are rested - whether its from a long stretch because you've expressed and someone else can do a feed or plenty of naps when the baby naps if you don't want to express and use a bottle.
Congratulations on your little one! You've already had great advice. I just want to add about the shallow latch/small mouth issue that I know exactly what you mean and you'll be amazed by how quickly her mouth gets bigger- honestly! You've got the 3 week growth spurt coming up (my son fed for a total of 13 hrs and 14 hrs over a 2 day period for that- I used an app to time it, I kid you not!) but shortly after the length and frequency of his feeds dropped dramatically and I swear his mouth just got bigger. As long as she's gaining weight & your boobs are ok, don't worry! It's such early days- try to just relax and enjoy it. Good luck!
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