Massive guilt over lack of skin-to-skin following birth

(32 Posts)
u32ng Tue 12-Mar-13 20:24:56

So my DS was born nearly 6wks ago & I have been feeling so guilty & down about the fact that I didn't get much skin to skin after he was born. I swear it was less than 5mins before I felt like throwing up from the drugs & he was handed to my DH to hold. Then I was getting stitches for a 2nd degree tear so didn't hold him again for ages.

Then breastfeeding didn't work out as he had a poor latch & I thought he was getting fed but wasn't (my 5 day stay in hospital is a whole other story).

Anyway, DS seems such an unsettled thing most of the time & I swear he favours my DH over me. When I think back to the delivery I feel so sad & guilty that I didn't get that first skin to skin & wonder if it affected breastfeeding & affected how he is on some subconscious level.

And i feel like a bit of an idiot as well because I read all the pregnancy/childbirth stuff & had read how important that post-birth skin to skin is, but on the day it was like I forgot everything sad. Is ridiculous but I just wish I could go back in time & do it the way I would've wanted.

I'm not really sure how to get over these feelings.

I second that he's calmer with dad because there's no lovely milk smell to enrage him. I also used to bottle feed sometimes as if I was breast-feeding, so boob out and teat of bottle alongside my own nipple.

And get some help - talk to your partner (show him your post if you find it hard to talk out loud), your health visitor and your GP. I waited 10 weeks before asking for help, turns out I was suffering PND and having psychotic episodes. PND is 'normal' - you are not weird in any way for feeling a 'failure', there are people who are there to help you. Please don't be scared to ask for help.

Feel free to PM if you want anything!

atrcts Thu 14-Mar-13 00:42:02

I didn't do skin to skin and my son is soooooo cuddly with me! He is secure and well adjusted in so many ways (of course he has his moments like we all do, he is human after all!!).

Sometimes I think we set out with "must have's" which are terribly disappointing if they don't come to pass. I would try to see if as "it would have been nice but we're ok anyway/we'll use other forms of bonding/it's just one of those things outside of my control...."

What happens from here is more important. Anyone can do skin to skin but not everyone can be REALLY there for their child. Play the long game.

Oh and breastfeeding issues happen to the best of us, skin on skin or not. People without skin to skin contact often breastfeed fine and people with skin to skin experience don't always manage to.

It's all good in the end - all little pieces of a huge puzzle and they're all the same size. Newborns can feel such strangers - I felt like an alien had landed and taken over, it wasn't at all what I expected! The point being it can be a time of huge turmoil and adjustment, not always a comfortable feeling and can cause a lot of anxiety and self doubt. Hang in there - your feelings will catch up with the facts, which is that there's more than one way to skin a cat and it will all be ok.wink

u32ng Thu 14-Mar-13 03:51:26

VisualiseAHorse - I would love to have a bath with him but we've only got a stupid shower cubicle! Would have to rock up at my folks 8 miles away to use their bath haha! Seriously though, I am disappointed I don't have that option.

Also reassured by your comment about breastfeeding after 10 weeks. I literally hate formula feeding!! angry I mourn the amount of time in a day me & my DH spend washing/sterilising especially as we'd have none of that if I was breastbfeeding. It makes me feel so chained to the house. Also wouldn't be up at this hr expressing!

TotallyBursar Thu 14-Mar-13 04:24:51

Have you got a la leche league near you? I only say this next bit as you say you hate ff (been there) I found them staggeringly different to the rough treatment I received from the MW etc.

Honestly though get into bed & snuggle - if he will comfort suck or with a bottle - just 'be' and take some down time with your wonderful new son. Try & leave your worries at the door even though it may feel forced. Skin to skin is much nicer when you haven't had to give birth ime. He doesn't like dh more than you, it's impossible although it can feel like it.

You've just had one of the biggest culture shocks a person can go through - your body and your mind. You can take things at your pace. When you feel low it can seem a lonely & hopeless place but it isn't, get help don't feel bad alone. You can speak to your HV, GP or go and have a birth debrief to go through step by step with your notes - I did it once & found it put things in perspective as I hadnt been as aware of some things as I thought. It helped me to stop feeling guilty about things I could never change and couldn't have prevented.
I hope you can explore some support options & start to feel more you. It does perk up, honest!

Bluemonkeyspots Thu 14-Mar-13 17:12:51

I've never had skin to skin, I remember reading a paragraph about it in the baby books but had not heard much about it till mumsnet.

Two of my three dc were taken away to be resuscitated after birth and by the time i got them back they were all wrapped up and 3rd dc arrived so quickly that i was still fully dressed and think i went into shock and forgot about it.

Will try and do it with dc4 born in a few weeks (if i remember)

ZolaBuddleia Fri 15-Mar-13 10:41:21

You poor thing, please try not to worry.

I'm another one who didn't get more than 10 seconds of skin to skin, as DD was whisked off with breathing difficulties. I didn't really bond with her for about 6 weeks, but I think that was due to a traumatic birth, a shellshocked DP and being absolutely sideswiped by how difficult I was finding it.

Also DD didn't enjoy skin to skin or co-sleeping (ungrateful beastie!). We're now head over heels with each other. smile

Are you still expressing? Then there's no reason you can't get BF going again. It's hard, but doable. Give yourself a week to work on it. PM me if you need help.

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