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At breaking point with EBF dd(34 Posts)
I need advice. I have EBF my dd (pfb) since she was born, she is four months old. I have not been away from her for more than 20 minutes since she was born. I'm exhausted mentally and physically. I have an electric breast pump and want to build a supply of milk up so I can have a few hours off and leave her with DH but can never find the time to pump because I am alone with her all day.
I'm a SAHM and my DH tries to help where he can but because she nurses every two hours I can't really get any time to myself. I'm in a new town hundreds of miles from home and no idea how to find a trustworthy carer to even come in and help me for a few hours.
I know it gets easier, but finding it very difficult right now. I'm tempted to buy formula so my DH can take her for a Saturday morning or something but I really don't want to give her it.
I was also on my own with her for her first six weeks because my DH moved to this new town ahead of me. He really doesn't understand what that time was like and how overwhelming it all is. He is a wonderful man but until you've done it on your own, it's impossible to grasp. He's compared it to the long work hours he had to start with but with the baby there are no weekends or lunch breaks, no adult coworkers, etc IYSWIM.
Not sure what I expect you to tell me but I really needed to vent.
Totally feel you on the clothes thing. Totally. Maybe a little online shopping trip would help you, if you can afford it?
Someone bought me the book 'What Mothers Do, especially when it looks like nothing' by Naomi Stadlen. Not all the chapters resonated, but she talks about how hard it is as we don't have a language for the things we do. If you spent the whole day nursing and soothing the baby, that is a huge achievement and more than comparable to a full days work, we just don't really have words for it. I don't know if you DH would read it? Mine wouldn't but it really helped me to make the adjustment to being on demand for my baby 24 hours ad (11wk DD and ebf). You are doing amazingly- first six weeks solo?! You are brilliant and your baby is very lucky.
Why don't you try wearing a stretchy vest top under your regular tops (not so easy with dresses). Then you can pull the top up and the vest down - means you might be able to wear a few more normal things. And trying to extend feeds to 3-4 hours is a good tip.
I've been where you are totally get it - I want to add some thoughts. For the vast majority of human time on this planet we lived in tribes - women would have bf on demand but the idea of a woman doing this while living on her own would be totally unthinkable. She would have had other women and carers around her 24/7 - in the cultures globally now where breast feeding is still commonly done extensively and on demand (ie not the US or UK where bf typically ends within a few weeks) women live in societies that are communal and supportive
So please give yourself a break - what you are doing in breast feeding with so little physical and mental support is not natural and you are basically a superwoman for getting this far!
Huge congratulations - you have done an amazing super human thing fr your child.
I would personally stop trying to express and introduce some formula so you can have a break - but of course that is v personal and up to you but I exclusively bf for 7 months and next time I will give some formula earlier I think as I also was nearly broken by it.
Women used to bf each others babies so they coul have a break - we do not live in a culture that recognises or supports the full
Sorry posted before finished - out culture does not support the intense commitment of bf which is - I believe - why bf rates are low. It's bloody exhausting if done in a culture where you are not given the proper practical support.
You need a break and a rest - as I said I would recommend mix feeding your baby is getting the goodness f breast milk and formula is very well designed to give all the good stuff too -
Also at this age they can go 3/4 hours - good advice from others about gently pushing feeds longer but I think you will find that easier if you give a bottle once or twice a day and once weaning starts.
Try expressing with baby on the other side. I always got bugger all til I tried that, then I could get 4oz if baby started the let down
I moved to the US also at 32 weeks and knew no one, and it is a challenge. I would say what made my life with a baby and no support a good life, was getting out every day once baby was 3 months to every possible social possibility. For me this was libraries, then parenting classes at the local community college, tot time at the local sport centre. There are often a lot of opportunities but you need to seek them out. Also meetup.com...I just put my zip code in and joined the nearest parents group. 3 years on I have the most wonderful friends but when we get sick and I am stuck home all week I notice how less enjoyable being a stay at home mum is.....you need a social opportunity for you and later on baby at least every other day. The moms clubs are pretty big here too. Which area are you in? It can be very lonely being away from all your friends and family with such a massive life change. But pretty much only you can make the difference as you are the newbie.......people are pretty friendly in the US. A good moan can help too!!
Waterrat, just wanted to say I agree with you completely. Especially living in the suburbs and away from family, it's so isolating. Because it's not really the breastfeeding that's doing me in, it's the utter relentlessness of it. I mean she can play independently a bit but not for very long, and she's quite social, she wants to play with people rather than toys. I would just like to have some time each day that is not baby-centric. Even just cleaning the toilets or paying the bills without having to interact for an hour or so.
Sister-wives are starting to seem like a better idea every day!
Re: the clothes, the stretchy top probably won't work with the dress but I think I'm going to put a horizontal zip in under the bust for access.
Pitmountainpony, I am in the middle of effing nowhere. Okay I'm on the edge of nowhere, a suburb of Madison, WI. I'm originally from San Francisco and while this is a friendly area with lots going for it, I'm homesick for London and SF.
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