to be really upset because I thought that DH and I were on the same page re:postnatal stuff and now I wonder if we're not?(9 Posts)
I am very pregnant and enormous and hormonal, so I might be being a bit silly here and just needing a bit of reassurance (please be gentle - see above about PG and hormones).
I was daft enough to chat to DH about the prospective Dad who wants his Mum to stay with them for a while after the new baby is born, even though his family are quite formal and would make the new Mum feel very awkward about establishing breastfeeding and bleeding and just generally being postnatal. BIG mistake. He thought that I was insulting his family (who are more formal than mine, but not as much as the other poster's ILs). I might be making a mountain out of a molehill here, as they won't be able to stay for practical reasons, but I was quite upset that he couldn't see that when you've just given birth that there are very few people that you want staying with you. In fact, my parents are probably the only people that I could cope with, because we're more of an open family, and it wouldn't bother me if either of them happened to see my nipples when BFing. So now DH is offended, and I'm really worried that he didn't understand last time, and won't understand this time how it feels to have given birth.
It also plays into another thing that really got to me - that both DH's family and my extended family were so uncomfortable about BFing that I spent most of every family party stuck in a bedroom on my own with greedy little DD. When I visited the ILs I barely did anything or saw anyone. It really bothered me, as I could BF in public with no bother, but I couldn't in front of DD's own family! I fed DD for 10 months, so I was an outcast (or so it felt) for a long time, even though once everything was established I we were a very discrete feeding team. I just don't want to go through that again.
OK, long rant over!
Did they actually ask you to go into a different room to feed? Or did you just get the impression that they weren't comfortable with you BFing in front of them?
My family - it was assumed that I would want to go to another room and so I was told that the back bedroom had been made free for me. I suppose that I could have said "no, no I'm fine here", but everyone was obviously really embarrassed about it.
DH's family - more formal generally, and not comfortable with the idea of BFing. So I can't remember whether I just went up automatically. To be honest, we visited well before things were established and discrete, so I might well have gone up for the first couple of times just because FIL would never be able to fact me again if he could a glance at my nipple.
Neither family in general breastfeed much, and there haven't been many babies in either family too, so I don't have any "peer support". Even the other woman who has breastfed didn't seem comfortable with the idea. The baby was transferred to formula quite early on, even though she didn't have any problems, and I got the impression that BFing was done purely for the health benefits to the baby, but was considered something to get over and done with and stopped with great relief. Which is fine if that was right for them, but (selfishly!) doesn't help me much.
tell him to get his cock out next time your mum visits, and see how comfortable he feels about it.
my fil suggested i go into another room to bf ds1 - when they were staying with us!!!
He's been very supportive about this new baby, which is why I was so shocked. He is determined that I will get more rest this time around and not be overwhelmed with visitors and stuff and he's told me that as far as he's concerned that for the first 2 weeks (his paternity leave) that I'll stay in bed (if I want) and look after DD2, while he looks after DD1 and does the housework. He's also come to loads of appointments with me, especially the ones where I felt I needed moral support to make sure that I was listened to re: birth plans.
So the only thing that he doesn't understand is the need for privacy.
"but I was quite upset that he couldn't see that when you've just given birth that there are very few people that you want staying with you. In fact, my parents are probably the only people that I could cope with, because we're more of an open family"
yes but you have to see it from his point of view.
he's not hormonal so won't understand your pov and will see alot of your decisions as irrational.
i mean in cold hard logic it smacks of double standards. your parents are alowed visit the baby, his aren't.
your allowed have your parents around to help you with the change, he isn't.
i'm not saying this is your intention or what you actually feel, but it is obviously how it can be (and ofte is) interpretted.
in that from the off, you are making your family part of the babies life and welcoe with open arms but his family are less family as they are not welcome and you have the power to veto their visits but i doubt you'd grant him the same power with regards your parents.
once again i'm not saying any of this is definitive or intentional from your pov, just trying to give you a male perspective.
I do think that that's a lot of the problem - his family haven't had as much to do with DD1 for reasons that are completely practical and nothing to do with us. I am always very encouraging and enthusiastic when he suggests visits (us to them or them to us) though. DH has pointed out that we have spent a lot more time with my parents (over the years that we've been together) and that maybe things would be different if we'd spent that much time with his parents. But I don't think so, just because recent childbirth seems to involve so much unavoidable nudity and humiliating physical experiences.
I think that it basically boils down to the fact that there are two issues. One is DD2's relationship with her GPs, where I am happy to bend over backwards to make sure that all 4 of them get a good crack of the whip. But the other issue is that I've just given birth and will be recovering from what was a traumatic and exhausting experience, with lots of horrible and humiliating physical repercussions. And in that case, I don't want to share with my ILs.
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