bad times!(17 Posts)
I'm a first time parent and my baby is 4weeks old.
At the moment I'm feeling incredibly low about things..mostly the fact that I feel I'm failing as a mother-I struggle with basic things like picking up my baby (worry I'm going to drop her) and the feeling that she doesn't love me. She responds 100% better to her Dad and seems to recognise and respond to him already but to me nothing-even though I'm the one at home all day and up with her all night. I have to return to work at 3months and have an overwhelming dread because I think I will lose her further to her day carers and miss things I should be seeing.
This week she has started fussing and rejecting bf so I am now supplementing with formula which makes me feel even more of a failure-if the bond was there surely this shouldn't happen suddenly when we've been doing so well up til now??
Sorry for moaning but I'm not sure if these feelings are normal or if anyone could offer advice. I can't talk to my husband or family about these feelings because I know they would worry and it could affect their trust in me to look after her.
Yes this is all normal and babies often seem to respond better to the father because they have novelty value. Make sure you are spending plenty of time outside the house and look for any baby friendly activities/locations even just to talk to other parents, this kept me going with my first. Re breastfeeding -bonding is really not relevant. Maybe think about asking your HV if she can refer you to support with this -I had huge problems and while I didn't find the counsellors much help the support group was fab to relax me and meet others.
Thank you for replying techgirl. It's good to know I'm not alone x
Oh I could've written this post 7 months ago! DO NOT WORRY IT REALLY DOES GET EASIER!! Everyone kept saying that to me and honestly I thought they were kidding! Our ds had a tough start with an emergency section, then he had major abdominal surgery and then a horrendous infection...he was a trooper and I was a wreck!! I was so scared when he finally came home...one day I nearly pee'd myself sitting on the sofa because I was scared to move him! Take any and all help that's offered and I promise it gets easier.
Ah so glad to hear that! I'm so sorry you and your boy had such a rough start I'm glad you're on the up now..
Loving the moniker btw!
Thank you for your support
I read that babies feel part of you - so they are excited by a dad - hence the separation anxiety they go through at 9 months or so -
It's a bit like my dog - not bothered when I'm here - over excited to see friends and DH when he gets home -
Sorry if you have clean knickers on at this stage you're doing well!!
Well that makes sense actually!!
Clean knickers /check! (Not sure about the bra though)
Thank you for making Me smile!
My DH is far better at soothing DD than I am! I think it's just one if those evolutionary things for fathers to bond with children. You are not a failure for using formula - I've had to supplement BFing when DD wouldn't feed in hospital. That's why formula exists! Bottom line - your baby was hungry so you fed it. Keep going OP and don't hold back your thoughts. I opened up to my family and was surprised to hear that my own mother didn't bond with me for weeks after I was born! I suddenly felt heaps better about my own baby. Good luck X
I couldn't breastfeed my eldest, I really struggled so switched to formula but this wasn't a hard decision for me as I never particularly wanted to breastfeed but just wanted to give it a go as I know they say breast is best.
Perhaps it's your confidence that is what's making you feel like this. I remember feeling so down in the first couple of weeks of having my first. It's so life changing, your hormones are all over the place, you're recovering from giving birth, etc, etc. Just go easy on yourself. I do clearly remember feeling that I wasn't good enough for my son and that my husband was so much better with him. I remember my husband going back to work after his parternity leave and crying. Then my mum would come round and be the pro that she is at parenting which made me feel even worse. One night, when he was about 4 weeks old, I just couldn't stop him crying, I ended up calling NHS Direct. I called my mum (at 1am) and she said she'd come round. I was beyond exhausted for all the night wakings. It would take him an hour to feed, an hour for me to re-settle him, then he might sleep for an hour before waking for the next feed. As soon as my mum took over that night, he stopped crying and slept better than he had done since birth that night. I think it's the confidence. I'm one of 4 children so my mum obviously was very confident. I didn't have that at all.
Becoming a mum for the first time is so overwhelming. Don't be hard on yourself.
When I had my second though, I was living in his happy bubble, I didn't struggle at all, even with the sleepless nights, because I felt confident as a mum.
It just takes time x
Might be worth talking to your hv about how you're finding things
I bf for 3 weeks and ds wouldn't settle. HV called during one episode and immediately said, go get formula, baby is hungry. He and I never looked back. And he stayed on formula.
It's bloody hard isn't it?!! Thanks for this I think pressure from the media and even midwives makes us think we must bf or we are not doing the best for our babies. I've never felt this level of guilt before! Must be hormones!!
Absolutely don't feel guilty if you choose to switch to formula. The key things are that your baby eats and you are both happy.
BUT trust yourself that breastfeeding is probably going better than you think (given that you seem to be struggling with confidence) and if you stick at it you will succeed. I speak as someone who had milk supply problems, did mixed feeding for 7 weeks at the hospital's recommendation, but then managed to switch back to exclusive breast feeding which continued for more than a year.
If you would like to breastfeed (again, don't feel that you have to - only if that's what you want) then I'd really recommend a lactation consultant or going to a breastfeeding cafe for support and help. Kelly Mom website is great for breastfeeding information.
And whilst I agree with techgirl that getting outside is good if you're feeling cooped up, it really depends how you feel yourself. Personally, I found the first few
months weeks overwhelming, and needed to do less, not more.
I'd suggest spending a day in bed with your baby, cuddling all day. Get lots of skin-to-skin contact (take your baby's clothes off, and lift your own clothes), feeding every few minutes if that's what she fancies. Don't try to do any housework or meet anyone, just chill together in bed. Make sure you have a big jug of water and lots of snacks to hand, and lunch in the fridge (rope your partner into this).
You will get past this, just give yourself time and trust yourself.
Also, don't feel that you will be losing your daughter to carers when you go back to work! You daughter is and always will be yours - and you will always be hers.
Babies have an uncanny knack for knowing their parents, and prefer to be with them, even if they spend most of their waking hours with other carers.
What they pick up on is how much you want to be with them, based on how much you play with them. Contrary to what people think, it isn't the care tasks (like dressing or nappy changing) that matter to the attachment. It isn't even food. It's all about how much you engage and play with them.
If you're struggling to engage - which can certainly happen, for example with PND, then get some professional help (start with your gp)and in the meantime fake-it-until-you-make-it.
I loved this thank you so much! I think the skin to skin idea is something I'll definitely try! X
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