Really worried about acquaintance's baby(39 Posts)
I'm hoping for Tiktok or someone's wisdom.
This mum is a peripheral friend - friend of a friend. She's breastfeeding her baby and I'm very worried. I'm hoping someone will tell me I'm being daft, and no concern.
Everytime i see her the baby is feeding constantly. Now i had 2 tongue tie babies who cluster fed like champions, but the baby is now 15 weeks, and during the 3 hours i spent with her one morning last week i think i only saw her swap sides, never actually stop feeding.
The baby is long yes, but looks soooo thin (to my eyes). Pinched at the nose and temples, and the skin looks sort of loose. But mum says she's gaining weight - i can see she's growing as she's definitely getting longer, but..... I've also seen photo s where she's smiley and happy. If a baby was not getting enough milk, she wouldn't be happy would she? I know mine just screamed when they struggled to feed (before i learned exaggerated latch technique).
I would imagine she is having regular HV checks so if there was a problem I am sure it would have been noted.
I am not sure what it is you are concerned about or what you want to do?
Are you worried that the babies are not feeding effectively?
Well, at 15 weeks there would not have been a HV visit/check for a good long while, unless she had asked for one or gone to a drop in weighing clinic.
The problem is that you don't know anything about the baby's individual circumstances. If you really think the baby is severely underweight and that the parents aren't addressing it, then I guess your only option is to report it to someone. Social services? The local HV team?
In my area, it's really difficult to get your baby weighed. They've shifted the sessions, you have to make appointments etc. The routine visiting of the HV for a weigh in when any problems could be brought up has gone.
My dd wasn't thin but average, but everyone always commented that all she ever did was feed. I lived with my boobs out wherever I was. Travelling in the car, pram, whatever just for a few mins would be a screamathon as she wasn't being fed. I think she was just a really slow feeder and also did it for comfort. I'd been to bf clinic and weigh clinic etc.
In our area you have to go to a massive PITA drop in thing to get babies weighed - run by the HV assistants. I can't remember the HVs weighing my baby when they did the post natal visit either.
I'm mainly worried that the baby is not feeding effectively, and so not getting everything he needs. As to what i do about it - i don't know! The mum says he's fine - I'm just worried. Which I know is daft as its not my baby.
I am sure she is a good mum and will seek medical attention if she feels her baby is not thriving. Failing that I would imagine her family will also support her.
You say she said hes gaining weight so surely she is weighing him to know that?
Why are you doubting her ability to care for her child?
I just think it's too easy to get used to seeing and acceptibg your child how they are, and not really see how thin (or fat!) they are objectively.
Same would go for all parents then including you
I dont really see what right you have to judge this mum tbh.
You are not a medical proffessional and you barely know this women. What makes you more of an expert than her or her family/close friends?
It's fine to worth and keep an eye out for each other. If she has friends and family though, it's likely someone closer to her will tell her if there is a problem.
I don't think you are judging - I think you are just concerned for the baby. It is possible for parents to be unaware their baby is not growing well. Its also possible for the health services to miss babies who are not growing well.
Can you ask the mutual friend about her?
Until then, you can't assume the role of this baby's saviour without knowing more about the situation.
I've spoken to our mutual friend. She is also concerned and has rung the health visitors as apparently the mum has refused HV care and is very anti authority.
I agree with TikTok. I had a very small baby (heparin injections when pregnant + genetics = 2nd percentile), she was growing - my HV knew she was growing, but other people just saw a very very small breastfed baby who was often hungry.
She is now a very very small toddler who is breastfed and eats like a horse constantly. She's on the 2nd percentile for size but "unusually strong" and people are now sticking their oars in for me to tiger mum her into gymnastics or dance or whatever.
Having said that, a friend of mine had a stomach condition diagnosed as a child, she too ate and ate but wasn't digesting it. However that is for a medic to decide. Had you put my dd next to my mate as babies, an untrained eye would not know which is which.
It's good that her friend is aware as well. Hopefully, they will be able to access some support for her. Babies can recover from feeding and growth issues, as long as their emotional needs are being met.
Mutual friend just called me back having spoken to the mum - apparently mum is furious that someone has called SS on them! So it seems it's not just me who is concerned and I'm relieved that someone with knowledge is looking into it.
I've never seen such a thin baby outside of famine relief adverts, and I'm really not exaggerating. Yet baby has happy alert periods so it can't be too bad. Hopefully just a naturally thin baby.
Pickleme that's reassuring to know. I know babies brains grow at such a high rate in the early weeks I'd hate for the baby to have long term damage from an undiagnosed feeding/ digestive problem
Unlike others on this thread I don't think you're being a busybody. And it seems you're not alone as someone else has called SS on the parent.
Now if someone called SS on me I'd be terrified but these agencies exist for a reason and are there to be called upon if there is genuine and pressing concern for the welfare of a child.
This parent could be blissfully unaware of what's going on with her own body and inadvertently harming her child. Better to have the embarrassment (?) of SS turning up on the doorstep once and provide the necessary supervision and support required rather than an unthinkable alternative.
I don't agree with the idea that we should all just ignore what's going on around us lest we be accused of being judgemental. Some children and babies are unfortunately not thriving. Whether that's down to medical conditions, poor care, parents who don't know better. If everybody offered support when they noticed that somebody seemed to be struggling then maybe we would have fewer sad cases where children slip through the cracks. It's very easily done at this age where they don't see the HV so much but are not yet in school. When you don't know a parent well enough to offer that support directly, then you can register your concern with SS. It's not a case of dobbing someone in or getting them in trouble. It's just putting them on the radar so that they, and most importantly their children, can get the support they need. If you're wrong and the baby is fine, well then there's no harm done.
Oh i really don't think she's neglecting or anything. It's more that this mum always has the opinion that she is correct on every blooming thing. It is wonderful to be so self confident in most things, but i was just so worried that her confidence in the "breastfeeding is natural so I'm trusting my body" thing, might in this instance need a second opinion.
Legend they called the HV. Two very different things.
Don't confuse them on the Web. You could cause a struggling mum to avoid her health visitor (a health advisory service NOT social services) because of anxiety and fear.
I had a "friend" who used to confuse then and spend DDs early months terrified because she was monitored for size.
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