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Please help calm an upset mum-to-be :((53 Posts)
I'm really hoping you can help an upset, anxious mum-to-be?!
I'm three weeks from my due date and I am feeling very apprehensive about the arrival of my baby. I'm not nervous about her being here or about looking after her, but after 8 months of being made to feel like a complete failure, I'm absolutely terrified that I'm going to be a rubbish Mum.
Unfortunatley, I've not had a very good pregnancy and, even though I've dreamt of being pregnant for years, I feel like I've had the joy of this experience completely robbed from me. Over the last couple of weeks I was finally getting excited about things and was feeling more confident about my pregnancy. Maternity leave was about to begin and I was excited about nesting and dreaming about my little ones arrival. I was starting to feel really positive about things. However, I've recently experienced two pretty aweful meetings with a local Midwife and future Health Visitor and, to top this off, a few family members have proceeded to, once again, make me feel like the plans and decisions I've been trying to make about the raising of my baby, aren't good enough.
I honestly feel like, once my little one is here, I'm going to be shoved out of the picture and made to do things that I don't want too.
I just want to be a Mum to my beautiful girl so badly .... I want to give her the best that I can but I feel that, in doing what I believe is right for her, that I am going to become the 'she devil' with people around me. I don't want to ruin her childhood or cause unwanted stress between family members and me. I just want to raise a healthy, happy baby!!
Has anyone else been in this situation/experienced anything like this before? Do I have any right to stand my ground with with family members and health care professionals, or should I just back down to kep the peace?
Can anyone help?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I really appreciate it
I'm sorry you've been having such a rough time of it. Is there any particular reason why the health care professionals are concerned?
Yes, can you elaborate on what has been awful about these meetings?
Thank you so much for getting back to me!! I really appreciate it
Okay so the most recent meetings with the midwife and health visitor:
- Both health care professionals have encouraged me to breast feed instead of express. I want to express because my partner desperately wants to be involved with the feeding and I feel this would be really good for bonding with our baby. But both the MW and HV have told me all the negative things about expressing milk and have said that my partner can get involved with other things like changing nappies etc. They've advised me that I should really be the primary feeder and this isn't what we wanted. We both want to share this.
- My partner and I have also planned a home birth, and I was feeling really positive about this. But my midwife, who didn't even discuss what we wanted for the birth, has said that I can stay at home for as long as I can but that I probably won't cope being a first time Mum and will probably end up in hospital anyway! She has given my partner and I a list of things that may go wrong and has informed us of the many reasons why I should be going to hospital to give birth! My I know she has to give us the 'worst case scenario' but she wasn't very supportive of our wish for a home birth and said to me 'don't worry though, you can always try for a home birth next time.' I felt so disheartened about this and both my partner and I are now terrified about the birth!
Are our wishes to express milk and have a home birth so bad?!
Screw the negativity. Talk things through with your partner and ask professionals what exactly they are worried about, rather than allowing them to make you feel bad about doing something "unusual"
That makes sense!!
Do you think the same would work for family members?!
Expressing for hubby is great in principle but I don't think.its recommended for the first few weeks until your supply is established, maybe that's what they are getting at, anything that can hinder a successful breast feeder is obviously a concern.
Home birth, apart from if there are any particular health concerns for you or baby shouldnt be a problem, push for one if you really want to, but best get a wiggle on
Whilst you need to listen to the professionals if there is no real reason for a hospital birth stick with your plans! I was told that I was high risk and as soon as I hit 40 weeks an induction was best. Thankfully my son played ball and was 6 days early, I got my homebirth! Keep positive, your baby stick to your gut reaction! It's natural to worry this late but you'll be a great mum!
Talking as someone with a 7 week old, expressing isn't easy. I barely express enough throughout 1 day to cover 1 feed so dp can only do 1 and not evenly share (we had hoped to do as you plan to but they need to make you aware that its not as simple as 'this will happen' the baby may refuse the bottle, you may not he able to express enough, you may find expreading tedious and annoying, if these things don't apply then go for it!
Can't help re home birth as didn't have or want one.
I expressed from day 1 I didn't feel comfortable breast feeding and this was the next best thing. I expressed solely for months! It can be done if you Want it to be done!
I have no experience of a home birth as my son was a cat 1 emergency you can always switch midwives
Totally.. sod them. Whether you want to breastfeed, express feed, mixed feed or formula feed, it's entirely up to you! And it's definitely great to have someone else able to help with feeding, imo.
I know a few folk that have had a home birth as first timers, and for them it was great! They should be supporting you, and helping make an informed choice without judgement. If it's what you want then go for it! Although obviously be prepared that these things rarely go to plan. X
Maybe I could breast feed for a few days after her arrival and then see how I get on expressing? One midwife even suggested started to try to express now and freeze the milk but I'm not sure if that would be best!
I'm not classed as high risk and I've been told there are no reasons I shouldn't be able to have a home birth! It's just unfortunate that my original midwife is poorly and can't deliver our LO and the one we have been given isn't keen on home births! She is renowned in my area for being incompetent and not very nice. I've spoken with Mum's who said she wasn't even present during labour and left them with unqualified/trainees so you can imagine my concern
If you want a home birth go for it but be realistic about going into hospital if necessary. Ask the midwife to set out when you would need to go and agree that if x, y or z happens you will because you know it will be safest.
Re the feeding, having had the best intentions bf is extraordinarily hard for some mothers and expressing can be harder still. I'd start with breast and when you've the hang of that start expressing a bottle or two each day to help involve your partner.
Just go with the flow and see how it goes.
The midwives and hv are probably trying to be helpful and realistic but they aren't always experts, they aren't necessarily massively bright and they often hear what they want because they can give a pat answer without thinking holistically.
Wow!! Thank you all for your advice re:health care professionals!! I feel so much better than I did ... Thank you! Maybe because my original MW loved home births and was so supportive of them, that this lady being the total opposite is making me anxious!
So ... With the health care professionals sorted what do I do about family members?? Has anyone struggled with this?!
If you are that unhappy with this midwife and her reputation I"d contact your local director of midwives and explain how you feel. If you cd have someone better in hospital wouldn'it be better to do that?
Are you hoping to exclusively express and bottle feed expressed milk, or to do a mixture of breast feeding with expressing and bottle feeding the milk? The former, to be honest, would be pretty exhausting, and tricky to establish supply. I knew a couple of mums who attempted this - they had to mix feed with formula (nothing wrong with that) and their supply dwindled quite quickly.
If you mean to both breast feed and express, than that is perfectly doable; I'd recommend hiring one of the hospital grade breast pumps for the first few weeks - once breast feeding is established, one of the commercially affordable ones should be fine. You will have to (quite literally!) go with the flow, though, and see what works for you and the baby.
Congrats, and good luck!
Speaking as someone who expressed milk for about 7 months (premature baby, and we couldn't get to grips with breastfeeding) - expressing milk is very hard work. Especially if you're going to try and breastfeed too.
Even exclusive expressing is harder than formula feeding, because you have to express, then bottle feed baby. And you have to express lots, especially at first - the neo-natal nurses advised expressing at least 8 times a day, and not leaving more than 4 hours without expressing at first. So it's not even like your DP can do the night feeds while you sleep, because you'll still have to be up expressing to maintain your supply.
My other child was exclusively breastfed, and although hard work at first, that was so much easier than the expressing had been.
Having said that, if you really want to express, then go for it, but just be aware that it's hard work compared to the other options.
I know very little about home births, but that wouldn't have been a sensible option for me anyway, as things weren't straightforward towards the end of either pregnancy.
Sorry, didn't mean to imply that exclusively expressing can't be done, as obviously it can - just that it can be tough for some women.
Good luck OP!
Trying to breast feed for a few days sounds good. Only as I found expressing really difficult (some peoples let-down reflex is never as good with pumps as with baby) and my DS completely refused to drink from a bottle, he screamed whenever one went near him.
Try to keep an open mind as Labour and looking after a small baby often doesn't go how you planned. And that would never be your fault or mean you are a bad mother.
I breastfed two of mine - I think you won't understand how it works for you until you're doing it yourself. Expressing might or might not work for you. I know some people do it but I found it an unbelievable hassle - almost nothing came out and it took ages. When I was expressing I sat alone in a room because I felt a bit like a cow hooked up to a milking machine and didn't want DP seeing me like that (maybe that's just me!). When I was breastfeeding I was able to sit up with everyone in the living room.
I don't think you should make the decision about how to feed just based on the need for your partner to bond while feeding the baby. Put the babies need for food first - then put your needs next if you're the one breastfeeding or expressing.
I think the midwife is right to say there are other ways your partner can bond with the baby. I breastfed DS but DP spent time relaxing with the baby curled up on him sleeping, he also burped the baby and changed nappies and brought DS out for walks and lots of other things.
At age 1 DS had a strong preference for DP despite the hours I spent breastfeeding. .
Number 1 lesson of parenting is everyone's a critic get used to people telling you how you should do things it wont stop you will however grow a thicker skin and stop caring so much.
I would advise you stop discussing your choices with family if they ask just skirt around it and say you will see how it goes. I think your mw is right about your plan to only express it would be difficult but you could maybe get in touch with someone who specializes in bf and see what they say, homebirths are not advised for first time mums this goes for everyone it's not personal, you are more likely to need to transfer than a second time mum but as long as you understand all about the process and the risks its up to you.
Agree with others, do what you and your partner think is best!
I will say that expressing can be pretty hard work, not that exclusive expressing is impossible, I just think you need to be aware of the challenges. I personally would think about combining breast feeding and expressing, certainly at least for the first few weeks/couple months. Then you could feed off one side and express off the othe side whilst you're feeding - I found that by far the easiest way to express. If you did that then you'd do half the feeds, and your partner could give bottles for the other half. It would help establish your supply, then you could look at dropping the BFing later if you want to. Absolutely make sure you invest in a good electric pump either way, and do some research on what helps and hinders supply (helps: oats, fenugreek etc. Hinders: sage, parsley, peppermint, caffeine etc). Also make sure you drink tons of water, and see if there are any support groups locally.
As for home birth, as suggested above Id look into finding an alternative midwife.
As for family, tell them this is your child and you're going to raise it how you think best. Nip that in the bud now to save yourself years of hassle! I had so much agro from SIL over not weaning at 3 months, I made it clear I was going to do what I thought best, not what she told me (some advice was downright dangerous!)
Really good article about exclusive pumping here: kellymom.com/mother2mother/exclusive-pumping/
Thanks so much for your advice.
I think I'm going to try to breast feed first and then express here and there to see how I get on. As long as I'm producing enough milk for the bubba I'm happy and I know my partner would be happy to help with at least one feed a day
I think handling family opinions and advice is the hardest thing for me! Especially as the family members I'm talking about completely disregard what I'm saying and go ahead with their own thoughts anyway (for example I've already purchased a baby bath for the LO but apparently it's not as good as other baths, so one particular family member has bought another one for the baby!!) I'm currently housing items I've already purchased, am being told what activities my baby will be taking part in when she is older, I've been advised that family members will be visiting when they want to see the baby and one family member has even gone as far as to begin creating a nursery in their house ... I haven't even done that!! This just makes me feel like I have no part in my LOs upbringing
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