To say something or not?(10 Posts)
I have a real dilemma and need some advice, for obvious reasons I have name changed for this.
I have a friend who has just had a baby. I don't feel she has ever been really bothered about becoming a mum, kind of "if it happens it happens" but I don't feel she would have been devastated if it had never happened. I feel she went along with it more for her DH who was desperate to become a Dad.
Historically friend has had a very bad relationship with alcohol, she drank every day and on every social occasion would get carried away leading to obvious arguments between her and her DH. There have been countless times when she has behaved terribly and been a laughing stock of parties/holidays and it became almost part of her character. She almost embraced it.
I was concerned when she announced she was pregnant because I never considered her drinking to be much of a choice but an addiction and having had a mother with alcohol issues I know it's not a matter of just "stopping" with an addiction. I remember saying to DH "I bet her DH is relieved that's 9 months of no booze" and DH looking at me as if I was mad.
The pregnancy started off quite well with her not drinking or drinking alcohol free drinks - quite early on in the pregnancy she confided in my she was actually quite enjoying the non drinking and had conceded the drinking had got "out of hand" and had become "quite an issue" between her and husband, I was relieved and really tried to encourage her, when we would meet up I would abstain to try and support her but as time went on the drinks crept in. I had noticed she would end up basically sharing her DH's beer at lunch or whatever and my DH had made the odd comment to me about old habits dying hard etc but I felt weirdly defensive of her and always stuck up for her in front of others, I'm not sure why because I know it was wrong. She was never drunk but I had reasons to suspect she was drinking more than she was letting on and later my suspicions were confirmed when she confided in me that her and her DH had had some huge arguments about drinking while pregnant, not helped by the fact that he had also found out she had smoked a bit.
Fast forward to the birth, she is breast feeding very well but we went to visit when the baby was one week old and she basically drank at least half a bottle of champagne just while we were there. As we were leaving another friend turned up and she said to the friends that had arrived, "there's a bottle of champers in the fridge with our name on it." This weekend we popped in again unannounced and she was enjoying more wine with other friends. I know she met up with another friend yesterday and had at least two glasses of wine, that friend phoned me last night to share their concerns. I know she will be drinking more in the evenings too and what we and others are seeing is merely the tip of the iceberg. I feel so desperately worried about the baby and how my friend will manage when her DH goes back to work next week and when the real tiredness kicks in I'm worried she'll secretly drink or drink in the day.
What do I do? How do I broach the subject? On the one hand I know I need to say something as I am desperately worried about my friend and the little baby but on the other, is it just asking for trouble? Is it even my place? I don't know what to do for the best but last night I couldn't sleep for thinking of the little baby and wondering if he's getting a series of little hangovers, he does seem so restless on the occasions I have seen him but I do appreciate this can be due to a multitude of reasons.
I do just want to say I am by no means being a busybody and I do know you can have the odd drink and breast feed but I know in my heart that's not what's happening here. I've even contemplated phoning the midwife anonymously but I'm worried it will come out it was me. Should I say something to her DH? Do I just make a couple of well placed comments. I am very early on in my 2nd pregnancy (no one knows as yet) and probably overly emotional but I can't stop thinking about it. I do so love my friend, and want to help her but don't want to come across as judgey pants but I suppose I just writing this I am judging her. She's an intelligent woman and I know she knows this is wrong....I can't understand why she won't FF the baby but as DH said, maybe there will be nothing to stop her then...
I'm sorry this has turned into an essay, any thoughts or advice would be really appreciated.
I'm sorry I don't know how you could handle this sensitively without it backfiring on you one way or another.
I'd share the same concerns, but really it's probably best kept between her and her DH and the midwife and/or health visitor.
Thank you - still mulling it all over.
Anyone else have any pearls of wisdom?
It seems this board's a bit quiet to get a breadth of ideas and opinions quickly, 99.
I've seen lots of instances of a rightly concerned friend trying to mention something which is only for that person's good, but it's come back to bite them and become a case of 'shoot the messenger'
Even if you had a quiet word with her DH and so kept it out of the more public arena, you might find he closes ranks with her and you're forced out.
It's really really difficult isn't it. I'm sorry to sound so negative.
Could you call AA for some advice about how to speak to her?
I think that no matter what you do, it won't be easy - sorry.
I would be inclined to speak directly to her though, as difficult as that would obviously be. At least she won't feel you are discussing her behind her back.
I really feel for you OP. It is a bad situation to be in. Would you be able to talk to her about your mother?
99 I do think you should do something.
You're going to have to put your friendship to one side and act in the best interests of the child. Imagine how you'd feel if something terrible happened and no one had done anything despite their concerns.
An anonymous call to the midwife sounds like one option and I don't see how she would find out it was you. Either that or summon up the courage and tell her your concerns.
Sometimes, even though the consequences might be uncomfortable for ourselves, we have to just do the right thing.
Personally, if she's a close friend I'd talk to her DH.
A similar situation not alcohol but eating (or lack of it) of my bf and I spoke to her DH. He was grateful for my concern and insight (obviously I knew stuff he didn't, and visa versa) but it helped us both work out how best to handle the issue going forward.
Sorry I can't be much help. I think you're a great friend for caring - certainly not judgey at all.
So, when she was pg she admitted she drank too much.
She is now drinking a lot again.
She is bf a newborn.
She surely knows that this is not good for the baby?
I think, that as with many alcohol problems, only she can decide that she'll change. If you bring it up she may well get very defensive and carry on regardless, with a good dose of resentment for you.
Sometimes, even though the consequences might be uncomfortable for ourselves, we have to just do the right
^^ what bookworm said is bang on to me.
i have no issue with drinking and breastfeeding per say, there is evidence to suggest very little comes through to the milk (as in minuscule amounts) however the issue to me would be her ability to look after said baby whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Others may disagree with me here but I've read convincing research about the transfer of alcohol into milk (will try and locate it when on laptop) so my primary concern would be ensuring hers and baby safety; not so much tackling her stopping drinking.
I like the idea of talking to her midwife if possible.
Or as I thought before, speak with her husband to voice a) your concern, b) what his thoughts / responses are to you concerns and c) what to do next.
Such a difficult situation and one you cant just do nothing.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read - I hadn't thought anyone would reply now.
I feel I must say something, I can't do nothing but I know it's likely to end in resentment/anger from her. Her DH will flip and automatically side with her and lose his temper with me, we know he'll do this because he has before when we've challenged her behaviour.
I was walking past the other day with my DS and thought, oh I'll pop in and then immediately felt too uncomfortable to....like I knew I'd find her doing something I didn't like. That's not right, surely?
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