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Thread: support person

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    14

    Default support person

    Hi,
    My name is Mookie and I'm going to be a grandmother again within a couple of weeks.

    My DIL has said she would like to nurse this baby even though she was unsuccessful with her first child due to being young and not having any support from other mothers who nursed.

    I nursed both of my children (many, many years ago) with the help of LLL. My daughter was able to nurse my other two grandchildren as well. But it's been 7 years since the youngest grandchild was nursed and I'm afraid I've forgotten much.

    My question is how can I be supportive of my DIL with this new baby? I want her to see nursing as healthy, wholesome, natural and a blessing. I would welcome any new mother's advice on how they wished someone had supported them.

    I hope it's ok that I'm here in the forum. I'm not a new mother nor am I a nursing mother but I do appreciate LLL's efforts to encourage nursing.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: support person

    Congratulations on your coming grandchild! I think that it's GREAT that you want to help your DIL. I sure wish I had someone who did that for me!

    The second time around, I found the LLL forums and they were very helpful. Not just the world of information that they provide but "meeting" all the women out there in the same position as me! I don't know anyone who has breastfed for more than a week. Neither my mom or MIL did and none of my friends have babies yet!

    Do you have a copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: support person

    Welcome, Mookie! I think it's _wonderful_ that you are here and that you are eager to learn how best to support your DIL with breastfeeding.

    I think a great way to introduce a mother to the idea that breastfeeding is normal and natural is to bring her to a LLL meeting. I sometimes see mother-daughter pairs at our local group meeting, and I am sure you would both be welcome at a meeting. If it is possible to get to one while she is still pregnant, I highly recommend it -- that way she will know a local LLL Leader and have her phone number in case she needs some support or information in the early days.

    If your DIL is someone who tends to read to learn about stuff, get her a copy of _The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding_. If she's not very keen on reading, a good alternative is _Breastfeeding Pure and Simple_. Both these books are available through the LLL website, but if you need help finding them, let us know. It's best to get the latest edition available, not an older version from a used bookstore -- b/c LLL stays current with the latest research and recommendations in lactation, and _The Womanly Art_ in particular will reflect those changes.

    Aside from the practical things like meetings, books, and of course helping your DIL with other duties so she can focus on just breastfeeding and bonding ... probably the single best way to support her is to convey constantly that you believe in her and that you are sure she can successfully breastfeed. Discourage her from accepting any "just in case" formula samples or keeping any bottles or pacifiers in the house for the first few weeks. Encourage her to keep her baby close as much as possible, and to breastfeed any time she thinks the baby might be interested. If there are any problems like sore nipples, concerns about milk supply, sleepy newborn, etc., then encourage her to seek help from a LLL Leader or an IBCLC (best credential for a lactation consultant) as soon as possible -- virtually every breastfeeding problem has a breastfeeding solution, but she might hear differently from people who don't have specialized training in lactation support (nurses, doctors, friends, etc.)

    Also encourage your DIL to post here! This is a great community of nursing mothers, including MANY who had problems with a first baby but went on to successfully breastfeed a subsequent baby. She will find a lot of support here if she is interested in posting and reading.

    --Rebecca

  4. #4
    marie1965's Avatar
    marie1965 is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    346

    Default Re: support person

    In addition to the pp's great advice, I'd just like to second verbal support. Let her know that you know she's doing a great thing, a beneficial thing. Tell her it's okay if there are some rough spots--there are rough spots with pretty much anything that is worthwhile-- and there are always solutions. If she gets discouraged, help her stay focused and positive.

    Since you breastfed, then you know how natural it is and won't make her feel awkward. Oh, I wish that were the case with my inlaws.

    Chances are since she's done it before, it will come right back. But this forum is a wonderful resource should any new problems arise.

    Kudos to you for your interest and support.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: support person

    wow... I wish you were my MIL!!!

    Seeking answers from this forum is probably the best advice out there. The answers are obviusly hepful... but even more helpful is to realize that we are not the only ones having a particular problem.

    However, sometimes, specially at the beginning, there is no time to read the forum... I needed an answer NOW and had no help.

    Any advice you can give her on how to deal with the pain of the first weeks will pay off. BF is far more painfull than I thought and I can see how it can be discuraging. The only thing that worked for me to deal with the pain was to literally "dip" my breasts in warm/hot water for 3 minutes. The hot shower thing didn't cut it.

    Also, since the feed around the clock is another discuraging fact about BF, support her is she needs a break for a well deserved nap. Maybe expressing her milk so that someone else can give it. Or using formula on a particular occasion. I know "Formula" is the fobidden word. I am againts it too... however, I must admit that I used a bottle every now and then, I helped me a lot, and it has not prevented me from BF exclusively my 5.5 month old.

    Last, support her no matter what. New mothers are cranky... and well intended advice may be taken the wrong way. if things get rough, remember, and remind her, that the best way to feed her baby is the way that works for HER.

    Kudos to you for your thoughtfullness.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,999

    Default Re: support person

    Hi Mookie!

    I know this isn't exactly breastfeeding support advice, but... here goes. Do you live close enough to your DIL to come over once in a while, cook a nutritious dinner, and then hold the baby while your son and DIL have a nice, peaceful "just the two of them" supper? That was something I really could have used when I was learning to deal with a newborn. If I'd had that once or twice a week in the first month or two, I could have faced the sleepless nights and chaotic house with a lot more balance!

    You're being a great MIL!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    1,967

    Default Re: support person

    Your DIL is lucky to have you! Great advice already, but I would say that there is a crucial time in the very beginning when breastfeeding is very difficult and we all want to give up. This will probably be the time that she will need support the most! My MIL, mother, and grandmother didn't have a lot of practical advice to give me but just having them tell me that something was normal, and that things would get better helped me to get through. This forum is a life saver too- wish I would have found it sooner.

    Misty
    Loving my two sweet girls Audrey (7/18/06) and Annie (6/18/09) Baby #3 due to appear 8/5/10

    Feel free to ask me about my successful HBAC , food allergies, cloth diapers, and the joy of having a high-needs, non-sleeping little dear who has grown into a wonderful preschooler.

    Blogging here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: support person

    You are sooo awesome mookie!!! I think that is truely great that you want to be supportive to your DIL. She will greatly appreciate that support and encouragement. I wish you all of the best with your grandchild to be
    Jenn SAHM and carseat to

    DD 5 years old , nursed till just shy of 3 yrs old



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: support person

    I do have a copy of the book - I ordered it for my DIL and gave her the copy yesterday. "Our" baby isn't here yet but I'm getting more and more excited about her arrival.

    I'll be sure to tell her about the forum although with a 2 1/2 yr. old and the new baby I'm not sure how much free time she will have.

    Thanks for your help.

    Mookie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: support person

    I forgot about the LLL meetings! I used to love going to those. I need to find some local for us to attend. Great idea!

    I bought her a copy of the book and gave it to her yesterday. Now if our baby would just come!

    I will try to be encouraging without being overbearing. I hope she enjoyes BF as much as I did. And I'm sure she will be a great mom and great at BF!

    Thanks for all the advice!

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