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Thread: how to handle time with family

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default how to handle time with family

    We live 6 hours from our family so we don't see them all that often. Actually only twice since Lo was born. Each time we are with them, everyone wants to hold the baby constantly. We are still at the point where he is nursing for 45 minutes to an hour every time and I am a very modest person so I don't feel comfortable yet with nursing in front of people. I also feel bad for taking him away for such a long period of time, so when we are with family, I usually supplement with a bottle of expressed milk during these times.

    Any advice on how to not make family feel like I'm hoarding him and to make me more comfy with nursing in public areas?

    Also, when will his nursing sessions shorten? BB will be 6 weeks on Monday.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: how to handle time with family

    You cannot "hoard" your own baby. Grandma, Grandpa, and great-aunt Ethel may want to hold the baby, but that doesn't mean they have the right to hold the baby, especially when baby is hungry. When baby starts to fuss, just stand up, extend your arms, and say "Time for him to come to mama". I know it's hard to transition from filling the "child" role in the family to filling the "adult" role, but once you have kids you just have to do it. You have to transition from accommodating the needs of others, and deferring to others, to standing up for your kids and drawing firm boundaries in order to protect your kids.

    Nursing a new baby in public (NIP) is difficult. They take a long time to nurse, they nurse frequently, they require a lot of help from mom to position and latch, and they are so small that they don't hid much breast. But all that will change fairly soon, probably in a couple of months. Until then, here are a few tips that can make it easier to NIP:
    - Buy a few nursing shirts that allow you to expose the bare minimum of skin, or make your own by layering a shirt you can pull down under/over a shirt you can pull up.
    - Use a nursing cover (Bebe au Lait and Hooter Hiders make nice ones, but a simple light receiving blanket or shawl will do).
    - Practice nursing in front of a mirror, to get a sense of how much you're showing
    - Let go of the shyness. I know it's hard when we've been socialized since early childhood to cover our chests, but I really think the best way to NIP is just to do it, and to stare down anyone who looks askance at you.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: how to handle time with family

    If you have an LLL group nearby, LLL meetings are a great place to practice nursing in public without having to feel too self-conscious about it (because everyone else is doing it too!).
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: how to handle time with family

    I was in a similar position with our daughter after she was born. I would just take her somewhere quiet and nurse or wear her in our "over the shoulder baby holder". In the beginning I wore a nursing cover but soon realized with the right shirt people couldn't see what was going on. My husband was the most critical of isolating her when I needed to nurse her but it was pretty minor. Other friends and relatives were silent on the issue so I assume they were fine. My advice would be to take as much time as you need and do whatever makes you the most comfortable. Far too many moms overextend themselves over issues that others are pretty indifferent over. Actually my mom was pretty critical but she's fairly selfish. I remember saying that I needed to nurse her and my mom saying to me "no she doesn't need to nurse now" and I just laughed at her, as if SHE knew and took my daughter into the other room for some peace and quiet (for mom) and for some milkies. I was a total Mama Bear and everyone understood that. We didn't do bottles ... for many reasons. We were pretty proud of our breastfeeding relationship and once people were aware of it they dropped the bottle expectations. Feeding was just for us.
    being a SAHM to DD born 12/09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: how to handle time with family

    Thank you for your advice! I just need to put my foot down, especially about BF!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: how to handle time with family

    I know how you feel! Let them know how it is and take that baby to nurse. Tell them that if they want a big healty thriving baby that's what you gotta do. If you supplement too often your milk supply will drop.

    It really irritates me when families and in-laws don't support breast feeding.

    There is a really great cover by BeBe Au Liat that covers you and baby completely of you are sitting on a sofa. You can also look down and see baby. I can't live without it at family events.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Miami, Fl

    Default Re: how to handle time with family

    I know how you feel and I agree with pp. My previous BF experience (2 yrs ago) was horrific, to say the least (no BF support from ANYONE in my immediate family, major nursing issues and supply). This time around (my LO is 3 weeks old) I have a totally different experience. For one, I asked my family to not visit me the first few weeks, unless it was brief and/or to help me around the house. (I had a C/S and recovery is a bit longer) My family has actually listened and I have my mom that comes everyday to clean, cook, drive my 2 yr old to day care and do my laundry. I in turn, do nothing but nurse my child and rest as much as I can. After my ordeal with my other son and the arguments, they finally realized that BF is the best, as he is the example of healthy, strong and smart individual. The important thing is to let your family know that your priorities have changed and that at this moment you are focusing in providing your child the best nutrition and love that you can, and in turn you need their support in achieving that goal.
    As for the public nursing... I experimented with covers, nursing tops and even baby wearing, I have the Baby K'atan sling and it allows me to carry my baby and nurse him without exposing my self to other. Plus it allows me to be hands free and able to do little things around my house, like play with my 2 yr. old
    Working mommy to Cat, Nikki, Brandon and baby Lucas
    exclusively for the second time!
    we made it 21 months with previous son and 9 months and counting with Lucas

  8. #8

    Default Re: how to handle time with family

    We just had a discusion about this at our toddler meeting. So these were moms who went home or had relatives over during the holidays and were nursing toddlers. Everyone reported that either no one said anything or they were asked questions. Questions can feel like criticism sometimes but often people simply are not aware of the benefits of nursing, or why its important to cue feed, or have simply never been around a nursing mother and baby before and are curious.

    I remember once being at a company picnic sitting with my husband and his boss (who was an older man, 60's) & bosses wife and some others. I turned around, putting my back to everyone while I nursed my two month old. All they could see of baby was his little squrmy legs sticking out. My husbands boss said 'those legs tell me that is a happy baby." I then realized how silly it was of me to turn around and assume people could not handle me doing something so natural as nursing my baby at a picnic.

    Obviously every mom needs to make these situations work as she feels comfortable, if you need to just go to another room do it, maybe while inviting one or two relatives you feel most comfortable with to come with you so you are not completely isolated. But when we nurse openly around our families, friends, or in public, we are re-normalizing breastfeding, restoring the natural order that was lost in our society due to the use of formula and bottles. Seeing how peaceful a nursing baby is, and how lovely a nursing mom looks, will win more hearts and minds than all the breastfeeding vs. formula studies and health organizations reccomendations ever will.

    Here is a quick little thing written for grandparents. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...sbreastfed.pdf

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: how to handle time with family

    I agree with all the PP.

    Go to LLL meetings, you will get used to seeing others doing it and get used to doing it in a "safe" enviroment. Then start with your family, or where ever else is your second safest place. Try to look very "cool" and confident about what you are doing and most likely no one will say anything negative. I have yet to get a negative comment said to me. However, I usually have a very confident face. No one bothers me in general! lol My inlaws were worried about me living in NYC and especially brooklyn, yet I never have once had any problems! lol My friends say it's cause I look like some one no one wants to mess with. Even though I'm only 4 feet 8 inches tall! lol hahaha My mom call's it my warrior face! lol haha

    Any way....that being said, just do it. Like with many "new" things it can be nerve wracking and really quite hard, to learn at first when you have never done it (with anything!) but once you just jump in and start doing what ever it is, and get better and better at it and more and more confident with it you just don't feel as nervous any more. But, it always talks practice and just doing it!

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    ~Donavon & Jeremy~ 2009
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