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Thread: Looking for support :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Looking for support :(

    My LO is 4.5 months old. She is EBF, has never taken a bottle and is very attached to me. She even cries 50-75% of the time if my DH holds her.

    We have to take a trip to my Mom's next month, it's a 4-5 hour trip. My LO only eats in the side lying position, which is a bit problematic for the ride but we tested her out today and she fed well on a hike in the woods (fed lying on a blanket with me under a tree). Anyway, I was looking for support from my family, probably a mistake. My Mom told me that maybe I should give her some formula to get her to take a bottle and hinted that all of her issues (doesn't sleep well without me, wants to be only with me, needs to be nursed back to sleep 10+ times a night, refuses bottles and pacifiers) were pretty much my fault because I stay home with her all day and feed her on cue! Instead of saying, wow, that must be tough but you are doing a great job. I'm thinking that it must be pretty typical for an EBF baby to be very attached to the mama, right? This is my 2nd baby, first time nursing.

    I was feeling pretty bad, but then I decided to stop comparing my baby to everyone else's and was thinking that maybe she just has a strong sense of attachment to me because she wants to survive! "Wild" babies were probably more likely to make it if they were really attached to Mom, right? That's what the scientist in me says anyway. Just hoping for some support from other mamas who had babies that never took a bottle...not even once?
    and Mama to two little girls

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    5,910

    Default Re: Looking for support :(

    Wild" babies were probably more likely to make it if they were really attached to Mom, right? That's what the scientist in me says anyway. Just hoping for some support from other mamas who had babies that never took a bottle...not even once?
    I have just started reading a book that goes into this idea in detail. It is called "Kiss Me" by Carlos Gonzalez, a pediatrician from Barcelona. It is based on studies and science. I already knew about this stuff in a surfacy way, it's not as if this is a new concept. But in this books it is explained with such so much logic and in so much more depth it’s quite powerful-imo. Plus it's a fun read.
    Lactation Consultant (and co-author of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding) Diane Wiessinger calls this idea of why babies do what they do (and why we parents are under so much pressure to "change" or 'control' their entirely normal and healthy behavior) "cave baby in the modern world"

    Why in the world does a baby who is breastfed and whose mom is not separated from them for long periods of time ever, ever need to take a bottle-no matter what is in it? Bottles do not do anything positive except deliver milk or formulas to infants whose mother is not there. They are a breast replacement. Your baby has the breast, she does not require a replacement.

    Your baby is normal and so are you. Her behavior is entirely NORMAL and you nursing her on cue and not giving her a bottle does not change it. Yes, since she is breastfed she likely wakes more. That is normal. Your baby will be OK with your husband (and then get to the point she prefers him at times) when she is at that point developmentally.

    http://www.normalfed.com/Starting/expects.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,355

    Default Re: Looking for support :(

    Cave baby in the modern world- that's it in a nutshell. Cave baby doesn't know about cars or clocks or bottles or schedules. All she knows is that she is safe and warm and fed in mom's arms, and cold, lonely, and potentially hungry when not in mom's arms. And that if she's detached from mom, the's a good chance that she'll get snapped up by a sabretooth tiger.

    It can be tough to go to someone hoping for sympathy and instead get a heaping helping of negative advice. If this happens again, I suggest simply stopping your mom and saying "I need you to tell me that I am a wonderful mom, and that I am doing everything right, and that this is a short period in my life that I will not regret".
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Nashville, TN
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    534

    Default Re: Looking for support :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*karrieperry View Post
    My LO is 4.5 months old. She is EBF, has never taken a bottle and is very attached to me. She even cries 50-75% of the time if my DH holds her.

    We have to take a trip to my Mom's next month, it's a 4-5 hour trip. My LO only eats in the side lying position, which is a bit problematic for the ride but we tested her out today and she fed well on a hike in the woods (fed lying on a blanket with me under a tree). Anyway, I was looking for support from my family, probably a mistake. My Mom told me that maybe I should give her some formula to get her to take a bottle and hinted that all of her issues (doesn't sleep well without me, wants to be only with me, needs to be nursed back to sleep 10+ times a night, refuses bottles and pacifiers) were pretty much my fault because I stay home with her all day and feed her on cue! Instead of saying, wow, that must be tough but you are doing a great job. I'm thinking that it must be pretty typical for an EBF baby to be very attached to the mama, right? This is my 2nd baby, first time nursing.

    I was feeling pretty bad, but then I decided to stop comparing my baby to everyone else's and was thinking that maybe she just has a strong sense of attachment to me because she wants to survive! "Wild" babies were probably more likely to make it if they were really attached to Mom, right? That's what the scientist in me says anyway. Just hoping for some support from other mamas who had babies that never took a bottle...not even once?
    I'm sitting here reading this at a point where my LO has been asleep on me for 2 hours - since 6pm. This is my world. There's no putting her down for a nap or the night anywhere but on a warm body. At night it's common that she wakes 10X to nurse. Or sleeps for hours with my boob in her mouth and cries out when she realizes her mouth has gone slack. Amazing to watch her mouth grope its way back, eyes still closed. She's 9.5 months old. I don't know how long before this all changes and while I'm exhausted, sometime frustrated, I'm also proud of my choices.

    I don't try to compare my situation to others. I work with two other new moms who have STTN babies, in cribs. They surely think I'm nuts for co sleeping. I think they're nuts for being gone all day 5 days a week and not wanting to snuggle their sweet LOs all night long. Yeah sorry here's where I have to say DD does take bottles of expressed milk when I'm at work. We have a great nanny who completely gets a BF mom and AP - she also lets DD take naps on her and always attends to her immediately if she cries. But that wasn't the point. The point is that ther are lots of us who are content with being cave mamas. Even if sometimes we dress up and play working mama.

    P.S. you are doing a great job!
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Kaslo BC Canada
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    Default Re: Looking for support :(

    Hi mama - your baby acts just like mine (eating all.the.time, wanting mom and only mom, nursing to sleep, waking up every few hrs through the night) - and yes ebf babies are very attached to mom! My DS will take a soother and we will be introducing him to bottles soon, but that's because I will need him to take a bottle when I go back to work. If I could be a SAHM I wouldn't use them. None of what your mom hinted at is your fault!! You are doing your best and supplying your lo with the best possible nutrition and protection with your milk!
    My mom (and many of the ladies in her generation) were convinced by doctors and companies that formula was better - we now know that that is far from true. Sometimes I had to just point out that of course my baby wakes up - breast milk is so perfectly made for his digestive system that it digests in only 2 hr's (smile). He has to eat a lot to keep up with that. That yes breast feeding is hard, but I'm committed to doing what's best for my baby (you throw this one out when formula is mentioned) I tell them that most people don't understand that supplementing with formula can cause problems with bf supply/demand. Especially since breast fed babies only eat 2-4 ounces at a time. Its hard - I hate when people use the word spoiled with a baby - seriously????
    Maybe a little info will help your mom get onto your side? Can you ask her for her support? My mom never says stuff like wow great job, but she does talk about how we were bottle fed and that the dr's pushed formula as better, but then too she has learned to be scepticle of these things now. My DH had a hard time at first with DS screaming whenever he held him. Just a few minutes ago, he was holding DS for me and DS was just screaming. When DS was handed back to me - he continued to stare at his dad and give him what for for a few seconds and then turned to have some milk We both had to laugh.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    318

    Default Re: Looking for support :(

    Thank you ladies. Next time I'll just say to family: "I'm looking for support, I'm having a rough day".

    Interestingly, I have always called our bedroom "The Cave", I even thought about putting a cute sign on the door! Dark, quiet, peaceful, warm cave with mama (we also bedshare). I definitely have a cave baby/cave mama thing going on. It is so good to know that you all have similar experiences. It's just so confusing because I don't know many people in my life that do anything but STTN and cribs, and I have lots of mama friends. But, that doesn't matter. To each her own!

    I thought about the bottle thing some more and it really isn't necessary at all. We've tried about 10 times or so and the result is crying which I can't bear. Also, it's pretty obvious to me that our culture values independence and seeks to make tiny babies independent as early as possible. So if baby is completely dependent and no one is trying to change that, then there must be something wrong...so says my family and many people. I always get those: "Oh it will be good for her to have other people hold her/take care of her (while she's crying because I'm not holding her)". I would say that means she's not ready to be separated! how is it good for her to cry?? I'm happy being us, and not comparing to someone else's situation is helpful. I just feel like there is such a mix of messages going on, breastfeed but make your baby sleep alone, your baby should be able to fall asleep by themselves, etc, etc. Anyway thank you. Part of the reason it's hard to know if all this is normal was that my first was FF after I stopped exclusively pumping and I had severe PPD, borderline psychosis. This time no PPD and very happy!
    Last edited by @llli*karrieperry; April 30th, 2013 at 06:36 AM.
    and Mama to two little girls

  7. #7
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Looking for support :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mowwny View Post
    My mom (and many of the ladies in her generation) were convinced by doctors and companies that formula was better - we now know that that is far from true. Sometimes I had to just point out that of course my baby wakes up - breast milk is so perfectly made for his digestive system that it digests in only 2 hr's (smile). He has to eat a lot to keep up with that. That yes breast feeding is hard, but I'm committed to doing what's best for my baby (you throw this one out when formula is mentioned) I tell them that most people don't understand that supplementing with formula can cause problems with bf supply/demand. Especially since breast fed babies only eat 2-4 ounces at a time. Its hard - I hate when people use the word spoiled with a baby - seriously????
    This sounds so much like my own family history, both my husband and I were FF, and my grandmother FF 6 children! This was back in the 50s and early 60s. She told me that her Dr. told her formula was much better for the babies and that my grandmother shouldn't work so hard by BF, she needed to "regain her own strength". She is almost 90. It's so strange to me how those Dr.s could actually believe that, and then pass it on to unsuspecting mothers who dared not questions medical authorities. Sigh.

    Direct quote from my Mom as I'm talking to her on that really hard day I had, "Maybe formula will make her a little more independent and help her with her issues". I was so upset that I didn't really think about it until later. But again, all the crappy info fed to women of that time, it makes sense to me why she'd say that even though I know that makes absolutely no sense.
    and Mama to two little girls

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Looking for support :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*karrieperry View Post
    It's so strange to me how those Dr.s could actually believe that, and then pass it on to unsuspecting mothers who dared not questions medical authorities. Sigh.
    Yeah, there's a story here... One that I am not sure has ever been completely explored. In just 1-2 generations, doctors went from actively promoting breastfeeding to being completely ignorant about it and actively discouraging it! I mean, I know there's a lot that played into it- Freud, a new obsession with metrics of infant growth, the growth of formula companies and the development of safe infant formulas... But it still amazes me that you could go from doctors at the turn of the 20th century who encouraged mothers to nurse to doctors in the 40s and 50s who were pig-ignorant! Like the guy who convinced my grandmother- who wanted to nurse her children!- that she "didn't have enough milk" and therefore would need to use a formula concocted from boiled com's milk, karo syrup, and water. And because she would never question a doctor, she used that formula for every one of her 9 children!
    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!"

  9. #9
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Looking for support :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Yeah, there's a story here... One that I am not sure has ever been completely explored. In just 1-2 generations, doctors went from actively promoting breastfeeding to being completely ignorant about it and actively discouraging it! I mean, I know there's a lot that played into it- Freud, a new obsession with metrics of infant growth, the growth of formula companies and the development of safe infant formulas... But it still amazes me that you could go from doctors at the turn of the 20th century who encouraged mothers to nurse to doctors in the 40s and 50s who were pig-ignorant! Like the guy who convinced my grandmother- who wanted to nurse her children!- that she "didn't have enough milk" and therefore would need to use a formula concocted from boiled com's milk, karo syrup, and water. And because she would never question a doctor, she used that formula for every one of her 9 children!
    it is very bizarre, my great grandmother nursed 8 children I believe, and she was very confused as to why my grandmother (her daughter) did not. Funny how much can change in just one generation!
    and Mama to two little girls

  10. #10
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    Feb 2013
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    Default Re: Looking for support :(

    My mom and I were just having a conversation about this . . . . she expressed great regret at just accepting the doctors and psychologists thinking of that time. She was literally 'bound up' and told that formula would be better - that nursing would be too much of a strain on her (baby and mother almost died during delivery). They even tied her tubes without her knowledge during a c-section and informed her afterwards . . .
    Also - the accepted common thought was that babies needed to learn to sooth themselves. She talked about how she used to put baby into the crib and listen to her cry for what seemed like hours and hours until she (baby) fell asleep from exhaustion. Interesting the studies now on what long term effects these practices have had . . . sad really.
    It amazes me how as humans we can so easily stop listening to that little voice inside of us that guides and tells us what is best. How we put blind faith in other 'more educated' people thinking that they must know best...
    I'm glad things are changing . . . through knowledge and more education mothers are able to make more informed choices. I marvel at those who did follow their gut despite whatever 'fad' or thought was popular at the time. And *yay* to all us moms who do now . . !!!

    My LO is with me constantly also. How can you possibly spoil a baby who only knows mom and turns to her for his sense of security, life and love? Soon enough they grow and won't need us in the same way. I look at this as a time to cherish and enjoy 'putting the brakes on' the craziness of life to look after baby.
    Life is Beautiful.

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