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Thread: Please help! New mom - exhausted, bed-ridden, shut-in!!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Please help! New mom - exhausted, bed-ridden, shut-in!!

    Some things that can make nursing in public easier:
    - Put a couple of extra blankets in your diaper bag so that it can double as an on-the-go nursing pillow.
    - Invest in a nursing shirt or use layers (one layer you can pull up over one you can pull down- for example, a light tank top under a light shirt) instead of a hot and cumbersome nursing cover. With a good nursing shirt or some decent layering, you should be able to expose only the bare minimum necessary to nurse.
    - Practice nursing in front of a mirror so that you get a sense of what you're exposing- it's probably less than you think.
    - Give it some time! Newborns are difficult to position and because they are small they don't cover you the way an older, larger baby will. Pretty soon you'll be able to nurse on the go with no pillow and a lot less effort.

    Who is staying with you, and is it possible for that person to give you a little more space in your own home? It's your house, and ai wouldn't be afraid to say "Hey, I feel a little uncomfortable nursing in front of company, so can you give me some space for 20 minutes? Maybe you can walk the dog/throw in some laundry for me/sweep the kitchen/whatever". When someone is staying in a house with a new baby, they should expect to be helpful and not confine the new mom to her room. The only exception is if the person is really old and fragile or disabled!

    The thing the crib-making industry doesn't want you to know is that cribs often end up being very expensive laundry baskets or toy bins. Because most babies HATE sleeping alone in a crib. Better naps happen on mom (perhaps in a sling), in a swing, in the car, or in a stroller.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Please help! New mom - exhausted, bed-ridden, shut-in!!

    I've always had a hard time breastfeeding so doing it in public was pretty intimidating at first. I didn't want to be away from home b/c at least there I could not wear a shirt and use pillows and such and be able to pump if things weren't working out.

    I think it depends too on where you are going when you go out. It's much easier to arrange things on a park bench for example than sitting at a table in a cafe. I was paranoid about exposing too much (I use a nursing cover) but I try not to stress about it now - I have to do what I have to do and while I respect others; I'm not going to hole myself up in my house b/c I have an infant that I have to feed.

    As far as having baby on you all of the time; that does eventually diminish. I co-slept will all of my babies and found it MUCH easier than trying to put baby in the crib but it was tiring to have to hold them all day long. I don't like to suggest this b/c it's rather controversial and there are many factors to consider before you try it but I put my babies on their tummies for naps during the day. Mine were pretty strong right from the beginning and I had good mattresses that were firm and no smoking or pets in the house. They wouldn't stay asleep on their backs. Swaddling is another option for laying Baby down on their back but you did mention that you don't have AC and it is hot where you are so Baby might not like that.

    Other than that, just wanted to say hang in there. Your first can be very overwhelming and some babies just want to held a lot. Just know that it will get better and you will start to feel human again before you know it and you will actually miss those first few weeks

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Nashville, TN

    Default Re: Please help! New mom - exhausted, bed-ridden, shut-in!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*abbasgyrle View Post
    Wow, thanks everyone! I know it has been a while since I posted this - I didn't get the notifications about the responses for some reason! I'll give an update, if anyone cares to read:

    My little guy is just over 8 weeks now. Those first two weeks were absolutely BRUTAL with the "scheduled" feedings and the jaundice, which he just got over about 1.5-2 weeks ago. We went to the dr. for the 2 week checkup and he gave us the ok to just feed him on cue at night so we could get some longer chunks of sleep. At first it wasn't much, but we're now doing about a 3 hour chunk then a 4 hour chunk after a feed. This last week he hasn't even gotten up for a diaper change so that has been nice. WONDERFUL how I don't feel like a TOTAL zombie after not having to wake and feed every 1.5 hours. Last we checked at his 2 week appointment, his bili levels were decreasing and they weren't concerned, even though everyone we encountered said he looked like a manila envelope.

    So after my post I decided to try some things, main one being a Boppy. It didn't work too well considering my guy is pretty little - 5 lb 10oz at birth, 5lb 12oz at 2 weeks, but he has started to bulk up and loves the boppy now instead of the pillow I had been bending over for hours on end in the first weeks. With it I have been able to do some reclined feeding at night in the last few weeks, which has also been nice for us all (I know they say not to sleep with it, but I am very conscientious of him while I sleep). I also had to go back to work after 2 weeks off to have him and recuperate, and after I got the Boppy, it has helped tremendously (I am fortunate enough to work from home). It was nice when the weather wasn't too hot and I could nurse him in our living room and we would both take a nice nap - it's too hot for that now (we don't have AC and our living room wall is all windows, and no window treatments), so we've been back in the bedroom when I'm not at the dining room table working.

    I guess I am still facing some of these issues, however: I can't seem to leave the house for more than a few hours at a time. He hates his car seat/carrier (he's still a small guy) and is uncomfortable in it. He cries and screams when he is in it for more than 10 minutes if I hadn't fed him for like an hour before we leave, so I end up taking him out of it if we're out for longer and feeding him in the car. I have to bring the Boppy everywhere I go in order to feed him since he is uncomfortable without it and just generally doesn't like being away from our "nest". I have a VERY hard time feeding in public, and the couple of times I have tried it, I just end up in my car exposing myself to feed him because he hates the blankety cover-up we were given. It gets hot in the car and I'm thinking that might be a part of it since it's like a blanket. It's just a miserable experience each time that I try. I was barely able to get a nursing bra and tank top a few weeks ago, which have helped some, but they always end up peed on so I go topless or with a t shirt lifted up.

    The last couple of weeks I have felt confined back into "the hole" again not only because of the heat, but we do have someone who stays with us a few days per week and so I can't nurse in front of them. UGH. My hips are literally starting to hurt because I have been in bed so much. He still naps on me and wakes up every time I put him in his crib and cries and cries until I pick him up. There are just a few handful of times I have been able to get him down in his crib for a nap, and it never lasts more than 20 minutes. It seems like I can't spend more than a few minutes away from the little guy, barely enough time to take a shower.

    I know this will all get better, but I thought it would all be better by now. Any tips on feeding in public? I think being able to do that more freely would really help, but I feel like such a fail at it, he doesn't like it, and it's not practical to take the dang Boppy with me every where I go!
    This is what I used as a cover for nursing when it was hot. I've gotten SO much use out of them and having four means one is nearly always clean. http://www.albeebaby.com/aden-and-anais-swaddles.html

    My LO has hated the car seat since birth. I wish I could give you the magic answer there. My biggst trick was to nurse for as long as DD wanted and then be ready to walk out the door. And realize that newborns are very hungry and breastmilk digests very quickly. Once out I'd need to feed her at minimum within 90 min, but sometimes much sooner. Mine was born 5 lbs 13 oz with jaundice and I just figured she needed to eat and eat to catch up. Also she too was very clingy. When out if the stroller was a no go - usually - we just carried her. Lots of baby wearing though you have to figure out what carrier works in the best.

    Words of encouragement. Even with an attached baby who wanted to nurse all the time, hated. The car seat (and still does) and the stroller, here I am at 11.5 months still breastfeeding a happy and very healthy kid. It can be done! And it's so worth it. Have patience. It will go so fast and once they can sit up and later play things do get easier. But it's still hard work, not going to lie about that one.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

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