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Thread: Stress?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default Stress?

    My question is about stress and milk production. I have read a lot of different sites and books that say your milk production goes down when you are under stress. I have a huge problem with stress right now.

    My husband has a wonderful family most of whom I love as though I have known them my whole life (more than I can say for some of my own family). His grandparents are the most supportive and wonderful people ever and his sister wants me (and me alone) with her in her bridal suite the day she gets married (we are estimating two years on this). The problem is actually his mother. I would say that isn't a problem but since she got separated from her husband, she lives with his grandparents (thank god it isn't me she lives with). I happen to like going over there for family time and games (football and board games). My baby isn't due for a couple of months but I am already stressing about her very presence (if you knew her, you would definitely understand). She likes to try to control people, tell everyone how to live and what is best for their children. And the way she treated my husband while he was growing up...makes me want her to just disappear forever.

    My problem is this; if I ask my husband's grandmother to come help me after my baby is born, my mother-in-law might think it is her right to come help me too. I don't like her, don't want her in my house (she steals medication, all medication) and don't want her around my children. MIL = Stress. To sum it all up.

    Do I need to avoid the house she lives in? I don't want to avoid my husband's grandparents, but I can't go there without seeing her. Also, I can't invite them over or she'll come too. What do I do?
    Looking into her eyes as I held after all the work, I knew an overwhelming love.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Stress?

    Frankly I think the idea that stress alone has a significant effect on milk production is mostly bunk. Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed babies. It is the way ALL mammals feed their young. If milk production was so fragile that stress was a significant issue, no mammalian species including humans would have survived very long. Might extreme stress disrupt a mother's normal hormonal balance, or cause her body to channel energy to personal survival and away from milk production? Possibly. But I think it has to be extreme, as in, we may not physically survive extreme, and prolonged stress to have a big impact.

    But if you have a family member you think is a danger to your (or your children's) health, happiness and well being, (and someone who steals anything from you, much less medication, would go into that category I think,) then it is reasonable to avoid her as much as possible, just in general.

    So- for help when baby is a newborn, I assume you are not able to get enough help from some other branch of the family??? If so, what if you (or your husband) said "I would love to have help, but I can only handle one visitor at a time and I prefer (Husbands grandmother)"? or "Because it is flu season, the pediatrician said no one can visit except one person and we have decided that is (husbands grandmother.) I mean, that is pretty blunt, but sometimes bluntness is needed if someone unwanted is going to invite themselves over when there is a newborn in the house. Another idea would be to not assume she will come over, but if she does, find a way to make the visit short. Or make a list of things that need doing and give her stuff that would actually be a help (errands, maybe?) Or specifically invite her once, maybe by herself, when your husband or some other buffer is also there, and then that way she knows that visits are invite only, she will have had her own invite and visit, and won’t tag along when grandmother comes over.

    You can avoid visiting where she lives easily, and it is up to you if and how long you want to avoid that. The first several weeks you are probably going to want to be home most of the time anyway. For example, you could wait until your baby is a couple months old by which time you will have more of a handle on juggling a newborn and older child and breastfeeding will be well established so you need not worry about production.

    I would also say, this person actually has no control over you. Not legally, not morally, or physically. That is the reality. She cannot make you do anything. You and your husband are the parents and you and only you are responsible for your kids, and that means you get to call the shots. So anything she says to you about your parenting (or anything else) that you do not agree with is thus meaningless and need not stress you out. It sounds like this is someone you have no respect for as a parent, so what makes her opinions so powerful as to stress you out?
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; December 10th, 2013 at 01:44 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,905

    Default Re: Stress?

    with LLLMeg. Milk supply is pretty stress-resistant. The real issue with stress, I think, is that it's a convenient thing to blame when breastfeeding isn't going well or going as expected.

    What's your husband's take on his mom? It's often much easier for a son to force an issue with his mother (or his family) than for a daughter-in-law to lay down the law for her mother-in-law (or family-in-law).
    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
    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Stress?

    He dislikes her, almost as much as i do. But at the same time he defends her when she does something wrong. she has been horrible through the whole pregnancy, everything she says seems to be geared toward upsetting me in some way. for the first part after we told her we were expecting again, she said that my husband and i would never have any boys and she knows how badly i want a son. then after we got the ultrasound she wouldn't stop trying to get us to tell her what it was and kept saying she knew it was a boy. i was trying to do a gender reveal party that she almost ruined. she keeps calling my children ''her grandbabies''. it makes me feel very territorial where my children are concerned because she almost tried to help my daughter's biological mother get her back. she talks behind my back and asked if my husband's grandmother thought i would '“get fixed“ this time. (her words, not mine). she has never liked me because i won't let her control me or take my daughter (just the older one) every weekend. she has tried to get my husband to keep secrets from me. when she found out that my husband would be the one getting a vasectomy instead of me getting it done, she said (and i quote) “he wouldn't do that without talking to me first“. like she has anything to do with what he does with his genitals. she thinks i don't love my step daughter and that i don't treat her fairly (because i gave the six year old rules and won't give her every single thing she wants.). she keeps griping about me not letting her into the delivery room (not that she asked). she steals from her own parents.
    I don't have any other support right now because my family lives in another state and going through a few problems that i will not ask them to ignore just for me. i wish my mom could be here, but she has more important things on her plate right now. the only people i have are my husband's grandparents and his sister.
    the worst part of it all, is the fact that if i confront her she'll start crap with the whole family.
    Looking into her eyes as I held after all the work, I knew an overwhelming love.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Stress?

    Well you don’t want a toxic person around you at any time, but certainly not during the "babymoon." And the other members of the family must be aware of her issues if she is this bad. Unfortunately, that does not mean they are capable of resisting her influence.

    Are you in a financial position that your husband could take a little time off work to help in those very early days? Or to be able to hire a post partum doula? If not, any friends around who can help you with the older kids, or bring meals, anything? How old are your older kids? Old enough to help at all? I have had 3 kids with zero help from any family (or friends, with the oldest) only me and my husband, who took two weeks off with my oldest and a little longer with the next two. I am all for mom getting help in the early days but not if it comes with tons of baggage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,905

    Default Re: Stress?

    Sounds like it's time for you and your husband to get on the same page about who is welcome in your house after the baby is born.

    It also sounds like you can't count on a lot of family he'll after the new baby arrives. LLLMeg gave some good suggestions about getting through the postpartum period- I just want to add that this is a great time to start stuffing your freezer with pre-made dinners. That way you or your husband can just throw a casserole in the oven, serve it on paper plates, and go back to the more important tasks (caring for baby, letting mom get a shower, taking some time for the older kids, etc.).
    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!"

  7. #7
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Stress?

    thank you guys, those are wonderful suggestions. i will talk with my husband, he might be able to put his foot down. his grandma says she will help whenever i need it, i'm still not sure if they understand how much help i will actually need. my oldest will be seven when he is born and she can help with little things. she won't be able to help with a lot but i will definitely have her help with a few things. she likes being helpful and cleaning (weirdly). my youngest will be almost two, tiny bit of help there too but definitely not a lot. my husband is also in school along with work and won't be able to miss too many classes but i'm hoping to convince him to take a little bit off work.
    Looking into her eyes as I held after all the work, I knew an overwhelming love.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Stress?

    Yeah I would concentrate on help with the two year old. Toddlers usually have a hard time with new baby siblings, which is understandable! I suggest line up playdates if you can. Also maybe find activities your 7 year old can do with two year old that you can supervise from the couch while you nurse. (reading or just looking at a book, simple games, playing dressup, etc)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    11

    Default Re: Stress?

    those are great ideas. i'm getting my two year old a baby of her own to see if that helps. my seven year old already has a baby of her own (several actually). we got new games we can play with our seven year old. i'm probably going to look for more ideas and hopefully i will get the help i need. my mom would be here if she could.
    Looking into her eyes as I held after all the work, I knew an overwhelming love.

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