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Thread: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

  1. #1
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    Default conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    My baby is almost 6 months old.
    Does anyone have any information on how much nutrients deplete from breastmilk once you express it and chill / freeze? I'm really hung up on BF without bottles but am trying to get comfortable with the idea of giving her a bottle of my EBM. I have used bottles with her early on because I had horrible cracks in the very beginning, but stopped as soon as I healed, about 1.5-2 months. Then she was bottle fed once around 3 mos. Although I'm concerned about her suddenly not taking the bottle, I think she would. I am hung up on the fact that her feeding directly from me is the best as in best quality of milk, and don't like the thought of her bottle feeding.

    Also, I get very bothered thinking of my MIL giving her a bottle. I wouldn't even let my own mom do it when she visited when I was using bottles. I only ever felt ok with my husband doing it, (I didn't even like to do it, was weird).

    In general I feel very possessive over leaving my baby with anyone. In particular when it comes to his and my Moms, but my mom was only here for a couple weeks visiting early on and his mom lives 3 minutes down the road. I don't know why, but it grates my nerves raw thinking about it when in reality there is no true problem when they (MIL and baby) are together.

    It has been 6mos and I would like to enjoy a date night with my husband. I am trying to let go of the reigns but feel ostracized because I am the only BF example of any of the many babies around us,so, feel that perhaps I am overly controlling.
    Could it be that biologically I am just not ready to do it? However, I don't think it is a wise idea to go another 6mos but logistically speaking I'm unwilling to do it. I'm aware I could potentially leave have dinner and be back in time before her actually needing a bottle, still I would be leaving her.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    Does anyone have any information on how much nutrients deplete from breastmilk once you express it and chill / freeze?
    I don't think this is known. But while some of the most fragile enzymes and immunologic components may hypothetically degrade under storage conditions, the basic make-up of the milk (fat, protein, carbohydrates, minerals) should remain the same.

    In general I feel very possessive over leaving my baby with anyone.
    Congratulations, you're a great mom! Seriously, there is nothing wrong with your instincts, and no reason to feel bad or guilty about wanting to be with your baby and to feed your baby yourself.

    That being said, if you want a date night you should be able to find a way to have one. Aim for small steps. For example, you and your DH and your baby and your MIL could all go out together. You nurse the baby and then hand her over to MIL who puts her in a stroller or sling and strolls around with her while you and your DH get lunch, with MIL standing ready to bring the baby in to nurse if she gets hungry. If that works out, maybe you'll want to do something slightly more adventurous.
    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
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    Default Re: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    Your feelings sound completely normal to me.

    My baby never really took a bottle and I also felt kind of horrified at the idea of her drinking from a bottle so we didn't try hard. I never left her with anyone but DH until she was about 12 mo, and even then no bottles just food, and for 2-3 hr at a time (for work, & I was in shouting distance). And I didn't like it much, although the woman who looked after her was lovely, I new that my daughter would rather be with me and felt that I was missing out on time with her.

    I do not think it is "overly controlling" to not want to leave your baby in someone else's care. I don't think it is a control issue at all, it is just your instinct telling you to stay with your baby.

    I have a friend who quit her job because she couldn't stand her MIL being her daughter's main caregiver and taking over her role as "mom"; 25 years later she does not have any regrets about that choice. I just think it is normal to want to be present for your child and look after her all the time.

    Do you really want a date night out, or someone else thinks you should have a date night out? Are there other options that would work instead? What about a special dinner and movie at home with DH and baby? What about taking baby out for dinner with you at a time she is likely to sleep in the sling? What about having sex when baby is sleeping?

    My DD is 2.5 and we still haven't had a "date" ie gone out together without our daughter…but then, we never "went on dates" before she was born either. We tend to find adult time at home while she is sleeping or amusing herself, or we all go out together and she might sleep in a restaurant or wherever.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    Well I don't think you have to worry about the nutrients lost in freezing and reheating because you don't have to do that to have date night. I know it's less and I shared your feelings about it. Do while I did pump daily from 5 weeks until about 8 months, if possible I left the milk out. So that it never had to be re-heated. My baby would drink room temperature milk. And it can be left out for 6-8 hours I believe? I would pump right before I left the house, And also every morning. So sometimes milk went in the fridge and needed to be warmed in a coffee cup full of water. And sometimes it could be pumped and then just left out. I would experiment with leaving the baby for date night. It's not that long.I used to get very antsy being away from my baby at about the 3-4hour point. That's enough time to go have dinner.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Default Re: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    I wholeheartedly agree with mommal's baby-steps idea. My husband reeeaaaaly wanted a date night and at 6 mo we went to see a musical. We were gone for 3.5 hours and it was a disaster (for me mostly. Baby cried & was upset, but was basically fine). About a month later I got up the nerve to try again. This time we met friends for happy hour nearby and we're back within 1.5 hours. Much much better for all of us.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    with baby steps, and also for waiting until you feel ready. not going out this month does not mean you have to wait another 6. And if you did wait another six, is there any harm done? I don't think my husband and I did any out of the house date nights until my oldest was past one-and it was a 'date lunch' to start.

    To me, Date Nights for parents means time together to talk, connect and enjoy each others company. This is hard to do if one or both of you is worried about your baby the whole time. Date Nights can be done at home, when baby is asleep-even if baby is sleeping on one of you. Home dates are easier logistically and far cheaper.

    Could it be that biologically I am just not ready to do it?
    IMO, absolutely yes, this (normal) need to be with baby and feed baby yourself and having difficulty with anyone else doing it does indeed stem from a deep instinctual impulse to protect your child.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    I have a 6 month old and I'm not ready to leave her; and I think this is normal!

    By 12 months the situation will be so different (at least this is what I keep telling myself as I have to return to work then) At 12 months a milk feed can be replaced by solids, there's the option of having taught drinking from a cup (if baby agrees..
    ) so lo is far more in control of intake cf a bottle...

    Basically just because you don't want to leave her now doesn't mean you'll feel like it forever!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    I don't think my husband and I did any out of the house date nights until my oldest was past one-and it was a 'date lunch' to start.
    Funny you should suggest this...this is actually what my husband and I have planned for our upcoming anniversary. A date lunch!

    Have you considered a short during the day trial, usafreat? Lunches are great for this, and if you time it right, you may not even have to leave baby any milk (or need to pump while gone, which for me is an even bigger bonus!) I personally have found that evening and nighttime separations are much more stressful concepts to me than daytime separations. I work outside of the home, so you'd think I would be "used" to separation--but nights have always, always felt different to me. My daughter is 19 months now and honestly, my husband and I still prefer to not go out on "date nights."
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    I totally feel the same way. My baby is almost 8 months old and I have never left him in someone else's care other than his daycare while I'm at work, or my husband. Unless I am on the premises (e.g. sleeping at my sister's house while my niece watches my baby for a few hours). So I totally understand you. Even during the day while at work I usually call the dcp once a day most days to just hear how he's doing!

    We go on dates often - and we take our baby with us. It was much easier when he was an infant and basically just slept in the car seat and we'd take him everywhere. But now he's almost 8 mos and he wants to be entertained and all that. We took our baby to the movies - we got baby ear muffs that block the sound from reaching his ears so the noise wasn't too loud. He slept for most of it and the rest of the time sat on my husband's lap. We've gone to hotel lounges often - we put him in the stroller and walk around. Put some toys in his stroller to keep him busy. Or we go to the mall. A lot of times we just go on nice drives to interesting areas - the baby always sleeps!

    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  10. #10
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: conflicted about my attachment to my baby

    Thank you for all of the replies! We have done all of the above already, which is why date night would be a next nice thing to do. Still haven't done it. I think I can hold off another month or two.
    about pumping, I have still been able to avoid it. I think djsmom makes a great point about being able to leave milk at room temp... I wasn't aware it was possible until I was months into bf and no longer pumped. I was so paranoid about putting ebm in the fridge asap and threw it out if she didn't finish it. (it's ok, I had plenty of milk whew!)

    Even if I think about it myself, I notice a cycle- I basically let my husband bring up the idea of leaving the baby to go out at night, I ponder it, and then leave it alone til the next time he brings it up again. He feels that he needs to bring it up every now and then or else I'll never leave the baby. What he doesn't understand is that I, on my own, will be ok to do so in the future, but just not right now. I think some men don't realize the reality of mom/baby bonds. It does not help that he sees all of our friends/family with children, all who have chosen to formula feed, have their 'freedom'. There is a lot that he sees as abnormal about US because THEY have set his norm. It really frustrates me and I have voiced this. And yes he knows Bf is best and that they aren't the norm in actuality, but it has still influenced his vision of life with babies!

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