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Thread: Trying to help a friend (long)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    128

    Unhappy Trying to help a friend (long)

    Okay ladies, I'm in a bit of a pickle here... I want to help, but don't want to be pushy.

    A good friend of mine had her bouncing baby boy on June 26, so he's about 6 weeks old now. They had trouble in the beginning, mainly with his latch. So she pumped and also supplemented. After a couple of weeks, his weight was back up and she stopped supplementing and pumping. I was thrilled!

    Then at about the 3 week growth spurt, things started to turn sour again. Of course, LO was up all night, crying, wanting to nurse all the time, etc. Now unfortunately, I don't find out about this until 2 days later. (Even though I've told her many times to call me whenever with questions, most of my information is coming through her dh. He works with my dh.) Anyway, I called as soon as I found out, and told her about growth spurts, and how taxing they can be. I tried to comfort her and tell her that things do get better.

    Then today we all had lunch together. She says that she's "whimping out on the whole breastfeeding thing". Apparently she's reading a book (don't know which one), and now she's convinced that he isn't getting enough to eat. So she's supplementing and pumping again. She was also trying the CIO method with her 6 week old!

    Anyway, tomorrow we're all getting together for dinner. I want to try and sit down with her and talk shop, but I don't want to hurt feelings. I know she really wants the breastfeeding to work, but she's frustrated. She even gave me back the copy of The Womanly Art that I gave her.

    I want her to know that I'm her for her, and that she can make this work. We all remember how these first few weeks can be!

    Any of you wiser ladies have any ideas how to help? I'd appreciate any and all suggestions...
    Last edited by NewMom06; August 9th, 2007 at 09:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: Trying to help a friend (long)

    I know it's hard, but try to remember that you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. The best thing you can do is just be there for her. Ask her if she has any questions or concerns, and leave it at that.

    If she tells you what the book she's reading is and it happens to be "Babywise" (sounds like a possiblity!) you could gently let her know that the book has led to problems with some babies, and the AAP has even spoke out against the methods outlined in the book.

    If the sleep issue comes up, you could gently let her know that even Dr. Ferber himself doesn't recommend CIO for a baby so young.

    If you do share this information, be sure to do so in a respectful way. Nobody wants to hear their parenting choices criticised.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,134

    Default Re: Trying to help a friend (long)

    what about recommending signing up on here, or not recomending but just chatting up how much it helped you?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Trying to help a friend (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by jodikelley View Post
    what about recommending signing up on here, or not recomending but just chatting up how much it helped you?
    I have recommended this group to her, and told her about the great advice that I've found here. I suspect she may be lurking...

    I really don't want to hurt her feelings, and I know how much I hate to be criticized. I'm considering not even saying anything to her because I don't want to hurt our friendship. I mean obviously she's pretty private about it because she won't call me to talk about her problems.

    Certainly 6 weeks of breastfeeding is better than none, and she is still pumping, which is great! I just don't know...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Trying to help a friend (long)

    BTDT.

    I also had a friend who tried breastfeeding, ran into problems and quit instead of turning to the various resources I gave her, including my phone number and the local LLL leaders' numbers, telling her she could call anytime any one of us for help. Later, when she told me why she quit, I told her that I could have easily helped her with the problem, and I felt bad that she didn't feel comfortable calling me.

    It's frustrating when you put yourself out there, offering help, and they ignore the help. Sometimes, I think it's because they don't want to intrude, sometimes I think they're afraid or embarrassed (this was what the issue was for my friend), and sometimes I think they just take the easy way out, don't ask anyone for help and then they feel OK about quitting. This could go for anything, not just breastfeeding.

    If you do broach the subject, just ask lots of questions. See what's going on and why things are not going smoothly. What makes her think he's not getting enough? New parents love to talk about their babies, especially the firstborn baby. Then see where it goes. She might just need someone to talk to.

    I hope she's lurking!
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,645

    Default Re: Trying to help a friend (long)

    Aside from recommending she join this site, could you maybe offer to attend an LLL meeting with her and "help" her to talk about the issues she's having? Maybe that would help her to realize she's not alone.
    Amber
    Mommy to Bridget (12/20/05) and Brady (9/6/07)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Trying to help a friend (long)

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I've pretty much decided to follow her lead. If she wants to talk about it we will, but I'm not going to push her. If we do talk about it, I'll definitely mention the board again, and suggest a meeting. I've only been to a couple of meetings myself, as I can't ever find one that's not meeting during the work day.

    Anyway, I'm rambling. Thanks again...


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