Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: how do I help my friend?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,108

    Default how do I help my friend?

    My best friend had her baby Wednesday night via C-section. Last night, the anesthesia wore out of her system and the pain hit her. She said she had a really bad night, couldn't get out of bed on her own and was throwing up from the pain, so she sent the baby to the nursery for 8 hours! And she didn't pump.

    I asked how she could go 8 hours without feeding him and she replied "I didn't, they fed him in the nursery." So I tried to explain to her that it's just as important that she feed him as it is that he gets fed, that if she doesn't nurse, her body won't get the signal to make milk.

    The problem is, she doesn't listen. Ever. To anyone. I desperately want to help her, but I don't know how to get through to her. And I don't even know if it's my place to try.

    I'm worried about her attitude because she got the epidural right away without even trying. And now, the moment it's hard, she stopped nursing. I worry that this doesn't bode well. I had a frustrating time with nursing in the beginning too, like many of us do. I remember very well how hard it all is - but you can't just give up, right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: how do I help my friend?

    Quote Originally Posted by pipsmom
    I'm worried about her attitude because she got the epidural right away without even trying. And now, the moment it's hard, she stopped nursing. I worry that this doesn't bode well. I had a frustrating time with nursing in the beginning too, like many of us do. I remember very well how hard it all is - but you can't just give up, right?
    I have never had a c section, but I imagine that throwing up while having an incision in her abdomen is terribly painful. Not to mention the after effects of the medications. Try to see it from her perspective.

    When you do offer input or advice, focus on the positive and don't argue with her decisions. If you do it could keep her from seeking help or from trying at all.

    I don't know the whole situation, but to me it seems as though you are not being compassionate with her circumstances. Nursing is difficult if there are no obstacles at all, let alone trying to do it after having a major abdominal surgery. Perhaps you can point her to the LC at the hospital so she can get some help.
    Last edited by britebow; July 21st, 2006 at 07:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: how do I help my friend?

    I'm worried about her attitude because she got the epidural right away without even trying.
    I have to agree with britebow. Everyone has a different tolerance level for pain. But in this case I would say she probably has a high tolerance but her body and self needs time to recover. A c-section is major surgery and even recovery is painful. My SIL had all her children via c-section and just from the look of pain in her eyes after I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

    couldn't get out of bed on her own and was throwing up from the pain
    And it sounds like her pain is extreme. I would just be supportive in whatever choice she makes. That's what friendship is all about!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,108

    Default Re: how do I help my friend?

    Quote Originally Posted by britebow
    I don't know the whole situation, but to me it seems as though you are not being compassionate with her circumstances. Nursing is difficult if there are no obstacles at all, let alone trying to do it after having a major abdominal surgery. Perhaps you can point her to the LC at the hospital so she can get some help.
    I am very sympathetic, and believe me I know that nursing is hard (check out all the posts I have here about pain and difficulty), but that's all the more reason I want to help her. I may not have had a section, but I had a very challenging natural delivery and a very painful wound of my own to recover from, and I remember it all very well. It was only six months ago. I understand that she's hurting and tired and in pain, but does that make it OK to give up?

    I'm not debating her choices at all, I'm saying things like "yes it really is hard, you've every right to be tired and upset" and "I know you'll get through it" and "it will take time, but it really will get better" etc, etc. I call every day to see how she is. I make time to listen to her even though my own baby is crying because it's what friends do.

    What I'd like to say is "yes, it's hard, but you have to do it anyway becuase that's what mothers do. You can't just give up when things are difficult." I'm not sure if it's my place to give her a "talking to" and I'm not even sure how to approach her in a way she may respond to.

    But I do know that these first few days are important to her establishing a milk supply and a good bf relationship, so I feel strongly that I want to help. I was hoping someone here might have a suggestion about how to help.

    She has seen the lactaion consultant. She told me that the LC said it was OK to not nurse or pump for 8 hours! But, she doesn't always tell me the whole truth. What if she sends the baby again tonight? What will happen to her milk if she only nurses when she feels like it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,108

    Default Re: how do I help my friend?

    Quote Originally Posted by reesa97
    And it sounds like her pain is extreme. I would just be supportive in whatever choice she makes. That's what friendship is all about!
    I'm don't think I can be supportive if she quits bf. I don't know that it will come to that, but I guess it's what I'm worried about.

    She described what's going on with the baby and he's actually doing great for a two day old newborn. But nursing is frustrating in the beginning because they're both learning. I guess everyone here knows that.

    Anyway, I could be worrying for nothing. She may be better tonight and nurse the baby and it will all be fine. I won't put the cart before the horse.
    Last edited by pipsmom; July 21st, 2006 at 08:03 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: how do I help my friend?

    Quote Originally Posted by pipsmom
    I'm don't think I can be supportive if she quits bf. I don't know that it will come to that, but I guess it's what I'm worried about.
    Then I guess that you're not really her friend. Sorry to have to say it that way. I don't think it's your place to give her "a talking to".

    Quote Originally Posted by pipsmom
    She has seen the lactaion consultant. She told me that the LC said it was OK to not nurse or pump for 8 hours! But, she doesn't always tell me the whole truth. What if she sends the baby again tonight? What will happen to her milk if she only nurses when she feels like it?
    I am getting horrible flash backs of my MIL and the treatment I received after "not trying hard enough". I actually didn't tell her the whole truth because the treatment and judgement I received was way off base and not what I needed with a newborn. I also haven't told her that my dd is completely on formula now for the same reasons. To me her bf agenda is irrational.

    To me, that's not what the LLL is about. Again, just let her know how to establish her supply, but it's her choice. She can take your advice or leave it.

    If bfing defines your friendship, I really don't know what to say or what advice to give.
    Last edited by britebow; July 21st, 2006 at 08:27 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,108

    Default Re: how do I help my friend?

    Quote Originally Posted by britebow
    Again, just let her know how to establish her supply, but it's her choice. She can take your advice or leave it.
    That's all I've done so far because I don't know what else to do. Thanks for your feedback, it's helpful to think about what I might need to say or not say. I'm just worried for her because she's not getting off to a good start.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,406

    Default Re: how do I help my friend?

    Hey Pipsmom!
    What day was it? I had a c-section and I actually roomed in with my son and because of all the drugs they used he really didn't even show any interest in eating for over 24 hrs. I didn't pump and my milk hadn't come in yet. I was told by all my nurses in a very BFing friendly hosptial not to worry about it. That he didn't need to eat right away and it was no cause for alarm. In the days that followed he was a very sleepy baby and needed to be undressed and massaged to be woken to feed. It wasn't untill the 2nd night past the 48 hr point that he turned into the crazy baby that was wide eyed and wide mouth every time ti tryed to take him off the breast. You just want to make sure she doesn't miss that window and really based on your post I would focus more on her pain management 1st and then importance of not letting the care of her baby get away from her.

    I'm surprised that her pain was able to get away from her to the point where she was throwing up. Are you sure it was that and not a reaction to something she took for the pain? The whole time I was in the hospital (4days after the birth) everytime someone came in to my room they asked me to rate my pain on a scale from 1-10. I being "what pain" and 10 being the worst pain imaginable. I was warned to not skimp on my medication or not "stay on top" of my pain. THey said that if it got above a 7 it could take a LONG time to get it back under control. Like 8 hrs or something. You wanted to ideally keep it between 4 & 5 or six if possible. So I was on a cocktail that was a combo of like 800mg of ibuprofin and vicoden. ANd yeah it hurt to sit up and I didn't want to walk around the 1st couple of days like they told me too. But I kept my son with me and anytime he cried I put him on a breast. ANd my mllk didn't come in for 4 days. So I think she's still in the safe window.
    Make sure she deals with the pain because that is important. It should be manageable and then discuss with her the importance of keeping her baby with her and not letting them feed for her. You don't get a lot of sleep while your there but that's the way it's supposed to go. Explain to her why this window is very critical. Make sure she understands if she starts supplementing now it's going to get harder not easier. There is no time easier to just lay in bed with your baby for 24 hrs straight then while you are in the hospital. Get her to keep her baby with her tonight!
    I'm with you 100% on this as far as making sure she has all the information. Like "if you give him bottles now he may reject your breast because it's easier" and "if you don't let your baby suckle now he won't get your milk to come in". If she's your BEST FRIEND I'm going to assume you've already discussed breastfeeding and the RISKS invloved in using formula. Just remind of those things. Ultimately the decision is hers and you know that and you need to allow her to make her own choice. But I do NOT agree that just because she's dealing with pain that you should sugar coat or tell her you think it's okay to FF if that's not the way you feel. I'm as honest with my bestfriend as I am with my family. I would not sit by and let her do something I thought she would regret later with out telling her my honest opinion on the matter. Whether that be give up on breastfeeding. dating a loser or wearing something that wasn't flattering! And she better do the same for me. IMO friendship is about support. But it's also about honesty. Sometimes the truth ain't pretty. If you can count on your best girlfriend to give it to you, who will? I don't know what you discussed before the baby. If she was on the fence or if she said "I'll give it a try" or if she seemed comitted. You know. If she was committed remind her of that. If not, be as supportive as possible without letting go of the fact that breastfeeding is what's best for her baby period. But the time is now. I'll bet she's spending at least one more night in the hospital and she should really get her baby with her and work on it tonight if she's committed. Good luck with this!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: how do I help my friend?

    My best suggestion? Offer support. Don't judge. Don't boss. Let her know you are there if she needs you. Point her in the direction of more help.

    If she doesn't breastfeed, it's not your fault. You gave it your all! It's hard, but we have to learn to let it go. Her baby. Her breasts. Her business. I know it stinks, but it's the truth. Hard not to feel bad, and even harder not to judge in situations like these.

    You're a great friend for trying, and for being so supportive.

    Take care, and good luck to you AND your friend!

  10. #10

    Default Re: how do I help my friend?

    Quote Originally Posted by pipsmom
    She has seen the lactaion consultant. She told me that the LC said it was OK to not nurse or pump for 8 hours!
    It could be that the LC meant that it was okay that she did that, in the sense that it's certainly not an ideal start, but something she could overcome.

    It's hard when we see our friends making parenting choices that we strongly disagree with. I echo the PP's. Support her. Listen to her. Offer advice only when asked. In the end it is her decision. It saddens me to read that you may consider ending your friendship with her if she chooses not to breastfeed. That's certainly your prerogative. But keep in mind that many mothers make different choices with a second or third baby. Perhaps she'll see how breastfeeding changed things for you and your baby and decide that she'd like to try again the next time around.

    Sometimes it's hard for LLL Leaders because mothers ask for support for choices that we may not personally agree with, such as weaning a very young baby. LLL is here to HELP mothers to breastfeed and to help them with breastfeeding related issues. Sure, we'd like every mother to breastfeed for a good long time, but in the end, it is always the mothers choice and if we must give her information on how to gently wean her baby and keep herself healthy in the proceess, then we do.
    Hugs
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •