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Am I a bad mother?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by gstewart84, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Hi Ladies I need some advice/support.
    I am mum to the most beautiful 10 week old girl but can't stop thinking I'm doing something wrong. Her birth wasn't exactly straightforward- I started bleeding and had to be induced, once I started pushing her heart rate went up and they had to get her out with forceps- conclusion- I failed.
    Since then we have struggled with feeding- she had a tongue tie (from my side of the family [​IMG] ) which wasn't helping and it was very hit or miss if she nursed or refused. I have been combi feeding (expressing as much as I could but occassional formula top-ups). My dad died last week and with all the stress I just haven't been able to feed her and she has only had formula this week- conclusion- I failed.
    Please tell me what I'm feeling is normal. I can't really talk about it with OH as sister has just miscarried after several years of ttc and I feel so guilty.
    I know I should be reassured that my LO is gorgeous, happy and healthy and infact is giggling away to herself as I type but I can't help feeling like a complete failure.
    Thanks
     
  2. Hi Ladies I need some advice/support.
    I am mum to the most beautiful 10 week old girl but can't stop thinking I'm doing something wrong. Her birth wasn't exactly straightforward- I started bleeding and had to be induced, once I started pushing her heart rate went up and they had to get her out with forceps- conclusion- I failed.
    Since then we have struggled with feeding- she had a tongue tie (from my side of the family [​IMG] ) which wasn't helping and it was very hit or miss if she nursed or refused. I have been combi feeding (expressing as much as I could but occassional formula top-ups). My dad died last week and with all the stress I just haven't been able to feed her and she has only had formula this week- conclusion- I failed.
    Please tell me what I'm feeling is normal. I can't really talk about it with OH as sister has just miscarried after several years of ttc and I feel so guilty.
    I know I should be reassured that my LO is gorgeous, happy and healthy and infact is giggling away to herself as I type but I can't help feeling like a complete failure.
    Thanks
     
  3. Gstewart, my LO is only 2 weeks, but I have decided today to start with formula top ups as I'm struggling to cope with his feeding demands. I feel awful about it as I have no good reason not to carry on exclusivly bf'ing other than my own tiredness. Don't beat yourself up about it. You have a lot going on, snd your LO needs a mummy who is as unstressed as possible given the circumstances. Please take care of yourself. Xxx
     
  4. Thanks Littlemisscurious. I think I just needed to offload to someone and I know the ladies on here are always so helpful. The rational part of my brain knows we're fine but there is so much BF propaganda it's not hard to see why mums can end up driving themselves crazy.
    Thanks again and you are making the right decision for your LO- he doesn't want a stressed/shattered mummy! xxx
     
  5. I am so very sorry about your Dad.
    Losing a parent is one of the hardest things we will ever undergo. Do whatever you need to in order to enjoy your baby as much as possible in the difficult circumstances you describe.
     
  6. Thank you Katherinelily, I think I'm only just realising how much it's taken out of me- maybe time to admit to OH that I'm feeling low and need to talk. xx
     
  7. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    So sorry about your dad - same happened to me 2 years ago and it's the most difficult thing I have ever had to go through. It takes a lot of time to feel ok about it but you will feel ok in time.
    The only reason you feel guilty over feeding formula is cos the government and health professionals promote it so much. The other day on 'This Morning' the doctor (Chris) said 'yes - breast is best... for some people'. He said that for lots of women diagnosed with post natal depression it can 100% be put down to the pressure to breastfeed and not being able to.
    My baby is now 5 months and I've been combi feeding the whole time. Couldn't bf totally because it hurt so much and baby was getting frustrated.
    Your baby is getting some precious antibodies from you through any breastmilk she has and the formula is making sure she grows healthily.
    I am going to change to 100% formula at 6 months. The guilty feelings are subsiding now I'm weaning her.
    Definitely talk to your OH, he may or may not understand but it's worth sharing your feelings.
    With the grieving, it is only time that will heal. The good memories of your dad will shine through in several months and any sad ones will be shelved.
    Look after yourself, and many congratulations on your beautiful baby xxxx
     
  8. Oh big hugs - of course you aren't a bad mother. You have had a traumatic delivery, a baby with feeding problems, a bereavement and a complex issue with in-laws. In terms of having a tough time of it, I think this is pretty much it. I had to top up with formula as had supply issues (I also had forceps birth) - not that I think the two are related! But still, my LO is happy, healthy and very naughty. Of course, there will be a study in the future that links formula feeding with naughtiness I'm sure! Do what is right for you and ignore everybody else and condolences re your dad. Never a good time for this to happen but just after you have given birth is certainly not it.
     
  9. Thank you all so much for your replies. I feel so much better now- LO is fast asleep and I have my feet up with control of the remote (OH is at Footie). I am sure it will take time to grieve and I have been told that motherhood is one big guilt trip (albeit the best one ever!)
    Thanks ladies xxx
     
  10. Firstly, big hugs. Secondly, so sorry to hear of your recent loss, that must be so difficult at any time but with all the hormones created by recently giving birth even more so.
    I too really struggled with breastfeeding for various reasons, and felt that sense of failure. Close friends have admitted the same feelings, as Coolgiraffe says their is so much media and social pressure to breastfeed but it really isn't easy at all for many. My doctor was brilliant at my 6 week check, said 'as soon as breastfeeding feels like a chore or is painful, don't feel guilty about stopping. This isn't Africa, and the baby will be fine'. It was like a breath of fresh air hearing that! I expressed at least 1 bottle a day to ease my consceience and get baby the antibodies (not that I needed to ease it really), perhaps you could try this?
    As you say, there are endless things to feel guilty about as a mother. But as long as you love your baby and do your best to show her love and tend to her needs, then you are doing a great job.
    Do speak to your OH, and get support from friends, on here etc, postnatal depression can creep up on women quickly as I have seen happen with friends, and you need to be especially kind to yourself as you're recently been bereaved.
    Taek care, enjoy your newborn.xxx
     
  11. i still feel like a failure over breastfeeding 20 months on. (LO was 11lbs born, failed to thrive on EBF and i had to switch to formula at about 3 months and felt i'd been starving my baby). .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................

    giving birth naturally is great, but it doesn't mean you're a failure because you needed forceps. my mum had 3 CSs. her daughters are all university graduates with good jobs and own homes. is she a failure because she had C-sections?.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................

    think about things rationally - which is hard i know! - what would you tell a friend who felt like a failure over forceps and breastfeeding? the problem is the expectations we all have about being amazing natural earth mothers who are the best in the land. i've learnt that so long as my DS goes to bed with a full tum, clean nappy and warm bedding I have succeeded yet another day. who cares that he's wearing second hand clothes, cheap nappies and his belly's full of oven chips and pizza? he's alive and happy. .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................

    be kind to yourself (and excuse lack of paragraphs - stupid chrome!)
     
  12. Absolutely not a bad mother! I completely understand the feelings that you are having - it is common to have massive guilt feelings when you're a parent, especially a new one! I had a challenging, forceps delivery with my first (and 2nds actually!) and although that time BF worked out (albeit not easily) I felt guilty and emotional about so many things. With baby 2 I was in similar circumstances to you in a way - my dad died the week before she arrived and I was just all over the place. This baby didn't thrive whilst BF (exclusively for 2 months but I was on my knees and she wasn't gaining any weight so decided it was well time to make a change!) and has developed into a chubby, happy, calm little thing exclusively formula fed now.
    Grief is exhausting. I was in shock for the first couple of months, and it is only in the last 3 weeks (he died just over 4 months ago) that I have really really felt everything. I am now on the list for some Cruse bereavement counselling and have started taking citalopram. And I see myself as a success (when I am thinking straight!)- I have managed my two beautiful (demanding!) girls and coped with a lot... and also admitted when I was no longer coping and sought help. You are doing very well but need to be very kind to yourself and please do not underestimate the complication of loss emotions - everything is heightened and made more extreme.
    Keep talking, keep posting and keep in contact with your doctor if you continue to feel very low.
     
  13. Just to add to what everyone else has said - you are not a bad mother. I think you're doing extrtemely well considering everything that you are going through. Your hormones are still all over the place - plus grief will be playing a part in how you are feeling.
    I had a forceps delivery so I know how awful that can be - there is nothing that you could have done to prevent that so you haven't failed. Also BF is very hard - don't feel bad about it. I think as women we put too much emphasis on whether or not we can BF - and in the grand scheme of things - it is not really that important. All that matters is that you have a happy, healthy baby -and as you said - you have that. Hopefully you will start to feel a bit better in a few more weeks. Take care x
     
  14. I think that you've been given really good advice in relation to the feeding. My only concern is that you seem to be feeling guilty about finding things hard because your sister/ sister in law not sure has had things harder. My lovely you've had such a tough time yourself, dad dying, traumatic birth, issues with feeding. All of these things on their own are hard to deal with but together very difficult. Please be kind to yourself, comparing to others is never helpful because there is always someone having a harder time. I'm just a bit worried about you, I had pnd after the birth of my first child and the route of it was feeling guilty and like a bad person for not being deliriously happy with my beautiful little girl. Please be kind to yourself.
     

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