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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sorry, but I can't help you breastfeed...

I never thought these words could come out of my mouth. I peaked out in my waiting room and saw 3 women. Two young, one obviously the grandmother; and 2 thriving twins. One twin was in the car seat, the other was being fed by one of the women. While my staff was entering their info in the computer, I went out there and introduced myself and confused asked, "Who's the mother?"

That was the begining of the end. This is not the first time I have seen a nanny more attached to the baby than the mother. I started recognizing the clues. They also brought in a boppy pillow. It was never taken out of the package and it was way to small to put both these babies on. Every twin mother who has come into my office has been prepared and brought their own special twin pillow. They knew they needed it. That was another clue.

I asked her to latch one baby. I never saw so much disconnection. Baby didn't look least bit interested in the mother let alone the breast. Other baby, same thing. They didn't even look like they recognized their mother.

I asked her if she really wanted to breastfeed. "Yeah, whatever it takes." I told her that when mothers come in with babies who refuse to latch, the mothers are still the one feeding the baby. I told her how breastfeeding is a lifestyle and lifestyle affects breastfeeding. The nanny should be taking care of her and she takes care of the babies. Makes a case for having an experienced postpartum doula.

The babies were 2 1/2 months old. They just moved here and she hadn't had a chance to talk to an IBCLC yet. I asked her what she had read while pregnant to prepare her for breastfeeding twins. She said a book wouldn't be able to help her... and on that note. I am sorry, but I can't help you recouperate what's loss.

Nothing would make me more happy than to see her babies at the breast, but it wasn't going to happen.

Oh yeah... formula was in the bottles too.


Red said...

This breaks my heart. I will relate this to the dog show Dog Whisperer.

Now most people will say Ewww, how can you compare humans/babies to dogs. Simple, many of the same rules apply, and in this case the energy rule applies.

Those bsbies know deep down that thier mother is not interested. She may hymn and haw about wanting to, but I seriously doubt it.

I have seen this attittude with many a thing, People st themselves up for failure before thay are out of the starting of course you are going to fail.

Be positive and if you fail then at least you have tried, but not trying from the beginning...UGH!

crispy said...

Can I just tell you how sad this makes me. As someone who struggles with infertility, it is hard to hear about someone who does't have a passion for motherhood. Those 2 babies are such a precious gift. I hope she understands that someday.

Trish Chibas said...

What a bummer you had to witness that. It must have been really hard for you. Thank God you're able to help so many other mothers get their babies on the breast.

Leigh said...

That is such a shame! I feel so sad for the babies.

Misty said...

So sad for those little babies!

I did have to laugh though....what did the mother would wave your magic wand and the babies BF at 2 1/2 months after bottles and formula?

I think it is so sad that most of our society think that preparing for parenthood picking out ridiculously expensive furniture and bedding, giant stroller and numerous other "must have" gadgets at BRU to have the perfect nursery. They spend very little time preparing for what parenting is really like!
My cousin told me recently they didn't want a baby sling because they didn't want the baby to get use to being held "all the time".

This mother wouldn't have put the work into it, she hadn't for 2 1/2 months.....I am sure that was hard for you to say no....but we can't MAKE someone do it!

Tam said...

I just don't understand how a Mother can be so ummm how do I put this tactfully.....SELFISH! Ok sorry I couldn't think of a better word. Who knows though maybe her mother treated her that way and she doesn't understand. I sometimes wonder how bad traditions can remove that natural nurturing instinct mothers are given! Oh I hope I can teach my daughters about what is most important. I threw away the bottles long ago!

S.A.M. said...

Wow, that made me so sad to read that, and it must have been so much worse for you.

I can't help wondering why she was half-heartedly wanting to learn to breastfeed at this late stage, after bottle-feeding for 2 1/2 months and not even doing the bottle-feeding herself. It seems a bit strange.

womantowomancbe said...

I'm guessing her birth experience left her disconnected from her children. Is she suffering from postpartum depression, perhaps? Was she supported during birth? Did she feel loved? Was she angry that she had to have a C-section when she might have been able to have a vaginal birth? Many women have trouble bonding when the births are too interfered with. Someone talked about comparing babies to dogs; well, a lot of animals will not be attached to their offspring if they are too disturbed during labor or soon after birth. It might be something to think about. Because her problem isn't breastfeeding, per se, but it's that she isn't bonded with her children. Fix the bond, and I bet you'll fix the breastfeeding.

Permission to Mother said...

Excellent Points about her birth. I take this into consideration with my counseling.
Would you beleive she had a TWIN VAGINAL BIRTH!

This birth was not local (in case my local readers want to know).

I always try to find something positive and complemtary to leave someone with. I told her how happy I was she had her vaginal birth in this anti-vaginal birth society.

How do I say this right? I have seen a few cultures of "fortunate" families who depend on domestic help to do everything for them. She is one of these "spoiled" woman. Coming in to see me was just another thing she could check off her list.

How SHE had a vaginal birth amazes me.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I hope that if I am lucky enough to get pregnant and have babies that I don't end up like that. I worry about it...because I don't have much experience with babies. My best friend N left her son with me for a few hours and I did a pretty good job. That made me feel wonderful. I really want to learn more about them (babies) as I would like to have some. :) I feel so lucky to have you as my doctor. Our doctor. lol M and I are kind of a package deal. And, I hope you don't feel badly about that experience; you can't help everyone all of the time. That was probably one of the hardest lessons that I had to learn in my profession (teacher). Loving your blog.
C and M

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