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Question
Posted by: Alma | 2012-05-16

Baby Blues

Hi Doc
My daughter is 15 weeks old and I unfortunately had to return to work already. Since the first day, she refuses to take the breast for feeding and she hardly pays me any attention. I noticed that if her dad or anyone else talks to her she smiles and responds, but ignores me or cries when I do the same. I''m getting even more depressed knowing this, as I already feel down for having had to return to work. Please could you help me?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its really far too early for her to have formed anything even resembling opinions about the people in her little life, or to choose to show favouritism. What is most probably happening is that, being forced by circumstances to return to work early ( I thought the law and regulations required firms to provide longer maternity leave ? Do check on this ) you are yourself feeling guilty and troubled by this, and the baby is picking up on your troubled emotions, and responding to that. So please don't allow yourself to continue blaming yourself and feeling so bad about doing the best that seems available to you at this stage. Maybe some counselling will, by hwelping you to relax and feel more confident, help your baby to enjoy that, and to relax and feel comfortable with you.
And do get expert advice on the issue of whether your employers are playing fair by getting you back to work so early.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lu | 2012-05-17

Alma.

All I can say to you is.....in a couple of month for now you will be giving another new mommy similar advice as CyberShrink and Purple has just given you! All will be fine and all you need to do is YOUR BEST, do not overthink each situation. Follow you instincts and focus on all the positive things happening with you baby right now. YOU are the BEST mommy for YOUR child and no-one can replace a mommy....my point. YOU must do what''s best for your family and adapt accordingly. Visiting a new mommy network or group would most definitely benefit you as everyone trades new mommy and baby experiences and once you realise your not the only one with a particular issue you won''t feel so bad about yourself as you currently do.

Trust me, all will be fine, everybody goes through similar feelings of confusion sometime or the other....

Best of Luck!

Reply to Lu
Posted by: Purple | 2012-05-17

Sorry to hear that you have had such a bad experience. It can be heart wrenching when a mom has problems brestfeeidng and doesn''t get the right help and informaiton to enable her to continue. You might find it useful to talk to someone such as a la leche league leader to perhaps try and get an idea of what went wrong so that if you have any other children that you can try again and perhaps have a different experience. Have a look on their web site, there is a drop down menu for each country and a list of local names and telephone numbers. see w w w dot lalecheleague dot org.

It sounds like you started your maternity leave long before baby finally decided to arrive. Sadly with our law only giving 4 months of unpaid leave, you do end up with less time with baby if baby arrives late, and especially if you have taken leave froma month before your baby is due. This also has an impact on your emotions and your feeding relationship.

Your baby does love you and need you. She is still very young and will bond with whoever spends time caring for her, so make that person you as much as you possibly can. Hold her close when you give her the bottle and do it in a breastfeeidng position (with her tummy against you), take baths with your baby, use a sling or a wrap to carry her (as a bonus this gives you your hands free while you are carrying her), rock her to sleep, take weekend naps with her sleeping on your chest or next to you. All these things can help you build a special bond with her. Like when we are building a relationship with anyone, spending time together and getting to know each other is the best way of doing that.

Its probably a good idea to try and see a counsellor - perhaps see the PNDSA web site and see what they suggest. You could see a psychologist or phone life line for some help too.

Having a baby is a hugely emotional and hormonal time for us and we can feel very vulnerable, and if we must return to work early or have a problem breastfeeding it can really shake us.

Post natal depression can strike anytime up to a year after baby is born, and sometimes its starts during pregnancy, or is the normal baby blues that just doesn''t go away. For your and your family''s sake, seek help. See your doctor for help - they can give you medication and send you to see a psychologist. Just know that you aren''t alone, that there are many mothers who have been through what you are going through.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-05-16

Its really far too early for her to have formed anything even resembling opinions about the people in her little life, or to choose to show favouritism. What is most probably happening is that, being forced by circumstances to return to work early ( I thought the law and regulations required firms to provide longer maternity leave ? Do check on this ) you are yourself feeling guilty and troubled by this, and the baby is picking up on your troubled emotions, and responding to that. So please don't allow yourself to continue blaming yourself and feeling so bad about doing the best that seems available to you at this stage. Maybe some counselling will, by hwelping you to relax and feel more confident, help your baby to enjoy that, and to relax and feel comfortable with you.
And do get expert advice on the issue of whether your employers are playing fair by getting you back to work so early.

Reply to cybershrink

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