Do babies sense.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Do babies sense.....
12
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 12:45pm
when a mother is stressed out and miserable??? I ask because a dear friend of mine is bf'g her dd who is almost 3 months old(1st child) and is miserable. She does not enjoy it and is feeling trapped and is tired of the diet restrictions (her baby is sensitive to what seems like everything) but feels pressured/guilted to do it. She is pumping also. Do you think that the baby senses these emotions???? the baby too is what I would classify as "high maintenance"; could this be a reflection on the mood of mom??? What do you guys think??
  
 

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Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 1:14pm
Absolutely!! Your newborn....infant....senses EVERYTHING!!

Big hugs to mama..and if she and baby aren't enjoying the experience....I say do something that will make both of them happy.


christine


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 1:30pm
I agree, i told her feeding your baby should not stress you out,
  
 
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 3:18pm
Well, I've said before that I think it's important for a mother who wants to BF to give it a good trial period before stopping (getting through those difficult first weeks). But your friend sounds like she's still struggling at the three month mark and is miserable because of it. In a case like that, I think she should go to FF or a combination of BM/FF if it will make her a happier mom.

JMO - Ingrid


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Avatar for kfira71
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 5:41pm
I absolutely believe a baby picks up on all of our emotions. I think a stressed, upset mother will likely find herself with a stressed, upset baby. I *don't* think, on the other hand, that a calm, relaxed mother will *always* find herself with a calm, relaxed baby. I think some babies are just more easily upset, high needs, or whatever you want to call it. I don't think even the calmest mother can stop that, though I'm sure being calm in that situation will help more than being stressed. I believe that even the most laid back baby will exhibit signs of stress when his or her mother/caregiver is stressed.

As for your friend, it's difficult to say. For me, spending three months miserable is way longer than enough, and I would definitely switch to FF. But then, I think formula is a great alternative to BFing. If she truly will have so much guilt over stopping, then I'm not sure what to say. She either needs to come to terms with a choice to FF and make peace with it, or keep up the BFing and work on having a brighter outlook about it (can't imagine how one does that, but she'd be the only one who can really decide).

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 5:56pm
I do think babies can pick up the emotions from the parents. If she does want to continue to bf it might help her to find a support group of other women who are doing dietary restrictions. I do think that she may have more problems with an allergic child with ff, but that's something she would have to decide. Some babies grow out of allergies, and oversupply can have a lot of the same symptoms as allergies or colic.

Here are some links

http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/food-sensitivity.html

http://breastfeeding.hypermart.net/toomuchmilk.html

http://www.kellymom.com/newman/colic_in_the_bf_baby_01-03.html

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t051200.asp#T051201

Lori

Avatar for luv_my_boyz
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 8:01pm
Yes, her baby does sense her emotions and she shouldn't go on like she is.

If her baby is so sensitive that she has to restrict her own diet, her baby is very likely to react badly to formula. Her life will not be any easier then. Instead of encouraging her to switch to formula, why don't you encourage her to seek help to solve her problems with breastfeeding? If she is already talking to a La Leche League leader or a lactation consultant, encourage her to get a "second opinion". As with doctors, not every LLL leader or lactation consultant is entirely competent.

There are a number of things that could be going on here. The baby could have reflux (for which there is medication), there could be a latch problem, the pump could be causing problems, etc. There is obviously a problem and switching to formula is not necessarily the solution.

As somebody who was pretty miserable with breastfeeding ds #1 at the two month mark, I'll tell you, she may be feeling more stress by you telling her to just quit. Something is driving her and she has decided that it is important for her to breastfeed- you have labeled it as just guilt and outside pressure, but perhaps there is something deeper driving her. Being a new mother is awfully hard and maybe she has post-partum depression, maybe that is the real problem. Why don't you just support her and help her to find someone who can offer her possible solutions?

Danielle

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 9:06pm
I think they do and they don't. I think if the mom is ALWAYS unhappy, it will reflect on the baby a bit *perhaps* (not SURE...) but I don't think the baby is always really aware of it. I certainly don't think my daughters have been aware (at a young age) of me if i was crying or unhappy for a few hours in a bad day or something.

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 9:12pm
Well said Danielle. I agree wholeheartedly with you, that this baby is likely not to do better on formula. She may be feeling stressed only b/c she realizes this, and realizes that she could be the only option for her baby...which in today's day and age, can stress some people out.

She alone can know what she is ready to accept to do...she may end up trying formula (hypoallergenic) and either finding it works or doesn't in which case she could be in a worse place than she is now. Or she might just have needed a sounding board.

I sure know that amongst my bf friends and myself we often complain much more than I would to say my MIL b/c I know they're not going to say "if you don't want to nurse, just don't do it". Whereas my MIL would and it's just not that simple or straightforward.

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 8:25am
In my defense, I don't tell her to do anything; that's completely up to her; I don't want that hanging over my head the rest of my life if she later reconsiders or something.; I actually told her that she was being strong and to hang in there. She said "am I being strong or just being naive??" I thought it was a very good question.
  
 
Avatar for happilyloved
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 11:54am
Has she said what it is about BFing that is stressing her out? Is she uncomfortable nursing in public? There are lots of places to be discreet if she doesn't want to just whip it out (which I can understand). You mention that she is pumping - is that to go back to work or to get out occasionally? I have no problem getting out for a little while and leaving a bottle of BM for DH or MIL if she is babysitting. My dd seems to be sensitive to several things as well, I can't imagine the hell we would have gone through if she were on formula considering her reaction when she got it through me. She would have been in agony. I have to say, I am happier than I have ever been, love BF, love being a full time mom (3.5 mo old) and my dd is still extremely high maintenance and could be described as touchy.

I would suggest your friend check out the Parents Place BF support board. There are a bunch of wonderful women who will not condemn her for considering giving up (or for that matter if she does decide to), but they may have suggestions to make it more enjoyable. I truly love BF my daughter - it was not easy, we had a horrendous start and lots of tears, but it is so worth it FOR ME. That is not to say it works for everyone, but I hate to see it be a negative experience without getting all the help available.

Ann

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