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How do you handle snarky people/remarks?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

 

Currently, I'm training to be a breastfeeding counselor, but am at the very beginning. 

Okay- a friend of friend is having a baby and I'm friends with her on Facebook. She planned to breastfeed her new baby so I offered a few weeks before the baby's arrival that if she needed support/advice/had questions that she could get a hold of me and that I was training for this. Well she messaged me a few days ago. She addressed me in what I intrepreted as rude, and I brushed it off.

Anyway, she explained that baby had a good latch but she had sore nipples and they were chapped/cracked. She said it was only painful in the beginning. I basically explained to her that in the first few weeks (baby is 1.5 weeks) that is mostly normal and to keep applying lanolin after each feeding and use cotton pads instead of disposable. I also gave her some advice to keep switching sides to prevent engorment and to to break the latch with finger if you need to unlatch baby instead of pulling away. I also said to put some of her milk on her cracks to help prevent infection. I thought this would be good advice, but as I am in the beginning of training, I was mostly speaking from experience but also used my training manuals for reference. 

Well I just get on Facebook and this is her status "lactation consultants are a joke! they literally are just broken records that say the same useless crap over and over! jus saying".

This made me feel horrible, but asked a few people who have a lot of experience with breastfeeding and they told me that I gave great advice. 

I am torn right now, because I want their breastfeeding relationship to be successful but at the same time, I don't want to waste my time helping someone if they are going to be rude. How would you handle this? Should I follow up with her and make sure everything is going alright and ignore this? 

post #2 of 13

WOW.  I am so sorry.  If I were you, I would reply to her FB post and say something like, "Wow, that is quite insulting." or something like that will call her hand on it and make her seem like a you know what.  Then, I wouldn't say anything else to her.  I know you want to help, but I think there are people that just don't want to be helped.

post #3 of 13

That is rude :(  For what it is worth, she could just be really overwhelmed and struggling to actually believe that this is normal and only lasts a short time.  I know as a first time mom, some of the things people said to me made sense but I still didn't believe them.  Looking back I see how worked up and confused and really just struggling I was.

 

She was rude, but perhaps reaching out to her might be what she needs.  Her issue might be gone quickly but she really might not believe that.  She really might not get that the advice you give is good and helps things from getting worse so this normal thing heals up quickly.  If she is a first time mom, she might not have been fully prepared, and even if she was, might not really get it in practice, ya know?

post #4 of 13


Honestly, as much as you want to help, her breastfeeding relationship is her responsibility, not yours.  I would respond to the FB msg like pp said, and then leave it alone.  I wouldn't ignore it, however, or you run the risk of sabatoging your own sense of dignity.

She obviously isn't interested in advice or suggestions and offering any will likely provoke her to further rudeness.  Hopefully she will recognize her extreme rudeness and apologize, but even if she doesn't, please don't take it to heart.  Be self-confident and believe in what you are doing!  I think it's an admirable thing to help other women bond with and feed their babies.  It's so needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenmumajen View Post

I am torn right now, because I want their breastfeeding relationship to be successful but at the same time, I don't want to waste my time helping someone if they are going to be rude.

post #5 of 13

I also think it is pretty rude of her to say that - although she may not have been thinking specifically of you (we can hope). I wonder if she feels like there is something more going on, and no one is taking her concerns seriously?

 

You gave good advice, though! I might just send her a note saying, sorry she wasn't finding the help she needed, and you hope everything is feeling better soon.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for their advice. I don't think she was talking about JUST me, just myself included in all of the other professionals she has talked to. I decided to just message her and give her the benefit of the doubt. I basically just followed up with her and noticed that she is using a pacifier with her baby and I know from experience that angled pacifiers can lead baby's to have a sort of lazy latch and told her that it could be causing her pain. I also said it would be a good idea to switch to a non-angled pacifier if she still wanted to use one. I told her if she is ready to give up that it would be worth it to get her latch checked...

post #7 of 13

Cracked nipples at any time are a sign that the latch is NOT good.   She needs to get some in-person help.

 

That being said, try not to take it personally.  I do volunteer breastfeeding work as well, and you really can't let it get to you or you'll burn out fast.  Most of the time you'll be able to help.  Sometimes you won't.  Sometimes, for example, mothers will come to you basically looking for permission to quit, and they're likely going to quit no matter what you do. It doesn't mean that you've failed in your efforts and you can't take it that way.  I might have responded directly to her status with something like, "Oh, I'm sorry you're not getting the help you need.  If you'd like to PM me, I'd be happy to troubleshoot with you and see if we can find a solution to your problem!" 

 

Also--by way of gentle advice--I'd back off now and only respond if she approaches you.  I absolutely know you meant well, but sending a message saying you saw a picture of her on FB using a pacifier and that pacifiers can lead to latch issues, etc etc etc can come off as blaming the mother for her problem, especially to a new mom who is tired and frustrated and hormonal (those things may also explain some of her brusqueness/rudeness). 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenmumajen View Post

Anyway, she explained that baby had a good latch but she had sore nipples and they were chapped/cracked. She said it was only painful in the beginning. I basically explained to her that in the first few weeks (baby is 1.5 weeks) that is mostly normal

post #8 of 13

It is very hard to give advice and help without seeing the mother in person. What she calls cracked could be anything from mild soreness to open, bleeding wounds. what she considers a good latch may, in fact, not be. Maybe she already knew what you told her but can't understand how to apply it to solve her problems. I think her comment was rude but I tend to overlook rudeness when coming from a new mother.

 

If she is local to you, can you offer to come see her in person. If you do, however, it is important to know the limits of your knowledge and to refer her promptly to someone more qualified if needed.

post #9 of 13

ETA: it sounds like you did just that. Good for you.

 

Wow, I think a lot of the replies here are harsh. Yes, it's rude. But it also sounds like she is really, really frustrated and not getting the help she feels she needs. Remember, she is a brand new mama. I can put myself in her position quite easily, and face it, postpartum women aren't always able to communicate effectively. I would reach out to her, find out what's clearly NOT working, and what her desires are as far as the rest goes. To me at least, it doesn't sound like she just wants to quit, just that the support she's getting isn't helping! Right or wrong, it's how she feels and if you truly want to help her breastfeeding relationship, you have to ignore your own knee jerk reaction to how she's expressing it. I don't think telling her she's insulted you without any other advice is going to accomplish that.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmieV View Post


Wow, I think a lot of the replies here are harsh. Yes, it's rude. But it also sounds like she is really, really frustrated and not getting the help she feels she needs. Remember, she is a brand new mama. I can put myself in her position quite easily, and face it, postpartum women aren't always able to communicate effectively. I would reach out to her, find out what's clearly NOT working, and what her desires are as far as the rest goes. To me at least, it doesn't sound like she just wants to quit, just that the support she's getting isn't helping! Right or wrong, it's how she feels and if you truly want to help her breastfeeding relationship, you have to ignore your own knee jerk reaction to how she's expressing it. I don't think telling her she's insulted you without any other advice is going to accomplish that.

hmmm. probably true!  sorry if I jumped in too fast.... 
 

post #11 of 13

Hi,

That's just mean and humiliating.  Are you sure she meant you?  Did she see an LC who gave her the same advice as you?  And, she just didn't like that advice?

I thought your suggestions were appropriate.   It is VERY hard to help friends and relatives, oftentimes.  Chalk it up to a learning experience.

This mother does need help, but it is up to her to make that happen.  It's the whole water and leading the horse thing.

If I were you, I would NOT want to help her anymore.   I would feel too insulted.   But, maybe you're not like me and would be happy to try again.

If it were me (but this may not be your style), I would post on her facebook:

I'm so sorry you're having a rough time.   Here's the name and number of a fantastic L.C. _______ + ___________.

Beth

IBCLC & other stuff :-)

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Beth- Well I didn't confront her about it but I actually did say " I am sorry you are going through a rough time" and helped her get some contact info for an ICLBC. I'm going to leave it up to her if she needs help. I just ended the email with "let me know if you need anything". She said thank you and I was a great support person. =) 

post #13 of 13

I can't speak for your friend, but one thing I have found is that sometimes friends just want to talk to friends and not talk to the birth professional.  Let me explain - I have a friend who would often call me just to talk about how her pregnancy was going, so she could complain about how miserable she was, etc.  She didn't want my "doula" advice, but instead she just wanted her friend to listen and be a friend.  When she truly wanted advice she said so.  

 

I have found this to be true with a lot of people in my life and the various things that I do.  Friends who are uncomfortable or have injuries that massage would help (I am also a massage therapist) don't say "man I have this pain" and expect me to jump right in and massage it - they are just sharing that part of their lives with me.  If they wanted a massage they will say so.  

 

Now while it wasn't nice what your friend did she might just be frustrated and not sure how to lash out and present that anger.  Remember often times women think having a baby is going to be like abc and when they find out it is xyz that reality can be very hard to deal with.  

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