Brooke Shields/PPD on Oprah - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-06-2005, 01:06 PM
 
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I watched the show, and I personally felt she was being genuine. I admire her for talking about it publicly, because that is just plain tough.
To be honest, I don't blame her for FFing if she did later on, because in her mental state it probably would have been very hard to enjoy BF. Additionally, although I am 100% a supporter of natural birth, if I had a first birth experience like that, I would most likely opt for an elective csection as well.
It's sad that she felt so much pressure to be a perfect mom.
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:31 PM
 
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Yes it is relevant... because when you start attacking 'militant BFers' who exactly is that? Everyone has their own definition and that needs to be cleared up. I'm not going to judge a mother who decides to wean earlier than 6 months (out of her own needs). But I do think BF advocacy is important. Some people think BF advocates (and people who nurse for 3 years - like me) are 'militant BFers.' See? That's why my back gets up.
True and I should have explained what my definition of militant is. I am not getting into a debate on this, just explaining my definitions. To me extended bf'ing and people who advocate bf'ing are not militant bf'ing people. To me there is a difference in being an advocate and being militant about it. IMO advocates are those who inform women in a non-judgemental, informative manner and who give support for the woman's choice. A militant bfer is one who judges a person upon seeing a bottle without knowing what's in it, one who jumps down on a person for a choice that is inferior, someone who doesn't like someone based on 1 decision they made, someone who believes there is only 1 choice and those who choose ff'ing(for whatever reason) are inferior mothers, give no support to the mother, they are often rude(and worse) when talking about mothers who do not bf'd, and for some they take the stance that ff'ing is a form of child abuse. IMO these women who we want to bf'd are not going to change their opinions and bf'd if it is being pushed on them. IF this is anyone reading this, sorry this is just my opinion. Everyone has a right to thier own opinion and I'm not judging anyone who is militant by this definition. I just feel that when a new mom(especially first time moms) is going through all the new changes in her life being judged for making a decision that she felt was better for her baby does not deter PPD.

Specifically with the formula commercial, yeah I didn't like it either. I wish there were more bf'ing commercials.

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Also with all of her $ I am sure she had hired help. So sad that even then she was depressed. How mcuh more must a woman be depressed who does not have the options that Brooke had?
I don't recall her saying she hired help. Having money doesn't mean a person hires nannys to care for their children all day long. Some do, some don't. IMO celebs get a very bad rap, I wouldn't doubt it if there comes a time in their life when they're getting more settled and into the married/children life where they just want to be normal. Not many of us have paparazzi in our faces when we were walking out of the hospital.

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In Marie Osmand's PPD book doesn't she discuss weaning from the breast as something that can worsen PPD?
I haven't read her book but my personal experience with PPD and weaning was with my first dd. She was 9months old and nursing 3 times a day for 10minutes. She was losing weight so the decision was made to put her onto whole milk. My dr advised that if i was going to quit cold turkey to keep 1 feeding. I did for 2-3 days and then decided it was easier to just stop. It was the 1 time I should have listened to my dr. I got married 2 weeks later and we decided to start TTC. Within 3weeks of putting her onto whole milk I was in the beginning of a PPD. 6weeks later I was in my dr's office bawling and asking if he was sure that I couldn't be pg even though I had AF. He never told me I had PPD but did tell me that i was going to be okay and that he'd see me in a couple of weeks with a + pregnancy. He was right on both of those. Until he told me that I would be okay I was a mess. Many years ago I was in a clinical depression and I did not recognize that I was in a PPD. It seemed to go away after I found out i was pg, but then I mc'd at 9.5 weeks and it escalated during hormonal times. When I talk to pregnant or new bf'ing moms I tell them to never quit cold turkey. Nobody told me you could get PPD when they were 9months old, I always thought it was something that just happened when they were born.

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I had so many miscarriages that I don't think I ever thought I was actually getting a baby. When ds sped into the world all I could think was, "Really? I have a kid?"
I felt the same way after my miscarraiges. Then with Asha I had an US at 11weeks and we saw the baby and I thought "omg what i have done". I had been so focused on getting pregnant that actually having a baby never occurred to me.

If Paxil is safe, it doesn't mean she was told that it was.

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I didn't see the Oprah show or read Brooke's book. I'm just saying she was out and about a lot when her baby was very young talking about how great it all was. Now she says she was barely functional. That seems a bit contradictory to me and this is someone who has been in the spotlight (and in my opinion was exploited as a child in the spotlight) all her life.
It seems to me that she was saying those things about how great it was because that's what she thought she was supposed to say. All she was told was mothers are not supposed to not love their babies, mothers are not supposed to not want to be around them or want their babies to live somewhere else.
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:33 PM
 
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I didn't see the Oprah show or read Brooke's book. I'm just saying she was out and about a lot when her baby was very young talking about how great it all was. Now she says she was barely functional. That seems a bit contradictory to me
I'm not trying to be snarky, but have you dealt with PPD? It's an honest question. I'm really in the throws of PPD. Having a very hard time functioning. But, I do feel the need to keep up the "I love being a mom 100% of the time. I have it all together" attitutde cause all the moms I'm around were trying to have a baby. They all quit work to stay home and are loving it. There is a lot of pressure to be the perfect mom. And I'm a nobody :LOL . I can't even begin to imagine what it is like for a celeb.

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Interesting that I'm judgemental for questioning whether or not she is using a situation to make money but this isn't a judgemental comment? Nice. If it wasn't clear I wasn't asking if it was that bad to imagine doing bad things to your child. I meant being unable to avoid seeing all the bad things that could happen to your baby. Like I was nervous about carrying her over concrete because what if I dropped her and she was terribly injured. I was scared to go down the stairs in our house carrying her for the same reason. I was unable to keep the possibility of horrific accidents out of my mind none of it involved doing harm to my child. Clearly I would think that fantasizing about harming your child would be something to seek help for I guess I assumed that being overworried about things that were unlikely to happen was somewhat normal and that was what I was asking about. But thanks for telling me I'm horrible that's definitely why I came to this forum.
Well, first of all, I never said you are horrible. No need to put words in my mouth. I was merely saying that I was surprised that a mom wouldn't see anything wrong with seeing bad things happen to their baby. Since you didn't see the show, you don't know what Brooke was talking about. It was more then just dropping her. She would see her baby hitting the wall and slumping to the floor. It was very graphic. And if it is a hard and scary thing for her, who are we to downplay that just because she is a celeb?

I am really surprised at the attitudes of some on here. She can't possibly have truly suffered from PPD because she is famous? :

Amber, 32~ DH, 30~ DD, 8~ DD, 6
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ~*~MamaJava~*~
I watched the show, and I personally felt she was being genuine. I admire her for talking about it publicly, because that is just plain tough.
To be honest, I don't blame her for FFing if she did later on, because in her mental state it probably would have been very hard to enjoy BF. Additionally, although I am 100% a supporter of natural birth, if I had a first birth experience like that, I would most likely opt for an elective csection as well.
It's sad that she felt so much pressure to be a perfect mom.
I agree and think you would make a wonderful, supportive friend

I did not read the People magazine article, but did catch some of her interview on Oprah. I decided to get the book yesterday and started it last night t 10:00--2 hours later I had to force myself to put it down because I found it very interesting.

The issues about her infertility were interesting to me--because I went through that for years myself trying to have my children. I can no longer have pregnancies and births, but still find her story very compelling. I would recommend the book to anyone. Thankfully I never had PPD.

The main issue is that this was not just "thoughts of hurting the baby" or baby blues she was going through. She was clinically depressed and had to force herself to get out of bed every day. She thought of suicide many times. There was no good days and bad days--they were pretty much all bad. She had no loving bond with her daughter--but that was almost secondary to her depression. So for those of you who think what she went through was "normal"--it was not really normal at all.

She did go through things that I went through that were very hard--so that would be on the spectrum of normal. For example, when she got home from the hospital it was just her and her husband and the baby with no help or family there for the first few weeks. This is typical for most people today--but for her it was incredibly hard. The baby woke every hour and a half to nurse and she felt like she was going mad from sleep deprivation. Every time she fell into an exhausted sleep the baby would be awake and crying an hour later---until she just felt like she could no longer take it.

We had the same experiece with our first two kids--my son actually woke up to nurse every 2 hours (sometimes every hour) for the first year of his life. We never had longer than a three hour stretch of sleep in that time--which was like torture. I know I had friends who breast fed who's babies came home from the hospital and would sleep 6-8 hours at night right from the beginning. I had one friend in particular who has 3 kids like me--all were c-sections for her. She would come home from the hospital and they would be champion sleepers! She would put them down at 8:00 at night and they would not wake up till 7:00 the next morning. I could not do that with my kids until they were 5! I always had fussy sleepers who needed lots of night time care--and that makes mom exhausted.

So anyway--her description of that time sounded normal to me--but I can appreciate that it was very hard for Brooke. She was also an older mom (I think she was 37 when her daughter was born) and admitted she was use to a free and easy life style before that of jetting off anytime to go on vacations with her husband. They would sleep in and go to movies and basically do what they wanted. All of a sudden that was OVER. This is very normal for all of us, but for some women this can be very hard too. The change in life that a baby brings can be like a sledgehammer on your head.

She had to try several different medications before she found Paxil to help her. It does not matter what Kellymom (although that website is a great resource) says about Paxil--it is not one of the meds recommended for breastfeeding. She was so depressed at that point that I think it was appropriate for her to move on to formula. She did not have PP psychosis, but she was teetering on the edge. I think there are times when extenuating circumstances have to be taken into conderation. I spent 5 years of my life breastfeeding and would advocate it to anyone who will listen--but you have to allow people to adjust the scenario to their own life experiences. Think about someone like the woman who drowned her 5 kids in the bathtub--what if she had not homeschooled and gotten more help? This does not mean you are against homeschooling to realize that that poor woman should have not been home with all those kids when she was dealing with severe PPD and PP psychosis. We have to be able to make allowences for people in this life, or we end up with our hard line and a tragedy.

Hugs,
Lisa
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Old 05-06-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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"I'm just saying she was out and about a lot when her baby was very young talking about how great it all was. Now she says she was barely functional. That seems a bit contradictory to me and this is someone who has been in the spotlight (and in my opinion was exploited as a child in the spotlight) all her life. I can believe her childhood experiences with exposure would make her more likely to expose herself."

She was? Well where did you see this People magazine? Because I've known for a better part of the year that she had postpartum depression because she talked about it on the VIEW and in another interview last spring. I also imagine, like myself, you try to put your best face forward when out in public. I know I did. "Yes breastfeeding is wonderful" "Oh I love being a mother" blah blah blah is how I portrayed it to my friends. I never said "I have irrational fears my baby is going to die, or that I might accidently kill her doing something mundane" or "Today while my baby slept, but I couldn't I thought about taking a whole bottle of pain killers". So nowhere do I see her contradicting herself.
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:09 PM
 
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[QUOTE=CarrieMa F]

Alot of women suffer from PPD due to these hard core militant bf'ing women who look down on, are rude and judgemental to other people's situation. (QUOTE=CARRIEMA)

The above statement simply isnt true. women suffer from ppd for many factors, combined, and not entirely understood or pinned down, But "hard core militant bfing women "and their judgements is not to blame. Like many many many factors, judgment about anything for the new mom doesnt help when she is already feeling pressure and all kinds of other scary and mixed up thoughts. But to put any real blame on peoples attitudes about personal choices doesnt work. The attitude needing changing is that of society in general to nurture, help, honor and support the new mom in ways that in most cases are unheard of here in the USA.
~L
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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Why is it that sometimes mothers judge each other so harshly?
ITA

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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FF'ing vs BF'ing has no spot in this discussion. Once she got help she made a choice that was best for her and her child. It may not be the idea choice or the choice that another would make but it is still her choice to make. .
Just wanted to agree here! I am a strong supporter of bfing. However, knowing what I know about cesarean births, as well as the other difficulties faced by Brooke Sheilds - it is really understandable if the bfing did not work out for her!! My god - if even half of what she said is true regarding her feelings at the time, her feelings about the baby, (and I see no reason why it WOULD NOT be true) no WONDER the bfing did not work out.

I went into this show with a chip on my shoulder - oh yea, another celebrity discussing how difficult it was at first with the new baby, the nanny, the job, etc. - it was NOTHING LIKE THAT! I appreciate her honesty. She is a famous celebrity, but she is also a woman just like those of us here. I hardly think if one of our best friends had this same feeling or reaction after giving birth, we would be half as judgmental!!!

Just my 2 cents worth...
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Old 05-07-2005, 12:17 AM
 
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"She said that she wasn't over come by instant love for her baby at birth. She also said she thinks people lie about it (and there was laughter and applause in the audience.)"

That's an odd thing to say, given all that was going on in her life and with her birth, you'd think she'd consider that that might have something to do with her PPD instead of just assuming that others lie about it.

As far as her not bonding with her baby... it's such a common and poorly understood thing, and I wish some high-profile celebrity would write about probably the most common reason this happens -- because the hormonal process that facilitates the chemical part of bonding is so interfered with in modern maternity care.
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Old 05-07-2005, 12:34 AM
 
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That's an odd thing to say, given all that was going on in her life and with her birth, you'd think she'd consider that that might have something to do with her PPD instead of just assuming that others lie about it.

As far as her not bonding with her baby... it's such a common and poorly understood thing, and I wish some high-profile celebrity would write about probably the most common reason this happens -- because the hormonal process that facilitates the chemical part of bonding is so interfered with in modern maternity care.
Just my 2 cents... I did *not* suffer from PPD and had a completely natural pregnancy/birth but was disappointed that I didn't feel this instant connection to my child after birth (as I said in my earlier post). And I do think setting *everyone* up to feel an instant connection leads to disappointment for *some*. I'm sure some women feel that instant connection but not all of us...

I'm sure it could be made worse by hormonal interference or PPD but I wouldn't say I think that is the only reason it happens.
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Old 05-07-2005, 12:41 AM
 
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As far as her not bonding with her baby... it's such a common and poorly understood thing, and I wish some high-profile celebrity would write about probably the most common reason this happens -- because the hormonal process that facilitates the chemical part of bonding is so interfered with in modern maternity care.
This is what kind of made me sad about her plan for the future at the end of the show (although I'm happy that she is hopeful and wanting another child) ...

Her plan is to have a repeat c-section and go on meds starting in the 3rd trimester to "regulate (her) hormones" that are compatible with bf'ing.

Just more modern medical intervention

But then again, maybe that is why the media is accepting of her. It probably wouldn't be the same if she came out and said that medical intervention helped cause this.

Someone else mentioned Cyotec... that would be interesting if she was given this for induction, anyone know who is reading the book?
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Old 05-07-2005, 12:48 AM
 
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And I do think setting *everyone* up to feel an instant connection leads to disappointment for *some*. I'm sure some women feel that instant connection but not all of us...
Yes...ITA!
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Old 05-07-2005, 03:44 AM
 
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I have a new respect for Brooke. I think her coming out like she has is a HUGE step and healing process for her. She should be commended on that and not put down or attacked because she FF her dd. The fact that she had PPD so bad she didnt want the baby in the same house as her, wouldnt change her diapers, answer her cries. Proves that she was in no shape to breastfeed her dd. A huge part of Breastfeeding for us moms and for the babies is the bonding. She was disconnected with her dd. She wanted nothing to do with her. HOW could she do the one thing that is total bonding for her and baby when she cant even look at her, smell her, hold her. Yes its sad she couldnt or didnt breastfeed. BUT whats even more sad is the time she lost with her dd. The early bonding, the first little special moments. Things she cant get back because time doesnt go back. To me thats far more heartbreaking then weather she breastfed or not.
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Old 05-07-2005, 05:08 AM
 
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Old 05-07-2005, 10:53 AM
 
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This is what kind of made me sad about her plan for the future at the end of the show (although I'm happy that she is hopeful and wanting another child) ...

Her plan is to have a repeat c-section and go on meds starting in the 3rd trimester to "regulate (her) hormones" that are compatible with bf'ing.

Just more modern medical intervention

But then again, maybe that is why the media is accepting of her. It probably wouldn't be the same if she came out and said that medical intervention helped cause this.

Someone else mentioned Cyotec... that would be interesting if she was given this for induction, anyone know who is reading the book?
She was given pitocin. Her water had already broke and she was running fever.
Also, I have to say with my repeat cesarean and meds BEFORE I gave birth in the third trimester HELPED tremendously. I had a wonderful experience, virtually pain free, and I bonded well with my baby. He was a champion breastfeeding boy and I felt really great emotionally and physically after the birth. I could totally relate why she will choose to go this route, because I did it, and was better for it.

Also, please note that its possible medical intervention had nothing to do with this. I had PPD when we adopted. No medical intervention there -- however I did relactate to breastfeed him, whacking out my hormones. I think its easy for people in this community to "blame" medical intervention, but the facts are any woman can suffer with PPD, not just those of us who have "medical" births.
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Old 05-07-2005, 11:15 AM
 
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I am not singling you out Lisa, just want to offer some general info about lactation:

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Originally Posted by LisainCalifornia
The baby woke every hour and a half to nurse and she felt like she was going mad from sleep deprivation. Every time she fell into an exhausted sleep the baby would be awake and crying an hour later---until she just felt like she could no longer take it.
Actually, this is normal, but so many new moms do not expect it or know how to deal. Crying is a late indicator of hunger in a baby. Or a sign or discomfort. Shields may have not been co-sleeping and getting up and down all night is very tiring. She may not have been able to nap during the day when baby did. She may not have simplified her cooking and cleaning routine, etc.

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We had the same experiece with our first two kids--my son actually woke up to nurse every 2 hours (sometimes every hour) for the first year of his life.
This is normal if latch is good. Some moms store less milk in their breast between feeds, so baby needs to nurse more to get milk. Or baby may have strong sucking needs. All 3 of mine were this way. Waking up every hour is a lot more tiring than every 2 or 3. Sometimes this can be helped by cutting out dairy products which can cause digestive upset in babies/toddlers.

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We never had longer than a three hour stretch of sleep in that time--which was like torture. I know I had friends who breastfed whose babies came home from the hospital and would sleep 6-8 hours at night right from the beginning... She would put them down at 8:00 at night and they would not wake up till 7:00 the next morning.
This is very unusual and not normal and can cause low milk supply, lethargic babies, and failure to thrive. (Obviously it didn't in your friend's case.) As a general safety rule, newborns should never go more than 4 hours at night and should nurse at least every 2-3 hrs during the day.
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Old 05-07-2005, 11:26 AM
 
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Darylll, this is really important to point out. I haven't slept through the night in over three years between the two little ones. My 14 month old still nurses at least 3 times a night. I am in no way sleep deprived. I work three days a week, never nap and feel pretty great. There were days when I would feel the lack of sleep and needed to adjust my expectations and slow down or nap a bit. This is not PPD. This is being a mom. PPD can be associated with sleep but I agree with you it is more likely the unrealistic expectations that kill you. That and putting your baby in a crib, waiting until they are screaming to get them, and then nursing, putting them back to bed and trying to return to sleep. I believe co-sleeping is the best thing to ensure nursing success and sanity for moms. I just groan and roll over for the other boob as soon as he starts to fuss.

Maureen
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Old 05-07-2005, 12:12 PM
 
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Actually, this is normal, but so many new moms do not expect it or know how to deal. Crying is a late indicator of hunger in a baby. Or a sign or discomfort. Shields may have not been co-sleeping and getting up and down all night is very tiring. She may not have been able to nap during the day when baby did. She may not have simplified her cooking and cleaning routine, etc.
We co-slept, napped, ate pre-prepared foods, etc. My house has never been so dirty from neglect. I can still remember feeling absolutely exhausted and nursing while sobbing one night and saying "I can't do this!" over and over and over again at about 3 in the morning. My dh said, "just nurse him and then please get some sleep. I will take him out to the living room and hold him so *please* gets some rest." My dh called in to work the next day and stayed home to care for ds - I think he knew that I was just too exhausted to continue bf'ing if I didn't get more rest. It worked, I'm still bf'ing.

Exhaustion is a powerful force - I did not have ppd but I do know that having a new baby that doesn't sleep well is exhausting no matter how well you prepare for it. I can't imagine having ppd on top of it. After that night I don't judge women who say that nursing was too exhausting and give up. If my dh hadn't been so supportive, I know I would have given up that night. When women tell me that its too tiring or hard, I usually just try to mention that it is at its worse for a very short time and then it gets so much better.

Sometimes I think that *only* presenting the picture of 'mother and child sitting in a rocking chair, peacefully nursing' is harmful to the pro-bf'ing cause. Its hard work and, personally, I had no idea it was hard work. I think when women encounter the hard work or troubles it is tempting to think "this isn't how it is supposed to be!" and give up. When a new mom tells me she's bf'ing, I try to say something like, "Good for you! It's really hard work, isn't it?" A nurse once said this to me and it was such a revelation. I remember thinking, "Yes! Finally someone that understands!"
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Old 05-07-2005, 01:00 PM
 
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I wondered if she formula fed because she could not feel enough attachment to her baby to breastfeed her.
I didn't see the show but my friend told me about it. When I think of Shields the 1st thing I think of is that she's a formula spokesperson . . .when my friend told me about her PPD, I wondered what you did, joesmom, if she is grateful to formula because her PPD was so bad she couldn't BF?

I don't know . . .I had to give formula to my newest DD while building my supply up this week (it was that or have a hungry daughter ) and I feel like I'm eating humble pie about having been so down on formula in the past. Now I have experienced that there are truly times where formula is necessary. I'm just lucky that I'm an experienced BF mom and that the problem was caught (barely) in time . . .

Anyway, I give BS all the credit in the world for being so candid. Who knows how many women (and their babies) she helped!

 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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Old 05-07-2005, 02:01 PM
 
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I missed the show unfortunately. But it sounds like she made the right decisions for HERSELF and her baby. No, ff is not the same, but its better than many other choices she could have made.

I had ppd pretty badly with my ds. I had a relatively normal birth and he was great at nursing. The fact that I did bf him was the only thing that got me through the hard times. But I was in love with him from the first moment. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to not feel that connection with her babe. I was thrilled that my boy nursed what felt like constantly because it was the only time I felt sane.

I had horrible images of things happening to him. I couldn't shower, brush my teeth, anything that would take my eyes off of him for a second- even if my dh was there to watch him. That wasn;t good enough for me. I never had thoughts of hurting him, but I did have lots of thoughts about hurting myself because I felt so incapable of being a good mom. And I wouldn't let anyone help me. It became a running joke that you couldn't actually come into my home or approach my ds at all. This lasted until well after his 2nd birthday- not as severe in some areas, but more severe in others. I would never wish that on anyone.

And I became a militant breastfeeder BECAUSE of its powerful help it gave me. I was extremely judgemental toward other mothers who didn't breastfeed, refusing to even speak to a ff'ing mom. :

But then I got a huge slice of humble pie when we adopted our dd. I had relactated and had all of these wonderful plans of nursing her forever. But she was 7 months old when she came home to us and she wanted nothing to do with my breasts. They scared her! We all scared her. And I didn't know what in the world I was going to do if I couldn;t nurse her. I also went through a ppd with her and thought it was nuts since I didn;t have post pregnancy hormones obviously. It was definately real though. And that on top of having to buy formula, mix bottles, smell that horrible smell of that stuff. I treated it like it was toxic waste- literally screaming if some got on my hands. And having to come to terms with then having to actually hold her and feed her this stuff. I never got used to it, but I definately had more compassion for ff'ing mothers after that. I had to do a lot of soul searching and forgiveness stuff for my past judgements on my fellow sisters. I'm not ever going to be a fan of formula, but now I see that mothers do what they can and feel is best for them and my judgement is absolutely unfair to spew onto them. I didn't do anything positive by passing my beliefs onto a mother who was just doing what was best for her and her babe. Now I mostly keep my mouth shut and reflect back on my own formula nightmares.
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Old 05-07-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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I thought the interview was good....not well rounded enough for me...me it was good.
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Old 05-07-2005, 02:39 PM
 
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But then I got a huge slice of humble pie when we adopted our dd. I had relactated and had all of these wonderful plans of nursing her forever. But she was 7 months old when she came home to us and she wanted nothing to do with my breasts. They scared her! We all scared her. And I didn't know what in the world I was going to do if I couldn;t nurse her. I also went through a ppd with her and thought it was nuts since I didn;t have post pregnancy hormones obviously. It was definately real though. And that on top of having to buy formula, mix bottles, smell that horrible smell of that stuff. I treated it like it was toxic waste- literally screaming if some got on my hands. And having to come to terms with then having to actually hold her and feed her this stuff. I never got used to it, but I definately had more compassion for ff'ing mothers after that. I had to do a lot of soul searching and forgiveness stuff for my past judgements on my fellow sisters. I'm not ever going to be a fan of formula, but now I see that mothers do what they can and feel is best for them and my judgement is absolutely unfair to spew onto them. I didn't do anything positive by passing my beliefs onto a mother who was just doing what was best for her and her babe. Now I mostly keep my mouth shut and reflect back on my own formula nightmares.
OMG you just described what I went through! Except we had a newborn. I owuld cry making the bottles, but when I finally gave up nursing him or trying to nurse him when he was 8 weeks old, I was relieved, tho still sick about formula feeding. I'm over it now. I am more compassionate, and I am glad for the experience.
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Old 05-07-2005, 04:34 PM
 
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But then I got a huge slice of humble pie when we adopted our dd. I had relactated and had all of these wonderful plans of nursing her forever. But she was 7 months old when she came home to us and she wanted nothing to do with my breasts. They scared her! We all scared her. And I didn't know what in the world I was going to do if I couldn;t nurse her. .
I had a similar experience--and can really understand what you are saying. We adopted our daughter from China--and she came home to us when she was almost a year old. I knew I could not nurse her, because I had gone through a very early menopause (at 33) and my hormones were really messed up. Because of her nutritional standing, forumla was more appropriate for her than regular milk--so I had to teach myself how to use it after spending years nursing my other kids. I planned to co-sleep with her and sling her to help her adjust to us--but she was terrified every time I tried to bring her into the bed with us. She would scramble to get away from me anytime I tried to bring her to bed at night when she woke up crying. I found co-sleeping was totally out of the question, as well as slinging (which she hated even worse than co-sleeping despite my persistant tries to get her to accept it).

I found I could not use any of my previous AP tricks, and it freaked me out and depressed me. But we got through it, and she is an incredibly loving, cuddly, attached girl now.

Hugs,
Lisa
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Old 05-07-2005, 05:10 PM
 
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SPOILER ALERT---I am talking about some events in the book in detail here, so if you want to read it and don't want it spoiled, please skip this post....









I am now 3/4ths through this book. There seem to be a lot of misconceptions in this thread, so I will try to clear some issues up. So far where I am in the book she is still nursing. Brooke is incredibly dedicated to nursing and had wanted to nurse her whole life. She took breastfeeding classes pre-birth and saw lactation consultants. She has said over and over that breastfeeding was the one thread connecting her to her daughter, and she fought with people who tried to get her to stop nursing. Many people did try to get her to stop, because they saw it as a drain on her and she was already walking around depressed and hopeless. She is nursing while on medication right now in the book.

She was called after the baby was born for a commercial for the formula company. She wanted to go to the interview because it was something outside of the baby that she could do--and at that point she was so depressed around her baby. She felt frightened that she would never work again and that no one would want to hire her now. I think all of that was because of her poor self esteem at that point mixed with the depression. Anyway, she went to the interview and she embarrassed herself by crying in the interview in front of the owners of the formula company. They told her she could keep on nursing and just use the formula as a supplement--but she told them she was not sure. She felt guilty for giving her daughter the formula even as a supplement, and worried about it a great deal in the book.

I am all for exclusive breastfeeding (and did so for many years with my first two kids) so I am not making excuses for her--but just trying to clear up some misconceptions in this thread.

One thing that helped her a great deal was hiring a baby nurse. She was against that too--she had never had a housekeeper or maid and felt that people should do things themselves. None of her friends had used baby nurses (they were non-show business friends) and she felt she should not have to either. Friends kept telling her to hire one just for a week or so until she felt better--because they would come to see her and she was just a wreck. Her husband had to go out of town and she was scared to death to be alone with the baby. Her mom disapproved of her hiring a baby nurse too--and Brooke felt very guilty about it. She finally broke down and called an agency and got one sent over. It was a wonderful filipino woman who was a godsend to her. She helped her with nursing and made her healthy soups to drink to increase her milk supply. She made her teas to help her relax and made sure she got enough liquids so she could make more milk. She stayed in bed and the nurse would sit with her and the baby and they would talk and laugh. Sounded pretty great to me--I would have loved to have a non-family member to help me like that. She helped Brook to learn to bond with the baby and taught her a more natural way of caring for the baby and talking to the baby. She had her for one week and wept when the lady had to leave and Brooke had to move to their Los Angeles home the next day.

By this time the medicine seemed to be helping, but she could not tell for certain. She was still depressed, but getting better. She went L.A. and her husband hired a baby nurse for their first week there--but this baby nurse sucked! She was very "old fashioned" and did not connect well with their baby. She seemed surprised that Brooke wanted to hold the baby and nurse her--and it was like having a weird stranger in the house. The lady lived with them for the week and Brooke could not wait to have her out of the house.

After that she went off the medication and 3 days later became suicidal. She thought the medication was not helping her--but after she went off it became apparent she just did not realize how much it was helping her.

I will talk more after I have finished the book--I read fast so that will probably be by tomorrow. I would like to gift this book to anyone that needs it here in this forum. Let me know if you would like it.

Hugs,
Lisa
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Old 05-07-2005, 05:13 PM
 
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OMG you just described what I went through! Except we had a newborn. I owuld cry making the bottles, but when I finally gave up nursing him or trying to nurse him when he was 8 weeks old, I was relieved, tho still sick about formula feeding. I'm over it now. I am more compassionate, and I am glad for the experience.
I can see how that would make you more compassionate.
Take care,
Lisa
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Old 05-07-2005, 05:26 PM
 
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Thanks Lisa for taking the time to write all that. I skimmed it, so I am not going to respond right now.... except to say... that Filipino woman is the exact kind of care a new mother should receive!!! At least she got a little of that. New mothers need to be nurtured and supported.

I would like to read about her experience. I'll add her title to the pile of books on birth/postpartum/motherhood I'd like to read someday.

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Old 05-07-2005, 06:37 PM
 
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Thanks Lisa for taking the time to write all that. I skimmed it, so I am not going to respond right now.... except to say... that Filipino woman is the exact kind of care a new mother should receive!!! At least she got a little of that. New mothers need to be nurtured and supported.
I agree--the first baby nurse sounded awesome. Since she had never had this kind of hired help before--she felt very weird about considering it...but what a help it was to her at that time. I am sure it was very expensive and it is very sad that the ordinary woman would never be able to afford that kind of support.

Brooke was trying to get by by herself and then later with the help of her mom and in-laws, but said that hiring someone without that family connection (and baggage) was such a relief. I remember when I had my first child how hard it was having my mom and dad come to stay with me. I was so incredibly tired and felt like I was competing for my baby--they wanted to hold him all the time and there was just too much history there. I love my mom and dad, but seeing them when I was in pain and bleeding and had just given birth--I just did not have the energy for house guests and the energy they bring to the house. A few days later they left, and my MIL arrived. Once again, I love my MIL, but it was HORRIBLE having her as a house guest when I was just spent. She was not helpful really at all, and I found myself cooking for everyone and cleaning the bathrooms and begging to hold my baby. Having her as a houseguest these days is fine--but right after labor the mom needs to have some peace and quiet. The day after my MIL left my BIL called and wanted to come with his wife and small kids and I almost lost it with my husband. I still can't believe he even considered it (I made him call him back and tell him "no, don't come") because he had to see how exhausted I was, but I think there is a lot of pressure to "show the baby off" to family.

This baby nurse that Brooke hired seemed to be the perfect kind of help that a new mom would need. She did not have to feel guilty for resting in bed because she was paying the woman to help her, and yet she was still very present with her baby.
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Old 05-08-2005, 12:41 PM
 
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I am surprised at the use of the term baby nurse. Don't we call them doulas? The first one sounded like a doula. The 2nd one was the old-fashioned baby nurse who would normally give it bottles and take care of it, leaving the other work up to the mom. Yuck.

A doula is what moms need. I wish everyone could have one. They make meals, do child care for older kids, go get groceries, do laundry, clean. Plus, they help with bfing support. For a middle class woman they are not that expensive. Even if you can't afford one every day, a couple days a week would be great, for say, the first month at least.

A good LLL grp (go to several mtgs while pg to build support system) can often serve this purpose, with friends coming over with meals. Friends of mine cleaned my house and did some laundry too. Plus, of course, I got all the bfing info and support I needed. LLL really keeps new moms from feeling this horrible isolation that our culture promotes so criminally.

I am sad that nobody Brooke knew was telling her to get hired help and disapproving when she did. And I wish she had her doula for longer than one week.

Sad that she was doing OK on her meds and bfing, then just went off it. When I was on Zoloft (depression, not PPD) I was also seeing a psycho-therapist who made quite a big deal about staying on it for a yr just to be on the safe side and I did.

It sounded like Shields was on the right track and then made some bad decisions because of lack of proper maternal support.
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Old 05-08-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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It sounded like Shields was on the right track and then made some bad decisions because of lack of proper maternal support.
And that is what happens so very often.

And since the article stated (right?) that she signed the Formula ad contract before birth I wonder who contacted who.

Do you think her rep contacted them? Or do you think they contacted her? I'm guessing they contacted her. Perhaps they contact all celebrities with mainstream appeal (not many :LOL ) because that's what they do... they are trying to sell a product. And wouldn't it be great for them to have a well-known, well-liked, no skeletons in the closet celebrity selling ABM. I'm sure they SOLD her on it big time (you'd be helping thousands of women... our formula has X ingredients that others don't have, blah, blah, blah...) Who was consulting her on the politics of BFing??? Nobody I bet. With that scenario, as much as I disapprove of the ad, I'm not going to come down hard on it. She was ignorant. If... she knew of the politics and went ahead and did it anyway (which I doubt it very much!!!) then I'd be angry with her.

I wonder what the agency called the first woman. I'm guessing they called her a baby nurse. It was a benefit (and pure luck for BS) that she was from abroad. Women abroad focus on nurturing the mother. But DaryLLL is right, she was a doula and that's what new moms need.

But most first-time American mothers don't really know they need a Doula after birth. I think new moms typically have their mom over (thinking they'll be helpful - and often times they just want to hog the baby : and mom is stuck playing hostess ) and baby nurses are still marketed to them as a necessity. Ya know... you have to put that baby on a schedule from day one.

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Old 05-08-2005, 02:16 PM
 
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I really was grateful for Brooke being on Oprah. Many
of the issues she talked about completely mirrored my
own experience, and just hearing somebody use the
same words I would have used was a huge comfort to
me.
I wasn't thinking about her celebrity, if she hired help, if
she breast-fed or not. I was really focused on what she
was feeling, during and after her pregnancy.
It also opened a conversation between myself and my
family last night. We were having an early Mother's Day
dinner and my brother brought up the book, and if I had
heard that it came out. My Mother and Father were also
present. I shared past feelings that I hadn't shared before
with my family. They all knew I had "problems" that I
started serious therapy when my dd was one years old,
and that was the only thing I left the house for.
I felt a huge pressure, not to be perfect, but to be better
than I though people believed I could be as a Mother. I
was single, didn't have any experience with a baby, and
before her birth I had already been diagnosed with bipolar.
So it was really important to me in my mind that people see
that I was doing not just a fair job of motherhood on my own,
but that I shined at it. I have far let that go, but expressing
this to my family, especially the night before Mothers Day was
cleansing for me.

I applaud Brooke for sharing her story. Many women watched
that show and felt what I felt listening to her. Some maybe
already got help, and might feel better to hear somebody else
sharing their own story, like I did. Some might not have gotten
help, and now might feel that they can.

That is worth more to me than who she is, who she hires, and
how she fed herchild. We don't know how many people she
helped by coming out and being so open and honest. That's
something great in my book.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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