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#1 of 20 Old 12-22-2010, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yikes,

I have been so worried about the next 4 days! So I am afraid to nurse in public in front of family members (many who have never nursed their babies)

I am worried that people will be grabbing at her and she will be crying because she only likes me or DH to hold her (especially in unknown places). She is only 5 mths.

On Thanksgiving an aunt took her and when DD started crying and having a major meltdown, Aunt said, "Oh I don't mind, you guys need a break"

Huh? How do I say "Give me back my baby!" Listening to her scream and cry was certainly not a break, it made me feel awful!

 

We are first time parents, most of our family is much older then us. I feel like when we are around them (all 3 families) they play this game of "who does baby like best"

We have three places to go on Christmas Day.

 

Any advice from those who have been there, done that???? Also how do you sneak away when it is time to go???


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#2 of 20 Old 12-22-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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I am right there with ya' on holiday anxieties.  One thing that we agreed upon that helps me psychologically is that we've set a limit to not spend any longer than three hours with my husband's family.  If we say we have a time we have to leave (making up an excuse or otherwise) as soon as we arrive, it is easier to get away.  Plus, it feels more like there's light at the end of the tunnel and I'm not just waiting endlessly for my husband to get bored.  I'm nursing my three-month-old, so I can always ask to be excused to a quiet and dark room away from meddling family members, even though I have no problem nursing in public, just to get a break.  My mom also recommended faking a migraine.  :-)


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#3 of 20 Old 12-22-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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Nursing: Will she stand for a cover or blanket over her? My baby never would but some do fine with it. Keep in mind, though, that she will basically cover anything you would have exposed anyway!

 

People: Wear her! We brought Cecilia to a big 4th of July thing when she was 3 months old. She also got overwhelmed and overstimulated if she was passed around too much, so I would let her be held for a bit, then say "She needs to nurse!" or "She needs a diaper change," and take her back. Once she was done nursing or I was done changing her, I'd wrap her up and wear her for a while so that she was always close to me. Then a while later I'd take her down again.


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#4 of 20 Old 12-22-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Since you are going to several places on Christmas, you can always say that you need to get to the next place (except for the last one, that you can say you need to get baby home and to bed it has been a long day).  The previous suggestions are all good and I second them.  As to the question about what to say when they are holding your crying baby you can simply say that you appreciate the offer of getting a break but "Listening to her scream and cry was (is) certainly not a break, it made (makes) me feel awful".  and then offer to let them hold her at a better time (if you feel so inclined).  You are the mommy, do not have any qualms about standing up for your parenting practices, if they want to chose how to raise a child they can have their own.


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#5 of 20 Old 12-22-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post

People: Wear her!


Yep yep yep. If people ask, just explain politely that she's well situated in her sling and it's hard to get her out (even if it isn't!).

 

As far as getting her back when someone else is holding her, I find the best thing to do is just approach with confidence, reach for her, and pick her up. Sometimes I'll give the person holding her a bit of warning by saying something to the baby ("here comes mama!" etc.), but generally I've found it best not to ask for DD back, but to just take her. Otherwise you do get comments like "Oh, I don't mind if she's crying." Uh . . . well, I mind, and clearly so does my baby!


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#6 of 20 Old 12-22-2010, 04:33 PM
 
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I have had social anxiety for something like three decades, and let me tell you, nursing has been marvelous for having a legitimate reason for some alone time.  Sorry, folks, gotta go nurse upstairs!  Then I get a break for a half hour!  I agree with the poster that setting a time limit is a good idea.  Also with Cecilia's mom about wearing her--great idea.  My 9 month old won't nurse much around other people these days anyway since he gets so distracted.  You can use that excuse, especially since some of the people are not breastfeeders.  I know some people love to hold babies, but not all babies love to be held...and, for me, holding my son is a major comfort in otherwise uncomfortable situations.  Also, I have no problem telling anyone to give me my baby back if he is sad.  I am not much into passing him around anyhow, but if he is crying, I go to whomever's holding him and they usually know to hand him back immediately.  If anyone didn't, I think I would just say "I need to nurse him for a few minutes."  Also, I have found it helpful that when I get somewhere and someone tries to rip him out of my arms before I'm ready to say "I am going to hang onto him for a bit...he just woke up."  I dread the holidays too and had a crying fit today about it, so I know where you're coming from.  Holiday and family stuff is very hard sometimes...maybe most of the time.  Good luck!


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#7 of 20 Old 12-22-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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Do you have a wrap?  You can wrap her up in it (no one can take her from your arms, and if you do it right, you can nurse in it, too.  :)


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#8 of 20 Old 12-22-2010, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thank you for all of the supportive suggestions. 

 

So, I am thinking I will definitely bring the wrap with me.  I know I need to just put on my big girl panties and basically take charge. I really like the idea of saying, "Here comes mama," and just scooping my dd away. I totally made the mistake of saying, "Oh, should I take her back?"

Politeness doesn't pay off I guess.

I know this is a hard time of year for a lot of us! Thanks Caedenmomma for sharing that.hug2.gif

 

I have a lot of anxiety about nursing in public, I have big boobies, but I like the idea of excusing myself. 


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#9 of 20 Old 12-22-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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I understand, mama, mine are big too. But I find that if I just own it, people are generally cool with it or they go somewhere else if they're not!


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#10 of 20 Old 12-25-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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I definitely excuse myself to nurse when we're around lots of people. I don't feel bad or embarrassed about it at all. I prefer it, my baby prefers it, and I imagine relatives without any experience prefer it too, but I don't really care. I just don't like to talk to other people when I'm nursing my baby.

Bethany

 

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#11 of 20 Old 12-26-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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Agree with all of the above. Confidence and assertiveness is required when it comes to company and baby holding. I have no qualms about taking my baby from whomever and saying "He needs mama." That's that. You're right, politeness doesn't work. 


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#12 of 20 Old 12-26-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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Suddenlyamama--how did it all go?  Did any of the suggestions help?  Was it all as uncomfortable as you thought it would be?  For me, the days of worry and anticipation are almost always much worse than the actual event.  I was thinking about you yesterday and hoping all was well!


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#13 of 20 Old 12-27-2010, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well mamas,

 

For the most part everything was wonderful except for Christmas Eve Night. It truly amazes me how different "Mothering" can be. 

My DH decided that we should partake in the family's annual evening festivities, but we knew it was hit or miss as DD needs to be laid down for bed (She will fall asleep on me, but wakes up upset and instead, it is so much easier to just put her to sleep)

Anyways, we get to the party but we know we can only stay maybe a half an hour because our girl is already getting exhausted. I am trying to be patient with my MIL but she really wants to carry DD around showing her off. This was fine, but when she starting getting fussy, fussy led to upset. 

If you can believe this (and I know she meant this out of kindness, but we are just so different)  she said, "You guys go eat and enjoy yourselves, while I stay with DD in the bedroom. I don't mind the crying) yikes2.gif

Since DD is quite a spirited little one we get this response a lot. People are nuts.  Like I am going to enjoy myself while my baby gets upset with no return?

Then, she turns around and walks away to a bedroom. This happens in front of 40 or so people all looking at my screaming baby. 

 

 It wasn't crying that was just going to go away. She was exhausted and ready for sleep. I hate when others think they know your child, when they don't. I was so upset at DH for not helping me out. 

Well, I followed anyways and took her from MIL. I was trying to soothe her except that my mother in law continual stood there talking to her while she screamed. Then, she takes her away from me again. I am pissed and overly emotional at this point. I start crying and say, "I am sorry but we have to go" and as I am telling others goodbye, just to save whatever sanity I though they might still think I had... My MIL and an aunt are barricading the door. They say, "We are all grandmothers here, we don't mind the crying." I thought I was going to explode! 

Then, as if it wasn't dramatic enough, I said, "You might not, but I DO" and I left! All the while DD is having a break down. We start the car and she falls asleep immediately. 

Anyways, isn't that all just bananas? I have got to grow a pair. But I am happy I stood my ground and left anyways. 

Poor DH I just kept telling him how upset I was at his Mom. Insert foot in mouth! I feel bad about it, but I think my MIL got the point that I don't like to just let her cry. 

The rest of the weekend was great, minus the fact that I felt silly for making such a big fuss at the holiday party. 

Oh well. I was much more assertive thanks to all of the reassurance and advice from you all.

I hope your festivities were wonderful and without family drama!

 


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#14 of 20 Old 12-27-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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You said exactly what I would have said! In fact, I have said it before, when my in-laws have said the same thing-- they said "I don't mind if she cries, she's a baby," and I said, "Well, I do mind, especially when I can do something to calm her down." And then my FIL busted out with that fabulous old gem we all love to hear, "Crying strengthens her lungs!" irked.gif I hate that statement even if it wasn't completely untrue!

 

Anyway, I think you did exactly what you should have and got your sweetie home so she could sleep. Good job mama!


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#15 of 20 Old 12-27-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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I commend you Suddenlyamama. We've had our run ins with,' baby snatchers'. Someone coined that term here on MDC and it is a spot on description. They may ignore a child's body language, dull their senses to a child's crying, and may show disrespect to a mother's instincts. Whether they know this and ignore it, or are just be blissfully unaware, I'll never understand. As a first time mother I wasn't prepared for it either. It took a while to learn how to handle it.

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#16 of 20 Old 12-27-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post

And then my FIL busted out with that fabulous old gem we all love to hear, "Crying strengthens her lungs!" irked.gif I hate that statement even if it wasn't completely untrue!

 



Where did this inane piece of advice come from!?!?!?!? Seriously, who started that absurd and malicious rumor? How could it possibly be good for their lungs? Ack.

 

Suddenlymama - I'm glad you made some headway with the in laws, at least now they know (hopefully) that it is not acceptable to you to have your baby cry hysterically in the other room!


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#17 of 20 Old 12-27-2010, 12:34 PM
 
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We can thank Luther Emmett Holt for not only the erroneous theory that crying strengthens lungs but for making the cry-it-out practice popular.

This information was from the turn of the century in 1894. Since then the medical community has proven that excessive crying can delay the changes that must take place in the heart shortly after birth. A hole between chambers and a blood vessel must close since there is no longer reliance on placental blood.

Not to mention the rise in cortisol hormone and the effect on the body bathing in cortisol.

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#18 of 20 Old 12-27-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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You did great mama! DS was only a month old on his first Christmas, and nursing was a great excuse to take the baby back from family. I nursed a little separately, but covered then. Thankfully he is eating lots of solids now, and so this Christmas he made it through all the festivities on just those and water. He won't stand a cover now, but I can still nurse discreetly enough if I need to. (DH has some sort of lude men on his side, abetted by copious alcohol intake, I don't really like to nurse in front of them if it can be avoided)

 

as far as people who can deal with a crying baby - if the baby starts crying while being held, I will usually give it a minute to see how the baby is responding to whoever's calming technique (sometimes he just needs to be jiggled a bit, or patted on the back) - if it is clearly not working, most people will hand him back to me without arguement, otherwise I say he needs to nurse or be changed and take him back.

 

Stand your ground though. you are the mama and you know best!


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#19 of 20 Old 12-28-2010, 08:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aphel View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post

And then my FIL busted out with that fabulous old gem we all love to hear, "Crying strengthens her lungs!" irked.gif I hate that statement even if it wasn't completely untrue!

 



Where did this inane piece of advice come from!?!?!?!? Seriously, who started that absurd and malicious rumor? How could it possibly be good for their lungs? Ack.

 

Suddenlymama - I'm glad you made some headway with the in laws, at least now they know (hopefully) that it is not acceptable to you to have your baby cry hysterically in the other room!



Well, from a respiratory therapy perspective, it probably DOES clear the lungs, so, while it might be good for her lungs (crying after birth creates pressure to open the airways, preventing functional atelectasis {where the lungs have micro collapse}) its NOT good for anything else.  So my comment always was,

 

"Well, that might be true, but it's not good for the REST of her."

 

As I walked away. (And I say her, because this always happened with my oldest daughter, not nearly so much with the other kids, maybe everybody just knew I wouldn't put up with it after that?)


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#20 of 20 Old 12-28-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiago View Post

We can thank Luther Emmett Holt for not only the erroneous theory that crying strengthens lungs but for making the cry-it-out practice popular.

This information was from the turn of the century in 1894. Since then the medical community has proven that excessive crying can delay the changes that must take place in the heart shortly after birth. A hole between chambers and a blood vessel must close since there is no longer reliance on placental blood.

Not to mention the rise in cortisol hormone and the effect on the body bathing in cortisol.



It's actually a high oxygen content that causes the hole to close, meaning a room air or higher amount of oxygen (the oxygen level is much lower while in the womb).  We actually put babies on LESS oxygen (or avoid supplemental oxygen) if we don't want that hole to close prematurely (we strive for certain low oxygen blood values to maintain those holes with certain heart defects).  Crying encourages closing of the PFO and PDA in most cases.  Just saying, so you have your details right.  I totally agree it's not good for the rest of the baby.


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