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Please help me not feel guilty!

801 Views 16 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Baby_Cakes
My son is 5 weeks old and we are struggling with breastfeeding (tongue tie which was clipped, babe is a lazy nurser so weight gain was very slow initially) but I am determined to make it work. Since Mason was not gaining weight by nursing alone I am pumping and supplementing with bottles until we can get the hang of it. I think we are getting somewhere but I have to pump several times during the day and since DH is at work I am alone with Mason. In order to pump I have to put him down and I put him in his swing because it's the only place he doesn't cry when away from me. I hate doing it! I feel horrible putting him in there and walking away from him. I keep telling myself it's necessary or else Mason wouldn't be able to get Mama's milk but I don't like looking at him swinging alone even though he's in the same room and I talk and sing to him while I pump. Am I being silly? How do I feel less guilty about it? DH ordered me a hands free pump so hopefully it will solve this problem but yesterday when I had to brush my teeth and get dressed Mason screamed and cried and my heart broke. Ugh, it just makes me sad.
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Putting babies down is necessary. It was very difficult for me to come to terms with this with my first...I felt like I was abusing DD1 by putting her HAPPILY in the swing to make myself something to eat/ use the bathroom/ put on make-up/get dressed...etc. So I spent the majority of my maternity leave skipping meals and walking around unshowered and undressed most of the day. It was miserable...
Out of necessity - I have had to use the swing more with DD2 which she is very content in. I wear her a lot at home though- but there are many things that I just can't do when wearing her. It still feels "unnatural" to put her in that swing and I feel like she is lonely (despite cooing/nawing on toys) lol.
But I HAVE to this time. My sweet DD1 needs me to herself at times and I need me to myself sometimes. Being able to get up and make myself something to eat, get a nice shower, and looking presentable has been for ALL of our benefits. I am happier, healthier, and a better, more-engaged mom.
So long story's going to feel horrible sometimes, but there are things that have to be done that you have to put your LO down for. Even the times that he is fussy but you have to get something done... as long as you are a consistant, loving, engaged, attached mom- your LO is not going to suffer.
If he is going to be happy in his swing while you pump....he is fine. Baby's enjoy exploring their own world too sometimes.
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A couple of quick things..

I am pumping extra milk to donate to another baby. I don't put DD down when I do this.. I prop my feet up on a foot stool and set her on my legs (she's also about 5 weeks old). This works great and she's on me and can watch my face. I also do this same thing while on the computer so that I don't have to put her down. I use my bouncy chair for other important daily tasks like showering and doing my hair. That way I minimize the use of these things.

Also, both of my kids have been extremely tongue tied. It did NOT make them lazy nursers at all. In fact they were able to nurse just fine, it just tore my nipples off until I got it fixed. I think the "lazy nursing" is a seperate issue personally. I had DS's tongue clipped at 2 weeks and DD's at 3 days. Plus all of my siblings were tongue tied (all 5 of us) and we were all able to nurse fine whether we had our tongues clipped or not.

Good luck! I hope your LO comes around and starts nursing better.
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Goodness, you arent putting your babe in the swing while you are passed out on the couch drunk and hopped up on crack while the baby screams himself silly. You are pumping his FOOD, or (heaven forbid) brushing your teeth.

Cut yourself some slack mama, you do not have 8 arms.
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It does get a bit easier as your baby get older! 5 weeks it still very new. You do deserve a few minutes to yourself (maybe a nice shower
! I wouldn't worry too much if your LO is happy. At that age I could NOT take the crying!! I would do whatever was necessary to make my LO NOT cry, lol. But if he was happy I was getting a few minutes to myself!!
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I had to do the same thing...pump while baby sat in swing and cried or slept. At the time it seemed absurd, but if I hadn't done that, then breastfeeding would have failed immediately. I tried to do the whole "hold baby in lap while pumping," but 9 times out of 10 that would lead to me spilling what precious little I got. I rationalized it this way: as long as baby can see you and you are talking to him, singing to him, letting him know that you haven't gone away, it's fine. You are doing what you have to do. Also re: the bathroom thing...I had a bouncer sitting in the bathroom to put my baby in while I went to the bathroom/makeup/showered/prepared the tub for her, and it worked out great.
One thing to remember is that being alone in a house with a baby is not really 'normal' in the scheme of human history and that is not your fault. Humans have lived in extended families, etc. Now we're in a situation of mama and baby alone in a house, dad's at work, and there's no grandma or auntie to hold the baby while mom meets her own needs. It's heartbreaking! but not your fault. Nature intended for you and your baby's needs both to be met. Now you have to work around our crazy culture. You are doing the best you possibly can and more and you do not have to feel guilty.
Seriously, I totally understand how you feel -- and DD1 would have been screaming while in the swing too, so that adds to the mommy guilt... but, I'm now on DD3 and I really have come to terms with the fact that baby cannot be in your arms all the time, and yes, brushing your teeth or pumping milk is a great time to use the swing. I love AP parenting, but have really needed to realize that the "ideal" of baby being always in arms is not possible in our culture. Particularly with 2 older kids to take care of (who have legitimate needs), I am going with "doing the best I can" -- it's taken me 4 years of parenting to get this far, you will save yourself a lot of grief if you give yourself a break and realize that you are a loving, attentive parent right now!
Isn't it amazing the guilt we mamas pile on ourselves!

You are obviously working hard to do the best for your LO!

Sometimes Mommy needs to pee, or get a glass of water, or get the casserole out of the oven and sometimes babies need to be put down and sometimes cry for a few minutes while that happens. It doesn't make you a bad mama. I think that is the appropriate way to use a swing - not to avoid holding LOs but to make them as happy as possible when you need to do something!

I know it's hard!!!! I rushed through a pee so fast this afternoon that I ran back to her without zipping
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Thank you mamas! Your words help a LOT! I pumped this morning and Mason actually fell asleep happily in his swing so at least he enjoys it (sometimes). I started using the hands free pump so at least now I can sit in front of him and play with him when I pump (hopfully I can avoid knocking the bottles over).
Gosh, I never knew what guilt felt like before becoming a mama. All your words make sense, especially about it not being "normal" to be alone with babe. Even when I was growing up I was always around grandparents during the day. We have very involved grandparents but they all work so it's not easy to have help during the day.
I don't have a baby seat but I might look into one for those times when, you know, I might want to get dressed sometime!
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I just wanted you to know I had a hard time nursing in the beginning. We had her tongue clipped. The Dr was great and called later and said that now they think that it takes 1 month for results to show. Maybe it will get better in that way for you.
I agree that putting baby down is a necessity. You have to live life as well. My DD (now 7) was a crier. She fussed and cried constantly. I tried to shower when she was sleeping, but usually I had to listen to her cry most of the time because it's just how she was. But she would cry whether I was holding her or not.
I felt guilty too when she was just a baby but I had to take care of myself.
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You should not feel guilty! And beyond that you should feel quite proud. You're doing what you need to do to make breastfeeding work, and to keep your babe eating the b(r)est he possibly can be. That is AWESOME of you. If your LO is happy, go ahead and put her in the swing and just pump nearby.

Guilt is one thing, I've found anyway, that can really overshadow and downright ruin the amazing parts of being a mom. So relax mama, you're doing great. Ditch that guild and keep up the good work!
You can only do so much. Contrary to what magazines, the media, etc. might like you to believe, you're not superwoman and you don't have 4 arms. You're making sure your baby is somewhere safe and comfortable, don't feel guilty about doing the best job you can even if it's not someone's idea of 'perfect'.
Please don't feel guilty. I co-slept with DD for 2.5 years, and DS (8 weeks) will only sleep in his swing at night. I'm feeling less and less guilty because I realize I'm doing what makes him the happiest. I'd be very happy to co-sleep, but DS prefers to be upright when sleeping.
The hands free will be a lifesaver (for your baby and your back!). I had to pump for dd1 because of bf'ing issues early on. (We eventually got to "go direct" except when I was at work.

A could of things helped:

Keeping her on a My Breast Friend nursing pillow while I pumped.

Propping her up in a bassinet so she could see me.

dd1 is/was very very visual. She had to actually be able to see me to feel okay.

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Just echoing everyone else...don't feel guilty! Mama guilt is an insane thing, and it can get the best of you. You are a wonderful mother and I think you are a trooper for doing all you're doing!
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