How does an expectant mom deal with this type of unsolicited "help"? Especially when it comes from well-meaning, close family? Any ideas?
I am at a loss for how to handle this as I'm sure it's only going to get worse. E thinks I should just ignore it, but then I find myself second-guessing some decisions, even doctor's advice because of these comments. I am a smart, educated, albeit first-time mom, but I think I can handle this or at least be trusted to do what's right for me, my baby and my husband, no? UGH!
Specifically, I'm a little terrified I'm going to be an epic failure at breast feeding and that our baby will never get a good night's rest. Food and sleep - 2 very important things.
A close family member who was not able to breast feed because of a type of medication she was taking happened to offer some breastfeeding advice the other day. She is a full supporter of formula feeding though I very much think that had she been afforded the choice, she'd have been breastfeeding, but that's beyond the point.
Conversation started out with sleeping arrangements - she a strong believer in putting the baby right in the crib from day 1. Easy to do if you aren't breastfeeding, right? Well my bedroom is next to the baby's room so I suppose it would be easy enough to walk a little ways down the hall to feed our little one, but I might not want to. If I went in the nursery to feed then at least I wouldn't wake E up too right? Well E and I have talked and he plans to be as involved as I am in the feeding department even if that means he gets the baby and brings him to me so I can feed him. We have talked about what is right for our family but are flexible to all sorts of sleep options and plan to see what works best for the 3 of us in the end. When I try to explain this, it falls on deaf ears and that frustrates me to no end.
Then there was the "you should allow the baby to go to the nursery so you can get some rest while you're in the hospital" comment. Her argument - that this is going to be the last night I will get a real night's sleep EVER. I hate to break it to them, but I don't think I've had a peaceful, no worries sleep since 3 years prior, pre-infertility. Frankly, I am sure I'll sleep better knowing that little one is right beside me and I can take a peak at him whenever I want. Why don't folks understand that my frame of reference isn't necessarily yours?
Conversation continued..."and you should be prepared for your milk not to come in right away and have to supplement with formula...they'll take care of it in the nursery." I simply stated that's not what I wanted as colostrum contains all the nutrients babies need for the first few days until your milk comes in and that I was fully prepared for that. Of course, if the doctors say there's a medical need to supplement, we'll be doing that, but my little one isn't getting a bottle just because you say so! She must have skipped right over the breastfeeding chapters in the baby books because that's part of breastfeeding 101. I stood my ground on this point, but realized it wasn't worth my time. All she knows is bottle feeding so why am I even listening! Annoyed, I didn't get much rest last night and it's New Year's Eve - I'm sure I'll be asleep by 10 pm.
My only real plans when the little guy arrives are to be flexible and to listen to the wants and needs of my little family with the advice of medical doctors to guide us. Tuning out others is going to have to be a quickly mastered skill.
Happy New Year everyone - we're are really looking forward to a joyous 2013.