My baby came early

posted 9 months ago in Babies
Post # 2
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

daniellemc :  Deeeeeeep breaths, mama. No, 8 days is not enough time to recover. Did you know that in some other countries, for 4 to 6 weeks, all the women in a woman’s family after they give birth tend to her every need. They cook, they clean, they nourish her body and care for her, and her only job is to rest and nurse her baby. In America you’re apparently supposed to push out a kid and be back out socializing on skinny jeans a few days later.

Your body just grew a HUMAN BEING for almost 10 months. That’s going to take a LONG TIME for your body to return to “normal”. Do not do your body and the miracle of pregnancy the dishonor of wishing it would go faster or easier.

Newborns require so, so much care. When you are on your own and learning to nurse for the first time, the stress and pressure on a new mom is very great. But you know what is ok to? Formula. If nursing is negatively affecting your mental health, please give your baby a bottle of formula. Your baby will be happy, because mama won’t be so stressed, and their little belly will be full. I tried unsuccessfully to nurse my first 2 children. My 3rd I did formula straight from the outset. I am 28 weeks pregnant with my 4th and will be doing formula again. And you know what? Formula makes me a better mom.

If you really, really want to nurse, get in touch with a lactation consultant. 8 days out from birth, your hormones are all over the place. I urge you to see your doctor asap to discuss your feelings however. Postpartum depression is a very real thing. Don’t feel like you need to tough it out.

Above everything else, be gentle with yourself. Be kind. You just did an amazing thing!

If you’re super set on nursing, ask for help. Also, look up NoFoMomma on Instagram. She just had her 2nd baby and posts a lot about nursing and she is really helpful.

If you’re not set on nursing, you get yourself some formula, girl. You and your baby will be just fine so long as she is fed, and it doesn’t matter how she is fed!

Wear leggings and rest a bunch and don’t stress yourself out. It will be ok. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You, and your body healing, are just as important as that new baby. You matter too! 

Post # 3
2704 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Bee, don’t be so hard on yourself.  Eight days is nothing.  Would you expect someone who had had major surgery to be recovered in eight days? Of course not.  Your body has been through massive, massive changes; your hormones are all over the place and you have a newborn to care for.  Go and chat with your doctor who is the best person to determine how best to help and support you and above all, look after yourself.

Post # 4
467 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

All of your feeling is completely normal so please don’t beat yourself up!!! 8 days is really really nothing, it will be better.

PS: my LO is 9m and my husband still wind him down better than I did. Consider this a good thing!! He can bond with the baby and give you some time to rest.

Post # 5
661 posts
Busy bee

Oh momma, I feel you! This is how I felt around 8 days out too. It is hard, but it will pass. My only suggestion is to take an entire day and night and lay in bed or on a comfortable chair topless with your baby, allowing her to nurse however much she pleases. Lots of skin to skin time helps with nursing. 

Take deep breaths, drink LOTS of water, eat oatmeal and other easy snacks throughout the day. 

daniellemc :  

Post # 6
1233 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

My first baby was in the NICU for a week and I never produced enough milk, I was so excited to breast feed and I was SO disappointed when I couldn’t. Not everyone can breastfeed

I tried everything- special tea, oatmeal, even prescription medication to help me produce more milk and I was never able to pump more than 4oz in a 24 hour period, pumping every other hour.

That being said, when I made the switch to formula, I felt an immediate huge weight off my shoulders, the baby was getting food and that is what matters! 

Post # 7
6883 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

daniellemc :  Please contact your doctor you may have Post partumn depression.  Don’t take advice from the interent talk to your doctor and quite frankly you gave birth 8 days ago so yes everything is new, your hormones are out of wack.  My son was 7 weeks early and spent 6 weeks in the NICU.  Not a fun time.  Take time, breathe and please contact your doctor for help.  

Post # 8
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

You are 100 percent normal. The emotions, the hormones, the sleep deprivation. It’s all normal. And real. Honestly, if you feel like you need some antidepressants or are feeling blue, tell your doc. That’s normal too. Take a deep breath. It take a while (sometimes months) to get into a groove and really feel like yourself again. Also, a well cared for baby is a fed baby. Formula, breast milk, combo, all of it works. And I totally get it. I struggled so hard to feed my babies and it threw me into a terrible depression with my first. I finally threw in the towel around 12 weeks. Turns out, they will be fine no matter what/how you feed them so long as they are fed. Take care of yourself. 

Post # 9
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Congrats on your baby!!! Mama, you are doing amazing. You are going through one of the most intense times in your life between the post-birth hormone crash, the sleep deprivation, and the challenges of jaundice and a premie on top of that. You are only 8 days postpartum – cut yourself some slack!! No one feels good at 8 days pp!

My baby had jaudnice too and it was SO BRUTAL. We had to feed her every two hours around the clock, night and day, for the first week and a half of her life to flush out the bilirubin. She also had to stay in the hospital an extra day and then was on a portable “bili-blanket” for the first week when we took her home. It was so, so hard. I was averaging maybe 3 hours of sleep a night, and not all in one chunk either.

At two weeks postpartum, I was spending a lot of time googling “baby blues vs postpartum depression” because I felt so completely out of sorts. I was crying at EVERYTHING…like weeping on and off all day every day, felt totally disconnected from my husband, and at times wondered if we’d made a mistake having a baby at all (even though this was our rainbow baby and the pregnancy had been so deeply wanted). 

Sometime between two and three weeks postpartum, however, a switch flipped and I started to feel more like myself. A huge part of that was the hormones leveling out, but another thing that helped was letting dh give the baby a bottle at night so I could get more than two hours of sleep in a row. 

Please bee, be kind to yourself. It’s okay that your husband is “better” at soothing the baby right now. It’s okay that you are supplementing with formula. None of this makes you a bad mother or is bad for your baby in any way – in fact, on the contrary, it’s wonderful that your baby has two parents who are so devoted to her.

As for the flabby tummy – girl you gave birth one week ago! Don’t even start with that! 

I’m not a medical professional, but to me it sounds like you have an entirely normal case of baby blues as opposed to postpartum depression. That doesn’t mean it can’t turn into PPD, but everything you describe that you’re thinking and feeling right now sounds totally normal to me for a brand new mama, and my guess is you’ll start to feel a lot better in a couple weeks once the jaundice saga is behind you and you’re getting more sleep, and the hormones level off. If you’re worried though, it’s never a bad idea to talk to your OB because they have lots of resources.

big hugs bee!! you got this!

ETA: While we were going through the jaundice saga, it felt like constant doom, like the hardest thing ever. Poor baby had her tiny heels pricked so many times and it was just a constant cycle of heel prick, nonstop feeding, waiting on the doctor to call with the results of the latest test, etc. But then it ended (and it will for you too), and it honestly seems like a vague, distant memory at this point even though it was only 7 weeks ago we were dealing with all that. This too shall pass bee! Remember that baby jaundice is extremely common and TREATABLE…it may seem like the end of the world now, but it’s all gonna be fine, I promise.

Post # 10
2 posts
  • Wedding: October 2016

daniellemc :  My first was also 4 weeks early and we went on to establish a great breastfeeding relationship but we had all of the same issues you’re mentioning upfront. Although I will say I always combo fed cuz the little dude ate up to 38 oz a day (insane), and never felt bad about it at all, minus the cost (ouch)

Seriously. If there’s one thing not to bother feeling down about, it’s formula – it’s amazing, and it saved both your baby and my baby’s life! What could be better than that? Mine also had jaundice and had to do one day of photo therapy light treatment. My milk did not come in until day 4 for real. He would’ve died. Literally zero shame in formula. Don’t think twice about it. 

It took several weeks to establish the relationship because his latch was so weak / lethargic, and the docs told me to give a bottle at night so he didn’t have to work as hard. I tried for 3 nights before they told me to nurse and it was miserable, he basically couldn’t stay awake but then cried when I put him down because he was still hungry, until I gave up and gave him a bottle and handed him to my husband. We then settled into a routine of me pumping, leaving milk or formula for my husband to do overnight feeds. In the meantime, I powerpumped when he was napping (look into freemie cups and/or strapless bra) to help get my supply up, and eventually he got the hang of it!

Post # 11
200 posts
Helper bee

First babies are so hard! My first baby arrived at 36 weeks, too, and I remember feeling totally blindsided. We felt like we’d had no clue what to do, and shouldn’t be left alone with this little baby to take care of! I also struggled at first with my milk, I would pump and have a little syringe and once babe latched on have him sucking out of the tube and my nipple to encourage his latch. It’s all so hard and overwhelming, and you’re right in the thick of it!

Things that helped me:

– my mom. She was so good at helping out and making me feel sane.

– getting out of the house without the baby. I remember getting in the car when I was about where you are and feeling a sense of total freedom to be making a Target run all by myself. I even had a coffee and said fuck it about worrying about caffeine.

– giving myself the luxury of binge watching tv while nursing.

– controversial, but my little dude just never napped in a crib. I sometimes would lie down in bed (no comforter or anything), and just let him latch on and nurse and nap next to me for an hour. I know, such bad habits, but it was the only way he ever slept.

– on that above note, he also would nap in the car. So I would plot out these routes around my area where there weren’t long stop lights (he would up if the car stopped!) and just go for leisurely drives for an hour. I remember my then child-free brother giving me grief about how I should just put him in his crib and he would learn to sleep there. Bla bla. Then his second kid was the same way and they did the nap drives. Haha.

Anyway, I went on to have three more kids. One out of four was a good napper. All four had terrible evening colic. None slept through the night until closer to a year. Sleep deprivation is real and traumatic. Give yourself permission to take a snooze when you can. Be kind to yourself. Do the best you can. THere are no medals for the perfect parenting mamma.

Post # 12
1088 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - A vineyard

Oh my gosh yes. 8 days is nothing. It took me 3 weeks to a month just to be able to sit comfortably and walk normally. I had a tear that needed stitches and at my 2 week appointment I expected to have to beg to continue on my pain meds but the nurse told me I looked so terrible I could get whatever I needed. I took them as little as I could because pain meds are addicting but I am so grateful I got them. They got me through, along with my husband helping me feed the baby when he was home. He was such a great support. 

Don’t feel one bit bad about asking for help. And don’t feel bad about the formula either. I am a formula feeder and my daughter is doing awesome. Fed is best.

I bet you are doing great and your baby is so lucky to have you! Just give it some more time. And definitely tell the doctor how you are feeling. They can probably help!

Post # 15
7878 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

daniellemc :  momma be kind to yourself! 8 days is nowhere near enough time to recover. My baby came 2.5 weeks early and I understand the system shock AND the breastfeeding issues. I had a PPH and didn’t make enough milk so I had to formula supplement and pump a lot. Between weeks 2-7 I actually primarily pumped and only attempted nursing once a day because I couldn’t emotionally handle everything but I still desperately wanted breastfeeding to work for me. Lots of people told me to just quit and use formula, and yes for some that may have made them a happier calmer person sooner, but nursing is very important to me. At 7 weeks we got back to nursing full time (with only 1 pumped bottle in the evenings as my supply wasn’t fully there yet) and by 9 weeks we were exclusively nursing at the breast without any supplementation needed. It was exhausting and draining and mentally the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my freaking life. For lots of people it isn’t worth it….and that’s totally ok. But if it IS worth it to you then take the breaks you need knowing that it doesn’t slam the window shut on working up to a long and wonderful nursing relationship. 

I tell my story everywhere I can because I remember looking online for stories of moms who had to supplement/EP and eventually made it back to breast and found nothing which was really disheartening. Follow your gut and your heart and you’ll be an awesome mom no matter how you keep your child fed. FWIW after all that hell I went through I’m still nursing my 18 month old even though I never thought I’d make it past the first few weeks. 

ETA: I cried multiple times every day during those first few weeks. So much so that my husband begged me to see someone and I finally did at 7 weeks. By that time we were back to nursing and I was emotionally a lot better, but I know next time I will not hesitate to talk to someone or take medication if necessary. 

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