Conforming and following the rules...

As a first time mum (and dad!) you are thrown so much advice to supposedly help you through parenthood, more than likely throughout your whole child's life but a whole bucket load when they are tiny. Advice like don't let your baby go longer than 3 hours before feeding, don't give them a dummy, you must do baby lead weaning, baby to sleep in your room until at least 6 month, no co sleeping, blah blah blah! 


It can be overwhelming. And patronising. And not allow you to find your own way with being a parent. 

Health visitors are assigned early on and you see them quite a bit in the first few months, or at least I did. The main reason being Daisy took some time to get back to birth weight, again her progress wasn't conforming to a line they had in a book! Frustrating and not particularly encouraging. When pregnant they push breast feeding and it's apparently the thing to be doing yet when you do in those first few weeks the pressure they put on you is ridiculous. There is no time to find your feet and adapt to it for you or your little one. Now I'm not saying if your baby was losing and losing and not gaining there shouldn't be intervention but in my case, and a lot others I've heard of this wasn't necessary. So to be told we may need to look at "options" was really disappointing. 

I stuck to my guns though luckily with advice from family and friends and knew my baby was healthy as she was gaining steadily and so content. I'd have known if she was hungry and in need of something more. It's as if they don't allow for instinct, it's all about records. 


This isn't to slate health visitors as I quite like mine but when it comes to feeding I found the system they have to follow to be frustrating. And it doesn't stop there with feeding.

When they get to weaning age, no earlier than 6 months!!! I'm sure there's some research behind it all but a few years ago it was 4 months and it certainly wasn't all about baby led weaning. The idea that spoon feeding is force feeding (their words not mine!!) I found a little irrational! I think you know your own baby and when they are ready they are ready. I will be doing it my way! And I I'll be combining spoon and baby led and see how we go. 

Sleeping is another one. So they have to stay in your room for six months? I bet a lot of people including myself don't have the room for a cot in their bedroom. Once Daisy had outgrown her basket at 13/14 weeks ish she was in her big girls bed, in her room. Bad mum! She sleeps like a dream and I hear every peep. Daisy has not been one to sleep in our bed yet, we've had the odd hour in a morning but never all night. But I can see why people co sleep, you all need your sleep! There are guidelines out there for safe co sleeping. 

There are so many other random people that throw in advice too, oh don't give her a dummy (I'll give her a dummy if I flipping want to and it settles her), don't let her nap in an afternoon, you need to feed her more bottles, basically do what you please and don't listen to all of it chucked your way. Take away the bits you want and don't dwell on the other bits. 

I think next time round if I take this mind set earlier on I'll be far more relaxed in the early days. 

Not a moany post (much!) but one just to tell new mums that they can follow their own insticts, they know baby best and can make their own choices. Read the advice and adapt to your own way :)

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

<div align="center"><a href="http://www.bloomingboo.com/" title="Blooming Boo"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_3d0XULelAo/U_Z6q3XMpVI/AAAAAAAAByk/bNbSKT3Mlrc/s1600/%23MMMLINKUPBADGE1.jpg" alt="Blooming Boo" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

8 comments

  1. This all SO true - I don't even know where to start. With breastfeeding - I was so pressured into by the midwives and yet when I was struggling, they weren't there to give me the support I needed. Stripping me down until I'm half naked in front of a room full of strangers and throwing my baby at my tit was not helpful. In the first week of her life, Jasmine lost 9% of her birth weight. (I later found out that it's normally up to 10%) but the midwife seemed overly concerned and as a new mum, who didn't know any better, I panicked. That night was the night that I gave in and started formula feeding Jasmine (as well as EBM). If I'd known that 10% wasn't such a big deal I might've been more prepared to continue trying to breastfeed.

    Last week we put Jasmine in her own room - we were disturbing each other in the night and also she was starting to roll around in her sleep and was waking up with her head stuck down the sides of her bednest. This last week has been great for all of us, I can still hear her on the monitor and she has all the space she needs to sleep comfortably.

    The thing is, as you pointed out, the advice changes all the time. I'm sure by the time we have our next babies (if we do) then the advice would have changed again! You can't win them all. I know next time I'll be more relaxed and know that I can trust my instincts as well as taking all the other advice with a pinch of salt.

    Sorry for rambling!

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, all that you say is exactly the same for us! It's hard enough as a first time mum in those first few weeks without people putting in their pennies worth when it's not wanted or needed. Xxxxx

      Delete
  2. I agree with this. New mums really should follow their instincts. There are so many guidelines and so many people telling you what to do and offering their opinions. If one more person tells me I am making a rod for my own back by comforting my baby I might snap! I have really taken advice from professionals on board but ultimately I have used my instinct.

    In terms of breastfeeding I feel there is an awful lot of pressure on mums to breastfeed but not enough support and not enough information telling you how difficult it can be. My midwife was on holiday when my daughter was born and one of the replacements was awful and treated me with absolutely no dignity when she visited and tried to help with breastfeeding. I just wanted her to leave and she made the whole thing a lot more stressful.

    As for weening I did take advice and waited until my daughter was six months about two weeks ago but honestly she wasn't ready until a week before and we were on holiday then. I have barely seen my health visitor but when she came to talk about weening I was surprised she talked about purées and not blw until I brought it up. I thought a would do a mix of both and my daughter started off well but then backtracked with blw and started to gag at everything that wasn't really puréed so for now I'm responding to her and making purées and I can hopefully introduce blw weening when she's ready.

    I think instinct is a powerful thing and I really think that as long as they are aware of the guidelines and recommendations mums really are in the best position to know what is right for their child and ultimately every child is different. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, guidelines are exactly what they say on the tin - guidelines, not laws. I just wish sometimes they wouldn't enforce them as if they are the only way. What you choose to do with them as a parent is up to you I believe.

      Thank you for your comments, makes me glad I'm not the only one who thinks these things are personal choices! Xxx

      Delete
  3. Ah such a sensible post!! I have been given so many bits of conflicting advice, and sometimes as a first time mum it is really hard not to follow any guidance given just because you are so overwhelmed in the early days. It was so confusing so I decided to listen to all the advice given and then go with my gut feelings.
    Unfortunately our health visitors have been swapping and changing, I think we have seen about 5 in total and they all give conflicting advice, and to be honest I have yet to find one whose approach matches the way I feel is best for my daughter. After been told to leave my daughter who has silent reflux to cry in her moses basket so she can learn to self settle I decided not to listen to that health visitor at all!
    I honestly think there needs to be a push towards empowering a mummy's decisions and opinions and less focus on fitting things into boxes and following rules.
    Mummy definitely knows best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems to be quite a common occurrence the roller coaster of health visitors, perhaps that says something about the systems they have to work through- who knows. Thank you for your comment and letting me know I'm not the only one! Xxx

      Delete
  4. I am so stressed when I had my son four years ago. Looking back .. I should have been more relax. A lovely post and so honest. Thanks for sharing =) #pocolo

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post and I totally agree. I wish they weren't so pushy with breastfeeding as it puts so much more pressure on us and so if it fails, we take it harder. Thanks for linking up :)

    ReplyDelete