Monday, March 23, 2015

Trust your mama instincts

trust your mama instincts


As a first time mum its easy to get confused and overwhelmed by all the advice that gets thrown in your direction. Its nice that people care enough to share advice, but often it can be conflicting, which does nothing more than make you second guess yourself. Then there's the people who think they know so much more than you and outright tell you what you should be doing instead of making suggestions. On the one hand yes they technically may know more about mothering than you because they've been doing it longer, but that doesn't mean what they know is right for you. Here's the thing they may have mothered longer than you, but they weren't mothering your baby.

You're the only mum your baby has. You spent nine months (or thereabouts) nurturing your baby while they grew inside you.You are the only one that spends hour after hour taking care of your precious babe. Others may come and help, but at the end of the day when they've gone home, you're the one up at night looking after your little one (unless you have a really helpful partner).

You are the one that knows your baby best, even if at times it doesn't feel that way. 

Being thrust into motherhood and having to take care of a helpless baby is daunting. Suddenly you're responsible for a whole other person, something you've never had to do before. There's so much to learn. There's a little person to get to know and countless sleepless nights to navigate. But if you listen closely, deep inside, you'll realise you have those wonderful mama instincts. Babies don't come with a manual, but when they come out they do switch on those instincts. So when you're in doubt look inside and see what your mama instincts are telling you. 

Trust your instincts.

When bub was born she was happy and content for about two weeks, after that it all changed. She would scream for hours. She wouldn't burp. She went from sleeping in between feeds to refusing to sleep sometimes all day. She would projectile vomit continuously (sometimes up to 16 times) after breastfeeding. She started getting a rash on her face that spread to her neck, then her chest, then her belly. I knew something wasn't right. My instincts told me it wasn't normal even when others assured me it was.



I got so much advice from friends and other mums. The problem was most of it was conflicting. Use wind drops, no don't just hold her upright for half an hour. Babywear her to sleep, no leave her to cry herself to sleep. Keep breastfeeding, no put her on formula

I was so desperate to make my baby feel better I pretty much tried everything. I used wind drops, held her upright, did bicycle legs, kept her close, changed my diet, supplement fed with formula on occasion; amongst a list of other things. There was slight improvement but I still knew in my heart that something wasn't right.

I took her to doctors on countless occasions and it felt like they kept brushing me off as an overreacting first time mum. They explained away her symptoms without ever looking any deeper to see if something was wrong. Vomiting after feeding is normal, she doesn't have reflux. She's crying because she has gas, colic isn't real. Her rash is just milk spots, its normal. 

Her rash is spreading, its probably just heat rash. She hasn't got back to her birth weight, but she is gaining so we're not worried. Time after time I was brushed off, but I didn't give up. I knew something wasn't right. Even though I'd never had a baby before, my instincts were screaming at me that something else was going on.

Finally, after persisting for weeks, a paediatrician at hospital agreed with me that these weren't normal reactions for a baby to be having. It was suggested that she could have a cows milk protein allergy and she was reacting to my milk. We went onto allergy formula and she started improving straight away until one day she choked and stopped breathing after a feed. After a hospital stay it was determined she was definitely allergic to cows milk protein and was put on a specialised prescription formula. After that she was a new baby. No more vomiting, no more choking after bottles, no more rash and no more screaming. She now has regular paediatrician and dietician appointments and has a strict diet, but shes much happier.

I knew there was something wrong from the beginning and I was right. I'm so glad I trusted my instincts and persevered until we got the help we needed. I can't imagine where we'd be now if I hadn't. 

Trust your mama instincts ladies, they're there for a reason.

Toni x

20 comments:

  1. This is such a great post Toni. You do need to trust your instincts because you are the expert in your child. Sure doctors, nurses etc are experts in their field but they do not know your child like you do. You are the expert in them and always will be, regardless of whether they are your first or your last child. Completely and utterly agree with this advice - thanks for posting x

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    1. It took me a while to realise, but I'm glad I stuck to my guns and kept going with my gut instincts.

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  2. Exactly right. You know your baby better than anyone else so always know when something isn't right.

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  3. If only we all knew this right from the get go our lives as new parents would have been WAY easier! At least most of us get it now!

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    1. Yes I wish I had of believed in myself a lot more in the very beginning instead of second guessing myself so much!

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  4. It's just a shame more doctors don't actually listen! It is so upsetting when they don't listen and our kids DO end up very sick and in hospital! So glad you got it worked out x

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    1. It frustrates me so much that they fob so many things off assuming we're just over paranoid new mums. I went to so many different doctors before we ended up in hospital and it still took a week in hospital and me constantly complaining to numerous doctors before they finally took me seriously! Mind you my normal dr was on holidays then, I can only hope if she was here that'd she'd of listened to me the first time because she's pretty good.

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  5. This is the best advice you can pass on. I am glad your little one is feeling better and that you persisted with the doctors. Sometimes they forget that mothers know their children and people know their bodies.

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    1. Yep I totally think they forget people know their own bodies and babies.

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  6. This post is absolutely spot on. A friend was in Coles today and bought some formula for her son. The check out chick then took it upon herself to start berating my friend about how bad formula is etc. I couldn't believe this woman did it and my friend managed to stay so calm. I'm not sure if I could have done the same.

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    1. OMG I can't believe the checkout chick lectured her! If that was me I would've given back as good as I got.

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  7. Wow seriously! Mama knows best! Poor girl I'm glad you all were able to find out what the problem was I know that was a scary time for you!

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    1. Yea the first few weeks definitely weren't a fun experience but we're all sorted now :)

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  8. This is fantastic! I'm a first time Mama too and we're still trying to figure out the nagging feeling her Daddy and I have. She's been diagnosed with reflux, so we're on meds for that, but her poor digestive system is still not cooperating. Now we're using MiraLAX and when we don't she is miserable. Doesn't seem like it should be considered normal to need to give a 9 month old a stool softener. I love our doctor though, she never dismisses anything and she's not quick to jump to conclusions.

    Glad you got the answer to your gut instinct!

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    1. I'm glad you have a good doctor who listens to you guys :) My daughter had to have drops in her bottles until she was about a year old even after she changed formula because her digestive system was so bad. Poor thing used to get awful gas and scream in pain without the drops.

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  9. What a great post! No one knows your baby better than you do!

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    1. Thanks Jolleen! I just wish I knew that in the very beginning instead of second guessing myself all the time :)

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  10. So many people have an opinion. I like your post. We should do a better job of lifting mommas up rather then telling them they are doing it wrong.

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    1. Exactly if more people were supportive instead of dismissive or having an "I know better attitude" then maybe we would all be a lot happier and less stressed :)

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