Monday, 5 September 2011

When does a friendly interest become meddling?

When we arrived home from holiday I received news from a very dear friend that she had given birth to her first baby, a lovely daughter.

Over the course of her pregnancy I had a couple of chats with my friend on the phone and via email about how much she wanted a natural, drug-free birth and fully intended to breastfeed. I even sent her a couple of books I really rated on breastfeeding and childbirth that I knew I wouldn't need anymore. She lives many miles away and we haven't actually seen each other in years, keeping in touch mainly via Facebook and email.

Then yesterday I learnt that my poor friend laboured for 15 hours only to be whipped in for an emergency c-section. Understandably, she's gutted her birth plan went out the window. But to make matters even worse, her lovely daughter is tongue tied and feeding is a struggle. She's been told that 'they' don't divide tongue ties anymore and to just carry on feeding until it stretches.

So of course I went into research overdrive last night and bombarded my friend with text messages and emails reassuring her that tongue tie is divided regularly with great success. I did struggle a bit to find a lactation consultant in Scotland (what's that all about?? Is there not the same need in Scotland for expert breastfeeding help?). But I eventually found her contact names and numbers of who to contact should she decide to get the tongue tie divided.

But now I fear I overstepped the mark. I fear I may have been meddling and sticking my nose in.

But I fed a baby with tongue tie (which admittedly did eventually stretch) and it was a long hard slog that made me miserable and placed considerable strain on everyone else in the family. I just wanted to save my friend from that pain and heartache and spare her a little of the guilt all mother's feel when things don't go exactly to plan.

I can vividly remember the anguish and uncertainty of those early week when feeding is not going well, your boobs hurt, your hormones are going crazy and no-one seems to be able to help. I wanted my friend to know that there is help if she wants it. She doesn't have to suffer in silence, or suffer at all.

I just hope my passion for breastfeeding and helping other people breastfeed didn't repel my friend or cause her any heartache. It's tough knowing where the line is and whether you've crossed it or not...


Did I meddle? I really hope not :-(

4 comments:

  1. Oh, such a difficult thing to do right. At the end of the day, you were trying to help and hopefully your friend will realise that. You could send her a quick email to say that you hope she doesn't think that you are interfering, but know that she may not have the time to do the research herself.

    And congratulations on the birth of the little one.

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  2. I think what you did was admirable - she doesn't have to take the advice/information but at the same time, with a new baby (especially a first) it can be hard to gather information and make contact with agencies.
    I remember myself at that stage (without major complications) - I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights!
    Now she has all the information she needs and can move forward in a more informed way.

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  3. Thank you ladies. Happy to report that my friend was grateful for the advice and she ended up making an appointment using the contact details I sent her. Eagerly waiting to hear the outcome!

    In case anyone else out there needs to know more about tongue tie or where to have it looked at, you can find a list of centres here:

    http://live.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/Parents/Problems/Tongue-Tie/Locations-where-tongue-tie-can-be-divided/

    and more info here:

    http://live.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/Parents/Problems/Tongue-Tie/

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  4. What a lovely friend you are!! not interfering at all just sharing the best of your thoughts and knowledge... well done you... I had five and I know that at the beginning even with a good baby with no complications I was scared stiff and didnt think I would ever get the hang of it.. Luckily I had another friend who was a children's nurse and who had had a baby before me, and boy did I ring her!!!! again and again until I got a bit more used to being a mum!! So pleased she is following your advice- you keep on being a good friend and I know she will be happy to know you!! Love your blog will be folllowing now... all the best J...

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