Saturday, January 3, 2009

What Would You Do?

A friend of mine watches a baby that is 9 months old and only weighs 13 pounds. The baby has not gained any weight in 3 months. She will not take a bottle, no matter what is in it. She eats very little solid food. My friend is nursing her 13 month old, so she has plenty of milk. When my friend rocks the baby, she turns to nurse and she is certain that the baby would breastfeed from her. My friend has no problem with nursing this baby, but the mother is all weirded-out about that. And yet, she keeps working, even though her baby will not eat anything when she is away from her. I have my opinions -- no surprise there. But I'm just curious, what would you do?

15 comments:

Lena said...

I guess I would leave it up to the mother but there is no way I'd continue watching her if the problem wasn't solved soon. I'd probably end up trying to nurse the baby and I don't think that's a good idea without the mother's consent. I'd suggest trying a sippy cup too. My babies hated bottles but Robert did drink out of a sippy cup at about 10 months.

Monica said...

What a difficult situation. I would be tempted to nurse the baby, but wouldn't without the mother's consent.

That's worrying about the weight gain. Geez, this is a tough one.

Donna Ryan said...

Did I mention that the baby won't take any bottle, sippy cup, eye dropper, binky -- nothing! She has the baby 3 days a week, but I don't know who has the baby the other 2 days. I'm sure she has the same problem.

What if you were the baby's mother? What would you do?

Monica said...

If I was the mother and I knew the women well I would let them nurse my baby.

Lena said...

I'd stay home and feed the baby. The lack of weight gain would disturb me and I just wouldn't be able to leave that to someone else. I know the connection I feel when nursing and I am not sure I want my baby connecting like that with another woman. Of course, if I HAD to for my baby's sake, I would allow someone else to nurse the baby but I think there is another way. For me it would be feeding the baby myself- whether I get someone to bring her to me at work, or take breaks and go nurse her, or get her to eat some other way when I am with her so that that problem doesn't fall solely on a baby-sitter. Bottom line- I would find a way to get the baby to eat even if I have to wean her completely. Breast is best but not when your baby starves without you and you don't want her nursing from someone else.

Monica said...

I totally agree, Lena! I was thinking this woman may not have much of a choice, but when it comes down to it the health and well being of your baby is more important than anything. I would bend over backward to nurse my little one throughout the day if I wasn't able to stay home.

As I was typing my last comment I was nursing my little girl to sleep :) One of the best things in the world!

Donna Ryan said...

Thanks for both of your comments. I think I would nurse the baby, knowing that I really was doing what was best for this baby -- feeding it so she doesn't starve! The mother should choose the health of her baby over her job. She should stay home and nurse her baby. (I didn't mention that her husband has a great job and she really doesn't need to work.) In a couple of months, most likely, the baby will be eating other foods, so this period will be short of exclusive breastfeeding.

Don't worry, I have not breastfed a baby for almost 1 1/2 years, so I have no milk. I could not breastfeed YOUR baby!

Alisa said...

Hmm- I have my opinions too!
I think it is never a good idea to nurse somebody else's baby without their consent. Period.
If the woman that is watching the baby is truly worried about the weight gain then she should talk with the mother about it. Then ... and only then should she try and nurse or offer her own breastmilk.
How does the baby eat when she is with the mother?
This might be a symptom of a bigger problem- Maybe there is an oral aversion for some reason. Maybe they need to do some oral stimulation exercises to help this baby overcome the aversion.
Just my two cents.

Donna Ryan said...

I believe that the baby solely breastfeeds when she's with the mother. But she very frustrated with the baby waking to nurse a lot during the night. But this is the only time the baby gets to eat!

The babysitter has expressed concern, but the mother has even been known to leave her, accidentally, without any milk -- formula or breastmilk. This is actually how it got brought up about the babysitter being willing to nurse the baby.

Alicia said...

The mother needs to stay home with her baby. If it is inconvenient to do that, then maybe she should have waited to have kids. Sorry if that sounds rude, but it is the truth!

Dawn said...

I think that this is an extremely sad situation. I would really pray that the mother would leave her job, either altogether or take breaks to nurse her baby. Frankly, if I were the caretaker, I would probably nurse the baby. Sometimes you have to do what you think is best for those who need an advocate.

Donna Ryan said...

Yes, Dawn, this is how I feel. Like someone needs to be an advocate for this baby. The mother is not doing it. She has no intention of stopping work. Poor baby.

Kristina said...

This weight sounds pretty low to me. I'm very saddened by this story. I hope the baby does ok and the mom figures out to do something about it.

Natalie said...

I just found your blog and was reading through some of the back entries. I wonder if you know how this story finally resolved? I'm curious to know!

HaleeBurch said...

Agreed with Natalie, I would like to know what happened. A personally find it very selfish and not at all motherly to choose one's career over one's children. Especially when there is not a "have to work" scenario. Our culture has devalued children so much though that is is really no surprise to me.
Perhaps this is extreme, but it sounds like neglect to me and I might would be tempted to ask DCFS what they think should be done. A wake up call like that might be needed for this selfish/ self absorbed mom.