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Forums / Anxiety / Feeling trapped

Topic: Feeling trapped

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Bibbetyboo
    Bibbetyboo avatar
    29 posts
    31 August 2021
    My son is 12 months.

    He was walking fully at 8 months, feeding himself and already almost talking. He’s funny, charismatic smart determined but wasn’t “expected” to be because hospital staff and maternal health had been incorrectly tracking my maternal progress for months as well as my sons growth progress and blaming the (false) setbacks (weight) on me.

    I called maternal health as my son had started exhibiting clingy behaviours this week. I wasnt distressed or worried.
    Mums forums online are chocked full of people expressing their stories on this clingy 12 month stage as being pretty typical.
    The help said she’s never heard of 12 month clingy ness and started screening me for abuse and told me 1 hour daily outdoors for 12MO isn’t enough even in the rain?
    She kept me on the phone an hour trying to book me more maternal health appointments, last was 2 weeks ago.
    She started digging into my mental health and suggesting a counsellor for no reason.
    I really felt this woman said as much as she could to make me feel like i was a problem.
    She asserts that I should be taking my son to a G.P fortnightly and demanded that I see maternal health more.
    We are in lockdown right now otherwise we have playgroup 5 times a fortnight which is facilitated by maternal health? We really dont need to!

    I felt like i was being interrogated. She was talking over me and not really even listening I had to keep correcting her and repeating myself.
    Its not the first time i have spoke to this lady on the maternal health line either, and i have hung up on her before for the same reason. She told me my son wasn’t cows protein intolerant and that was too rare (she’s nor a Dr by the way) it turned out he was CPI and was getting sick. I had to put him on script formula.

    The MHN on the phone demanded to know “WHO TOLD ME” to give my own son a toddler bottle? I explained the weening process to her confused that she didn’t seem to know what it was! Am I his mother or are maternal health?
    Stressing mothers about breast feeding to the point of breakdown, trying to push post-natal depression rather thn recognising colic or potential lactose problems?
    They’ve given me conflicting and confusing information that i think at times has been personally bias against me and when they sit in our conversations at playgroup, they wont let the mothers give each other advice because we are not maternal health - not joking! Thinking of complaining.
    Anyone else had a hard time with maternal health?
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6161 posts
    31 August 2021 in reply to Bibbetyboo
    Hi Bibbetyboo, 

    We are really sorry to hear about the challenges you have had with seeking support from the Maternal Health Nurse. We can hear that you are doing all you can to best support your child and trying your hardest to look after your own mental health at the same time. We know that the combination of lockdown and young children can make a home very stressful, so we want to encourage you to be gentle with yourself. 

    If you ever want to chat to us you can call us on 1300 22 4636, our team are here for you 24/7 and can help you process your feelings and thoughts. 

    We are sorry that you are not having the best experience with your supports, please know you can always talk to your GP or other community supports if you would like to. 

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
  3. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    13086 posts
    31 August 2021 in reply to Bibbetyboo


    Thanks for writing this post and expressing your thoughts. Decades ago when my chi,Daren were one there was one nurse I felt was critical and made feel I was incompetent.

    Often young mums have the same experience you do with one nurse. iIs it possible to try to talk to another nurse, Toddlers go through clingy phases at many ages and stages.

    I am sorry this one person doubted your decisions.

    You sound like a loving and caring mum. Your son is fortunate to have you.

  4. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2331 posts
    1 September 2021 in reply to Bibbetyboo

    Hi Bibbetyboo

    You sound like such an incredible mum making some seriously impressive calls in the way of your son. He's so blessed to have you in his life.

    Would you say the 'clingyness' is a reflection of the strong connection you have with your son? It's amazing how our kids start off so young when it comes to turning to the person they come to trust the most. Having worked in the area of intellectual challenges earlier in my life, one of the things that really stuck with me when learning about non verbal communication is 'Any form of behaviour is a form of communication'. So, when a little non verbal person (a baby) turns to us in some significant way, it can say a lot: Mum, I trust you to make me feel better because I don't feel so well, I trust you to keep me entertained because I'm bored (especially with entertaining playgroup shut down temporarily), I trust you to make me feel more secure because I'm feeling a little bit scared, I trust/need you to take the poop out of my pants because this feels seriously uncomfortable :)

    You sound like a trustworthy mum, in your son's eyes, not one who should be doubted and challenged so critically.

    Don't get me started on all the people who insist 'you just need to try harder' with breast feeding. They may as well have been saying to me 'You're not putting enough effort into what most mothers can achieve naturally. You're a failure at trying and a failure as a mother'. It was my mum who insisted I stop trying, as this was obviously contributing to my depression. Had trouble breastfeeding with both my babies, who are now grown teenagers. I'm a strong advocate for women's mental health coming first, before breastfeeding, especially when there are good formulas on the market these days. Btw, when I changed one good brand formula to the gold version, colic was the result. Changed her back and not a problem. People told me I was crazy, believing it was the formula causing problems. You learn as you go along that a mother's instinct starts early. The doubt that others put into your head overrides such instinct.

    You're an amazing and inspiring example of a mum trusting her instincts, questioning others instead of herself.

    I was lucky to have a legend of a maternal health centre sister. She wondered with me when it came to the challenges I faced, making suggestions (based on her experience), not giving orders. From day one, it was other people around me who posed significant problems.

    You're a brilliant mum :)

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