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Parenting Advice Attachment parenting despite medical obstacles


I'm the mother of 18-month-old identical twins born 11 weeks premature. We intended on an extended-nursing career for our boys, but due to several medical conditions (congenital defects) coupled with prematurity, it wasn't possible and believe me WE TRIED!!!

I would like to see some info on what parents can do when they can't be with their children, when children are in intensive care, born by C-section, are unable to nurse, and are sick. I couldn't "sling" my babies because they were hooked to apnea monitors for the first three months at home (they spent their real first three months in the hospital) and one was on continuous oxygen up until one month ago. I believe that children such as ours would benefit more than the average child from some form of attachment parenting, but how does one do that when there are so many medical and technical obstacles in the way? Well, I think we may have succeeded, but some advice along the way would have been greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your time.

Shannon Kopacz

Jan's reply:

Hi Shannon,

Thank you for sharing your touching story. While the specific recommendations we offer on our site may make it easier to bond with a child, they should never be confused with the bonding itself. It is the loving bond between parent and child that is the real goal.

By coincidence, I recently found this unique web site:

"Mothers Overcoming Breast­feeding Issues"

Here is a description:

"The purpose of MOBI (Mothers Overcoming Breast feeding Issues) is to give women a place to discuss their emotions over not being able to breast feed successfully. Many women are unable to breast­feed because of milk supply problems, long- or short-term separation after the birth of their child, previous breast surgery, or lack of support, and are overwhelmed with feelings of disappointment, anger, sadness, inadequacy and many others. Some women suffer depression because of these issues. This list is not to discuss the pros and cons of breast over bottle. There are many other resources for that information. We are here to provide a safe atmosphere to share feelings and to connect with other women going through the same process."

I would appreciate your feedback as to whether this site is helpful for you.

There was also an advice reply on the La Leche League site regarding sudden weaning. The last few lines seem to speak to your situation: "... mothering is more than giving milk. Keep giving lots of hugs and kisses. Snuggling in a rocking chair may comfort her. If you have a sling-type baby carrier, try wearing her in the sling. If you don't already share sleep with your daughter you may want to consider it during this tough transition. Guilt isn't easy to cope with. Take comfort in the knowledge that you didn't choose for this to happen. Your daughter has been blessed with a wonderful mother who loves her and is in tune to her feelings."

You did the very best you could, and no one can do more than that! I commend you for the loving start you have given your sons despite all the challenges you have had to face.

All the best,


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