Jacqui was over the moon about the arrival of her gorgeous baby boy, but within days her dream had become a nightmare.
Breastfeeding problems and Jack’s insatiable appetite combined to make Jacqui’s life a misery. In pain, and tortured day and night by her baby’s demanding cries, she severed their emotional connection. For the first four months of Jack’s life, his mother’s love was replaced with indifference, and cooing and cuddles became a thing of the past. ‘Jack’ became simply ‘it’.
“I was a wreck, but so determined to be the perfect mother that I wouldn’t talk about it,” says Jacqui. “My parents were in the UK and my friends with babies were telling me what a breeze motherhood was. I felt completely exhausted, and utterly alone.”
At her wits’ end, Jacqui finally called PlunketLine, our free parenting helpline.
“I can’t describe the relief I felt after making that call,” she says. “The nurse heard my story and just swung into action – no problems and no recriminations. They made an appointment for me the next day at the local Plunket family centre, and I can honestly say that my bonding with Jack started that day.”
Today Jacqui is a proud mother of two, and with her friend Natalie she’s authored a parenting book appropriately titled ‘If Only They’d Told Me’. Both women are passionate Plunket supporters, so much so that they’re donating $5 from every book sold to Plunket.
“Plunket has given me so much,” enthuses Jacqui. “As well as helping me to get back on track with feeding and caring for Jack, they’ve enabled me to access parenting education courses and linked me to other mothers in my neighbourhood. Most of all, they’ve taught me that it’s OK to ask for help when I need it.”
A turnaround for Jacqui and Jack – thanks to Plunket supporters.
By donating to Plunket, our supporters have helped parents like Jacqui to access the advice and support they need in time of crisis – and kids like Jack an opportunity to flourish, confident in his mother’s unconditional love.
The first 1000 days – critical to a baby’s wellbeing
If Jacqui had not sought help early, Jack’s development during his first 1000 days may have been impacted – and this would have affected him later in life.
This is when they most need nourishment, a safe, secure and healthy environment, and loving families who encourage them to learn and grow. Without these essential ingredients they’re in danger of faltering along life’s path – and potentially experiencing chronic health problems, learning and development issues.
Fortunately, because of the support of people like you, Jacqui was able to seek help when she felt she had nowhere else to turn.
You can help to make every child’s first 1000 days the best they possibly can be, simply by donating to Plunket. Together, we can all make a difference for the parents and children in our community.
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