How do you get a teen mom to bond with her baby?

Gloria - posted on 09/13/2010 ( 201 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 17 and had a baby. The dad is not in the picture really he calls some and sends money less. I agreed to help her with the baby when she decided to keep it. However now she won't do anything for Alexis now 4 months old unless I throw a fit. I've tried talking to her, screaming at her and even tried to get a consular to talk to her, I don't know what else to do? Help please. I can't even leave her alone with the baby, she was caught screaming at the baby and I'm afraid she might hurt her. She is still in school but when she is not at school or band I feel she should spend time with her baby. How do I get her to bond with the baby and spend time with her? She comes home from school and just don't want anything to do with her I try to make her and she will just lay the baby down and let her cry after awhile I go get her because I won't let the baby suffer. Yet she gets mad that the baby always wants me and I don't know how to change that since I'm the one always with her.

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Tiffany - posted on 09/13/2010

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I do not see her age to be any where related to the issue of her not wanting to spend time with her child. People say all the time, "She is still young" or "She still don't know any better." and in my opinion that is a bunch of bull. I dont care how old you are, what maturity level you are at, anyone knows to care for a child. (not how but knows they should) anyone knows to spend time with their own child. Hell my 2 year old even watches out for our 1 year old. He protects her. So i dont care how old she is, she should know to be there for her child. I feel like the phrase "teen mom" gives teenagers an excuse for irresponsible behavior. It gives them an excuse to stay kids and have others care for their kids while they go out and have fun. No matter your age, if you have a child, you have the same responsibilities as a 30 year old mom or a 15 year old mom. If you want the child to be in your coustody, go to coustody court. Allthough Alabama (where i live) is the only state left with grandparents rights in the USA, but it wouldnt hurt to try. If you want her to take responsibility, then don't give her a choice. It is her baby, not yours. You may not be able to force her to bond but by golly you can force her to take care of that baby. If she refusese then, then call DHR and have them place temp coustody of the child to you. Scare her into taking care of the baby. Because Lord knows, she dont need all her friends to know she got her baby taken away for neglection. Im not trying to be rude about her, but im fed up with people using age for an excuse for wrong behavior.

Alison - posted on 09/13/2010

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It sounds like your daughter is still a little immature and probably doesn't know quite how to manage her emotions. She must feel guilty for not being a mother to the baby, and she must feel very insecure because she doesn't know how!



I know that as a new mom, my mother was very careful to let me figure things out on my own, so I could learn to be the mom. In your case, that wasn't an option and you had to step in, but this suffocates the mothering instinct in your daughter.



I would encourage you to stop pressuring her (it's not producing great results), and try to understand her and help her to open up about how she is feeling.



Maybe you could get some counseling yourself - not to say that you are messed up, but to get some guidance in how to manage the situation. You cannot change or control her, you can only control yourself.



This baby is really lucky to have you.

Laureen - posted on 09/13/2010

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I myself was a teenage mom, all I can say is be a good supporter, its a mind changing lifestyle your daughter is going through, Iwas the same way, if you try to push to hard she will rebel and at the same time be scared. Have her meet other girls that can share similar feelings etc. When she comes home she could be tired, give her a time to collect the thoughts of the days activity. Help her get into a routine after supper, by bathing the baby and getting her ready for bed. My true bonding with my eldest daughter didn't happen over night, it took almost two years... I had understanding parents that did not push to hard. Why don't you two go for a walk and ask questions on What is it that your daughter whats out of life and ask what her goals are. Then ask her Do you feel your ready to be a full time mom. Don't scream or get angry show support. My mother offered to take care of my child when I went to a private school for 10 months. Not being with her only made me realize how much she really meant to me. Its not easy being a teenage mom, while all your friends do as they please. she may feel bitterness, since the baby father isn't being supportive either including his own parents. Communication between all is very important. Hope this can shed some light on this situation. just don't force it. good luck

Amanda - posted on 09/13/2010

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You daugther doesnt bond with the baby, or do things with the baby, because she doesnt have to. She yells at the baby, because she knows this will get you to take over. Why take repsonsiblity for anything if your mother will do it for you? She behaves like this because it is working for her. So your best opition is to make it NOT work for her. When the baby is crying, dont go pick her up, tell your daughter "Your child is crying, you might wanna go deal with that". When the baby needs food, do not feed her, tell your daughter "Its time to feed the baby, be my guest". It will take about a month of this, but she will learn that you are not her slave, and you are not this babys mom.

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Carolyn - posted on 09/16/2010

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I think your daughter should see a psychologist / counselor on a regular basis. I personally think she is acting like this because she blames the baby for taking away her freedom and cannot handle the responsibility that is required to raise a child. She probably still wants to live her life like she did before. I think right now the important thing is to make sure the baby is loved and cared for properly, even if you are the primary caregiver for now. I do believe with help your daughter can learn to be a great mother, she is probably just dealing with a lot of emotion and turmoil that she never realised she would have to deal with, but that being said, its not fair on the child who never asked to be put in that position.

[deleted account]

This is so hard because on one hand you need to make sure to protect and nurture the sweet little baby and on the other hand, it's your baby who had a baby and you also don't want to completely give up on her. Clearly 17 is really young these days to have a baby and it is not surprising to hear this situation. Most 17 year olds don't have a clue who they really are and what they really want in life much less are they capable of caring for a new life. Becoming a parent is the fastest way to selflessness that exists. Many 17 year olds are as capable of being selfless as they are of living without a cell phone (these days). Your daughter is probably really hurting emotionally and the more she hurts and the more afraid and insecure she feels the tougher and more disconnected she probably acts. Also, a very misunderstood part of postpartum life is ppd - postpartum depression. I absolutely LOVE babies - I love being pregnant and i've given birth at home for mine and I'm going to have more but my most recent child, born in June 23, has left me with some pretty intense PPD. It was really hard for me to admit it but I am 30 years old, I've had kids, I'm also a psychologist, so it was impossible for me to ignore what was going on for me and I got help immediately. It's still pretty intense some days and it can last up to an entire year (and sometimes more) so your daughter (in addition to all the other problems that arise when a teenager gives birth to a baby and tries to be a single parent) might also be suffering from some pretty intense depression. The manifestations of this are different depending on the age: for teenagers it often manifests itself in: checking out, angry outbursts, rage, uncontrollable emotions (especially crying), severe anxiety, severe irritability, headaches, and being tired all the time. Try to be as patient as possible with your daughter and also be readily available to make sure the baby is cared for. One of these days your daughter will come around and she may just need a lot of support from you right now. If things get worse, take the initiative to adopt the baby or force her to get help from a doctor/therapist (that's actually easier while she is still 17). We had a similar situation in my family with my 18 year old cousin. After trying the patient and supportive route to no avail, I encouraged the parents to call the police to scare her. It actually worked and my cousin started getting help. She is still struggling at times BUT doing a lot better. If things don't get better you might consider calling child protective services to talk to your daughter. Fortunately you are there so they wouldn't take the baby from you but they will investigate and talk to your daughter and warn her of their right to remove her rights and turn over custody to you.

[deleted account]

GLORIA-THIS ONE IS A MUST READ! I really do not know the answer. But I would like to suggest and recommend my friend and Author, Tricia Goyer's book titled, "Life Interrupted". Tricia was once a teen mom herself and shares her story and insight in this book. Having a baby is a lot of responsibility and your daughter is still a kid herself. But how Awesome that she chose life for this baby. It was the best thing for her and this child. Your daughter must be going through a lot emotions that she may not even understand herself and most of her peer group can not relate to her situation. That is why I would also highly recommend you check into your area for a Teen MOPS group. It is a support group for Teen mom's, an evening to relax, enjoy, have fun, and fellowship with other teen mom's. Often times they will bring in speakers on topics relating to being a mom, caring for their child, etc. It could really be a wonderful piece/link for her to get further support in addition to what you are currently giving. I think she would find it rather enjoyable and feel not alone in her situation. Hope this helps. Many teens can become great moms, they just need a little guidance and direction. Keep loving her and the baby. Blessings to you!!

Sharon - posted on 09/15/2010

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May be getting a counselor specialized in teen mom would be a good idea. It must be tough for her being a mom so young. She may be going through some issues in her head, a counselor may be able to get her to talk it out.

Jackie - posted on 09/15/2010

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First I want to commend you for trying to help! The red flag for me is that you are afraid for the babies safety. It sounds to me like she may have very severe post pardum depression or even post pardum psychosis. I know it is hard to talk about but if this behavior is out of character for her I would talk to a doctor about it. I would not leave her alone with that baby as long as her behavior is troubling, infanticide is most often committed by young mothers when the father is not involved. Again, this is all hard to talk about but it is a very real danger. I have given you a lot to worry about. Talk to the doctor about post pardum depression and be careful. Keep loving that baby like you have been! She needs you.

Cynthia - posted on 09/15/2010

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I just have to say one thing because some of the comments from people saying to let the baby cry even when hungry made my heart go into my stomach. In no world or situation is it ever ok to allow a child to be neglected especially not to teach someone a lesson. You ( as in the posters who commented in this manner) are the type of people who will cut off your nose to spite your face. How could anyone listen to a baby cry and not take care of him or her (not IT as some other people have been so abrasively referring to this helpless baby) It would be shameful and very unhealthy to allow a child to cry and be put in such a stressful situation. It is true that babies put in stressful situations are more susceptible to SIDS. I would never ever allow any child to be treated this way, it is neglect when you let a baby go hungry. It is neglect when you let a baby cry and do nothing about it. Check your conscience people!

Tammy - posted on 09/15/2010

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Hi gloria,
My suggestion is to find an infant massage class, you can go to www.infantmassageusa.org and find an instructor in your area. If she knows other young mom's they could put a class together, it would allow bonding for mom & baby and mom to mom, giving her friends in the ssame situation! it is a very positive, wonderfully euphoric class and would encourage any mom or dad to take it. The thing young girl's or parents do not realize is the fact that they have to give unconditional love to the baby, the baby can't do that. This class also teaches positive responses. It could also be she is depressed and does not feel any one really understands... Maybe she really is not ready to be a mom and would consider adoption. It would be a difficult decision, but you really need to look at what is best for mom & baby. May God guide you in your decision and bring you peace with whatever decision needs to be made.
Tammy

Cynthia - posted on 09/15/2010

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Oh my! Is what first comes to mind when I first read your post. I am now 27 but I got pregnant at 15 with my first son. When he was born I immediately loved him and can even now I can close my eyes and remember the first time I saw him and hear what his first cry sounded like. I remember how he felt and smelled even. I had what most Moms have when meeting their baby for the first time as I am sure you had when you had your daughter. The road to that moment was tough though. My family was not supportive and I moved out of the house and in with my boyfriend (and 12 years later we are still together with 3 boys) my family did not come around until my son was born. Your daughter may not have her boyfriend but she is not alone she has you and all of your priceless support. I do wander though now that I am taken back to those days, when your daughter made the decision to keep her baby what did she base that decision on? Was it a nice happy family with boyfriend? Maybe she is angry and sad that he left and her fantasy left with him. Maybe she is venting that anger at the closest thing to him which is her daughter. It does not excuse what she is doing or change that it is wrong. You are an amazing grandma who is trying to please everyone and do what is right. But it sounds like your motherly instincts to protect and care for your daughter are being overridden by your instinct to protect this baby and it is confusing because of course you love your daughter and want to give her a chance to be a good Mom and of course you want to support and encourage her but in your heart of hearts where do you see this ending? How much damage will be done along the way? Who is going to get hurt? Maybe enough is enough maybe if she wants to be a Mom she has to prove it not when it is easy but when it is tough. She needs to own her decisions. She needs to know she has a choice and then make a decision and stick to it. I would help her with this by gathering evidence of who she has become. Seeing is believing. Get a nanny cam record her when she does not know you are doing it. Make a copy . Play it back for her. This will be eye opening she will either give up or change when faced with reality. A tape of her behavior and interaction with her daughter will give you evidence also if she should ever become angry with you and leave. You can show the tape to CPS and tell them you are concerned about the baby's safety with your daughter when she is unsupervised. This may go a long way into securing custody at some point and therefore protecting your granddaughter. I am sure this is not the type of person your daughter wants to be seen as but truth be told it is who she has become. This happened because of her choice to have a relationship that included intercourse and now she is living with the outcome. This does not have to be a bad situation but she is choosing through her actions and reactions to make it a bad situation for everyone. Make the tape then make copies show your daughter who she is when she is faced with the reality and daily life she has created ( meaning your strained relationship her struggle and failure to be a Mom, new future etc...) tell her enough is enough and you are not putting up with it any longer it is decision time shape up or ship out with out the baby. Also do your homework talk to a lawyer and get advice on how you would go about getting custody in the event that things come to a boiling point and your daughter decides to leave because she doesn't like what she hears. This is a very real possibility. Teenagers are spontaneous and react instantly without thinking. Maybe she will give you partial custody.I hope this works out in the best possible way but please have a plan B and work toward it.

Abigail - posted on 09/15/2010

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Being a teen mom myself I can kinda of understand her its tough giving up your life to become a mom. For me bonding was not a problem I bonded with my little girl since i first felt her move. Also breast feeding helped alot. I think you should try and get them to spend time together not alone of course but maybe with you in the next room. I mean if you fear for the child then don't put her in harms way. Also maybe once she starts to see that her daughter has to be a part of life now she will start to turn around even if it is slowly. Or it might turn out to be best that you become both grandmother and mother to that innocent little baby. Hope I helped good luck!

[deleted account]

have you talked to he rand just asked if she feels depressed in it is very common.due to her age the likeliness is much higher. keep in mind she is a teenager this is alot for her boyfriend bailed out friends dont come around as much she doesnt have much of a social life anymore she knows its gonna be hard now and even later well there goes college the thoughts of whos gonna want me now. of course you would hope that she would handle this like an adult but lets face it she is a child. also keep in mind im sure the other kids at school have made crude and nasty remarks. all of these leads to depression now add a baby and her disfigurement (she does feel it we all did).
talk to her stop yelling i know its hard trust me by the sounds of it i would want to slap your daughter up side the head but thats not gonna help at all more resentment for having this child is whats gonna happen you need to let her know your there but your not always going to be but this baby is. dont talk down to her be her friend give her an outing. hey as bad as it sounds she thinks of it as a chore what kids liked chores but throw some incentives all of a sudden they give a crap. ok but back to my first thought depression there is many levels after birth here look it up and print stuff out leave it in her room she will read it she may throw it out or get mad but she will read it it will make sense then in a few days just talk to her dont yell mom dont yell its not gonna make this any better here
Signs and symptoms of depression after childbirth vary depending on the type of depression.

Baby blues symptoms
Signs and symptoms of the baby blues — which last only a few days or weeks — may include:

* Mood swings
* Anxiety
* Sadness
* Irritability
* Crying
* Decreased concentration
* Trouble sleeping

Postpartum depression symptoms
Postpartum depression may appear to be the baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and longer lasting, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

* Loss of appetite
* Insomnia
* Intense irritability and anger
* Overwhelming fatigue
* Loss of interest in sex
* Lack of joy in life
* Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
* Severe mood swing
* Difficulty bonding with the baby
* Withdrawal from family and friends
* Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby

Untreated, postpartum depression may last for a year or more.

Postpartum psychosis
With postpartum psychosis — a rare condition that typically develops within the first two weeks after delivery — the signs and symptoms are even more severe. Signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis may include:

* Confusion and disorientation
* Hallucinations and delusions
* Paranoia
* Attempts to harm yourself or the baby

When to see a doctor
If you're feeling depressed after your baby's birth, you may be reluctant or embarrassed to admit it. But it's important to call your doctor if the signs and symptoms of depression:

* Don't fade after two weeks
* Are getting worse
* Make it hard for you to care for your baby
* Make it hard to complete everyday tasks
* Include thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

Getting early treatment for postpartum depression can speed your recovery.

If you suspect that you're developing postpartum psychosis, seek medical attention immediately. Don't wait and hope for improvement. Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviors.

Holly - posted on 09/15/2010

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There are a couple issues you have to look at here. I was at onepoint a teen mom,having my first child at barely 17, and have since counseled young mothers and have some nursing experience. First, I would ask myself, does it sound like severe postpartum depression? It can take its toll in MANY ways. I only had it with my 1st of our 4 kids (my husband adopted the son I had when i was 17,we have 3 together after my son and pregnant with our 4th) and it was pretty severe. only my mom and sister witnessed my severe sobbing episodes (not baby blues, SEVERE i cant function sobbing) a coupletimes, i did my best to hide them, and only a few years ago confessed to the thoughts i had when my son was born, which in turn made me feel worse and more depressed. I used to wish I'd get in a wreck and he would pass away and i'd be fine, stuff like that. Not that i wanted to think that way, it just popped in myhead and it depressed me more because i thought i was bad for it. it was my severe depression that did it. I was a single mom and 17. sure i had my mom, but many 17 year olds go right when you say left just because they can.
which brings me to another point: someone else said force her to get a job or something to such sort, while you can lay down the rules, because i believe there should most certainly should be some, expect that she is going to rebel. i did have a boy i was dating at the time and my mom said its not good for you to be toting your son back and forth all the time, stay here at night or move in with him. of course i moved in with him out of rebellion to my mom,and realized years later that was the wrong choice.
i think you need to evaluate and see if it is depression she is having, or if it may be somethign like laziness or whatnot as to why she is not caring for her son. have you done things for her in the past when she refused? if it worked then,why not now? I'mnot being accusatory,imjust opening doors and having you think about different areas i have seen some parents take for their children. The best thingmy mom did for me was to tell me that while i was at school she would care for my son, but when not at work or school, i was mom and it was all me. she didnt watch so i could go out with my friends,she didnt get up at night with him (except for the first couple weeks when i was having severe PPD), etc. She was instilling in me the important truths of being a parent, and while she loved to handle and do stuff for my son she made our roles clear. i was mom,she was grandma. thats they way it was.
my suggestion to you is that if you decide its NOT PPD, sit her down and tell her your two roles, and while youare happy to help sometimes, it is her daughter and her reesponsibility. you love her but this is a choice she made, not you. stand back, let the baby cry, obviously not four hours on end, but if your daughter expects that you are going to come to her rescue, she will outwait the time to make sure you get the baby. a few times of her realizing you arent coming she may start responding. let her get frustrated, let her knwo you are there to give her guidance when she asks. and make sure you stay close by since you feel she may harm the baby. she wont learn patience if she is not made to. dont let her go out whenever she wants (my mom never let me even before i got pregnant!), because you are not a free sitter. of course my mom watched him for special things like my prom, graduation. btu she made me be responsible. it was the best thing she could have done for me.
She is mostlikely shell shocked that parenting isnt the dream worldshe probably thought it'd be when she was pregnant. teenagers dont realize you dont get sleep, you get flabby, your boobs deflate, your homrones change, your life isnt your own anymore when they first get pregnant...
While i do think it wise and pertinent to lay down the rules, "these are the rules in my house, this is the way it is", it is NOt smart to do an ultimatum "you better do this, or im gonna do that" becasue almost always they will do that just to spite you.
These are just somethings i have encountered in my years of being there, and counseling girls. above all, love her1 lether know it. she is stilla baby girl and is going through a lot right now.let her knwo that you knwo that, but that you are there to help her though it, not out of it.

Erin - posted on 09/15/2010

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okay here is the deal. i am 32 and was 16 when i had my daughter. period end of story i love my daughter with all my heart. you can be young and still mature enough to take care of a child. you are either a mom or you are not. i happened to be a mom by nature. you can love your daughter but always remember to love that baby first and foremost because she is the one that is needing it the most. second of all you are not the mom she is .. and as bad as i hate to say this it has been 4mths going now and she is not gonna bond with that baby after that long of a time period of depending on mom. the only way she is gonna end up bonding with that child now is if the child is in some kind of danger. i hate to say that but it is true. you have taken that mommy role from her and now you want her to take it back. you cant look back now you can only move on. i am not saying this to be ugly i am only telling you this cause i was there. it sounds like you are now not only the grandma but the "momma" too. i am sorry i am the one to tell you this but i feel a need to reply as this seems to be something weighing heavily on you. and i want you to know that at the time it is now with this child you re the one it bonded to and the mom doesnt want to be bothered anymore. her feelings are hurt because alexis isnt bonding with her. in her eyes that is something that her child should have automatically done and she didnt. right now y ou main concern is to be the caregiver to both and maybe down the road she may see the ned to be the mom again.

Kathleen - posted on 09/15/2010

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I know this is hard cause I had the same situation with a much older child; but with your daughter being so young you'll have to have more patience's cause she doesn't have the motherly instincts... You need to sit down with your daughter and put your arm around her, and let her know that this baby didn't ask to be brought into this world, and so you care for her baby cause the baby doesn't deserves to not want for anything..... Tell your daughter you love her more than anything and you feel so bad that she has to go through this so young and that you want to give her all the support in the world; but when your daughter became so resentful of the babies attachment to you it was time to sit down and talk...Let her know that Babies naturally are attach to there momma's; but because of the circumstances the baby has grown attach to you cause you have become the babies sole care-giver.... also babies feels negative energy so the baby feels your daughters resentfulness and the baby cries.... Let her know that you don't want to take her baby away from her.... That you only care for the baby cause your daughter has grown dependent on you, and that you see your daughter so overwhelmed by this little baby that your just reaching out the best way you know how.... You also have yelled at her in the past cause you where trying to get her to become a mother to her baby; but you can see that your daughter is not ready to be a mom, and that you also don't want your daughter to live with any regrets, so you have become forceful to get her to act... Tell you daughter how can you both come up with a solution that suits you both, cause you don't want to have to result to those kinds of tact....now this is for you be careful not to get to attach to the baby cause if the daddy does come back into the picture and you daughter decides to make a life with him and takes the baby away there is nothing you can do about it.... When the baby gets taking out of your home it is so heart wrenching, it feels like your mourning a loss that's what happen to me.... I cried for weeks... I could even go into the store without crying through the isles.... I was told that I have to move on with my life to my best... which hurt me so much, cause it feels like no one understood what I was going through or felt.....

Ronel - posted on 09/15/2010

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It breaks my heart when I read stories like this. The baby didn't ask to be born. I am a mom, but also a professional in the field of infant massage. Try to find out if there is an infant massage instructor in your area, and encourage your daughter to attend a baby massage course. Otherwise, you can buy a book or look up some techniques on the internet. When a mother massages her baby, her levels of prolactin rise. This is a hormone which, amongst other things, increases the mother instinct. In other words, when your daughter massages her baby, it is inevitable that she will bond with her baby. I've seen numerous examples of mothers who didn't have a connection with their babies, and after a week or two of massage, their was an incredible difference. Hope you will be able to give this a go.

Erica - posted on 09/15/2010

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I was a teen mom @ 15 ... It's her responsibility Alexis has to grow up... Make her be a part of the Childs life ... Not to sound harsh when she crys make her get her ... Remind her it's her child she choose to have her ... Be honest with her why the baby wants you ... However If you truly feel she is not capable of emotionally connecting with the baby then you have to do what you do .. And not for a moment let alexis know why you made the decisions you were forced to make

Chelsey - posted on 09/15/2010

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Sounds to me like postpartum depression. A very serious case. Your daughter needs to be in regular therapy and on anti depressants. You need to make her get help before she turns 18. I would also try and give you leagal custody of the baby until she gets better. As it is right now she can take the baby, anywhere, and you have zero legal standing to stop her even if you feel she will hurt the baby. I think that your daughter is in very serious trouble. You really need to take control of the situation before she becomes a legal adult and things get much harder for you.

Linda - posted on 09/15/2010

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I worked many years as an outreach home visitor with young mothers who were assessed as at risk for child abuse and neglect. Most of these young girls were already getting so much negative input on their life situations that they would not listen to anyone who said "you are doing that wrong, do it this way instead". I found that what worked was finding positives to build on, even if it was the smallest little thing to give them positive input on, like saying, "oh look, the baby stopped crying when she heard your voice, she just knows her mommy's voice", or "look how cute baby looks in that outfit you put on her, you know just what to put on her to make her happy" or "see how good she drinks her bottle when you hold it like that for her, you do that so well". Sometimes you have to search for the smallest positive thing to say but the thing is that you can build on positives, whereas negatives are only destructive. As is mentioned also, your daughter may be suffering from post partum depression at the same time she is struggling with the massive hormone rushes typical for a girl her age. Your situation is obviously already overwhelmingly negative ... try to find any positives you can, whether it is in your interactions with her, or hooking her up with community resources or other parenting teens. Best of luck to you and blessings on all of you.

Kristal - posted on 09/15/2010

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im a teen mom. and it was a big change for me. my baby is 8 months now and i am still living with my parents, but its really hard for me to let them even babysit for me. i dont know your daughter, but that time you found her screaming at the baby could have just been a stressful day for her. but when she found she was pregnant how did she react? did you tell her you would help her because she wasn't sure she could do it? that might be part of it too. but in the case of you wanting her to be more of a mom then a teen, she kinda has to do it on her own. but just ask her why she decided to keep the baby rather than giving it up and dont have her answer it. just something to think about, it would give some good groundings i think.

Kris - posted on 09/15/2010

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Gloria,

Teens show depression in their own ways. Have you considered that she may have postpartum depression? The cycle of not bonding with the baby and having the baby bond with someone else (yourself) will just add to her feelings of inadequacy and ultimately, her depression. Perhaps the counselor was just not the right one for her. See if you can find someone who specializes in postpartum depression.

Wendy - posted on 09/15/2010

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Well said Wendi. I am experiencing the I am getting older and more in touch with my own world from my daughter too. Not sure she will mature that much but in the mean time I know our precious one will stay safe!!!

Janice - posted on 09/15/2010

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This is not easy to hear, but I would discuss adoption with your daughter. She's not ready to be a mom which is understandable at 17. There are agency's that can help you find a wonderful family for your grand baby....giving your daughter a chance to grow up, go to college and become a mother after she is a married adult and emotionally ready. Even more importantly, it will give this baby a chance to be in a home where they will be the center of their parents world....rather than the other way around. My best to you.

Veronica - posted on 09/15/2010

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When this post came up. I wasn't gonna read it at all. And now I have read it. I am going to post on it. i was 15 when I found out was pregnant and scared to death what was I gonna tell my parents, my family, my boyfriend,friends,his parents everyone.my mom was easy we cried and she started the planning staying wih her finishing shcool the normal life stuff fast forward 7 mts Ima new mom 16 yrs old more scared then I have ever been in all my life how was i gonna do this what was this goig to do to me what would my friends think it was still alot of about me my mom would step in and help alot and sometimes even take over it wasn't untill it clicked it wasnt just about me anymore things started to change that i really felt like a mom and she was my daughter the father was out of the piture about 3 weeks after she was born so there was some depresion involved im sure that helped matters and it didnt last very long but she is now a beatiful almost 16yr old and we have a great mother daughter relatioship and we talk about everything even those first few yrs when it was a rough start good luck with her but just like my mom did with me always remind her you are there you love her and that the baby is her daughter and loves her mama too

Laura - posted on 09/15/2010

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if it's PPD, then she needs to see her doctor for help. Heck, I was 27 when I had my daughter (and first child), and I got PPD. Didn't bond with her right away, so I got help and things improved drastically and very quickly once I started Zoloft. Add to your daughter's situation the fact that she's a teenager, and so not fully grown up yet (hormones are way different at that age than as an adult), and it's a dangerous mix. Hopefully a doctor can assess the situation better, and help her out, whether with therapy or antidepressants. Whatever is best for her. Good luck, you're doing great in a tough situation.

Wendi - posted on 09/15/2010

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Infants and teens both are very self-centered and the combination of the two is often an explosive one. I have worked professionally with teen moms and dads for the past 20 years, and I have had a "grandma" tell me her daughter could not decided whether she should changed her baby or do her hair. That teen, and your daughter are just not mature yet. Remember that the welfare of the baby is the principle concern, .(and it is obvious that you know this) . What about the parents of the baby's father? It may help just to have additional support. A note of hope... your daughter and your grandchild will not stay this young forever! My best advice is just to continue role modeling parenting skills to your daughter, and not take her attacks personally, as she is overwhelmed with all her many roles..reality can really hit hard, and she is fortunate to have such a supportive mom, not all my teen parents are as blessed.

Kassi - posted on 09/15/2010

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Well, being a 17 year old mom I might beable to help alittle. Although, I am VERY attached to my little girl, sometimes I want nothing todo with her. I get really frustrated and yell sometimes too. I know it's not her fault I just can't help but be mad...as for thinking that she hasn't bonded with the baby, maybe that's because she only wanted the baby thinking that maybe the father would come into play(?) I know that is one of the reasons that I kept my daughter. The bad thing about a 17 year old mom is once we have made up our minds you can't really do anything to change it. I would tell her that if she doesn't want to take care of her daughter that she shouldn't get upset about how the baby would prefur you over her and that if she want's her baby to see her rather then you then to start taking responsibility of HER actions(seeing as you had little or no say in the matter). I don't know how helpfull this will be seeing as not every teen girl is the same but I hope that this is atleast a little help.

Victoria - posted on 09/15/2010

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We are talking about the child's well being and the little girl's life. Just a reminder. My cousin became horrible to her child. I believe should might have hurt her or seiously neglected her.

Sarah - posted on 09/15/2010

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I would ask her if she remembers how she was raised as a little girl and if she would like to have been treated the same way. Does she even want to be a mother? Or is it just, I need to look good in front of my friends thing? If your daughter is laying your granddaughter down due to her not wanting to deal with the situation the baby is going to regret your daughter when she grows up. I would treat your daughter the same way your daughter is treating the baby. I wouldn't scream at her.

Kristin - posted on 09/15/2010

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Obviously the situation is less than ideal. Your dedication to your daughter and your granddaughter speaks to your character. If you have concerns for Alexis safety, I would encourage you to follow your gut feeling. Better safe than sorry.

There are many programs that may be helpful in fostering bonding between mother and baby however none will be effective unless it is what your daughter wants.

Be sure to encourage interaction as much as possible. Have your daughter attend all doctors appointments and if Alexis wakes in the middle of the night, wake your daughter to provide care. Many hospitals offer mommy and me classes for new parents including baby massage and age appropriate play. The physical bond between mommy and baby is important. Catholic Charities offers a wealth of services to people in need, regardless of denomination. Some areas actually have maternity home programs in which teenage mothers live in a house, supervised by mental health professions who work on parenting and independent living skills.

If all else fails, contact child protective services. The agency is designed to improve parenting skills and strengthen families while protecting children. Inquire about voluntary services (this should eliminate concerns about the baby being removed from your family). Generally, CPS can offer parenting classes, anger management and coping skill training, counseling services, & substance counseling, among other things.

There are so many resources out there so your don't have to go this alone. I wish you luck in your service to access them.

Wendy - posted on 09/15/2010

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I think there is a chance but seems like she is a teenager and the baby does not matter yet.
I have done the same thing and I now have my granddaughter Alexa all the time. I eventually found it easier to handle a baby and everything else that goes with it than dealing with lazy Mom and constant tension in our house. Baby is now 3 1/2 and knows both her Mom and Dad. loves to say goodbye to them. I hope for your sake that you are more successful than I was

Myona - posted on 09/15/2010

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i was a teenage mom at 15 i had a son 4 months before my 16th birthday...i could not be pulled away from him, i loved him so much!! i raised him until he was 5 years old then gave him to his father's family while i moved out of state to relocate..that was a mess, never got my son back, but my point is i loved my baby! school or no school, friends,,i was a teen mom.she is not interested in being a mom because it doesnt fit into her lifestyle and the father has skipped so she thinks she can skip out to. you cant make anyone bond with anyone. she isnt ready maybe in 5 years she will be maybe never.get cusody of your grandchild and raise her yourself, like your own child,if my 15 year old daughter did this to me, i would take the baby no questions asked and raise her. get full rights and give that baby a good, loving life!! she needs it!!

Elizabeth - posted on 09/15/2010

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1. Why did she choose to keep the baby?
2. Is she regretful about the father or the situation with the babies father?
3.Are there mothers groups she could get some support from others in a similar situation?
4. Can you take your daughter and bub out for a walk together, even if it's in complete silence.
5. Love is patient, love is kind. Persistence is the key! lol
I really wish I knew what to say, not that you'd be doing a bad job but she needs her mother, they both need their mother. And your daughter needs a kick in the backside. Or you to hit her where it hurts. Sorry.
If your daughter is acting like a child then I could argue to treat her like one, but where there is lack of conversation there is only confusion!
Maybe you could talk about a routine, where inbetween your daughters "life" she could agree to spend time with her baby, or put her in daycare a few days a week aslong as she pays for it. A baby is a huge responsibility. If she chose to keep the baby then she chooses to be responsible, to stop being selfish.

Kimberley - posted on 09/15/2010

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i was pregnet at 13..yes 13 i had my first child at 14 i didnt have the suport your givein.......

i speak form my own exp that its not as easy trying to juggle school friends or even a boyfriend havin to tell people that u have had a baby can do really bad things to your socal life......

u cant make her bond..... sorry to tell u...... she has to find her own way of copping b4 she settels im now 19yrs old my boy been 5 its still hard and sumtimes i dont fell like im coping... we all know it dont get easyer we just get better at what we do...
she may just fell like shes a didapoint ment.....

try talking to her as a mum not a teen......... get her to play with the baby b4 making her step up with the nappies ect.

Donna - posted on 09/15/2010

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First of all, you need to step off deeply into your daughter's butt! Babying her is not going to make her a responsible parent. Do not do anything for her baby; make her responsible. Let her know that if she doesn't step up , you will call CPS. This is not a game and your daughter doesn't realize that. She wanted to make grown-up decisions and have a baby at 17, she needs to become that grown-up and take care of her baby. Do not take over for her. You will be saddled with more kids than you can handle. I'm sure there will be moms on here that think I'm too hard, but like I said before...This is NOT a game. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Carolyn (Nana) - posted on 09/15/2010

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Your granddaughter definitely needs to be taken care of and your daughter does not look like the person to (at present) who is ready to take care of her daughter. It is very possible that sometime in the near future your daughter will awaken to the fact that she is the mother of this precious little girl. Your getting upset is only going to make you miserable. Seems like you are an at-home mother and have taken the responsibility (ability to respond) upon yourself to care and love your little granddaughter. May God be with you on this precious journey. Pray that your daughter will welcome her little one ande decide to be her mother. I hope these words are of assistance to you.

Victoria - posted on 09/15/2010

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I feel for you!!! My aunt went through the same thing with her daughter, my cousin. She had a baby on purpose and then treated that child horribly!!! My aunt went to court, got custody and adopted her. Now that baby is in her early 20's and graduated from college. My aunt saved her life. I honestly believe that. Having a baby makes you a mother, yes but it takes a lot more to be a good mother. Good luck. My heart goes out to you.

Trina - posted on 09/15/2010

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Gloria could you daughter have postpartum depression? Heck even depression.......Have you noticed any changes in her since or even before the baby was born? I am sure with her being a teenager her moods are all over the place making it difficult to gage however it could be a possibility.

Amber - posted on 09/15/2010

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Having a baby while independent and married is stressful enough. Having a baby while still in high school, unwed, and having your mother there to take care of the baby for you (which gives you no reason to act like an adult) must bring one to the breaking point. I feel for you but I really feel for you daughter.



Consider that your daughter may not be able to bond with her daughter. The detachment, the yelling....they are billboard sized signs that your daughter needs professional help .



Talk to your daughter and her school counselor about your concerns. Speak to her as you would a dear friend - with respect and love, no yelling. Your daughter can get help from your county mental health services agency, I am sure. She could/should see a therapist to help her deal with postpartum depression at the very least.



It may also be very helpful to have a nurse come see her and the baby periodically for check ups and to coach your daughter in parenting an infant and teach her how to bond with her baby. Much better to come from a professional rather than you if your relationship is already strained.



In California, there is a Women, Infant, Children (WIC) program that not only helps woman and children of low income eat healthy foods, but requires them to attend health and parenting classes. Going to these classes on her own with her baby can be a liberating and strengthening experience for your daughter.



Your daughter needs professional help. It is more important to make sure she get that help immediately than to continue doing it all yourself for another 4 months!

Molly - posted on 09/15/2010

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Perhaps a loving family would give this baby a chance for a healthy, happy life. No baby should be rejected and ignored by his or her mother. This is a sad story.

Jojo - posted on 09/15/2010

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I have a sister who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy at 18. He's 7 years old now. My sister has some bonding issues with his son as well and unfortunately, it didn't change after all these years. Sometimes, she hits the kid even when he's eating, so much so that my mom asked me to stay at home to watch out for him... My sister would go out and would return after days. She would use her son as an excuse to get what she wants, car, money. but none of which will benefit my nephew... as early as today, have her sign the rights to you. Rather than she would have any doubts wether or not to leave you the baby. I'm still waiting for my Mom to take my nephew with her abroad. Bless You.

Aiden - posted on 09/15/2010

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Hmmm You've got a lot of responses and I don't know that I have read them all so if what I say repeats or disputes what someone else said..I apologize.



However, not one of the posts I read talked anything about EDUCATION. Here's the thing...I'm 34 years old and the single mother of an 11 month old. I have my Master's Degree, been around the world and have TAUGHT other people...yet and still NOTHING prepared me for how STUPID I'd feel when that little one came into the world. I was rocked to my core by things like...no you can't use formula after a month even if it is in a canister and no you can't feed from the same bottle later even if the baby doesn't finish it all. I can't imagine what it must feel like for your daughter to be 17 and already knowing she "don't know that much" to have an all the time reminder (either the baby...or no offense ..you) of how stupid, young, uncaring or irresponsible she is. It must kill her.



Not to mention that even if it's NOT postpartum...the first year of readjusting hormones, social life, sense of self and physical health is unreal. Perhaps you moms with older kids forget what this first year is like but I can tell you, I don't have postpartum and I am deeply bonded to my son but even still I sometimes don't "like" him because I can't sleep, pee by myself or I dunno...get dressed with out something getting on my clothes 5 minutes later.

This isn't about her being a bad mom, a depressed teen or anything more than an unprepared mom...REGARDLESS of her age or marital status.



The way I survived is that I had the good sense to depend on other moms and child givers who supported and were patient with my totally inane questions and shocked responses to even the most basic of answers. It's obvious you are emotionally tied to her and perhaps you see what she's doing and you feel that you have to make a choice...her or the grandchild. I hate to be so forward but I don't think you or some of the other moms are being creative enough.



Perhaps you should enroll her in a PARENTING CLASS or get together with a group of other moms (much more I am sure there are other teenage moms in the area) and help her form a support group....how about you and your "Experienced" moms get together and make a "how to guide" with pictures or easy to digest descriptions? I am not saying you have to excuse her behavior...but I think maybe 17years is a long time and maybe you forgot what it was like.



I think you have a GREAT opportunity here and if you could just for once not focus on how she's bonding or not bonding with HER child and think about how YOU are bonding or not bonding with YOURS...things might turn out a lot better than nagging her, trying to get her counseling...filling her up with postpartum drugs, calling child services or any of the other blaming, negative and totally destructive strategies you've been offered.



As an expat Professor who has had the benefit of experiencing life and an approach to child rearing that is a bit different than most Americans, I'd be more than happy to share some ideas. I'm not saying that I am an expert but I just think that sometimes when we look at a situation only one way....we often use a hammer when all we really needed was hand. You can drop me a line at dindaejeon@gmail.com. Good Luck

Ashley - posted on 09/15/2010

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It may not be immaturity, but rather depression. How many mothers who are older suffer from depression and don't take care of their own babies? I would try to seek some professional counseling.



Also, I agree that at any age someone could choose to step up and become a mother. I would try to feel her out as to what she would like in a perfect world. If she had not become pregnant what would she be doing differently. I would show her that with lots of effort she could have some of that life and the wonderful joy of being a mother - though young. I am 30 and sometimes I am surprised at the total lack of privacy and freedom having children means (though I don't balk at my responsibility - I absolutely adore being a mother).



Just remember that no matter how old she is, she could take care of this baby if she chose to. She has not made up her mind to parent this baby - and it could be depression, or childishness - but as her mother you should really work with her to find out WHY she is so resistant. 17 year olds have been having babies and caring for them for millennium - her age is just not a good enough excuse for her behavior. My hear goes out to you, her and your new grandbaby. Only you and your daughter can find the best path to take - and I wish you luck finding that path. Adoption may be a wonderful blessing for your daughter and another family - and if you were to choose an open adoption the new parents may even consider allowing you to continue as grandma. Good luck.

Autumn - posted on 09/15/2010

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I think this is a great idea. making it a big family thing might help get her submerged in it a little better, until she feels confident and happy to do it on her own.

Charity - posted on 09/15/2010

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My mom went through the same thing with my sister. The nurses were afraid to send the baby home with her. But my mom promised them that no matter what, that little baby would be loved. And my mom raised her little girl for the first 3 years of her life. I believe you can't force someone to bond with their baby. It's sad. But the best thing you can do is love the baby with everything you have and take the roll of the mommy. And keep praying (if you pray). My niece is 10 years old and she is a happy little girl. Because her grandma taught her what love is and cherished her the way mom's should. My sister realized the hard way, that her little girl needed her. She is a good mom today. She has a loving husband and 2 kids. But it took a long time for her to "grow up." Things may not work out that way for everyone, but there is hope. And I believe as long as you set a good example for her and don't push her, she will "grow up" someday, too. I will keep you in my prayers. Remember, the baby will know and feel love whether it comes from you or your daughter. But the most important thing is the baby IS LOVED. Focus your attention on the baby.

Ays - posted on 09/15/2010

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I would have say get it together or sign your right over and get out. I understand she is your daughter but the baby comes first at this point. My mother had me at 16 and was doing the same thing so I grandmother gave her they same choice and week later I was with my grandmother and have been ever since, and I am so grateful. I am a single mother at age 21 with a 19 month old daughter I would love the chance to speak with her although I don't think she would be open to it.

Alison - posted on 09/15/2010

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Bond with your daughter. The best way she will learn to bond with her child is by you bonding with your own child (that is your daughter!). Put aside all your frustrations, pressures on your daughter, take a big deep breath and just love your daughter for who she is, where she is at, give her some unconditional love, time and space to grow and develop into the new motherhood role. I was 35 when I had my first child and had done amazing things with my life, I was mature, a professional etc and yet it wasnt until my first child was 6 years old that I was able to truly accept that I was a mother (it just hit me one day - WOW I am a MOTHER!) - some of us know that we need to care for the child (asper a comment below) but not all of us natural "mothers". She just needs love, hugs, caring, in a way she is still a child herself - and in a way her childhood is being stripped from her due to her situation. She still needs to be mothered at the same time she may (hopefully) learn how to mother (from your example). Good luck.

Melissa - posted on 09/15/2010

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I know that a lot of people have already posted replies to this....but I feel that I need to say something as well.

Some days when my (now 10months) daughter is grumpy or over-tired and screaming the house down, I too end up having a bit of a yell, it's frustrating, but I would NEVER lay a hand on her! I find that for myself there's nothing worse than an upset baby and me trying to calm her down to no avail. I was living with my parents when I had my baby, and when she got to 6 months, we moved out. I felt that my mum was trying to do the parenting and because I'd never done it before and she had, I figured that I must just be useless....which led to a nasty bout of depression and awful fights with my family. I think that if you want your own daughter to take responsibility then maybe you could all play on the floor, or try getting her to read the baby stories ..... start with fun things, even bath times - supervised! - and go from there, show her how great the fun times are! :) Sadly, the more you push her, the more she'll fight to get away, and none of us would like that to happen I'm sure.

I really hope that everything comes right, just have patience (which can be hard) and faith. We are all here for you ♥ ♥

Amanda - posted on 09/15/2010

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First off I want to say I'm sending my deepest sympathy to you. You, yourself, can not make her bond with your daughter. Either your daughter is going to bond with her daughter or she isn't. Here is what I think and I'm not a professional either. Your daughter is resenting the fact that she does not have the freedom of doing what she used to before she got pregnant. The father is not in the picture so if he isn't doing anything to show affection to the baby, then she doesn't have too either. She wants her life back to normal like it used to be. You can only do what is best for the baby and take care of her and give her the TLC that the baby needs. i send hugs and prayers to you and the baby. Your daughter either needs to figure out what she wants or you make her terminate her parental rights to the baby and you raise the baby yourself. Sorry to be harsh about this last part but sometimes you need to give her some tough love.

Autumn - posted on 09/15/2010

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This sounds a little like post partum depression. Hormones and the fact that she is a teenager are probably really screwing her up right now. If you can find a way to get her professional help, it might do the trick. Her life changed in a way she really wasn't anticipating, and I think she is feeling overwhelmed. Unfortunately, she is not like a puppy... you can't threaten to take the baby away if she doesn't help... unless you would not mind her giving her baby up for adoption. If you can't afford therapy, look around for programs, there is likely help for teenage mothers someplace nearby.. a social worker, etc.

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