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Thread: Not sure if this is the right place to post

  1. #1
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    Default Not sure if this is the right place to post

    Sorry if this isn't the right place to post this.

    How do you deal with talking to people that are opposed to beast feeding? My MIL never even attempted to breastfeed and tends to bash anyone that does breastfeed and has a colicky baby. She says colick is because the baby is having trouble digesting and needs formula. And that her sister needed to supplement breast feeding with formula. I try to educate her and explain that breast feeding takes work and time and that it is a supply and demand system. And her response is that that is not true for everyone. Really? I'm pretty sure that if babies needed formula the human race would have died out long ago.

    Now, I do understand that there are some circumstances that mothers cannot nurse, and i thnk it is wonderful that there are good formulas available. I don't have anything against women who have to supplement or use formula. It just drives me crazy that she really seems to think that formula is better than breast milk and is necessary. She said I am the only person she knows that did not have to supplement and was able to exclusively breastfeed.

    Sorry, I guess that really turned out to be more of a rant/vent. But I would appreciate any tips you may have on dealing with ths. I try to avoid the conversation with her cause it just makes me mad and we generally have a good relationship. I don't want to mess that up, but I also wish she would take the time to listen and understand. Thanks!
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan



  2. #2

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    Jeeze, that's a tough situation. Honestly I wouldn't try arguing with her. Her mind is made up, nothing you say is going to change that. Just ignore her and give your family members who NEED it the best advice you can and nurse your baby for as long as you want to.
    Karen (28), DF (28), DD (3), DS (2 months)


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  3. #3
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    I am dealing with this with my MIL. She keeps giving me all the what ifs. I just give her the facts, and then tell her if we have issues we will approach them when they come up. I also reminded her that if for some odd reason I can not do it I will still have breast milk for my child by the way of donors. I was not nice to her and I am not nice to anyone else who doubts me and my parenting abilities. Though It also helps that DH is very supportive and has set her in her place a few times over the issue. I hope you can find something to help.

    Sammi(me)~DH(Troy)~DS(Kyle)~DD(Rebecca)My Blog

  4. #4
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    The only thing I can think of to say is that you are doing what you feel is best for your baby, the same way that other mothers are doing what they feel is best for their babies. No one is more right or more wrong, it's just different.
    I think I would not be very nice to my MIL if she spoke like that to me though.

  5. #5
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    Thank you! I really do try to avoid the topic all together. But my BIL and SIL just had their second baby together and MIL was telling me that he is a lot easier than their first and the first was super colicky because she was breastfeed and wasn't getting enough milk. And she thinks SIL was just too stubborn to not use formula and she blames her for how fussy the baby was. They live overseas and I don't know enough about their situation to really comment on SIL's decisions, but that was her third child and she is a teacher and a very smart woman. Although that was the first of her children that she breastfeed I highly doubt she would have starved her child. And apparently the hospital where she deliver the new baby suggested that she supplement (according to MIL, I don't know why). So MIL just thinks that proves her point more.
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan



  6. #6
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    Ugh that would infuriate me. I would start spouting facts at her since she seems to think she knows everything there is to know about BFing. I would continue to be confident in your ability to nurse and the fact that your baby is getting everything s/he needs. You are right and she is wrong!

    I don't have actual stats but I would guess that at least 75% of the people who say they HAD to supplement because of supply issues or the baby wouldn't tolerate their milk, [insert excuse here] did not really have to and if they had gotten more info or help from an LC they would have been just fine. I HATE when I hear people (mostly IRL) say they needed to supplement due to this random, silly excuses which justify their choice to use formula. It just annoys me to hear people justify excuses not to BF. If they don't want to that is fine - just say you didn't want to put in the effort it took to work out the problem, ykwim?

    I also found with my mom and MIL I got further when I said "my doctor said XYZ" instead of it coming from me - because of course I couldn't possibly know what I was talking about . So maybe start telling her all the ways your pedi says you are doing a great job and giving the baby exactly what it needs.

    Ugh I hate when family is unsupportive of BF! My #3 I didn't care anymore but I remember how tough it was with my 1st.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pangie View Post
    Sorry if this isn't the right place to post this.

    How do you deal with talking to people that are opposed to beast feeding? My MIL never even attempted to breastfeed and tends to bash anyone that does breastfeed and has a colicky baby. She says colick is because the baby is having trouble digesting and needs formula. And that her sister needed to supplement breast feeding with formula. I try to educate her and explain that breast feeding takes work and time and that it is a supply and demand system. And her response is that that is not true for everyone. Really? I'm pretty sure that if babies needed formula the human race would have died out long ago.

    Now, I do understand that there are some circumstances that mothers cannot nurse, and i thnk it is wonderful that there are good formulas available. I don't have anything against women who have to supplement or use formula. It just drives me crazy that she really seems to think that formula is better than breast milk and is necessary. She said I am the only person she knows that did not have to supplement and was able to exclusively breastfeed.

    Sorry, I guess that really turned out to be more of a rant/vent. But I would appreciate any tips you may have on dealing with ths. I try to avoid the conversation with her cause it just makes me mad and we generally have a good relationship. I don't want to mess that up, but I also wish she would take the time to listen and understand. Thanks!

    i'm way confrontational so take me with a grain of salt on this subject......how do i deal and respond: i'm giving birth to this baby which gives me the right to feed him/her as i see fit.....my way happens to be the recommended way for the entire world exclusively for the first 6 months. you don't like it.......don't look


  8. #8
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    Urgh! My folks are visiting right now and everyday right now they are making suggestions on why I should move to formula....she has teeth, she is fussy, she is a mamas girl, she would sleep better. Maybe some of these are true, or possible truths, but jeesh, this is my fourth kid. I got this! Lol! I typically just say I am not going to change and try really hard to ignore. I just hope my dH, who leaves these decisions up to me, won't get influenced in these talks.

    Jeanne, mom to Dev0n (6) Isabe11e (5) and C0rbin (3.5) Vio1et (almost 2)


  9. #9
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    Since I am adopting, I am planning on formula. BUT in your shoes what I would do is print off things from the world health organization and things from here http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/breastfeeding.html and highlight areas that support you. Hand her the stack of papers and say here read this and then we can talk.

    It is hard I think for older generations to understand. Even my own MIL found it "gross" that my bff was still nursing her 15 month old. I told her that is the thing that is recommended now. She was a mom in the 70's and like my mom, women just didn't do that as much at the time. By the time my mom had my sister in the 80's she tried nursing because she knew someone else that did.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  10. #10
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    Sounds like she has made her decision and is obviously not open to listening to other sides.

    I would make it clear that unless she wants to have an OPEN discussion about it, the topic is off limits.

    Just because some woman have to supplement (for whatever reasons) doesn't mean that formula is superior. I supplemented off and on with my son (crappy pump producer ) and still went on to BF for 19 months til he weaned himself.

    ETA: I am surprised at the negativit you ladies receive and I am sorry for that. I am quite literally the only person in my family to nurse and maybe its my 'you can go suck it' attitude, but they keep their negative comments amongst themselves (because I know they talked about me, no doubt) and wouldn't dare come at me with their ignorance.
    Last edited by Smplyme89; 06-13-2013 at 09:44 AM.

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  11. #11

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    yeah with the older generation I don't try to change or persuade them. I just talk mater of factually and basically say that this is a choice I am making for my baby its not up for debate. My grandmother on my fathers side is grossed out by breastfeeding. She never breastfed her babies. But for her it was a social status thing. She was not from a wealthy family and grew up in tenements of NY as immigrants from Italy. She only saw breastfeeding as a poor womans thing. So when she got married she wanted to "keep up with the jones" and bottle fed her babies because she didn't want to be seen as a poor woman who can't afford milk and bottles. This was the same generation that puts the babies to bed with bottles in their mouths. And she put food in her babies bottles by 3 months old. I know I know it's weird but I understand her mindset to an extent.

    My mom's side are the type that if you do bf great if not great. They don't have an opinion one way or the other. My mom feels a bit of sadness for her failed attempt at BF me more then a month or two. She admitted to me that she just didn't have the support from anyone or even from her pedi (who was telling he my colic was due to hunger). She wished she was able to BF me. I don't feel any different or not loved or anything.

    I was the first to BF for a year or longer. And I EBF my second (supplemented a bit with my first but still made it)..Most people were fine but my grandmother would comment. I didn't care one bit.

    Brenda

  12. #12

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    I'd tell her that unless she wants to actually read the research that supports exclusive breastfeeding that is backed by medical and health organizations worldwide, then you aren't going to discuss it with her. Breastfed babies often appear fussier or unsatisfied because they need to eat more often because breastmilk is more easily digested. Since a lot of moms are misinformed about this they think frequent need to nurse is the same as not getting enough to eat which is very untrue. This is why people doubt their supply and successfulness at breastfeeding and often give up. I'd just tell her she is obviously very uneducated about breastfeeding so she should probably not comment on something she doesn't know much about. My mom gave me horrible advice after I had my first baby which was directly responsible for my not breastfeeding her. I should have known better than to take feeding advice from someone who had never breastfed or even expressed interest in breastfeeding.
    Mary Jane, doula and mom of Vada, Brynna, Tea, Moira, Kyan, Ambria, Aslan, and Anakin.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

  13. #13
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    I had the same reactions to MY OWN mom and dad. Every time the baby would cry or not sleep, their answer was a little formula or food. I learned to stop complaining about a fussy baby to them (not bring up BF). Finally I had to tell my mom, I need you to support me in this. It is my decision to exclusively BF and I am sticking to it. Yes it is hard, but I want you to support me. If you can't do that, please refrain from telling me to buy formula.
    One hard conversation totally straightened her up. Now I can tell she is biting her lip and just not saying anything. I love her for that. We live thousands of miles from both me and DH family, so I only see them once or twice a year. On those occasions, I try my best to ignore or smile and nod. This is easy as I am not around a lot.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pants View Post
    yeah with the older generation I don't try to change or persuade them. I just talk mater of factually and basically say that this is a choice I am making for my baby its not up for debate. My grandmother on my fathers side is grossed out by breastfeeding. She never breastfed her babies. But for her it was a social status thing. She was not from a wealthy family and grew up in tenements of NY as immigrants from Italy. She only saw breastfeeding as a poor womans thing. So when she got married she wanted to "keep up with the jones" and bottle fed her babies because she didn't want to be seen as a poor woman who can't afford milk and bottles. This was the same generation that puts the babies to bed with bottles in their mouths. And she put food in her babies bottles by 3 months old. I know I know it's weird but I understand her mindset to an extent.
    This very true and it is hard, especially for people in older generations, to change a view point that they've known their whole lives. My mom's mom (who passed away some years ago) nursed 4/5 of her kids. My Uncle, her youngest, was born with a calcium deposit (a.k.a. 'tooth') and apparently it made her too scared to nurse him They were really, really poor.

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  15. #15
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    I had to learn to tune out comments like that. MIL would tell me how she was told at the hospital to supplement from day one when she had her first (her first baby was born in US), so she's been giving same advice to every pregnant/new mom. For the last 35 years. Because you know, Drs know everything, especially US doctors.

    It's really a US phenomenon, back home (Central Asia) formula is by prescription only, if a baby is FF'd people will assume the mother is sick or baby is allergic to mom's milk. I guess a lot has to do with length of maternity leave. Over there it's one year, not measly 6 weeks.

  16. #16
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    Thanks everyone. She is part of that generation that puts cereal in the bottle at 3 months because the only way a baby will sleep through the night is if they have a full belly. After I had my first we were at a St. Patrick's Day party and a friend of hers came over to me while I was feeding him and started telling me that she never nursed any of her kids because backthenno one did. But now she realizes how good it is and wishes she had tried it. MIL wasnt around to hear that unfortunately. I didn't realize at the time how nice it was to hear someone from that older generation make a comment like that, but I appreciate it now!
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan



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