To think people should stop telling me how to feed my baby!!

(140 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Tue 01-Apr-14 04:02:07

I have an 11 day old baby who is exclusively breast fed and I've just about had enough now of people offering their 'opinions' as to why I should start giving him bottles of formula.

I've had it off my mom, my MIL, the lady who lives next door and this evening my FIL also gave me a great uninformed speech as to all the benefits of giving a bottle and why I should consider it.

Nobody's reasons include any benefits for the baby but more about why I should do it for the benefit of either me, my DH or them!! I was actually a bit rude to my FIL tonight but he really pissed me off with his implications that I'm selfish for choosing to breast feed because how is my DH supposed to bond if he can't give bottles, and he also implied I was controlling because I was choosing to breast feed so nobody else could look after my baby!

Since when did it be ok to start criticising a mother's choice and why can't people just accept that I'm breast feeding because I want to - not because I'm being forced to against my will, and they should all just leave me to it!!

MammaTJ Tue 01-Apr-14 04:05:24

It is not ok to start criticising a mother's choice.

How does your DH feel about it? Is he supportive?

Writerwannabe83 Tue 01-Apr-14 04:11:14

My DH is 100% behind me breast feeding. I had an horrendous time in hospital trying to initiate and establish feeding and my DH was my absolute rock, without his support I know I would have given up. I've had many moments of being in absolute tears over feeding problems, blaming myself, feeling like crap etc and DH has always been the one to pick me back up.

I made it quite clear to FIL that I wasn't impressed with his comments and that I thought his beliefs/thoughts were pretty wank. I don't really care how I came across though, I think it was really rude of him to even open his mouth on the matter! It's like nobody wants to see a happy breast fed baby anymore!

redcaryellowcar Tue 01-Apr-14 04:15:00

well done to you and your dh, i think people are terribly rude when they question your feeding choices, sadly i think its generational and i live in hope that my babies when they are grown up won't have this from their in laws!

MammaTJ Tue 01-Apr-14 04:15:12

I think you need to enlist DH's support with his family then, get him to tell FIL to back off.

jellyandcake Tue 01-Apr-14 04:17:58

It really angered me when I had a new baby as well - some people seemed overly invested in the idea of me leaving the baby and 'having a break' and would not understand that in the early days I would have found being away from the baby stressful and not at all like a break.

It's highly insulting to imply the father can't bond without feeding, my ds never took a bottle and there was no detriment to the bond with dh who cuddled him, played with him, settled him, changed him etc.

I usually settled on saying that I wasn't prepared to spend money on formula when I could feed my baby for free and was on a tight budget due to maternity pay. No one could really argue with that. I also said I wasn't prepared to spend time washing and sterilizing bottles. There was no benefit to me in using formula and I made it clear that even if I did use it, I wouldn't be leaving the baby with anyone til I felt ready anyway.

Looking back, I was over sensitive. It's a vulnerable time and easy to feel attacked, criticized and defensive. People just like to offer their opinions and advice on babies and want to share what worked for them. They don't usually mean any harm. Just stick to your guns and do what you want, it's not up to anyone else.

HopelessDei Tue 01-Apr-14 05:33:44

Goodness OP. Please, ignore them all. Do not engage. Carry on, you're doing a great job. Bfing is hard enough without detractors in your ear. Just think about your baby - you are giving him a wonderful health boost. It's tough for a while but in a month or so you'll be so glad you persevered. Bfing makes life so much easier. Just grab your baby, your boobs and go!

I must live in a very different world to a lot of MNers as I've never had anything but support and encouragement from family and have fed on park benches, public transport and everywhere in between without so much as a glance from anyone.

As for bonding, I fed my son for a looooong time. I didn't express. He never had a bottle of anything. You never saw a boy so thoroughly bonded to his father.

People can be rude, uneducated, nosy, weird and, sometimes, jealous.

wigglylines Tue 01-Apr-14 05:42:51

We live in a culture which is very anti-breastfeeding. The UK has very low rates of breast feeding, and bottle feeding is the norm, despite thete being very well documented health benefits for both the baby and mother in breast feeding.

And this is how such a culture perpetuates: by well meaning family, friends and even health professionals playing their part in maintaining the status quo by trying to influence you to fit in with the norm in our society. It unnerves them that you're not bottle feeding as that's normal to them. But actually, you're doing brilliantly, and what is best for your child. It's a shame they can't see that, but pretty typical, sadly.

missknows Tue 01-Apr-14 05:49:16

I'm wondering where lots of you mums find these people. I'm breastfeeding my 10 week old and have had nothing but supportive comments and family telling me how proud they are. I feed in public and haven't had anyone bat an eyelid. If anyone had said anything to me like what you have op they would have been told what for and firmly be put in their place!

TwittyMcTwitterson Tue 01-Apr-14 05:56:43

I'm so happy your husband is being so supportive of you. That must mean a lot. I had both extremes. Some people congratulating me for my wise choice but mostly people saying I was making a rod for my own back, they can't see how I'd keep it up for long. Etc etc. I didn't realise it was anything to do with them.

I'm sure you'll receive an apology from FIL soon. grin

Chottie Tue 01-Apr-14 06:01:10

Well done to you and to your DP for being so supportive smile

I breastfed both my DCs and my DH has a really, really close relationship with both children.

It is your business how you decide to feed your baby - congratulations by the way on your new baby and on becoming a family smile

livingatheendofthewall Tue 01-Apr-14 06:04:14

Stick to your guns OP! You're doing a fab job

OwlinaTree Tue 01-Apr-14 06:17:22

First of all well done for sticking with the breast feeding! I'm on day 26 here so am in a very similar place. It's getting easier by the day, so hopefully it's all going to get easier for you too.

Ican totally understand your anger at FIL, his reasons for you to give a bottle were not well thought through. It's possible some of the other commenters were thinking of taking the pressure off you a bit, (I follow some other threads you are on), and were just suggesting a bottle so you would know you has optionsrather than them bang on and on about 'breast is best' when you are having difficulties.

I like breast feeding, and I'm not concerned about DH bonding, I can already see he is bonding with his son, I pass him over after feeds so he can have cuddles etc.

I have used jelly's line about it being free and not having to sterilise quite a bit actually, it's a good argument to use as it's less emotive or judgmental thanmany of the other (perfectly valid) breast feeding arguments, especially if you are talking to people who you know didn't/couldn't breast feed themselves.

Ignore, ignore, ignore, do the classic vague oh I'll remember that, then change the subject! Good luck.

BusyCee Tue 01-Apr-14 06:17:48

'Tis no-ones business but yours and your OHs how you feed your baby. If there was one right way to care for a baby and being up children we'd all be doing it, would have it down to a fine art and wouldn't need forums like MN to spit fury about people and their bloody opinions vent a bit.

Sounds like you and your OH have a great bond with each other and your baby. Congratulations! If they're all so concerned about bonding maybe the 3 of you can slope off together when feeding and have some quiet time together to roll your collective eyes

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Tue 01-Apr-14 06:22:23

Make me laugh that people are so determined sometimes, it's like they can't bare to think we are still basically an animal that can feed its young!

It's actually selfish for anyone else to try and change your mind as none of them seem to care what you your dh or your baby think.

Bet you fil is having cause your mil has been moaning to him. My mum fully supported me but I know that the first expressed bottle she gave my DD was one of the best moments of her life.

dammitsue Tue 01-Apr-14 06:50:00

Are these people trying to push bottles on you the ones who will wash, sterilise, make up at 1 am?? Or will they turn up after a good nights sleep expecting to be handed a made up bottle to give to baby?

Sparklysilversequins Tue 01-Apr-14 06:59:26

You may need to become quite rude and abrupt. I did and they didn't mention it a second time.

FIL: "when are you going to put that baby on normal milk Sparkly?"

Me: "She IS on normal milk FIL, human milk for human babies, cows milk for calves, do a bit of reading about the benefits of breastfeeding then maybe we will talk again, if I can be bothered"

Why do so many FIL get a bee in their bonnet about it?confused

pinkr Tue 01-Apr-14 07:01:04

I had this with my dad... It took til about six months for me to feel he'd accepted etc. He'll now sit in the same room and will stroke my babies head whilst feeding. I think a lot of his worry initially was about weight gain and if she was getting enough etc.
to his credit now at seven and a half months he hasn't yet asked when I'm giving up although I'm sure he now thinks she's getting too big for it! !
I think you just have to nod and do your own thing for your baby smile

Writerwannabe83 Tue 01-Apr-14 07:11:52

I agree with it being a very ant-breast feeding culture!! When I was struggling with the feeding in the hospital the Doctor's quick answer was, "Just give him formula after every attempted breast feed."

I'm pretty sure FIL thinks I'm a bit of a spoilt diva now but I'm seriously not arsed.

When the midwife came round to re-check his weight at 6 days of age (he'd lost just under 9% of his body weight in hospital due to me struggling) I was over the moon to learn he'd had a really good weight gain and it gave my confidence such a boost in terms of my feeding. When I told MIL about the weight gain she told me I should "Still give the odd bottle every day, just in case..."

In case of what???

Does formula milk have some kind of magical power that far surpasses breast milk?

Ironically my IL's, my mother and the commenting neighbour all chose to bottle feed. Maybe they do know something I don't.....

Waltonswatcher1 Tue 01-Apr-14 07:12:12

Your boobies are doing brilliantly ! Well done op .

17leftfeet Tue 01-Apr-14 07:26:54

I got this a lot as my older relatives had no experience of breast feeding -the had brought their children up on bottles as it was the done thing so they didn't understand cluster feeding etc -it obviously meant I didn't have enough milk!

You will get unsolicited advice on every aspect of patenting

Just smile and nod and then get on with doing what you and your OH want to do

nf1morethanjustlumpsandbumps Tue 01-Apr-14 07:34:56

After the second round of argument of MIL saying I was only breast feeding to spite her so she couldn't feed her DGS I told her to fuck off.

Delphiniumsblue Tue 01-Apr-14 07:41:12

Welcome to motherhood! This is only the start and they will move on to opinions on everything.
Start now and do not engage, do not let them have a way in to discuss.
Smile, nod,ignore. If you feel the need to say something stick with a bland 'really' and change the subject. If they come back to it say, in a rather bored, faintly surprised, tone, 'yes, you said so' and change the subject. Like a record.
There is no point in trying to convince, justify or change their minds so don't waste time on it. They get the message eventually.

jellyandcake Tue 01-Apr-14 07:44:23

Your MIL was probably told by health professionals that formula was best - there are people of that generation who firmly believe that and can't quite comprehend a fully breastfed baby thriving. They were probably subjected to a fair bit of propaganda and pressure themselves.

Also, my fervently pro-bfing mum did used to tell me that a bfing mother finds it easier to assert control over the baby and it's clear in some family dynamics it can become a power struggle.

People will get used to it and see your baby thriving. I'm sure you will still get asked (repeatedly) down the line how long you plan to feed for (anticipated answer - "not for another moment!). Especially as the pressure grows to let other family members have the baby on their own. But you will get used to being firm and doing it all at your own pace without letting it rile you too much.

SleepRefugee Tue 01-Apr-14 07:46:45

YANBU. At all.

However, you are only 11 days in. Prepare for it to get worse, especially around the 4 month mark and then again at 6 and 12 months (provided you'll still be BF then).

The unwanted "advice" will extend to all other areas of parenting. Develop a thick skin now! wink

Congratulations on your baby BTW.

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