to argue with MIL about breastfeeding?

(108 Posts)
avoidingarguments Thu 04-Apr-13 20:36:22

I have had two babies who I breastfed for 1 year each, I fed on demand. I am now pregnant with my 3rd. I mentioned to MIL I was dreading the initial 6 week period where the baby just wants to feed all the time, and she said my first two were very strange for wanting to do that, and this time hopefully I will have a normal baby who feeds every 4 hours. I should of just smiled and nodded, that is what I normally do in these situations, but I am 8 months pregnant and things like this get under my skin at the moment as I know what I am doing with my own children. My reply was that it is normal for breastfed babies to feed an awful lot in the first 6 weeks, and she said no it is not all other babies feed every 4 hours they should not be feeding all the time. I answered that the 4 hourly routine is outdated now and that the nhs say babies should be fed on demand. She got really angry and said the 4 hourly routine was invented because it worked and it worked for all her 5 children and she has bought up 5 children so she knows what she is doing and the nhs and midwives don't know anything. It actually got very heated and I know this time she will be round visiting telling my DH I am over feeding my children and babies only need 6 feeds a day (luckily my DH ignores her!). I know I am hormonal at the moment as I am 8 months gone but I wish I had just smiled and nodded at her and feel like I should not have caused an argument, I normally keep my views to myself but to be honest am sick of all her outdated advice. She will also be phoning me telling me to give the baby water or it will dehydrate I imagine as that is what she did with the last two, even phoning my DH at work on a very hot day before!! AIBU to have got involved in an argument, I should have just smiled and nodded and ignored shouldn't I?

I feel really bad tonight as I do not like arguments, and am now dreading all the comments at family events about my strange over feeding babies as all others in her family seem to do 4 hourly bottle feeds. She breastfed for a couple of weeks 4 hourly but said she was such a busy lady her milk was not good quality, I said that was because she fed 4 hourly and that just made the argument worse sad why oh why did I not just smile and nod sad

pictish Thu 04-Apr-13 20:38:34

Because she aggravated you with her disrespectful know-it-all attitude.

Don't worry about it too much. x

stuffthenonsense Thu 04-Apr-13 20:41:12

The woman is very old fashioned in her views, and you did nothing wrong in teaching her the current methods. People never like hearing that their way is/was wrong but you need to be able to do what you know is right for your own child, without interference. She needs to stop telling you how to look after your own children. I would get hold of some printed literature from as many sources as possible and leave it with her.....and not answer her phone calls.

HazelnutinCaramel Thu 04-Apr-13 20:41:18

Give yourself a break. You can't smile and nod all the time, even though you know you should! You're only human.

Just carry on as if nothing happened next time you see her.

SirBoobAlot Thu 04-Apr-13 20:41:22

Because she was wrong and provoked you.

Don't let it get you down, you're completely correct.

hwjm1945 Thu 04-Apr-13 20:42:20

I think that the push to encourage ebf is quite recent? Last 15/20 years,I know my mum who had us in the sixties thought bf was really weird.and that bottle feeding was better all round so got lots of perplexed looks and sighs from her as I established bf,ignore.she sounds mad

Smile and no, smile and nod and do what youthink is best for your babies.

She sounds a bit like my mum - whereby anything you do that is different from what she did with her babies is seen as an implied criticism of her prowess as a mother.

everlong Thu 04-Apr-13 20:43:43

She's a tit.

Have a bath and an early night and don't stress about it. You do what's right for your baby.

25 years ago my then sil did this with her pfb...it drove me mental. She timed the 4 hours down to the minute, the baby screamed the house down. I had ds1 at the time who was bf on demand and rarely cried.

Beatrixpotty Thu 04-Apr-13 20:47:24

YANBU.I am sitting here feeding my 3weeker for the millionth time today.The longest he has ever gone is 4.5 hours,he is fed on demand.Can be every hour,can be longer.She is out of touch.It's hard when you're pregnant and hormonal just to smile & nod sometimes.Hope she leaves you alone!

avoidingarguments Thu 04-Apr-13 20:48:48

I just feel really bad because I feel she took what I said as an insult to her parenting, which it wasn't, I was just trying to explain that my babies were normal for breastfed babies to want to feed a lot.

Thanks HazelnutinCarmael that is good advice I will just act as though it did not happen next time I see her. She always gives me stupid advice like to leave bottles in the cot so they can feed themselves so I won't get disturbed, that 3 month old babies need easter eggs or they will feel left out, that puress should have gravy in them to make them runny etc... She really stresses me out with her advice but I have always just smiled and nodded but just cannot do it anymore I think I have run out of patience!

I feel bad though because I guess she is just repeating advice from her time, she just cannot understand that things have changed, I don't know why as my own DM understands that what she did is outdated now and lets me just get on with it.

avoidingarguments Thu 04-Apr-13 20:52:32

everlong I think I will do that, have a nice bath and early night and try and forget about it.

I am glad I posted on here I feel a lot better reading the replies and that I am not being unreasonable, I just feel bad for arguing over our point of views, I usually just let her get on with what she has to say, smile and not and then ignore smile It is just getting harder to do though, but I don't want to argue with her every time I see her.

pamelat Thu 04-Apr-13 20:53:18

Honestly you sounded refined compared to me in my similar row with my MIL and own mum re this!

It's none of their business, and they are wrong, although I'm told by my SIL that advice has changed again? She says they advocate every 3 hours now rather than on demand?

Mine are 5 And 2 and I fed constantly/on demand!!

I think your DH should approach HER about her arguing with you about sensitive issues which are nothing to do with her at 8 months pregnant!!!

avoidingarguments Thu 04-Apr-13 20:58:23

pamelat I had a word with my DH tonight and told him that when she comes to visit if she starts complaining to him I am over feeding the baby to stick up for me lol. He said he would, it annoys him as she thinks her way is the only way.

Beveridge Thu 04-Apr-13 20:59:06

Pamelat-advice has categorically NOT changed , feed on cue as always! Ask your SIL what humans have done for thousands of years -sat in their caves and timed their feeds by their watches/clocks/phones?!

My MIL repeated the four hourly advice. Turns out she followed it when trying to BF her first and ended up with an abcess shock
But she still couldn't get her head around the idea that maybe that's why the 4hourly thing is bollocks. However we didn't argue as such - she told me what she knew, I told her what I knew, I did what worked and that was that.
She did take it as a slur on her parenting at first, but I shrugged my shoulders as decided it was more her issue than mine.

Maybe remind your MIL that when her MIL gave her advice I'm sure she didn't take to it kindly...

avoidingarguments Thu 04-Apr-13 21:00:40

Reading all the replies it seems this is quite common with the older generation then, I am glad I am not on my own! It is just so stressful having someone shove their views down my throat and tell me I am basically doing things wrong sad All I am doing is following the current advice. All her other DIL's follow what she calls the 'proper way'.

No pamelat that's not true. Feed on demand (FF or BF)

thompson369 Thu 04-Apr-13 21:01:19

My mum was also a fan of the four hourly feeding regime. I'm currently BFing DD3 and got loads of comments along the lines of "this is never ending" and "what, she wants feeding again?!". I just ignored her and got on with it - she doesn't go on about four hourly feeding or routines now as she realises she is wasting her breath!

pictish Thu 04-Apr-13 21:01:51

'The proper way'

Arrogant witch.

Coffeenowplease Thu 04-Apr-13 21:02:44

Dont see why you shouldnt have put her straight. Just laugh when she says she knows more than the entire NHS. Theres not much else you cant do with a statement like that really.

Just do what you think is best. If she starts telling you rubbish and saying its better tell her why if you feel like it or if not just say mm yes interesting then ignore.

TryDrawing Thu 04-Apr-13 21:03:29

I think everyone can be forgiven for the odd hormonal meltdown at 8 months pregnant. Part of me is therefore inclined to say you should take advantage of this and tell her to shut up unless she has something supportive to say.

But... She's your mil and you will have to put up with her a lot so smile and ignore probably really is the best thing, along with the odd "I'm very happy with the way I'm doing it, thanks".

After all, she isn't malicious, she means well, she's just factually wrong. It's like she's calling you Fred. It's not offensive, it's just not your name (I assume) and therefore wrong and a bit odd if she insists.

Maybe try lining up a few household chores and ask her to do one every time she starts giving you advice smile

Bunnylion Thu 04-Apr-13 21:03:55

Agreed with pamelat even if you were talking absolute rubbish (which you are not) she shouldn't be dictating to or arguing with a woman who is 8 months pregnant.

She doesn't sound like a woman who will ever realise that what worked for her may not work for you and your baby, so I'd avoid bringing it up with her again. No one will know when your baby needs to feed more than you do so keep confident in what you are doing.

YANBU, MILIBU.

MortifiedAdams Thu 04-Apr-13 21:05:04

My DM insists she fed my sister and I every three hours (bf) but she makes a whole load of nonsense up so i fear she is misremembering.

saycheeeeeese Thu 04-Apr-13 21:05:09

My mum breastfed every 4 hours for 20 mins exactly (10 on each side). Needless to say I ignored her advice to follow suit despite her having 4 kids who slept all night from 2weeks.

Gawd its a miracle I'm overweight and not a waif smile

Her other DILs probably just tell her what she wants to hear, just ignore and carry on.

sleepyhead Thu 04-Apr-13 21:06:14

The four hourly routine sabotaged breastfeeding for a generation of women. I'd bet that a good 80% of "milk too watery", "not enough" milk", "milk not nutritious enough", "baby not satisfied with milk" cases were solely down to 4 hourly feeds.

Formula milk back then wasn't whey based as it is now, but casein based which is harder to digest and lies in the stomach for longer, hence longer times between feeds. The advice now is to ff on demand and some ff babies demand more frequently than 4 hours too.

But you're right, it's pointless. If you can smile and nod then it saves a load of grief.

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