friend's anti formula rants losing her friends

(74 Posts)
teachertrainer80 Sat 08-Dec-12 11:40:43

A close friend of mine had DD 9 months ago and breastfeeds her and intends to for 2 or 3 years as she did other child of 4 yrs. Since having DC she has become very pro breastfeeding and denigrates formula feeding mums, saying things in front of them such as FF babies have problems with infections, obesity, intelligence levels etc and posts facebook rants up about the evils of FF etc. It is losing her friends (a mutual friend deleted her from FB a few months ago and told her she wants nothing more to do with her- this friend FFs after a traumatic birth and several bouts of mastitis). My pro breastfeeding friend doesn't listen when you tell her all the reasons why people FF and thinks there is absolutely no excuse for not BF. My sister FFs after her DD was 6 weeks prem and she suffered terrible post natal depression and the guilt from not BF compounded this. I think my friends attitude stinks but hate confrontation so just nod politely. I BF my baby but it's just something I do, it was straightforward for me and I only plan on doing it for 9 months as I go back to work then. Friend has just sent me a long anti FF linking to research etc email as I mentioned combination feeding when DS is 5 months after Xmas and replecing BFs with FFs in run up to going back to work (full time, long commute) in April.

This friend has made breastfeeding her life and constantly posts on FB about it. It is getting on all of our nerves as for most of us it's just how we feed our babies not some massive philosophy. TBH, it is boring. Mums should not be made to feel guilty for FF. Friend is also cloth nappy user and makes me feel guilty for not using cloth nappies (have no intention to, live on 4th floor, 1 bed flat with no tumble dryer). She is also a SAHM and posts rants about not bringing up your own children etc. It's just driving a wedge between our friendship group as she is so militant. Her attitude is that the only way to mother is to BF/ co-sleep/ cloth nappy/ SAH/ Baby led weaning. It's tedious. She considers herself a feminist but feminism is about respecting other women's choices surely? I know these militant attitudes stem from insecurity but how do others deal with it?

Sorry for length of post. Advice please. Don't say ditch her as we have been friends since age of 5 and am friends with her family etc!! If it was someone I had just met through NCT etc I would just distance myself.

MavisG Sat 08-Dec-12 17:58:45

Jeez, scottishmummy - slingmeets do often just contain parents wanting to try out/learn how to tie slings you know!

I went to sling meets and bf groups for 18 months and yes there are some evangelical bores there but mostly I met some great friends. We did talk about lots of things, not just babies and mens arses

teachertrainer80 Sat 08-Dec-12 18:07:00

The thing is Ephiny she doesn't seem that bothered that people are falling out with her over it and turns it round to them 'attacking' her pro-BF stance. She doesn't see herself as the agitator at all so it's hard to know what to say.

You are right that it's pointless engaging with people who are so evangelical. I'm hoping that she'll just get over it but it's so hard being in the middle and I hate arguing with people who are so hardline and not open to other sides of the argument. It's tiring.

BikeRunSki Sat 08-Dec-12 18:21:16

OP, sounds like we might have a mutual friend, or at least v similar ones. I deleted her from my FB friends and don't see her that often (1

BikeRunSki Sat 08-Dec-12 18:26:35

OP, sounds like we might have a mutual friend, or at least v similar ones. I deleted her from my FB friends and don't see her that often (2 or 3 times a year). Daily anti-formula/ pro-extended bf FB updates were getting a bit annoying, particularly when she told ne it was OK for me going back to work and leaving my children, but she couldn't because she needed to bf her nearly-three yo. I have no opinion on how anyone feeds their DC or how long for, but don't make it about me!

teachertrainer80 Sat 08-Dec-12 18:28:46

Deckthe halls I was FF and have a first in history from an RG uni and an MA and am also rather slim of build. I hate the guilt inducing FF babies will be thick/overweight argument.

sittinginthesun Sat 08-Dec-12 18:37:10

I would just tell her straight. If she is truly a close friend, she will have to work at your friendship too.

DH had a friend like this. She went on and in when she saw me FF DS1, didn't ask why. I cried all the way home. I have absolutely no time for people like this.

She sounds awful to be honest. To go to these lengths with the FB updates and sending you research links, I think there must be something missing from her life if she can't just enjoy her own choices and feels the need to berate others.

That is not endearing behaviour. I couldn;t be arsed with it and would probably ditch her or at least see her a lot less often and say to her that I really don't want to talk about it as I couldn't give a frigg how anyone else chooses to feed their child.

Welovecouscous Sat 08-Dec-12 18:49:50

I am in a bf support group and we just support each other through the difficulties of Bf - nothing wrong with that. We have mums who mix feed there too and a very dim view would be taken by the leader of the group if anyone was critical of others' choices like that.

scottishmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 18:53:48

direct her to the lactavist type meets they love al that formula is poison stuff
if she wants to be a mummy goddess thats her choice
its your choice to ignore i know i would

ModreB Sat 08-Dec-12 18:59:26

DS2 was not able to be BF due to a medical condition that he had. I sucessfully BF DS1 and DS3.

He had to have precription formula as he also, due to the same medical condition, could not have off the shelf formula, otherwise he would have died.

What would this silly cow friend say to this? Is she really that militant? If so, drop her.

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Dec-12 19:00:06

FB is heaven for these types. It gives them a platform to air their views and enables them to say mean things to others without a risk of a smack in the mouth.

I have seen a few. They don't talk about anything else apart from tcc, being pregnant, the birth, breastfeeeding...and then it all starts all over again...for YEARS!

ugh.

I have five DCs and bf 4 of them. I post photos and talk about them etc. But some people just make it into their entire life.

Like they are the Only.Woman.To.Have.Given.Birth

EVER

teachertrainer80 Sat 08-Dec-12 19:07:25

couscous I think BF support groups are great and have friends who have been when they have had problems with latch etc.

Support is one thing but self righteous evangelism is quite another and asking for support is not the same as forcing your views on others. I never asked for advice re mix feeding. Just mentioned that I planned on doing it in the new year to help my transition back to work and got a load of unsolicited BF info/ 'advice'.

I really wish women could support each other's choices more instead of the endless BF vs FF/ Cloth nappy vs disposables/ BLW vs spoon feeding/ co-sleeping vs own room/ SAHM vs working mum. Horses for courses and all that. Motherhood is not a competition.

scottishmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 19:07:39

god yes fb and forums like mn give the bf zealots a place to preach from
shuffle the play list cause no one except like-minded mummy bores,actually cares
but for a vociferous minority its chance to drone on and try take assumed moral high ground

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 08-Dec-12 19:08:20

You wouldnt want her for a MIL by the sounds of it.

1944girl Sat 08-Dec-12 19:09:24

Tell your friend there is more to being a mother than BF/co-sleeping/cloth nappy wearing baby.
She has'nt a clue what is ahead of her.
I used cloth nappies because that was all that was available then.If disposables had been around then I certainly would have used them.I failed to breastfeed and am not ashamed of it.As for co-sleeping-it never entered my head.
Your friend is ignorant.

IceNoSlice Sat 08-Dec-12 19:10:36

Welovecouscous - I was about to post the same about my BF support group, run by an angel nana-type lady. Totally non-judgey, supportive and full of people who are looking to give/get peer to peer support.

As I said before, I think the OP's friend sounds awful but, BF support groups are not all full of zealots. In fact, it's one of the only places I do talk to people about BF as I wouldn't raise it at other baby groups in case I came across as a BF nazi.

Startail Sat 08-Dec-12 19:10:51

She sound's an utter pain and in need of telling to cool it, however she probably won't listen.

Our GF following mum only calmed down when she got a much more child friendly boss and calmed down about everything.

Motherhood can bring the worst out in people, time and subsequent less compliant DCs are are the only cure.

I'm very evangelical about extended BFing on here, but I wouldn't preach in real life to a Mum having difficulties BFing.

To a PG woman unwilling to try or someone saying BFing past age X is wrong I probably wouldn't mince my words, but to everyone regardless of their experiences, is crass.

scottishmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 19:14:43

you have no right to tell a pg woman who wont try bf what you think of that
the only permissible time is ok to raise is a hcp, gp advising it professionally
its galling you think its ok to not mince your words.how bumptious

stargirl1701 Sat 08-Dec-12 19:22:16

Fluffy gringrin

She doesn't sound very diplomatic does she confused

Maybe suggest she channel her energies into something positive, like writing to her MP, supporting one or more of the BF voluntary organisations etc.

BF groups are certainly not full of zealots hmm I've been to loads over the years and met all sorts of mothers (many mixed feeding) and no one has ever said that formula is poison.

wannaBe Sat 08-Dec-12 19:38:14

anyone who cares how someone else feeds their baby is a twat. It's that simple.

Breastmilk, formula, as long as the baby gets fed who gives a shit. There really isn't all that much difference in the western world, no, really there isn't, and normal people really don't care. And in two years time or however long before a baby stops drinking from a boob or a bottle it won't actually matter anyway. And the baby won't care.

As long as people are happy with their individual choices it's nobody's business, and anyone who has the time and inclination to get evangelical about it really ought to get out more.

Welovecouscous Sat 08-Dec-12 19:49:37

Scottish, you are criticising people for not mincing their words?

teachertrainer80 Sat 08-Dec-12 19:54:56

startail would you really have a go at a pg women re her feeding choices? really? if, as you say, someone questioned your choice to extended bf, fair enough, stick up for yourself but i don't get this need to preach.

scottishmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 19:58:37

ive never bragged i wouldn't mince words berating pg woman for not trying bf
hcp,gp can legitimately discuss feeding mode.but ultimately respect mum choice
me yakking on mn is incomparable to berating a pg woman about choice to not bf

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