Advice on how to deal with 'negative comments'(5 Posts)
I am a new mum who has chosen to breast feed my 1st. It has been tough to get to this point (5 months) but feel like we have found our groove and I am loving our breast feeding journey. I have a lovely MIL who I really value however her recent comments have really been getting me down. She has twice watched my son for a few hours while I've had keep in touch days with work. Most recently because he has been teething and snacking on breast milk rather than taking full feedsI left some formula as a back up for the few hours I was away just incase. He won't take a bottle but will happily take expressed milk from a cup. When I got back from my meeting I asked how he was and if he needed milk. My MIL told me that he took 90mls and seemed happy and satisfied. She then followed with 'we will get you off the breast yet' and 'don't give him it (breast) if he doesn't need it'. At the time I didn't really have the confidence to say anything back but it has been bugging me ever since. I've also had comments like 'you didn't miss your mum' , I know she means that he has been contented with her but I can't help but feel a little hurt by such comments. I have never had words with my MIL in the 10 years I have been with my partner. She is great and I normally have a brilliant relationship with her. I have no idea if I'm just being a super sensitive first time mum or if I should say something to her. It's getting to the point where I dread spending time with her as I feel she will have another 'go' at my choice to breast feed. She formula fed both her kids and repeatedly tells me she doesn't understand breastfeeding and can't offer me any advice. She often asks how do I know my sons getting enough and also that maybe my breastfeeding has caused his excema because I have excema. Should I just bite my lip and let it wash over me, stop being so sensitive? Or how do I approach telling her her comments are upsetting me and undermining my choice to breastfeed? Help!!
I think you are being a little sensitive but you do have a right to be as it means a lot to you. I had the same (fed up to 18 months and got a few bad comments like, 'surely you are stopping soon, etc') but what I did was just shut them down right away and making it clear that I was breastfeeding until baby didn't want to anymore. Just a quick, 'I love breastfeeding, it's brilliant for him (what absolute bollocks about the eczema) and I will continue to do so for at least [insert time frame].
What I would also do is stop providing formula, give her expressed milk to give.
From your mother in laws point of you, she obviously doesn't understand breastfeeding very much and has been very excited for this little person to come along and perhaps feels like you breastfeeding is a barrier to how much time she can spend with him. She's probably thinking about sleep overs, etc, and feels like once you atop breastfeeding, she can look after him more and grow closer to him. She does need to realise that she has years to do this and that you won't still be breastfeeding when he's 10.
Until then, make your plans to breastfeed black and white to her, even if you have to say 'ah don't say that (about negative comment), that upsets me) and then move the conversation on.
You are doing a great job, by the way
I agree you're probably being a little over sensitive, but I also really struggled to establish breastfeeding and was extremely sensitive (still am!!) about it.
If it comes up again look a bit shocked and say "oh please don't say that, you know I love breastfeeding" and do a sad face. I find it helps to have a set line ready, I practice them in the mirror when I need them!!
I don't think you are being oversensitive. Her comments are annoying. How you react to them depends on your relationship with her, as you could reasonable either ignore and roll your eyes, or gently challenge comments like these.
I think you should feel very confident in what you are doing (which is great) and should tell her you hope and expect to breastfeed for a long time. I would try to keep it gentle and lighthearted, as you have a good relationship and she is being mildly annoying, not nasty and negative.
I just explained to my rellies that breastfeeding is completely different to bottle feeding , you do it totally on demand which means it's ok for them to come on and off as much or as little as they want and its fine if its just for comfort. There's no set feeding times or acceptable gaps between feeding. All cries will be firstly offered breast as a soloution.
Just say this is the preferred method of feeding and supported by the latest NHS guidelines and not only that, but you enjoy it.
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