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To say if you don't want to bf then fine but don't lie that you can't

(423 Posts)
Lily1986 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:21:42

A friend is ff her baby son. She tried to bf but gave up after a few days. Privately she told me that she didn't like having to bf and wanted her dh to share the load. To everyone else she is saying that she didn't produce enough milk and is seeking sympathy from others that her body wasn't able to provide for her baby. Really laying it on thick.

I really don't have a problem with how anyone chooses to feed their baby.

AIBU to feel angry at this friend trying to make people feel sorry for her?

claraschu Fri 23-Nov-12 10:25:52

It's annoying when people lie, and most people won't believe her anyway. I think almost everyone can breastfeed unless they have had surgery or are on certain medications.

LeBoob Fri 23-Nov-12 10:26:26

YANBU! I hate attention seekers!

ClippedPhoenix Fri 23-Nov-12 10:26:37

She doesn't want to open herself up to the criticism etc. that will probably follow which is rather sensible really.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 23-Nov-12 10:27:22

due to messages above I rest my case!

StrawberrytallCAKE Fri 23-Nov-12 10:27:56

Yabu, I doubt she is trying to make other people feel sorry for her probably just trying to avoid people questioning her choices.

It's nice that you don't have a problem with how people choose to feed their babies but a lot of people do and they judge and preach and she may feel guilty and not be able to cope with that right now.

Maybe try not to judge your friend but see it from her pov.

soverylucky Fri 23-Nov-12 10:28:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LalyRawr Fri 23-Nov-12 10:28:29

I think mums have this huge pressure to be the perfect mother and breast feeding is part of that.

Breast feeding makes me feel physically sick. Just seeing the word turns my stomach and makes my palms sweat, seeing a breast feeding mother makes me want to throw up. I have no idea why, but I cannot help it. Obviously I FF. but the criticism I got for it was unreal. One stupid old lady told me that I was condemning my child to a life of cancer (?!) for FF.

So while I don't think you are being unreasonable to be annoyed that she is lying and playing for sympathy, I can kind of half understand not wanting to put yourself forward for the ridiculous criticism some people feel the need to make.

But yeah, playing for sympathy is not cool.

FeckOffCup Fri 23-Nov-12 10:29:14

YAB a bit U, she has a brand new baby and is probably hormonal and sleep deprived and doesn't want to deal with judginess from people who think FFing is the devil's work. I would just let it go.

FreudianLisp Fri 23-Nov-12 10:31:24

Claraschu, I disagree (about almost everyone being able to breastfeed). And I'd be furious if some patronising person didn't believe me when I said that I'd tried as hard as humanly possible, but it didn't work.

Bluebell99 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:31:51

It really isn't anyone's business how she feeds her baby and she shouldn't need to justify it to anyone. Yabu to feel angry about it, what's it got to do with you?! Breastfeeding does invoke strong emotions. My friend didn't manage to feed her dd and still talks about and feels guilty 12 years later! I feed both my kids until they were 2 and really struggled for the first two months with ds, cracked nipples, and mastitis so I do appreciate how hard it can be.

dottyspotty2 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:32:21

No-ones business tried with eldest 2 DD1 I failed with and DS had to go on specialist feed that needed preparing in a pan so didn't even attempt with DD2 wasn't much support around for bf back then either.

ZZZenAgain Fri 23-Nov-12 10:34:07

maybe it was a combination of not producing enough milk and not wanting to bf.

MammaTJ Fri 23-Nov-12 10:35:26

I would tell her that she doesn't need to justify herself to judgy people!!

I could not breast feed my two youngest DC. Simply could not.

BumbleBee2011 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:35:55

YANBU, but only because hearing people like her talk is why a lot of my peers think BF is practically impossible, and you have to be some sort of freak to do it. Very sad state of affairs.

Sokmonsta Fri 23-Nov-12 10:36:44

Yabu. It's a damned if you do (public feeding), damned if you don't (not doing the best by your child) choice.

She has confided in you the real reason so be thankful you have her trust.

I bf dd for 4 weeks, ds for 6. The twins I expressed for 9 weeks. They are all fine but it's amazing the number of people who think they have a right to tell you how you should feed your baby. They surely wouldn't dream of telling an adult how they should or shouldn't eat.

Granted it possibly doesn't help those who genuinely struggle. But the flip side is maybe more support would also be more forthcoming to those who genuinely wanted to bf.

I genuinely wanted to but even with loads of help, neither myself nor baby got the hang of it. By the time the twins arrived I knew what would work. But grieved for the loss of an experience they should have had.

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 10:37:24

OP should back off and get a life. In what way are your friend's lies affecting you?

You "don't have problem" yet "feel angry"? Sort yourself out.

Beams. Motes.

CarpeJugulum Fri 23-Nov-12 10:38:26

It's no one's business really.

I tried with DS, but he had an undiagnosed tongue tie so couldn't latch properly, I was then in hospital after he was born with a suspected blood clot after the c-section. I expressed for as long as I could, but the hospital stay killed my milk production sad. I can still remember the HV telling me to keep trying when DS was screaming his head off and shedding weight. Switching to formula was the best thing for both of us.

My friend just had her second and decided to FF from the start (although she did give him the important stuff the name of which escapes me! at the start) so her DH could help; but didn't want to tell anyone as she was scared of being judged. I told her I couldn't care less and she was shock smile

Sometimes it's fear.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 10:39:40

Yabu, I doubt she is trying to make other people feel sorry for her probably just trying to avoid people questioning her choices

This ^^

Not everyone is confident enough to fend off all the judgey pants hoikers

Especially since she's not long given birth and is probably sleep deprived.

Perhaps after a few months she'll find the strength to tell everyone to fuck off and mind their own business.

cory Fri 23-Nov-12 10:39:42

It isn't a given that she actually knows herself which of these two is closest to the truth. I was very muddled trying to explain to people about dd's breastfeeding (I did bf but she failed to thrive) because I had no idea of what was going on. So I probably gave half a dozen different equally implausible explanations to different people. Doesn't mean I was consciously lying, just that I was muddled.

"didn't really want to" and "wanted dh to share load" might equally well be sour grapes. Or something that felt like the truth at one time, but not at another. You don't know. Why do you feel the need to judge?

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 10:39:54

It's none of your business.
And she's probably only saying it to avoid the judgement of people like you.
I breastfed for about 3 weeks, I also preferred my ex to get up at night and to hand over ds to others with his bottle.
BF for me was boring and a tie.

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 10:41:47

cory a lovely post. I'm pained that a world exists where anyone has to explain what they do with their breasts.

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 10:43:33


So lets see the friend is lying to avoid simply saying "I chose not to BF" should anyone actually ask and should she happen to feel she needs to answer (both of which are unlikely).

Worse the friend is perpetuating a damaging myth that people don't produce enough milk and undermining the confidence of the people she speaks to who may yet BF and have those anxious "are they getting enough" moments. It is rare for people to physically be incapable of making milk. It is incredibly rare for people who can physically produce milk to not produce enough for a baby, or twins or triplets etc. But it is incredibly common to worry that you are not producing enough. She is being very irresponsible to undermine other mothers that way.

But oh no! The majority on here think she is perfectly entitled to behave in this way because it is just sooooo terrible, that someone might hypothetically question her choice, that any defence no matter the consequences is perfectly justified.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 10:46:13

I think on an individual level your friend is just making a decision to offer up a story which means no debate or potential criticism. I can't blame anyone for wanting to do that.

However - on a wider level, the 'not enough milk' thing is bloody damaging and dangerous to mothers trying to bf. Let me clear, so I don't offend - yes, A FEW women will have trouble with under supply and need to supplement or switch to formula. Tubular breasts, severe anaemia etc - it can happen.

But for the majority of women thinking they don't have enough milk, it just isn't true. They are usually trying to feed in the 'wrong' way or with the wrong expectations - expecting a new born to go hours between feeds and then worrying they are too hungry when they want to feed again - expecting a bf baby not to feed little and often, but in big 'doses' like most ff babies are fed - all of the mistakes mothers make when they and people around them have limited knowledge and experience of bf-ing.

If you are a new mum bf-ing, and finding it tough, and most of the mums you know tried and gave up bf-ing, and most of them said it was 'not enough milk' - well, you know where that's going. Thus the myth carries on.

I do feel as well for those women who do genuinely not have enough milk. Women using it as a line aren't helping them.

btw, as someone who is pro bf and bf-ed herself, I think there are plenty of reasons why someone doesn't bf, social as well as emotional and physical - and that's fine. BF-ing is great but not when it makes a mother deeply unhappy, or is very hard under social circumstances she can't change.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 10:49:03

YANBU. I've experienced this too. People who genuinely want to BF but find it so difficult that it is affecting everything they do tend to react very differently to stopping Bfing than people who just say they can't when actually they don't want to admit they they don't want to.

If people don't want to BF, that's up to them, but don't lie about it and perpetuate the myth that is excruciatingly difficult to other mothers. If people are confident in their own choices then there is no need to lie about them.

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