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about SIL breastfeeding issue? Wedding related!

(1000 Posts)
SilverSalmon Tue 05-May-15 13:08:07

I'm getting married in 5 weeks and there'll be 6 children at the wedding - 2 small babies and 4 toddlers. Next to the room where we're getting married is another room they use for smaller ceremonies, I asked if they could leave the door open for this in case people need to take out crying/tantrumming children (including my own 4yo DS!). They've agreed and will put sofas and a toy box in the room.

We were at my OH's parents at the weekend and his DB and wife were there. They are bringing their 2 children, our niece (4 months) and nephew (3yo) to the wedding. I told her about the room and said that I can get them sat near it just in case they need to pop out and settle or feed them (she's breastfeeding both). She said that if they need to feed she can just pull her dress down as its low cut, but I said she'll probably be more comfortable in the room as the seats are squahsed close together and may incur a lot of faffing. I've said the same to my cousin who is bring her 2 month old, who is bottle fed (and told SIL-to-be this).

Can I state at this point I'm very pro-breastfeeding, i breastfed DS until he was 2 years old, often in public, and would never ever adopy a 'there's a time and a place' attitude - however having breastfed a child of varying ages I know what a faff it can be especially when they're across your lap when someone is right next to you, so I gave the room idea as I thought it would be more comfortable for them and the children.

This morning OH has received the following email from his DB (names changed obviously):

Hi DB
Laura (SIL-to-be) and I have been discussing the issue of breastfeeding at your wedding and the fact she's been asked to go into another room if she needs to feed during the ceremony. I have to say I'm disappointed in you both as I thought you were pro-breastfeeding. Laura feels very vicitimised by this and we suspect it's because other guests may feel uncomfortable. In which case that's their issue, if they are offended by breasts being used for their natural function then they are welcome to turn their heads. Or, if it's like SilverSalmon says, and it's just for our comfort, we believe it would be easier to just get the children latched on rather than make the fuss of getting up and leaving the room.

I think it may be a good time to also mention that, as you know, Laura tandem feeds and because DS is still feeding when she latches DD on he usually comes up asking for some too. Meaning that it's highly likely that she'll need to tandem feed at various points during the day. We're happy with this and she has chosen a tandem-feeding friendly dress for this reason. Laura is not prepared to be shoved into a side room like she's doing something sordid, she wants to be part of the day too. So wether it be during the ceremony, dinner, speeches etc, she will need to tandem feed and is not prepared to leave the room to do it. I have to put the comfort and needs of my wife and children first. If you're not happy with this arrangement I'm afraid we won't be able to come - I'm not having any of us penalised because of our feeding choices. None of us would enjoy a day where the children and Laura are constantly seperate from me and the feeding is non-negotiable. It's up to you 2 but can you let us know asap and then we do things like cancel the hotel room and return our outfits. I hope you understand our point of view, I don't want to fall out with you but I didn't think breastfeeding would be such an issue!"

So mumsnet AIBU to be upset about this? I genuinely thought I was being helpful when I offered a side room for the ceremony. Help!

Cheby Tue 05-May-15 13:12:30

YANBU to offer a side room. You would be unreasonable to force her to go in to it.

Simply email back, apologise for the confusion and say the side room is there for them to use if they choose to do so, but that of course she is welcome to feed her babies wherever she feels most comfortable.

Unless you were intending to force her into the side room?

stepmothersknockers Tue 05-May-15 13:13:06

Erm no, they are both bonkers. I am all for breastfeeding but a wedding isn't the time for them to get all breast-political. If she is pulling her dress down to tandem feed two then she will basically be sitting there topless with a skirt on - hardly discreet!!!

So, they are mad but I don't know what you can do really. If they don't understand that some people will be uncomfortable with her sitting fully naked from the waist up, it's tricky to ask them to be discreet.

I'm sorry they are using your wedding as a place to be all difficult about this. sad Nightmare!!!

Are they usually quite difficult? Would it be terrible to un-invite them?!

Cheby Tue 05-May-15 13:13:53

Oh, and YABU to copy and paste a private email in full and post it on here. That's not really on.

mynewpassion Tue 05-May-15 13:13:55

I hope Laura isn't your SIL's real name because this could out you and her.

just say up to her where she wants to breastfeed but if she wants to she can go to other room.

OopNorth Tue 05-May-15 13:14:20

Definitely what Cheby said

yellowdinosauragain Tue 05-May-15 13:15:13

If you genuinely have made the arrangements for their comfort then I honestly don't see what the issue is with them saying 'thanks but we'll be more comfortable to stay put and feed where we are'

CuriousOranj Tue 05-May-15 13:15:38

You were being helpful when you offered her a room to feed in. You were not being helpful when she declined and you told her she'd be more comfortable in there. I'm not surprised she feels like you are trying to exclude her.

Allstoppedup Tue 05-May-15 13:15:45

if you truly aren't bothered, just reply saying that you provided the room for ALL the children on the day for the comfort and entertainment of both them and mothers who may feel uncomfortable if their kids caused a fuss mid service (which is very thoughtful and totally reasonable of you). State that it's there as an option but your SIL is free to do as she likes regarding feeding.

Just stress that it was an area for mothers and children rather than for breastfeeding and was offered as a kindness. Explain as well that you are hurt by the email as you never intended it to be taken the way it has.

Sorry you are having this drama. I am still BFing my son at 17 months and wouldn't be put out at all by this.

SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo Tue 05-May-15 13:15:49

YANBU. You could never have anticipated such a crazy response from your OH's DB and SIL. How do you feel about her tandem feeding both children throughout the day? Is it likely to offend other guests? You need to consider them as well as these two!

wigglesrock Tue 05-May-15 13:15:56

Why didn't you just say ok, no bother when she told you she was happy enough to feed where she was sitting? You offered her the use of the room, she said she didn't need it, you then kept on? I think the email is a bit over the top but I can see why she might be a bit out out.

Cheby Tue 05-May-15 13:16:28

Why would she be naked from the waist down? They said she had chosen a tandem friendly dress. It could easily be a specialist feeding dress with slits or 2 layers so she can discretely pull one part down while keeping covered

I agree sitting naked from the waist up is probably a bit bonkers at a wedding but I don't think they are suggesting that?!

SilverSalmon Tue 05-May-15 13:16:30

Cheby - of course it's just there as a courtesy, I wouldn't shout from the 'altar' "oi you, tits away and in that room". I'm thinking she maybe thought I was saying she HAD to go in the room.

OH and DB aren't necessairly close, we don't see them a great deal as they live a couple of hours away. It's not a fraught relationship but not an excellent one either

wigglesrock Tue 05-May-15 13:17:03

- put out

thehumanjam Tue 05-May-15 13:17:13

I would just say that you suggested it for reasons of comfort and didn't mean to offend etc etc.

She will draw attention to herself if she tandem feeds topless but that's up to her. There is always that one person and she is obviously happy for it to be her.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 05-May-15 13:17:27

FFS - I'm totally pro-breastfeeding but Laura is feeding g the 3 year old as many times s day as the 4 month old?

There's a huge difference between feeding a 3 year old and a 4 month old.

I would have no issue with seeing domeone breastfeeding. I would have a huge issue with being kicked in the legs by a three year old's clodhoppers if I was sitting next to them.

I'd tell them to return the outfits. They are being totally unreasonable. A three year old does not need breast feeding in demand

2boys2girls Tue 05-May-15 13:18:20

I think yabu you've offered the room but they chose to decline and feed as and when so let be it , apologise to them that you've upset them and that they are free to bf where they choose

SilverSalmon Tue 05-May-15 13:18:25

mynewpassion - no not her real name

Cheby Tue 05-May-15 13:18:35

**sorry, naked from the waist up! Waist down would definitely be very unreasonable and nothing to do with breastfeeding!

lunalelle Tue 05-May-15 13:18:37

Well, as you said you were offering the room for their comfort (totally understandable) and are pro-feeding, then all you need to do is reply, say something like 'sorry if there was any misunderstanding' and assure them that your SIL can breastfeed as she chooses. It seems like it's just a case of crossed wires and is easily sorted out once it's made clear that you have no problem with this lady doing things the way she has found them to be easiest for her - every bf ing woman has her own preferences.

mamaslatts Tue 05-May-15 13:18:37

YANBU to provide a side room, SIL is not being unreasonable to bf 2 children in public, BUT I do think they are BU to send a long rambling email about themselves and their feeding choices and how everything is 'non-negotiable' as it makes them sound like self centred twats. Surely 2 lines saying 'Laura would rather not use the side room to bf either/both children - will that be a problem?' would have covered it?

Roseformeplease Tue 05-May-15 13:18:42

I too am very pro-breastfeeding.

But.....isn't her need to feed going to make HER feeding choices the centre of attention, rather than you and your new DH?

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Tue 05-May-15 13:18:54

Woah! Seems you have unintentionally opened up a hornets nest here. I think you just have to go back and say no offence intended, sorry for any misunderstanding, the room was solely trying to be helpful and you'd hoped the offer would have been received in that spirit

Then delete your thread because it's very identifying

StuntBottom Tue 05-May-15 13:19:12

Goodness, they are very defensive, aren't they!

I'd send back a quick email saying it was an offer, not an order, and they are welcome to breastfeed wherever they feel comfortable.

I think you have a good point, though. If both children decide to tandem feed during the ceremony, they are going to be very squashed if chairs are packed in close together. In their position, I'd have taken up the offer of the side room.

BlinkingHeck Tue 05-May-15 13:19:16

They seem like they are being deliberately awkard. I very briefly fed my two babies (really struggled with it) and I can't imagine wanting to get both my breasts out in a packed venue. I would have graciously accepted the room as a nice idea to get away from everyone else.

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