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to be frustrated and upset with MIL

(67 Posts)
grumpyismymiddlename Sat 23-Jan-16 11:29:52

I've name changed for this because mil is generally lovely and I don't want to be outed but I just need a rant about this I feel really weird about it.

I'm pregnant with Dc2 and mil offered to buy us bottles and asked what ones would we like. I said avent natural. So then next time I'm down she said to me she had ordered a box but when they came they were pink so need to send them back (don't know sex) but showed me them.and asked if it was the right kind anyway. I said no that's just the normal avent ones it's the natural ones I'd prefer.

So yesterday I'm down and she said she had the new bottles in and went and got them. She produced the box and said it's the normal ones again but I mean they'll be fine a bottles a bottle and gave me them.

So I said well actually the reason I wanted the natural was because I'm planning on breastfeeding this time and the natural claim to be the best for expressed/mixed feeding bf babies.

The mention of breastfeeding provoked a bit of an unexpected reaction from mil I was really taken aback. She ranted on about how I'll have a screaming baby who will be starving and will lose weight and fail to thrive.

Thankfully sil was there and I think she could see I was getting upset and she intervened but that lead to her and mil having a bf/ff argument. I really just sat there thinking why the fuck did I even open my mouth I should've just taken the bottles and said thank you blushsad

Anyway AIBU in think a) if you ask someone what they want you get them it? I'm now left with a box of bottles I won't use and I feel bad because mil has spent money on them and I am greatful but I just won't use them I have bought the natural myself as really want to try to breastfeed.

And b) you don't tell someone how to feed their baby sad

AlwaysHopeful1 Sat 23-Jan-16 11:36:38

Yanbu you poor thing. Your mil was way out of order in telling you how to feed your baby. She has so crossed the line on that. Also she seems to have purposely kept buying the wrong bottles. It sounds like she's going to be a bit overbearing when the baby arrives. Best to keep her at arms length.
Can you just give her the money and not accept anything again? Or maybe try sell it, and then give her the money.

MushroomMama Sat 23-Jan-16 11:38:02

It's a nightmare my mil constantly buys the dcs the wrong size clothes so I have to eBay the lot and rebuy them!

The feeding debate is such a touchy issue I think you just have to say whilst I respect your opinion I want to do it this way and then move the subject on fast

aprilanne Sat 23-Jan-16 11:38:53

sorry mil being a pain .yes why ask someone what they like then buy something different but my mil was the same she just bought me what she liked not what we wanted. its her problem she wasted money not yours .yes breast feeding will be lot harder baby feeds a lot more than say every four hourly but it will not starve.i would try not too upset yourself and just ignore advice you dont want .

RochelleGoyle Sat 23-Jan-16 11:42:53


maybebabybee Sat 23-Jan-16 11:44:53

Your MIL is talking utter rubbish OP. flowers for you.

I'm amazed people still have this attitude to breastfeeding to be honest. Most people I know have done it for a good few months at least without anyone having a go at them for it. My mum breastfed all four of us for between a year and two years.

Do what is right for you and your baby and sod what everyone else thinks.

rageagainsttheBIL Sat 23-Jan-16 11:46:01

Back in the day, new mums who were BFing were told to feed every 4 hours, not on demand like we do today, so a BF baby probably did scream a lot and not thrive brilliantly on that sort of schedule. There was also a lot more misinformation about BM and how you could have "bad milk" etc

I guess try not to take it personally, but bear in mind she may continue to have an issue with it. You either need to deal with it before baby's arrival (any discussion around feeding strictly off limits) or brief your DH to nip any conversations she starts in the bud.

Start by printing off all the supporting literature you can find from your midwife etc so you can just hand her that if you can't face a "chat"!

IJustLostTheGame Sat 23-Jan-16 11:48:21


Breast feeding isn't harder.
You won't have to faff about getting the temperature right, sterilising bottles, carrying all that stuff around with you.

And the sleeping thing is largely a myth. To begin with babies do tend to sleep longer on formula. But that's only at the very beginning.
It also means you get to sofa surf in front of the telly a lot.

It can be difficult to establish, but not necessarily. It wasn't one of those plain sailing things for me. But it didn't take long to get it.
I think after a couple of weeks I'd just about got it sorted. And I didn't have a lot of support.

80sMum Sat 23-Jan-16 11:53:13

"Back in the day, new mums who were BFing were told to feed every 4 hours, not on demand like we do today"

Not in my day they weren't rage! I BF both my children and the advice was always to demand feed, otherwise the milk supply wouldn't keep up with the baby's needs. That was 36 years ago!

grumpyismymiddlename Sat 23-Jan-16 11:54:23

That's my worry rage that I feel awkward and weird bf in front of her and I'd rather not be feeling like she's judging me when I'm trying to establish bf . I've never done it before and I'm nervous about it.

Plus if I do top up with formula or give baby expressed milk in front of her she will notice it's not her bottles I'm using and comment. I did tell DH what happened but I didn't tell him it had upset me like it did. I'll need to speak to him about it I think.

maybebabybee Sat 23-Jan-16 11:56:23

Feel free to keep her away for the first couple of weeks while you establish bf OP. If she won't be supportive you'd be well within your rights to do that.

PurpleCrazyHorse Sat 23-Jan-16 11:57:22

Firstly, congratulations!

On a practical note, I'd see if you can return the bottles somewhere and swap for something else, that way the money isn't 'wasted'. Or can you use the bottles in the set your MIL bought you and just put the Natural teats on (sorry not familiar with these bottles)? Just thinking how you could either use them or get something else more useful.

I wonder if your MIL had trouble breastfeeding and is projecting onto you? My MIL did similar and it turns out she was given fairly poor (but standard at that time) BFing advice and consequently didn't manage to BF her own children. It helped to know she wasn't being harsh on purpose. I educated myself on BFing and therefore knew I was doing okay even if MIL commented, so it didn't knock my confidence. I think MIL realised after a while that I'd simply smile, nod and do my own thing anyway grin, she hasn't commented with DS.

Nodding and smiling, possible with an 'I'll bear that in mind' type comment was enough to move the conversation on to something different.

SIL and MIL having a bit of a barney over BFing has nothing to do with you so I wouldn't worry about it.

Casmama Sat 23-Jan-16 11:59:53

I think I would call her and say you were really upset by her today and will NEVER again discuss with her how you feed your child. Or better still get your dh to call her.

GruntledOne Sat 23-Jan-16 12:00:27

I agree with 80sMum, people were firmly advised to breastfeed in demand from at least the early 80s - so unless OP's MiL is in her 70s she's unlikely to assume 4 hourly feeding. I suspect her attitude may in part be due to a concern that she'll be pushed out if she can't help with feeding.

OP, is it worth contacting Avent to see if they'll do an exchange?

rageagainsttheBIL Sat 23-Jan-16 12:00:36

That's good 80s Mum - clearly things became more enlightened by tgen. my Mum was told to stick to a schedule but she had her first child a good few years before you.

rageagainsttheBIL Sat 23-Jan-16 12:05:50

grumpy no wonder you feel nervous about feeding with your MIL making comments! Sounds like SIL will be supportive though and I'd also suggest finding out about your local BFing group before baby arrives. Surrounding yourself with positive supportive people can really help.

TheTigerIsOut Sat 23-Jan-16 12:06:51

I know it is a sensitive thing, but your MIL may be from the generation when they sold them formulas as the most reliable source of adequate nutrition enginered for a baby.

If it helps, my MIL and mother thought that my insistence to breastfeed was plainly stupid. But considering formula marketing campaigns at the time that I was born, I'm not surprised.

Chottie Sat 23-Jan-16 12:08:17

"Back in the day, new mums who were BFing were told to feed every 4 hours, not on demand like we do today"

Not in my day they weren't rage! I BF both my children and the advice was always to demand feed, otherwise the milk supply wouldn't keep up with the baby's needs. That was 36 years ago!

Totally agree with 80s mum I was BFing DD in the 70s and it was on demand feeding then too.

HumptyDumptyHadaHardTime Sat 23-Jan-16 12:10:46

Back in the day, new mums who were BFing were told to feed every 4 hours, not on demand like we do today

Rubbish. My mum wasn't told that and me and my siblings range from 38 - 45

Inertia Sat 23-Jan-16 12:16:22

Sounds like feeding might be the issue where your Mil tries to take control. Just do what is best for you and the baby. It doesn't matter if your Mil is upset, it matters that your baby is appropriately fed.

Chottie Sat 23-Jan-16 12:16:25

Humpty perhaps different advice was given in different areas?

But, to get back to OP smile

Regarding the bottles, I would see if I could return, exchange or get a credit note for them.

Regarding MiL - this has obviously touched a raw nerve with her, don't let her cloud your sunshine smile congratulations on your new baby to be smile

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 23-Jan-16 12:18:59

I am 36. When I was born "demand breastfeeding" was all the rage. My parents got a "how to be a parent" book that told them exactly how to parent. My mum breastfed on demand. Which was pretty much constantly. Apparently I liked to use her as a dummy. grin (My son is just the same on me.)

My brother is 2 years younger. By then it wasn't "on demand". It had changed to "every 3 - 4 hours".

They got another book telling them exactly what to do.

My dad went through and highlighted all the bits that were different to with me. There was a lot of highlighting. grin

Blu Sat 23-Jan-16 12:20:53

She sounds difficult and argumentative, if she also picked up the discussion with SIL when she intervened. That, or else the subject of b/f touches a raw nerve for her in some way.

She seems to be determinedly pro active in providing bottles etc.

Forget about the bottles . It takes a while to get into the bf routine and you will not establish supply if you mix feed or bottle feed too early. You may never need bottles for months . We didn't buy any til DS was 4 months old. That is what I mean by her being pro active in a seemingly manipulative way.

blankmind Sat 23-Jan-16 12:24:23

I don't think you're going back far enough with your 'back in the day' smile

Lying on your back during birth and feeding babies every 4 hours was introduced in the fifties, when everything changed from home births to hospitals and 'doctor knows best' advice was given to women who were too intimidated to question that.

Post-birth, babies were kept in the hospital nurseries and only brought to the mothers every 4 hours to feed.

And no, I'm not old enough to remember, anyone have relatives in their eighties or older who could give you a first-hand experience?

LittleCandle Sat 23-Jan-16 12:30:32

My MIL, who was as mad as a box of frogs on a good day, told me breastfeeding 'wasn't natural'. She never understood why I did it. It certainly wasn't because she wanted to help with feeding - she wouldn't even hold either DC as a baby because she had a funny arm.

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