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To be fed up of MIL's comments re dd having breast milk

(154 Posts)
SweetElizaRose Fri 15-Apr-16 16:40:01

Mil and I don't get on brilliantly and she has said some exceptionally hurtful and thoughtless things over the years. Currently she is driving me mad over feeding dd. I failed at breastfeeding dd as she was prem and I had a c section followed by a longish hospital stay so I've expressed for her from the start. She's now just over 16 weeks and still exclusively breast milk fed.
Mil is a big formula advocate. Apparently dd would be much happier on formula. She would sleep through the night. She wouldn't get wind. She wouldn't cry. Mil fed all her children formula as in her opinion breasts are just for decoration and keeping men happy (this is what she said). Fair enough , she's entitled to her opinion but she's really pissing me off.
She has said:
Dd is really windy, it must be your milk making her ill.
Dd should be sleeping through, your milk doesn't satisfy her.
Dd is getting big, am I sure I'm giving her enough milk.
Dd seems to struggle and cry a lot (mainly when it's not me holding her, she's clingy at the minute so when anyone else holds her she looks for me and will often cry) do I think it's my milk?
Her other grandchildren (except my ds) were formula fed and all were much happier and easy babies.
Dd's nappies smell bad (shocker there, although I don't think they smell as bad as formula nappies as it happens!) maybe it's something I'm eating and passing in the milk?
Dd seems hungry all the time, maybe formula would fill her up more?

Fwiw as I am exclusively expressing I know
exactly how much milk dd has and it's well within the normal range for her none adjusted age and weight.

Basically every time I see her MIL makes some comment that alludes to my milk not being good enough for dd.

It's so annoying, particularly as it's damn near killing me to express 7-8 times a day and it means I can't go out anywhere really and am up in the night more. I'm trying to do what I think is my best for dd.
AIBU to find this so bloody annoying?

Bejeena Fri 15-Apr-16 16:42:17

No and you need to get your husband to have a quiet word with his mother in my opinion, better than a big blow up.

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Apr-16 16:43:15

No of course YANBU.

"in her opinion breasts are just for decoration and keeping men happy"

She really actually said that? confused

HumphreyCobblers Fri 15-Apr-16 16:43:26

YANBU in the least. I would be very annoyed that your incredible achievement in expressing for as long as you have is being undermined and ignored.

Can you be plain with her and just say that you would appreciate no more negative comments about breastfeeding? Or is that not possible? Or could you try being overwhelmingly positive about breastfeeding, so that when she mentions a 'problem' say "Oh, it can't be that! All the studies show breast is best" <light laugh>

(I hate breast is best btw, I just think you could use it to good effect here).

JuneBuggy Fri 15-Apr-16 16:45:19

YANBU, she is. She should be respecting your choice to breastfeed (as she should if you'd chosen to bottle feed).

Do you feel able to ask her to back off, in a non-confrontational way? Something like "I appreciate your input MIL but we (your DP should be supporting you on this!) have chosen to feed DD just breastmilk as we feel this is the right decision and it's working for all of us".

Failing that, can your DP have a word with his 'D'M?

SweetElizaRose Fri 15-Apr-16 16:45:48

I've just said that in my opinion I'm doing the best I can for dd and every baby is different. That's about as polite as I can be. I have several less polite responses in my head but I'm trying to keep a lid on them. Dh thinks it's funny. He says his mother is 'a gem' who just says what she thinks. IMO
that just means she is rude.
Yes she said that about the breasts! Not exactly a feminist view is it?!

Timeforabiscuit Fri 15-Apr-16 16:45:56

If your 16 weeks, it's a perfect time to Lose Your Shit.

Or - it's funny youre complaining about it so much, You haven't seemed to mind it in your tea?

Or you can do the grown up thing, or get your DH to have a word , but that's boring.

Eminado Fri 15-Apr-16 16:47:12

Gosh tell your husband to tell her to BACK OFF with her unwanted and ill informed commentary, or else she might not see you or the baby again for a while.

This is NOT what you need.

Well done for doing such an incredible job so far flowers

Timeforabiscuit Fri 15-Apr-16 16:47:23

Congratulations for expressing for so long, that's a huge commitment.

ElspethFlashman Fri 15-Apr-16 16:47:37

I think it's only if nappies smell acidic I.e. very vinagery and burn your eyes that it means an intolerance but I could be wrong.

I'm more concerned about you tbh. Are you wearing yourself out with the expressing? Are you doing ok?

Chippednailvarnish Fri 15-Apr-16 16:47:46

She's his gem, so he can sort it.

JuneBuggy Fri 15-Apr-16 16:49:06

DH thinks it's funny - this is the problem, he really needs to be on your side here, have a word with him and tell him that he should be backing you up on this.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Fri 15-Apr-16 16:50:04

Well done expressing, I did it it's hard work!

Either get your dh to tell her that her comments are no longer welcome. Or you could.


Go down the more passive aggressive route. Oh Mil I know she would sleep better on formula but giving her a top notch immune system is much more important to me. Oh yes mil she is windy but I would happily deal with that to give her the anti-cancer properties that breastmilk is showing to contain. Etc etc


Just lose it and tell her to mind her own ducking business grin

ForTheSakeOfFuck Fri 15-Apr-16 16:50:37

You are a bloody hero. I bf (minimal expressing) and found that ridiculously hard work in the beginning. I also got snide comments from MIL that he was crying because he wasn't getting enough, that my milk was making him gassy/colicky etc. Nearly jabbed her eyes out with a soapy bottle cleaner one day. She finally shut up about that and moved onto other stuff but it was VERY wearing. Anyway, YANBU at all, and I have no good advice on how to handle it because in the end I just gritted my teeth. Wish I'd lost my rag and laid down the law in the first week, tbh. After that she just felt entitled to criticise everything else.

Gatehouse77 Fri 15-Apr-16 16:50:55


I'd be inclined to be a bit more forthright and say to your MIL that her comments need to be kept to herself because otherwise it's going to be a problem. And no more. Let her fill in the blanks and don't offer a solution. See if she comes up with one.

Gingermum Fri 15-Apr-16 16:50:55

SweetEliza I'm afraid the problem is your husband. If your MIL is making comments that distress you, and he will not back you up, then maybe it's time to pack your bags and go stay with your parents or a friend until he grows a pair of balls?

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Fri 15-Apr-16 16:50:59

Ridiculous. I ff my son and he did not sleep through at 16 weeks, suffered terrible wind, was constantly hungry and was a bit of a grouch until he learned to crawl. That's just how some babies are. And the crying when other people hold her - you're her mum. It's perfectly natural for her to want to be near you all the time.

If your MIL thinks breasts are for decoration then why aren't hers on the mantelpiece? grin

Totesgawjushun69 Fri 15-Apr-16 16:51:10

I couldn't give a fuck what anyone feeds their kid as long as they do actually feed them- I say this as someone who has successfully BF all of my children. I Would in this case the next time an anti BM comment is made I would calmly reply along he lines of.

'I appreciate you don't agree with/ like the idea of BF/ BM however you are wrong to think it is my milk that is causing XYZ as breast milk is proven to be the best possible food for babies. So unless you have an opinion or advice that is actually helpful please stop making negative comments regarding my choice to give DD BM, it isn't remotely helpful'. Then move the conversation on.

I would get your DP on board as well so he knows to back you up.

FWIW I don't view expressing as having failed to BF, nor do I think women should use the term failed if they can't BF.

Good luck!

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 15-Apr-16 16:51:38

Have you tried teaching your baby to breastfeed now that she's a bit older? One of my friends managed it with her baby who needed mouth surgery.

Chrisinthemorning Fri 15-Apr-16 16:51:52

I am very pro FF, but I think your MIL is being rude and unkind. It's your choice whether to bf or ff, babies thrive on both so which you choose isn't up to her.
I wondered if it was because she wants to be able to give some feeds but as you're expressing presumably she can?
It depends on your relationship whether you call her on it or just drink wine and rant to DH in private. I tend to go for the latter option if MIL annoys me! You won't be bf forever but she will find the next thing to be irritating about, try BLW maybe, MILs hate that wink

2ManySweets Fri 15-Apr-16 16:52:00

I recognise your username from the antenatal club forums and I remember you've had a rough, scary time of it.

Two things:
1. I'd like to give your MIL a big smack around her interfering chops on your behalf and tell her to naff off
2. Considering your challenges you're doing freaking amazing to be still feeding breastmilk. After all the shocks your body has been through to have a decent supply still is something worth celebrating 🎉

Tell your DH his Mama's comments are quite literally stressing you out and that you got this. Which is remarkable considering your traumas. So the MiL needs to learn to bite her tongue when she wants to offer up and opinion and just be there for the family unit in other ways (cooking cleaning etc).

I've followed your journey (I was a Jan/Feb 16 lurker) and IMHO
I think you're doing bloody marvellous

hippospot Fri 15-Apr-16 16:52:06

Expressing is bloody hard work so bravo on that front.

Your husband needs to be on your side, and tell his mother to back off. Your baby, your choice of how to feed her. She's rude and opinionated.

Gingermum Fri 15-Apr-16 16:52:40

PS: She's not being a 'gem' she's being a controlling biatch.

My mother was EXACTLY the same - I struggled with breastfeeding but persevered and she kept making comments about how 'hungry' my DS was. I think she saw my breastfeeding as somehow rejecting her in some way. Apparently Queen Victoria was VILE to her own daughters who breastfed!

Clarkgriswoldforever Fri 15-Apr-16 16:53:01

You didn't "fail" at breastfeeding. It just didn't happen for what seems like many reasons. Don't put yourself down.

Get Dh to talk to his mum. You should just completely ignore her when she says these things. Don't even acknowledge it. That'll get the point across.

flowers congratulations

2ManySweets Fri 15-Apr-16 16:54:03

BTW: your OP says "failed at breastfeeding".

Not a failure AT ALL!

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