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In laws doctors and give unsolicited advice

(31 Posts)
bowbohm Mon 02-May-16 16:52:31

Another story of inlaws I'm afraid. My lb is nearly 4 months old and my family lives in another country so the only family I have is husbands. His parents are really lovely and have been so generous and kind. His mum has even been a second mum with mine so far away until our son was born and now I feel invisible so much so that at the last family gathering I was ignored even when I asked for my son back to feed him when he was crying.

My MIL especially advises on everything on how best to take care of our son. Since lb was a few weeks old she has been hinting about introducing formula as I "won't be able to keep up with his demand soon". She hints at this to my husband every time she sees him (always within earshot of me) and asks about his weight. I have been ignoring it up until now except yesterday she mentioned it again directly to me. I said that he was fine and that I had read up on it and I shouldn't need to even tried to talk about a study where ebf mothers don't necessarily produce more milk and their los still gain weight healthily. She said something along the lines of 'did I want him to stop gaining weight'. I just stopped the conversation and mentioned it to my husband who said that she just wants to babysit to give us a break.

How do I deal with over ruling their advice especially when they are doctors?

monkeysox Mon 02-May-16 16:54:15

Unless your baby is not gaining weight. Ignore ignore flowers

sooperdooper Mon 02-May-16 16:57:03

Your DH needs to back you up - can he just tell her to stop bringing it up all the time? It sounds horribly tedious sad

WorraLiberty Mon 02-May-16 16:59:03

What they do for a living doesn't come into it really.

Just keep repeating that you and your baby are fine and you're happy with your choice.

They'll get the message eventually, especially if your DH supports you and repeats it also.

IcingandSlicing Mon 02-May-16 17:03:32

4 months old is not that young so you can worry about not feeding enough which is the most common reason to give formula instead of bf. At 4 months some doctors advised before to start solids, nowadays they advise to wait until 6 months. But I am sure you know this if you read.
Maybe try to gently show your inlaws that you are in control of the situation and taking the decisions baout how to bring up your child and they don't need to worry about it instead of you.
Gently show where your limits are.
I hope they are intelligent enough to understand it.

PNGirl Mon 02-May-16 17:04:29

Ah. I don't think it's anything to do with their profession either; they want to have the baby for longer periods without you there.
Just smile and say you're happy as you are.

VioletVaccine Mon 02-May-16 17:05:57

Get DH to pull her up, he has to show his mother that you have his support first and foremost, and you need to present a united front.
This is a blatant attempt to play helicopter grandma, and monopolise the attention given to your little boy, which she simply can't do if he's breastfed.

On top of that, it's highly bloody unethical, for a Doctor to give advice which contradicts the guidelines she has to adhere to, purely for personal gain? angry

IcingandSlicing Mon 02-May-16 17:06:33

Also maybe she feel uncomfortable about bf so tries to push you into formula, but how you decide to feed your own child is a decision that only tou can take it's your right.
Your MIL has taken that decision for her own children, now she has to let you take it for yours.

VioletVaccine Mon 02-May-16 17:08:25

Worra I think their profession is relevant, if as a Doctor she is providing advice which goes against national guidelines, to suit her own motives? People listen to their doctors and believe they know best.
Would she be giving this same advice to a random Mum in her surgery?

OnlyLovers Mon 02-May-16 17:19:15

If she mentions it to your DH in your earshot again (which is very passive-aggressive), interject and say 'MIL, I can hear you're talking about me and the baby; please address yourself to me.'

If she says anything directly to you, say politely but firmly 'I don't wish to discuss this any more' and change the subject.

And get your DH to back you up properly.

TooLazyToWriteMyOwnFuckinPiece Mon 02-May-16 17:22:52

Just don't enter into conversations about it. Just say "oh I'm lucky everything's going so well for us" or something like that. Smile. Ignore.

lavenderhoney Mon 02-May-16 17:24:28

She wants your baby to have formula so she can have him overnight etc. My ex mil was the same.

Just say " my doctor thinks I'm doing everything just perfectly, thanks" and maybe " we are quite happy, how is your diet going? " or whatever else she is doing.

Mrscog Mon 02-May-16 17:30:09

I'd suggest she goes on some breastfeeding training, she sounds woefully informed for a dr!

WeAllHaveWings Mon 02-May-16 17:31:36

being a doctor doesn't mean they know more about the best way to feed your baby than you do.

"won't be able to keep up with his demand soon" reply with a laugh "why not? it actually gets easier and flow gets quicker as they demand more, of course you don't have first hand experience, but don't worry I'll deal with it if it becomes a problem, it isn't just now"

'did I want him to stop gaining weight' reply with "he's gaining weight perfectly thanks, if he does stop we'll cross that bridge when we come to it"

if you feel comfortable with it, can you express and let her have a couple of hours with him now and again?

DailyFaily Mon 02-May-16 17:39:16

You overrule their advice by saying that you're his mother and you've made an informed decision about the best way to feed him, which is backed by pretty much any research or guideline published in the past, well, decades. It's really outdated to suggest that your milk will not be adequate, especially since feeding is well established for you now. And just because they're doctors doesn't mean they know anything about babies (unless they're paediatricians or neonatalogists - and I'm going to make an educated guess that they're not!).

You really need your husband to back you up now and tell them that he's proud of you for choosing a method of feeding that offers your child so many benefits and that it is plain to see that your DS is thriving so no need to try and make you question it. I'd actually bring out the WHO guidelines and tell them that you plan to BF until he's at least two (even if I wasn't) so they need to drop it now before everyone gets bored of hearing it!

acasualobserver Mon 02-May-16 17:40:16

Just say " my doctor thinks I'm doing everything just perfectly, thanks"

Good idea! And if you were feeling mischievous you could add brightly, "mind you, what do doctors know?"

FuriousFate Mon 02-May-16 17:44:23

Sounds like her training is out of date if she's a Dr and recommending formula over breast milk for no apparent reason.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Mon 02-May-16 17:52:27

Is she now retired? It used to be advised to start weaning babies at four months so her advice may just be outdated.
Try not to take her comments as a personal criticism of your parenting, as hard as that is.
If you are close, can you tell her how you feel in a quiet moment? She may be shocked that you feel like this and thinking she is actually helping.

Mishaps Mon 02-May-16 17:59:13

Ignore, ignore - be confident and assertive!!

New Mums are fair game for bossy and overbearing GPs! Don't let it get to you! It is easy to be unsettled by this - resist!

I am a GM and I cannot tell you how many times I have had to zip the lip when DDs were doing stuff with their babes that I never did! Our role is to shut up!

And in this instance she is talking rubbish - as long as the babe is happy and hydrated and putting on weight, then stick with those boobs! Baby feeding is subject to endless cycles of different fads - she's probably stuck on one that happened in the 70s!

annandale Mon 02-May-16 18:08:45

My inlaws are also doctors. Mil was told literally as dh was born that she 'would never manage to breastfeed such a big baby' and was advised to put baby rice in a bottle on day 3. That was a long time ago but similar advice lingered for some time: 5 years later my aunt was told that condensed milk was just as good as breastmilk.

I'd just ask her about her breastfeeding history, change the subject basically. She doesn't get to make the decisions.

Arfarfanarf Mon 02-May-16 18:13:29

Just say thanks for the opinion but we are happy with our choices and we're not looking for input right now.

People are really scared of being very direct but it is absolutely ok to tell someone to keep their beak out.

bowbohm Sun 15-May-16 09:33:24

Oh jeez ladies thank you so much! We are going away for a month so thankfully we will have a break. I've stuck to my ground and told my husband - he said he would talk to her but I dont want to cause any riffs so until she starts interfering more I've said I'll just ignore but he needs to start backing me up not just nodding in approval. His argument has always been that they are doctors but to me they are parents and now grandparents first. I've found that keeping control like when they want to take my lb out I don't pack bottles and inform them of his next feed really helps. When they ask I simply say we are ebf because it's what we think is best. They like to talk a lot but I doubt they would go and buy a bottle of formula. Again thank you so much I feel less crazy and confident that I know what's best because I'm his mom and they are welcome to their opinions.

user1463231665 Sun 15-May-16 09:51:11

Are they from a culture where grandparents constantly, interfere? My son has a friend at school. Both these boys have an older sister who has recently had a baby. (In fact it's rather nice these teenage boys keep showing each other pictures of their siblings' baby). We are constantly amazed by the interference of the friend's grandmother who lives near by. It would just not happen in my culture where parents know best and grandparents can take a hike! I would not dream of interfering in my daughter's ways of dealing with her baby (although I am delighted that like I have we both breastfed exclusively). My daughter's in laws are both doctors (as indeed were my father and uncle (and my brother is) and like I am, they are very pro breastfeeding. I have heard them say lovely encouraging things about feeding the baby. I am so glad.

I remember how good my mother was at not telling us how to bring up our babies and I will always be grateful for that and I hope I am being the same with my own grandchild.

However just rise above it and ignore her. There is no need to cause a massive row over it but you are right and the grandparents here are absolutely wrong on the science by the way - it's just ignorant. They should go off and read a few more research papers.

redexpat Sun 15-May-16 10:57:48

I said to my retired HV DM: Mum, I appreciate that you're trying to help, but I have a HV here. I need you to be my Mum, not my HV. Did the trick. Would similar work for you?

magnificatAnimaMea Sun 15-May-16 11:19:52

OP, have a listen to these great programmes from Radio 4 (now quite old but not out of date)
then hit your interfering inlaws between the eyes with science about not wanting a high nutritional plane (i.e. not wanting to overfeed babies to make them "bonny" - better to let them grow at the rate they're growing if not an obvious case of failure to gain weight).

Feel free to PM me if you have questions, as I can explain the stuff in this a bit more if you want, but it's aimed at the general public so should be easily understandable without help from some random nutter on the internet smile

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