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To think you shouldn't dictate to people how they raise their children?

(44 Posts)
maybethedayafter Sat 08-Oct-16 09:20:40

There's a Facebook group I am soon to be an ex member of. It's for breastfeeding support and I have had some useful advice from it but, in addition to the use of terms such as "boobing my baby", a member has just posted asking for articles or information that she can give to her friend who doesn't want to demand feed to tell her she's wrong and everyone is responding implying that failing to demand feed would be neglectful and laughing at the friend for even suggesting it.

It's true, I can't see another way of breastfeeding other than on demand and it's what we do. BUT, let this poor woman make her own choices and figure out what works best for her and her baby. What happened to supporting each other? Is it really necessary to judge and criticise others because they don't do what you do? It's that kind of attitude that can really knock your confidence as a new mother. AIBU?

PleaseNoMoreMinecraft Sat 08-Oct-16 09:30:57

No! I chose to breastfeed my babies but I would NEVER dictate what others should do. How totally insensitive and entitled. I'd be seriously wondering whether to be part of a group like that!

Aeroflotgirl Sat 08-Oct-16 09:34:19

No, in that case the person should mind their own business. I just used to feed the baby when they were hungry (bottle).

UnGoogleable Sat 08-Oct-16 09:36:06

My mother was a midwife. She is 100% opposed to this kind of judgy holier than thou attitude. The only thing the baby needs is for its mother to be happy, healthy and relaxed, and that stressing about how to feed can be detrimental to everyone's health.

I have a friend who was a breastfeeding evangelical. She has pushed these views on me forcefully despite the fact that I have no DC hmm I dread to think how she would be if I actually did have a baby.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Sat 08-Oct-16 09:38:01

I was part of a FB breastfeeding group. They were the biggest bunch of judgy and obnoxious women I have ever experienced. I couldn't BF because DD had a tongue tie so I found all of their demonising of FF to be awful. You'd think I was murdering my DD they way they went on about it.

I agree Breast is Best but let's all give each other a break.

maybethedayafter Sat 08-Oct-16 09:42:04

Oh I will be leaving the group. It's so self-congratulatory about the fact they're breastfeeding. Don't get me wrong, I am really pleased with the problems I've overcome to breastfeed but I can be proud of myself without needing to publicly pat myself on the back. I'm just trying to decide if I should say anything to this effect before I leave. The phrase "deaf ears" springs to mind so I'll probably leave it. There are also a lot of posts about how useless their partner is with "helping" them. I didn't think helping the mother of your child was optional, I thought it was just called being a parent.

Feeling very ranty today!

BarbarianMum Sat 08-Oct-16 09:42:16

The thing is, if you don't demand feed - at least in the early months of breastfeeding - then there is a good chance that breastfeeding won't work out as your baby will be hungry. I think I would want to make that clear to anyone wanting to breastfeed. If set feeding times are what you want then the bottle is your friend.
I wouldn't judge or criticise but breastfeeding works by quite straightforward biological feedback mechanisms - it's not like baby wearing or weaning in the sense that pretty much whatever suits you works.

maybethedayafter Sat 08-Oct-16 09:48:47

I do get that Barbarian but none of the arguments are that well reasoned. They're also suggesting that all formula fed babies should be fed on demand as well. I'm not saying they shouldn't but surely that's for the parents to decide.

Palegreenstars Sat 08-Oct-16 09:51:57

I left a similarly awful breastfeeding group recently as someone posted an article entitled 'why I judge those who choose not to breastfeed'. Anyone who dared to suggest that new mothers really didn't need judgement was mocked. Least supportive group ever.

MrsJayy Sat 08-Oct-16 09:51:57

Thing is with some parenting groups they are usually of the same thinking sniggering and slagging off a poor woman makes them feel superior and they egg each other on it can happen on mumsnet too. I would just click leave group and let them get on with it.

Allthewaves Sat 08-Oct-16 09:53:44

I didn't demand feed as such and bf two babies successfully to one year. I offered boob roughly every 2/3 hours and worked well for me. We got into a routine. Of course there were bumps with growth spurts ect.

Everyone needs to do it their way. Fine if someone asks for advise but pushing it on them

swimmerforlife Sat 08-Oct-16 09:53:58

YANBU, I would try and say something but like you say it will probably fall on deaf ears. Some people are just so far up their own arse to realise.

This makes my blood boil, I didn't breastfeed both my children, a completely personal decision for DH and I. I did get judged and criticised a lot by various people, thankfully I had thick enough skin to take it on the chin (especially the second time round), but some people are really vulnerable and will feel they are letting their baby down.

If she wants to not demand feed, then thats absolutely up to her and no one should be telling her otherwise. She could give advice on the pros and cons of not demand feeding, not just telling her that it is utterly wrong to not demand feed.

53rdAndBird Sat 08-Oct-16 10:06:37

Demand feeding actually is NHS advice, though. Not quite the same as something that's entirely personal preference like what colour socks to put your baby in.

Obviously if they're looking for sources to say "you have to demand feed or you're an evil horrible mother" that's out of line, but passing on health recommendations to someone who might not know about them isn't by itself being mean and judgy.

maybethedayafter Sat 08-Oct-16 10:17:21

But surely unless the friend has asked for advice or an opinion she should stay out of it, or at the very least refrain from posting on the Internet to ask how she can criticise her. If it is NHS advice then the midwives looking after her will discuss that with her - it is their responsibility to inform her, not her friends. Even so, I think it was the wording that wound me up - it doesn't seem like she wants to help her by offering information, she wants her to do what she thinks is the right thing.

nutbrownhare15 Sat 08-Oct-16 10:27:38

I'm a member of that group. It is very pro bf which I really liked at first as I felt I needed the support when bf was hard. I'm on another bf support group which says no formula bashing allowed and over time I've become more sympathetic to that view. But my understanding is that bf on demand is the right way to bf, ifbaby is hungry, feed it! Enforcing intervals early on when you can't see how much baby is getting could mean baby fails to thrive or negatively affect your supply. Intervals come from ff baby where you know how much they get and don't want to overfeed. Imo it's not about parenting choice, it's about the health of the baby and the bf relationship. If it annoys you, I would just leave rather than get worked up about the posts you see. Personally I found the term boobing a bit alien at first, now I quite like it. There are plenty ofposts on aibu and I suspect the rest of mumsnet and parenting forums the world over moaning about crap partners who don't help. So that's not really a reason to leave imo.

53rdAndBird Sat 08-Oct-16 10:30:39

Well, obviously you're the only one who saw the actual wording she used. But I really don't think passing on "here's the official NHS advice on that" or whatever counts as criticising someone's parenting, or dictating to them how to raise their children.

Grumpyaboutchristmas Sat 08-Oct-16 10:32:56

Of course you can breast feed in a non demand way. It's called a routine, same for breast and bottle, not rocket science. OP, by saying something like 'I cant see how you'd breast feed if not by demand' even in passing, shows you are kind of part of the problem. Judgeypants breast feeders are the worst kind of person for a struggling mum to encounter, unable to see outside their own fortunate position. Get off the Facebook group but also analyse your own stance and be careful not to accidentally judge yourself.

Ohdearducks Sat 08-Oct-16 10:34:22

I left a breastfeeding FB group after about 20 mins of joining because someone posted about her work colleague who was choosing not to breastfeed her expected baby and also drank Coke while pregnant. The whole group was piling on about how awful and selfish they thought she was and told the poster they should refer the mum to SS when the baby was born because or the 'risk' of neglect. I was fucking raging, I called them all psychotic fuckbiscuits and left. Nothing boils my piss more than judgemental people especially when it comes to parenting.angry

PoldarksBreeches Sat 08-Oct-16 10:34:30

Breastfeeding groups are grim. I was told I could not possibly be in the 1-2% of women who genuinely can't produce sufficient milk (I am, hypoplasia of the breast tissue, which I told them) but because it's rare I definitely couldn't have it hmm
Rare doesn't mean non existent. These women were nuts. They told me I was making excuses hmm I breastfed my ds for 6 weeks morning noon and night and at 6 weeks the health visitor firmly told me to give formula as he was the same weight he was at birth. Whatever bitches.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sat 08-Oct-16 10:39:08

Actually barbarian, when I had to FF DD2 I fed her on demand in the same way I did breastfed DD1, latest advice is little and often rather than bigger feeds at set intervals so FF does not necessarily mean a nice routine. DD2 fed roughly every 2 hours day and night for 6 months on formula, DD1 was sleeping long stretches by then as a breastfed baby.

BarbarianMum Sat 08-Oct-16 10:40:41

<<Of course you can breast feed in a non demand way. It's called a routine, same for breast and bottle, not rocket science. >>

No, you can't. At least not in the early days because the baby needs to "tell" your body how much milk to make and when to make more because a growth spurt is coming. Breasts are annoyingly primitive in that sense. They are no respecters of modern living.

Or rather, you can. If you don't mind your baby crying and being hungry. Of course, within a couple of months it settles down and routines tend to emerge.

BarbarianMum Sat 08-Oct-16 10:41:49

Whatthefreak - things ave obviously moved on since my day.

maybethedayafter Sat 08-Oct-16 10:41:56

OP, by saying something like 'I cant see how you'd breast feed if not by demand' even in passing, shows you are kind of part of the problem.

You're right Grumpy. I can't see an alternative way for me but that doesn't mean there isn't one. I've not researched the alternative because I'm happy with the way things are and I'm not trying to prove a point, either to myself or someone else. And I don't need to worry about accidental judgement of myself, I do it quite knowingly all the time!

53rd If it was just passing on NHS advice then that'd be fine but if that's the basis for her opinion then why not just go to the NHS website and get that information to pass on rather than ask other people to join in with the judgement and I've just checked the comments and not one person has mentioned the NHS. There are however a lot of "she'll learn soon enough" comments and quite a few 😂.

53rdAndBird Sat 08-Oct-16 10:47:53

It depends on what was actually said/asked for, surely. There's a big difference between "Anyone have links I can show my friend to explain why this is a bad idea?" and "Anyone want to help me judge my friend for being a shitty parent?"

maybethedayafter Sat 08-Oct-16 10:50:52

It was somewhere in between. I think maybe it's the responses more than the question that have pissed me off. I still wonder why she had to post about it though - if she knows why and had conviction in her own decisions surely she could source the links for herself? Posting the question in itself seems like she's inviting people to criticise her friend's decision.

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