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Friend is pissed off with me, WIBU to correct her?

(411 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

teenytinypontypine Mon 25-Sep-17 20:30:52

It is a breastfeeding one, sorry.

Group of 4 of us female friends out for lunch. I have an almost three y o who I breastfed for 13 months and FWIW it was fucking agony wasn't easy for the first couple of months but I stuck it out and am pleased I did. Other friend "A" has a 5 month old who is FF. I don't care a jot. Feed your baby however you like.

Other two ladies are both currently pregnant, due within a few weeks of each other around Xmas time, and over lunch conversation turns to feeding.

Friend A says she really wanted to bf but couldn't. She said her milk didn't come in because she had an elcs, so baby was starving and unhappy and she had to give up. "How long did you try for?" asks pregnant friend - answer: 18 hours. Cue sympathetic tutting from pregnant friends about how hard that must have been.

So, I sort of couldn't help myself but explain that your milk usually doesn't come in at birth, but more usually a few days later. And that newborn stomachs are v little and hardly take any filling at all. And that newborns physiologically are prepared for mum's milk not coming in for a few days so usually do just fine. Oh and that people having a section usually can bf. And yes, I know there are some circumstances where these things aren't true, but in the main this is what happens.

"A" got visibly riled - reporting that her baby was much happier as soon as she got a bottle. I gave her a big grin and said that's fine and clearly she is a happy, growing little girl and doing perfectly well on formula. But I told her I thought it was only fair to point out to pregnant friends some basic facts about bf. Especially as I am a fucking doctor.

Basically, she feels that by correcting or questioning her version of events I am judging her for not trying for longer. On the contrary, I couldn't give a flying fuck what she does wrt feeding, but I do care that she is spreading misinformation to pregnant friends. I have a duty as a bloody doctor to not just sit by and let someone's opinion stand as fact when I know evidence to the contrary.

So WIBU to correct her like that? Should I have just nodded and smiled and caught my two pregnant friends later to give them a more balanced view?

Crunchymum Mon 25-Sep-17 20:34:04

You sound a bit condescending.

Purplemac Mon 25-Sep-17 20:35:23

I'm not surprised she felt judged. I'm not sure you meant it that way but it was rude and if you really wanted to tell your other friends the facts you could have done it mote privately. I think you owe her an explanation and an apology.

JediStoleMyBike Mon 25-Sep-17 20:36:54

It was a bit condescending, yes. Fairly certain pregnant friends will already have BF discussed with them at length by midwives, etc, so you probably didn't need to labour the point like you did.

booloobalooloo Mon 25-Sep-17 20:37:02

Yes you should have waited. Sorry but you essentially listened to her tell her story, which was potentially a very difficult experience for her. Then, in front of her face, you told your friends that she was wrong about everything. How did you think she would react!? Ftr, I'm still breastfeeding my 2 year old.

MrsPicklesonSmythe Mon 25-Sep-17 20:38:24

Until you mentioned you're a doctor I would have said you were coming across as a bit sanctimonious even if you didn't mean to.

Thing is, in your position, your pregnant friends are likely to take what you say/agree to as gospel on this stuff especially they are first time mums and a bit unsure of things.

YWNU but it's a sensitive one for your friend.

Whocansay Mon 25-Sep-17 20:38:28

You possibly could have been more tactful. I can see why she felt judged. But equally, I think you did the right thing.

I think some women don't really want to breastfeed, but feel that they should. I know at least one person (that I know of!) that tells most people she couldn't bf, when she just didn't want to. It's all fine as long as the baby gets fed.

Battyoldbat Mon 25-Sep-17 20:38:30

I think you sound fine. I don't think it was rude at all, especially with you being a doctor!

Believeitornot Mon 25-Sep-17 20:39:16

You shouldn't have done it because it's an indirect criticism of her, of course it is.

They could have got their information from elsewhere.

BF isn't just about nutrition. It can be wrapped up in a woman's feelings about her abilities as a mother. It's very emotive because if you don't manage it, it can feel like you're failing somehow. Hell, even BF itself triggers hormonal and therefore emotional responses.

I BF both of mine for 2-3 years. I battled to do it and actually on reflection I shouldn't have done but couldn't face "failing". I spent hours reading up on what formula was made of which freaked me out, what the positives of BF were etc etc and tore myself up thinking I had to carry on (especially as mine were intolerant to dairy and remain so at 5&7).

So you shouldn't have corrected her. She made a choice, even if it felt like it wasn't a choice, to not carry on and I wouldn't in a million years of corrected her unless she had criticised me.

Nuttynoo Mon 25-Sep-17 20:39:38

You weren’t there as a doctor, you were there as a friend. Am sure if anyone wanted your medical opinion they would have asked you rather than her. I think you need to apologizez

Expemsiveuniform Mon 25-Sep-17 20:39:52

You sound like a massive great big pain in the ass. And yes, condescending and horrible to your so called friend. I'd have been gutted if I were her and likely gone home and cried buckets.

Also. These are your friends not your patients. Leave your duty at the door unless medical emergency.

Slackalice42 Mon 25-Sep-17 20:40:01

I disagree; there is so much utter nonsense about bf being presented as gospel fact that it is really refreshing to hear someone challenge the myths.

MargaretTwatyer Mon 25-Sep-17 20:40:01

YABVU. What a horrid way to treat a friend. You were condescending, belittling and unkind.

Josieannathe2nd Mon 25-Sep-17 20:40:20

Ah. I think this is a massively tricky one. I think although many people who ff are fine with it, some do feel ashamed and embarrassed and have a story along the lines of they tried but it was medically impossible. (I really had a friend who said this- insufficient glandular tissue but she bf baby number 2 fine...) and I think as I friend you just have to listen and be sympathetic. I'd have phoned or messaged the pregnant friends later.

NeilTheSloth Mon 25-Sep-17 20:40:29

Is this a reverse?

The I gave her a big grin is especially condescending, sorry.

I think if it’s between FF & BF it’s best to keep your nose out and not comment on what a mum chooses to do. Feel free to put your Doctor hat on if your friend turns up and says “couldn’t breastfeed so I’ve gone straight into feeding them vodka”, but not, as I say, when it’s FF/BF.

Justmuddlingalong Mon 25-Sep-17 20:40:57

I have a duty as a bloody doctor to not just sit by and let someone's opinion stand as fact when I know evidence to the contrary. You were not out for lunch as a doctor though. You were there as a friend. A condescending one, by the sounds of it.

Bambamber Mon 25-Sep-17 20:41:07

What you say does come across rather smug and she probably thought you was implying she didn't try hard enough. What you said wasn't wrong, but throwing facts at her probably wasn't the right way around it.

Piratesandpants Mon 25-Sep-17 20:41:20

You were absolutely right. I'm with you. Everyone should feed their baby how they like but spreading misinformation is not on. I've experienced the exact same scenario myself.

BackieJerkhart Mon 25-Sep-17 20:41:40

Ahh that was a horrible thing to do! People feel really judged about their feeding choices and she obviously feels she has to say that her milk didn't come in. Why do you have to go and point out that she either didn't try hard enough, is lying or is stupid? I'd be really annoyed in her shoes. What exactly was gained from you being publicly right?

Tilapia Mon 25-Sep-17 20:41:54

It's a tricky one. I do see your point but can also see how A felt she was being judged.

stitchglitched Mon 25-Sep-17 20:43:04

You were really unkind.

napmeistergeneral Mon 25-Sep-17 20:43:12

I think it's fair enough. There can be a balance between making sure information about breastfeeding is accurate and respecting all feeding choices; by which I guess I mean that I hope there is a happy medium where we can talk about breastfeeding facts without those facts being misconstrued as personal attacks on non breastfeeding mums, whatever their reasons. Summoning your pregnant friends after the fact to specifically discuss breastfeeding would have been a bit much...

SlothMama Mon 25-Sep-17 20:43:15

You sound insensitive to be honest, if she felt her baby was hungry and being fed consoled them then she was right.

Twitchingdog Mon 25-Sep-17 20:43:21

Well she was wrong and she giving bad advice. And as a non dr friend I would have said well my midwife said What you said . But as you are a dr you do have tell the truth.

Blueberrysandgrapes76 Mon 25-Sep-17 20:43:29

Yanbu at all - of course you should have corrected her.

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