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friend's anti formula rants losing her friends

(74 Posts)
teachertrainer80 Sat 08-Dec-12 11:40:43

A close friend of mine had DD 9 months ago and breastfeeds her and intends to for 2 or 3 years as she did other child of 4 yrs. Since having DC she has become very pro breastfeeding and denigrates formula feeding mums, saying things in front of them such as FF babies have problems with infections, obesity, intelligence levels etc and posts facebook rants up about the evils of FF etc. It is losing her friends (a mutual friend deleted her from FB a few months ago and told her she wants nothing more to do with her- this friend FFs after a traumatic birth and several bouts of mastitis). My pro breastfeeding friend doesn't listen when you tell her all the reasons why people FF and thinks there is absolutely no excuse for not BF. My sister FFs after her DD was 6 weeks prem and she suffered terrible post natal depression and the guilt from not BF compounded this. I think my friends attitude stinks but hate confrontation so just nod politely. I BF my baby but it's just something I do, it was straightforward for me and I only plan on doing it for 9 months as I go back to work then. Friend has just sent me a long anti FF linking to research etc email as I mentioned combination feeding when DS is 5 months after Xmas and replecing BFs with FFs in run up to going back to work (full time, long commute) in April.

This friend has made breastfeeding her life and constantly posts on FB about it. It is getting on all of our nerves as for most of us it's just how we feed our babies not some massive philosophy. TBH, it is boring. Mums should not be made to feel guilty for FF. Friend is also cloth nappy user and makes me feel guilty for not using cloth nappies (have no intention to, live on 4th floor, 1 bed flat with no tumble dryer). She is also a SAHM and posts rants about not bringing up your own children etc. It's just driving a wedge between our friendship group as she is so militant. Her attitude is that the only way to mother is to BF/ co-sleep/ cloth nappy/ SAH/ Baby led weaning. It's tedious. She considers herself a feminist but feminism is about respecting other women's choices surely? I know these militant attitudes stem from insecurity but how do others deal with it?

Sorry for length of post. Advice please. Don't say ditch her as we have been friends since age of 5 and am friends with her family etc!! If it was someone I had just met through NCT etc I would just distance myself.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Sat 08-Dec-12 11:47:25

It's none of your pro-breastfeeding friend's business why other people ff, and they shouldn't be giving her their reasons, and she shouldn't be asking.

Just tell her that straight. I would.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Sat 08-Dec-12 11:49:23

Or you could always interject with 'can we talk about something else? How was your holiday?'

Enough times and she might give up. Alternatively, if she needs somewhere to explore her feelings about bfing and health issues etc. you can suggest she finds an online forum for those topics!?

TheReturnOfBridezilla Sat 08-Dec-12 11:53:39

There was a mum like this at my breastfeeding support group, it was painful to listen to tbh. One mother made close friends at the group but had to give up bf her twins after horrible mastitis and an operation and this woman actually wanted her to be asked to leave the group as she was no longer able to breastfeed. Her daughter started refusing the breast not long after she turned one, I assume leaving her with nothing to talk about grin. I'm no longer in touch with her, she was very, very hard work.

BlueberryHill Sat 08-Dec-12 11:54:50

Does she realise that this attitude is losing her friends? Does she have any good points?

StarOf has some good ideas, no idea what to do other than pointing out that yes, women do have choices and that she is losing friends over this.

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Sat 08-Dec-12 13:08:18

She deserves to loose friends to be honest. She is showing a distinct lack of respect to the people to whom she preaches! You can try deflecting and changing the subject but she sounds on a crusade at any cost

VivaLeBeaver Sat 08-Dec-12 13:13:51

Have you tried bluntly telling her that she comes across as a boring twat and people are sick of her?

DeckthehallswithbowelsofMIL Sat 08-Dec-12 13:16:06

She doesn't sound like a very open-minded, sensitive person. I would just tell her like it is - that seems to be her techniques for getting her point across. I'm all for BF but seriously, everyone is different and if it doesn't work then it doesn't work and babies certainly don't end up completely hopeless because of FF. Tell her my DM only BF me for 6 weeks and I got a double first from Cambridge and I'm decidedly skinny but my BF brother (I think about a year) is rather portly and failed most of his exams as he was too busy playing cricket and sailing yachts round the Med!

TotesFeckingAmaze Sat 08-Dec-12 13:16:26

She sounds like an utter bore. What can you do, though? You have tried politely to let her know sheis being fucking boring and offensive, I assume? Guess you'll just have to leave her to her twattery.

DeckthehallswithbowelsofMIL Sat 08-Dec-12 13:17:02

Haha - Viva - that's exactly what I think!

mercibucket Sat 08-Dec-12 13:23:08

Can you point her in the direction of a few groups she might like to join where she can talk more about her interests? And block most of her fb updates.

mercibucket Sat 08-Dec-12 13:23:11

Can you point her in the direction of a few groups she might like to join where she can talk more about her interests? And block most of her fb updates.

Thumbwitch Sat 08-Dec-12 13:26:29

Evangelicals are always a PITA, whatever their crusade, IME.

I do most of those things you mentioned in the OP as well; but they're my choice and I recognise that other people make other choices which are just as valid for them - your friend needs to come off her soapbox before she has no friends left. She is being completely arrogant and twattish and needs to be told that she is being so, if you want to save her from a life of loneliness!

snowmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 13:36:59

Sounds to me as if she deserves to lose more than a few friends. She sounds awful.

BarceyDussell Sat 08-Dec-12 13:41:56

She'd have lost me as a friend if you I were in your shoes.

Just ditch her, life is too short for the sanctimonious mother brigade.

chipmonkey Sat 08-Dec-12 14:00:34

Goodness! I bfed all of mine, ds3 and ds4 till they were over 2, and used cloth nappies but it was my choice and the way your friend is going on is social suicide, especially as bfing can be such an emotive topic if it goes wrong and not recognising that someone struggled is insensitive to say the least!
This sort won't learn either. Whatever way she decides to raise her child will the right way and anyone who does things differently will be villified. You can try to have a full and frank discussion about how people are avoiding her but I wouldn't hold out too much hope of any success!

IceNoSlice Sat 08-Dec-12 16:55:44

What a PITA for you, OP! I recognise that stuck-in-the-middle feeling, it would be hard to ditch her due to family friendship.

Do what Star suggests and pointedly change the subject. Don't engage in a dialogue. And be frank, if she asks 'why has friend X blanked me?', tell her.

Hopefully she'll grow up soon.

Ameybee Sat 08-Dec-12 17:17:24

Eek! She sounds awful! Does she not realise that some people have to ff? For instance if your baby isn't gaining weight as they should? Its all about personal choice isn't it, and no one should be judged for it.
Tell her something like you don't agree with breastfeeding over 1 year and if she says its her choice say err yeah like ff so shut your cake hole! grin X

VisualiseAHorse Sat 08-Dec-12 17:21:16

Block her on FB. She won't know you have.

Everytime she brings it up in convisation, just say 'God, can't we talk about something other than our babies and BF for a bit?'

This would drive me bonkers personally, and I would find it very very very hard not to say 'oh just shut up would you?'. I can't stand people who are so bloody self-righteous, (almost) makes me wish that her baby starts rejecting BF.

Also - you could point her to Fab blog about formula feeders.

unexpectediteminbaggingarea Sat 08-Dec-12 17:22:28

god, I breastfed mine for 2 years and even I would find that bloody hard going. She sounds like a twat. Is she like this about other things? I mean, is she just not a very sensitive person? Tell her that she's upsetting people and if that doesn't work shut it down.

scottishmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 17:34:48

ignore her mummy martyrs droning on about cloth bums and bf how dull
direct her to a sling meet she can meet all the other flaky parents
there are bf meet ups too were she can yak to the other zealots and drone on her baby doesn't ingest formula poison

teachertrainer80 Sat 08-Dec-12 17:42:59

Yeah Thumb and chip the key there as you said is choice and my friend doesn't respect other's choices at all. I try changing the subject but all she wants to talk about are baby issues. If not BF then weaning etc. Her FB headline says something like 'Cloth bum mummy, passionate about breastfeeding blah blah...' and I think it has become her only identity so changing the subject is hard and she thinks that I must be interested in her pearls of wisdom since having DS but I'm not, as I say just politely nod along (probably need to get a backbone!)

merci she goes to loads of groups and online ones too but this just bolsters her view that BF is the only way as I think there are fellow evangelicals there (hopefully not as bad though!)

I think as some have suggested I'll just keep trying to chnage the subject and if that doesn't work may need to distance myself a bit. Sad after being mates for 30 years...

teachertrainer80 Sat 08-Dec-12 17:46:45

ha ha scottishmummy. Dull is definitely the word. I love my baby and have bored DH talking about the best baby bouncer to buy and other such trivia but I like to think that I talk about a wide range of other topics too. You wonder what some people talked about pre kids...

SamSmalaidh Sat 08-Dec-12 17:49:37

Do you really want to be friends with this woman? If it wasn't breastfeeding I met she would find something else to feel superior about.

Tell her she's a cock and no one wants to hear it anymore.

Ephiny Sat 08-Dec-12 17:58:33

I would not get into a debate with her about the issues. When people are in a very evangelical phase like this about something, there's not usually much point to it.

If she's a good friend can you say to her bluntly how you (and others) feel about her rants, and that while you respect her right to have a strong opinion on this, can you just agree-to-disagree, because you don't want to fall out over it?

Hopefully she will get over it when her baby grows up a bit!

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