How to manage unhelpful advice/ expectations :)(33 Posts)
Argghhh now let me just say I am not anti formula feeding mummies happy mummy happy baby as far as I'm concerned! However breastfeeding is important to me, how do you manage comments and questions around when you're going to stop (my baba is 4 months old) and why they aren't having formula etc. I don't want to be sanctimonious or make anyone upset by saying the wrong thing, I've tried the we've chosen this way but all ways are good, every baby is different etc, but starting to feel very pressured about early weaning and introducing formula...i know people mean well but it's all getting a bit much, any ideas on nice assertive phrases I can use with out sounding like a boob waving activist?
Haha I would love to see my Mils expression! Cheers! Feeling better already!
I was never brave enough to be really rude- I would just smile and nod in a non- committal way and simply ignore the advice. You don't need to explain yourself.
"I don't mind feeding all day as she sleeps really well at night"- a blatant lie but one I've found takes the wind out of blustery sails.
Or the old smile and nod with a vague, "yes probably", to all "will you stop soon/will you wean soon?" questions and then carry on doing whatever you damn well please
Can you just say nowadays they like you to breastfeed for as long as you are both comfortable with it. I'd prefer not to say 6 months, 2 yrs in case you want to stop without having to explain why.
I like the well she sleeps all night one hehe good ploy ;) I did try the 'well they say now to do...' and got 'you don't need to tell them' a bit upset after being shunned in public by the mil for breastfeeding at a family birthday (in a corner with a muslin) I get the impression she perhaps thinks little one is too big for this now?
You can always reply 'we are considering it' and then barely audible I'd be saying to myself 'when hell freezes over' or something similar.
It gives them a non committal answer while you carry on breastfeeding. (no one knows DD is still being breastfed at 12 months as they don't see it now her feeds have dropped and food has taken over)
I haven't had any comments about when we're going to stop but my (lovely) parents in law were very anxious that he wasn't having formula top ups when his weight gain wasn't great at the beginning. On a different topic they have also repeatedly said it would be much easier to get a travel system to put the car seat on, despite the fact that I have a 2 door car and getting the car seat out of the back is awkward when it's empty, never mind with baby in it!
They are lovely and mean well but I am not the most confident person and I do find it demoralising sometimes. On the feeding front I have said truthfully that I'd be happy to give formula if the health visitors etc advise it. And otherwise more or less gone with the nod and smile approach.
Is this mainly from your MIL? Poor you getting this - I never had it but my sister did and I think really shows why our bf rates are rubbish, so many still out there think its weird when in fact its normal (biologically!).
I would quote the NHS/WHO advice so they know you could be bf for some time but then only saying what you are aiming for in case it doesn't work out, something like "the NHS recommend exclusive breastfeeding, so no solids either, til 6 months but then that to carry on bf with solid food and in fact the WHO recommend bf til 2 years or beyond, so basically I am aiming to carry on for a while". that'll also shut up re. early weaning!
Ha ha I think the sleeping comment is a good one... Just say bubbas happy and I'm happy so that's the way it's going to stay.
I have just had an email from Cow and Gate for Week 18 which is all about weaning... At the top it says 'advice is to wean from 6 months but every baby is different'...!
I think the key to it all is being a bit vague and changing the subject.
I live with my PIL and my FIL was disappointed that I wouldn't be using formula because it is made from the milk of Irish cows and I'd be supporting the Irish food industry. MIL has asked a few times when DS will have a bottle but I've said he won't be having one and she's left it at that.
Now he's older they don't see him being fed and they've no idea that he feeds
a zillion a few times overnight.
The less info I give to my ILs, the less they ask. My DH always battles annoying questions with a personal question that usually changes the subject!!!
I always trot out 'According to research...' - very few people continue to argue then as they don't tend to have researched it as much as you will have.
They mightn't agree, but it's hard to argue with science...
Unfortunately it doesn't work for BLW though, since there's no research yet!
Thanks to everyone who replied it's mainly mil and fil, very proud bottle family. I think it doesn't help that dh has a super close relationship with them which is usually great but it does mean they get the full run down of our family life together baby's sleep etc. I have asked him not to say somethings but he's just so relaxed with them that everything comes trotting out. Then I think they feel almost invited to advise. I usually try to let it wash over me but it is hard when you're being treated like a leper :D. Thanks for being supportive Of think I'll stick to the non committal nods and smiles for a bit longer
I'm trying to reduce my risk of cancer?
I'm trying to reduce LO's risk of heart disease as an adult?
I also told them not entirely untruthfully that he was much sickier with the bottle (sicky baby anyway) - that seemed to help.
'oh god no, I can't be arsed with all that faffing with powder and washing up. And it's so expensive!'
oh dear, it's so annoying when people stick their nose into our business, especially about something so personal
it's really up to you if you go with the classic "fuck off and mind your own business" or something patronising or funny.
but whatever you do, be strong and stick to your guns.
"I don't want to ff. I have my reasons and it's not up for discussion" should be a good, strong, neutral response to anyone.
just repeat it till they drop the subject.
I'm still feeding DD at 2.5 and actually people have stopped asking, but when they did I'd make a joke of it and say "hopefully we'll stop before she starts school - definitely university, or her living in halls could be difficult!"
If you're feeling brave you could tell them "every time you ask, I'm going to add another month on."
*I'm trying to reduce my risk of cancer?
I'm trying to reduce LO's risk of heart disease as an adult?*
Non-judgemental? If there's someone in the room who has had surgery and cannot BF, for example, that would be utterly mortifying surely?
Speaking as someone who has been a byestander in an 'unnecessary medication during pregnancy can do xyz to bayybeeeee' comment (given out of frustration) ... who is on what they'd deem 'unnecessary' meds to keep my pregnancy going. The comment wasn't aimed at me, and for most women I know it would be a bad idea to be on aspirin if pregnant- but it was really hurtful.
about bf and reducing risk of breastcancer - that is a shitty thing to say actually.
a friend of mine bf all of her 4 children yet she had breastcancer at the age of 52. had double mastectomy and is lucky to be alive.
bf did nothing to protect her
nobody can prevent having certain illnesses.
cancer, to the best of my knowledge, is random.
a close family member had to have surgery on both breasts way before having kids and was unable to bf.
she had no choice.
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