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Family and friends really can't help themselves.......

(20 Posts)
architien Wed 01-Jul-09 10:21:12

My little one is only two weeks old, after a very bumpy pregnancy and birth i am doing my best to breastfeed. The first week was hell, they prepare you for the birth pain but not breastfeeding "discomfort". On my return i am amazed that, no joke, every single member of my family, his family and my close friends have rather than say "stick at it" or just given me a hug and said "well done the pain is over now" have asked how he's feeding, looked shocked/ mildly interested when i answered that i was breastfeeding which is getting a lot easier now, no instead all of them have insulted and deflated me by saying "are you sure you're making enough/good enough quality milk for him" the MIL and my dads wife even attempted to bully me into formula feeding saying they though he needed topped up. Dont get me wrong i'm feeding on demand, till he decideds (really decides offer three times after coming away himself) he has had enough, i feed roughly every 2-4 hours each time between 30minutes to an hour. My other half is away from home at work just now (tries to come home when he can) so i'm pretty much on my own with this and my first born. Anyone else experienced this "helpful" type comments an what did you reply?

Worzsel Wed 01-Jul-09 10:23:10

I told them to bog off wink

it sounds like your doing really well

WinkyWinkola Wed 01-Jul-09 10:24:54

Well, first of all, you'll get LOTS of bf support on here.

Well done, architen. You're doing brilliantly. Your milk is the best possible food and drink you could be giving your baby right now. Even in hot weather, you'll be giving him enough liquids.

Don't you let anyone bully you into making a decision that you feel might not be right for you and your baby. It's your baby - not your family or friends.

I used to say stuff like, "My milk is the best for DS/DD. I would be very happy to send you the scientific proof on breastfeeding benefits,"

Or a very tired, "Thanks for your advice," signalling the end of the conversation.

belgo Wed 01-Jul-09 10:26:44

You're right, people really cannot help themselves. They have to put in their tuppence worth, asked for or not, accurate or not (usually not in both cases). Just smile, nod and say 'baby and I are doing brilliantly as we are thank you'

Because it does sound like you are doing brilliantly, especially as you are on your own so much.

onepieceofcremeegg Wed 01-Jul-09 10:26:48

You are doing so well architien, congratulations on your beautiful new baby ds.

My ils made similarly "helpful" comments and also (worse) looked at me very distastefully. An attempt (I assume) to "put me off" from doing such a "disgusting and embarrassing" thing (thanks in particular to mil and fil)

I found it best to ignore them. Also try and surround yourself with friends who are either bf themselves, or have small babies and dont' mind/care how you are feeding yours.

onepieceofcremeegg Wed 01-Jul-09 10:27:29

"don't" <<corrects own post>>

ZacharyQuack Wed 01-Jul-09 10:27:49

Congratulations! You sound like you're doing exactly the right thing and it will get easier as you go. As for the advice, well they mean well but probably don't have much experience of bf. Can you fall back on the old "My doctor/HV says he's thriving" comment and just act quietly confident that you've got it all under control?

chibi Wed 01-Jul-09 10:30:47

smile, nod, IGNORE.

or if you are feeling assertive, say, 'when you make comments like that, it makes me feel undermined. i would find it more supportive if you were more encouraging'

architien Wed 01-Jul-09 10:34:38

Thanks for being so kind folks. I had a wee cry to myself, and i really appreciate you taking time to respond. "Glam friend from the clubbing era" plus her boyfriend is coming in an hour. I've at least managed to shower however house is less than hospitable, considering asking them to stand in the front garden the whole visit......

nomorelostweekends Wed 01-Jul-09 10:36:26

Just had to reply. You are doing so well despite not getting the support you need. You are right, no one tells you just how hard it can be at the beginning.

I'm not sure why people make these comments - before she knew I hoped to bf my first my MIL announced it was 'disgusting'. She has been quiet on the matter following the response she got.

Haven't really got any advice other than to glow in satisfaction that you are doing the best for you and your baby. Next time they offer advice, maybe you could say he doesn't need topping up but i do - a large slice of cake would go down a treat, with a broad smile smile

Keep coming back here if you need support - people on this board in particular are fab.

giantkatestacks Wed 01-Jul-09 10:39:09

architien - thats great that people are coming round - get them to do the washing up/pop out for some shopping/make you some lunch...

Agree with the others about the ignoring the comments - its the only way...

muddleduck Wed 01-Jul-09 10:42:33

well done - sounds like you're doing great.

just remember that some of these "helpful" people are also mums who used formula. They are unlikely to ever be persuaded that you are right because that would mean acknowledging that they didn't do the "best" thing for their baby, which is something that all of us would find difficult. If you do decide to explain your choices say something like "recent evidence shows..." or "current advice is ..." which avoids the implication that they made the wrong choice. No mum with adult children is likely to take kindly to being told by a new mum that she did the wrong thing smile.

I don't mean to sound like I'm justifying their attitudes (which I'm not), I just think that if you see the other side of it then it might be the case that they are misguided rather than intentionally nasty.

And defintely work on that nodding smile - you will need it a lot.

And I found that lots of questions about how they did things made them feel better - obviously just do that nodding smiling thing while they answer. And somehow I found it less irritating to hear all this nonsense at a time that I chose rather that whenever they feel like it. Of course there is no need to actually listen grin

Montifer Wed 01-Jul-09 11:02:46

Congratulations on the birth of DS and for establishing bf so successfully so soon.
I agree the pre birth work up doesn't prepare you for the "discomfort" - it took me and DS a few months to get into the swing of it so I think you are doing amazingly well. It's a shame those around you don't recognise this, is it beacuse they don't have experience of bf themselves?
I found kellymom very useful and it might arm you with some facts to respond to any further comments like the need to top up with formula etc hmm
I got great support from my local La Leche woman and also a bf 'cafe' / group nearby. It didn't have great facilities but the people were lovely and I got helpful advice. If you are anywhere near Oxford they seem to have a great service there - my sister had fantastic support (with lovely tea and cakes!)
As your family see DS thrive hopefully they'll get used to the bf and tbh whilst their support would be lovely, imho you can't beat the feelgood factor of successfully bf. Hope all goes well smile

foxytocin Wed 01-Jul-09 11:25:25

do you know. you sound like a star.

just focus on your baby like you are doing and smile angelically, kiss your baby's head and ignore ignore ignore.

you are doing fantastic. visit mn a local breastfeeding group when you need company. this way you will make friends who have the same goals as you and also make you too busy to meetup too often with those who don't support you.

Jennylee Wed 01-Jul-09 11:26:32

I got the same when i had my first baby 10 years ago, my mum came to 'help' the first day from the hospital and spent the whole day, saying look at the state of you, he is not getting enough, he is hungry , put him on the formula in a continuous loop, until my husband came back from work and she left.

Keep going you know you are doing your best.

breastfeeding support groups can be such a lifeline in these situations as everyone is doing it and you don't feel all alone, and for me MN has been enough support with my second baby and kellyMom site.

No one tells you how hard breastfeeding can be, I nearly gave up in the first weeks with my first and second babies, because of the pain, but it got easier as I knew it would.

people who don't breastfeed often just don't get why anyone would do it or keep doing it, you need to ignore them, as it does nto really change, next it will be... are you still breastfeeding that baby?

Vizzle Wed 01-Jul-09 11:38:29

Yay for you! Everything's so hard with a small baby and everyone - no matter how well-meaning - likes to -interfere- give advice.

Keep following your instincts, not their advice! Once the little one starts putting on weight and growing, you'll get the confidence to tell them all where to go - politely, of course. I'm only getting to that stage at 3 months, but it does come. You know best. Congratulations!

LackaDAISYcal Wed 01-Jul-09 11:39:04

adds another voice to the "well done you" brigade.

You sound like you are doing fantastically well, and although it might not seem like it at the minute, it gets soooo much easier after the first few weeks. As for the well meaning comments; smile serenely, nod and ignore. It never ceases to amaze me why people feel the need to comment about feeding choices when they haven't been asked their opinion in the first place. My MIL was always asking how I knew DS2 was getting enough; I just used to smile and offer a chunky thigh to squeeze. She now asks if he is "still getting milk from me" and "does he need it now he's weaned". She means well and is just curious, but there are only so many times you can hear the same question!!

I was on my own with my DS1 a lot when he was born so I know how desolate those middle of the night feeds are when they maybe aren't going as well as they could and there is no-one to share your stress, so you have my utter respect and admiration for coping as well as you sound.

Get the glam friend to make lunch for you, hold the baby while you do a bit of tidying, or better still do some tidying for you. But really don't worry; all focus will be on your gorgeous bub and not the state of your house.

and remember, tinted moisturiser and some touche eclat is the saviour of busy mums everywhere smile

undomesticatedgoddess Wed 01-Jul-09 12:32:31

Architien

You've come to the right place for support for BFing. MN has made me more stubborn determined to BF DS2 for much longer than I ever thought I would.

You're doing really really well.

My mum stayed with me during my second week and kept saying that if I found BFing too hard I could always give formula "it's not the end of the world". I now realise it's because it upsets my mum seeing me knackered that she tries to give me a get out clause. However I also know she brags to her friends that I'm still breast feeding.wink

I've surrounded myself with people who BF in RL that I've met at baby groups and found that really helps. I have nearly given up as I have found it hard but still going at 15 weeks. It does get a lot easier - much easier than FF in the long run.

Have you thought about getting a couple of pro BFing books and giving them to them to read? I defy anyone who's read the politics of breast feeding to suggest that any child needs a formula top up.

Well done for sticking to your guns when everyone around you is so negative.

booyhoo Wed 01-Jul-09 12:42:37

you arent alone, my mum who is also a MIDWIFE said the same to me with both my children. to the effect that with ds1 i believed her and switched to formula at 7 weeks and regret it ever since. i a angry with my mother for that and so have gathered all the info and the confidence to tell her this time that i a doing what i believe is best for my baby. i even posted here for advice a couple of weeks ago and got all the support you could want. its just a shame family werent as supportive. perhaps mumsnet should be made compulsory in all homes... a daily log in grin

StealthPolarBear Wed 01-Jul-09 12:50:28

You'll get support from MN, but I agree it's crap that your family and friends can't.
Are you going out to mother and baby things? I found that other new mums (whether they bf or ff) were supportive / the least likely to make me feel uncomfortable.

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