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I expected this from biddies in the street but not.......

(79 Posts)
staylucky Mon 27-Jul-09 14:54:51

My mother!

Didn't manage to bf past a week with dd (now 5) as there was justno support from my useless partner & midwife. This time round new partner (who is lovely!) and much nicer midwife have made things much easier. My son is 4 weeks old and apart from the shock of near constant feeding and sleep depravation All over again we're getting there.

My mum however is horrified by my bf my son. I just can't explain why she hasn't exactly been nasty about it but will leave the room if I start to feed him and just gets all embarressed and wierd. I could really do with her support right now I would kill for someone at the end of the phone to talk to but she's clearlynot going to be that person.

To be honest it starting to make me feel a bit shy about feeding in front of people I mean I've only had visitors at the house so far but really want to make a go of this so will need to bite the bullet and do it in public at sone point. If my own mums wierded out by it how on earth can I sit in the local park or go roun the shops bf?!

For the record she's 50 and of course bottle fed me and my brother.

Thanks fr this board by the way is great am getting loads of tips just lurking. X x x x

kitkatqueen Mon 27-Jul-09 15:21:50

Hi, I had a similar reaction from my MIL 1st time round. Couldn't understand why I was doing it, and got all weirded out and embarrased every time i fed dd. To be honest, because it was my MIL it made me even more determined to feed dd myself.

I still made a point of going to see MIL at her house and invited her round lots because I didn't want there to be a problem. When dd was about 6 mnths old my MIL had got over it loads and one day informed me that she was really proud of me for feeding dd myself, saying that dd had been the healthiest of all her grandchildren to date and she was so glad I had persevered (big bonding moment lol!). She found it very amusing that I was 3 months into my second pregnancy before dd1 self weaned and remarked to me that at least baby bottles wouldn't be on any shopping lists this time because they are unnecessary. She has also commented to several people that she wishes I had been there to help her when she had her babies, which of course would have been impossible but I totally understand her sentiment.

I honestly never thought that she would turn her opinion round so extremely, and I can honestly say that I love her to bits.

But no matter what her reaction or opinion I would still have fed my baby as and when and where I wanted. You can't let other peoples opinions of breastfeeding get to you.

In time things will probably change for your mum but you can't let her issues afect you too much, remember too that by making a different choice to her you are effectivley judging the choice she made 30 years ago to be wrong and that is hard for her to swallow...

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 27-Jul-09 15:23:30

Have you tried talking to her about what it is that she feels uncomfortable with?

It sounds like you're doing a great job and it would be a shame to let one person upset this.

Have you tried feeding in front of a mirror to see exactly what is / isn't on show? I have bf both of my boys for 20 months in total and have never had a bad comment from any members of the public.

Stick at it - Good Luck!

PortAndLemon Mon 27-Jul-09 15:27:05

If it's any help, I have never had any negative looks or comments from anyone while bf in public. So you needn't assume that because your mother is uncomfortable anyone else will be.

suiledonn Mon 27-Jul-09 15:28:33

Sounds like my MIL. When she visited me in the hospital when I had dd1 when pulled back the curtain to see me feeding dd and recoiled in horror. I called out to her to come in and she did but couldn't look at me while I was feeding.

I was appalled to see a steriliser and bottles she had ready in her house when we called in. She knew I was determined to breast feed and it felt like she was just waiting for me to fail.

I carried on regardless and she got more comfortable with it and I am happy to say that by the time I had dd2 she was much better.

She still doesn't really understand why I would do it and thinks the fact I kept going longer than a few weeks is strange but she keeps her opinions to herself.

Maybe your mother just needs time to get used to the idea. Have you tried to talk about it with her? I found that my MIL was quite interested once she got over her initial embarrassment.

whomovedmychocolate Mon 27-Jul-09 15:34:17

Yep my mum is like that too hmm

She gives lipservice to suporting it but refers to 'rods' and 'backs' quite often hmm

However I feed in public quite often and very rarely do people even notice let alone comment.

Keep up the good work and we'll be here to listen even if your mum can't be

staylucky Mon 27-Jul-09 15:42:56

Hey thanks for replies.

I've tried talking about bf itself and she's not very intrested really, kind of takes the same bemused manner she takes when jehovahs call at her door. "ok, yes great" not really listening.

One time I called her a couple of weeks back I was having a really crappy day and just wanted a moan she kept saying over and over you know there's no shame in putting him on the bottle. Well I know that I ff my daughter so do millions of others but I'm tryng my hrdest to bf!

This probably has more to do with my mother than it does bf sigh....

Thanks for the support, really appreciate it guys x

Have bought a freedom sling and am trying to figure it out right now, hopeful that it should help me to get out a bit more.

Sorry bout typng am on iPhone in bed lol x

Bettymum Mon 27-Jul-09 15:53:33

I hope your mum comes around to the idea...for what it's worth regarding being shy feeling uncomfortable about feeding in front of people, I never fed in front of my dad - don't really know why, just didn't, but I happily sat in the middle of Starbucks feeding DD with any number of strange men sitting around! It felt weird the first time but then it was fine. I guess the thought is that you'll never see any of these people again so it doesn't really matter.
Anyway, I'm here if you need someone to moan to! I had a really tough first three months but stuck at it and ended up BFing to 16 months, it was lovely in the end .

RustyBear Mon 27-Jul-09 16:06:36

I'm a bit sad at the 'she's 50 and of course bottle fed me'

I'm 53 and breast fed both of mine, so please don't think she can't help her attitude because of her age - it's her problem, not her generation's, and not yours either, so don't let her attitude get to you.

You'll find MN a great source of help & support & if you've got an iPhone, it's always close at hand.... smile

pookamoo Mon 27-Jul-09 16:09:38

Hi staylucky I just wanted to say that you are doing so well so far to be BF your DS at 4 weeks! smile It isn't always easy for many reasons and you just have to remind yourself that every day counts.

Re having someone to talk to, have you been told about any BF support groups in your local area? They are often a fantastic choice for your first BF in public, because everyone else is doing it too, and there are usually peer supporters and/or BF counsellors to talk to about any problems you might have.

Not sure where in the country you are but have a look at this site where you can search for your local group.

You can usually take older children along too, and most groups carry on running in the school holidays.

Hope this helps.

pookamoo Mon 27-Jul-09 16:18:00

Also, there's this leaflet with information aimed specifically at grandparents, if you think she might read it.

HoppityBunny Mon 27-Jul-09 16:25:48

My MIL's face fell when I told her that my had DD1 put on over 1lb in week and she even had the cheek to complain that it was too much. I think she was disappointed cos she's been hoping that I would fail. I think it's just a jealously ego control kind of thing.

Well done you stick at it! I horrified my MIL even further by doing it for nearly 3 years!

staylucky Tue 28-Jul-09 06:00:11

Just quick message to say thanks again, have just had a whole 5 hours sleep woo hoo!! and feeling much more positive about it all. I think when you have bad days it's so tempting to think about giving in and when family in particular aren't that supportive it's even more so.

Really was the boost I needed cheers gals x

Kitkat and others it's really lovely to hear that your mums/mil's came round in the end and actually the point you made about this effectively judging her decision to ff as 'wrong' makes a great deal of sense. She is quite like that.

This is much harder than I imagined but I am so determined to stick with it, regardless of how little sleep I've had or how sore the boobs are everytime ds settles down for a feed my heart proper soars. I had real issues bonding with dd and thankfully that's not been the case this time round.

Thanks again lovelies xx

posieparkerinChina Tue 28-Jul-09 06:29:46

I never bf in front of my in laws as FIL asked me if I would feed from my tit, and as for other older men, NO.... nor my Dad. I wasn't comfortabel and he wouldn't have been either. Give me a stranger on the street anyday over an older person I know!!!

moondog Tue 28-Jul-09 06:41:17

That's great news Lucky!
Posy, what do you mean? Were those his words every time you fed? Yuck.

peppapighastakenovermylife Tue 28-Jul-09 08:43:36

Is your mum my mum? Very similar reaction. In fact I have never breastfed in front of her - despite having two DC's who liked to feed at least every 2 hours if not more.

I once asked if she minded hmm and she muttered something and left the room. It was my own house FGS!

Oddly though when I tried to introduce a bottle of EBM to DS and he wouldnt she kept saying 'oh he doesnt want that when he can get the real thing' hmm

Confusing? Very! grin

sabire Tue 28-Jul-09 08:50:32

"I never bf in front of my in laws as FIL asked me if I would feed from my tit"

Oh good grief!

Mind you, my FIL came up and kissed my ds on his head when he was feeding once! That was a bit close for comfort!

FIL is from Guyana though - I think bf is very normal and natural in those countries and nobody gets worked up about it.

Good work by the way Lucky. Glad you're getting a bit of respite.

Feel a bit sorry for your mum though. My mum didn't bf any of us for very long as we were 'too big' according to the mythology of her day. I went on to have three babies over 9lbs (one over 10) and bf all three of them for over a year. Must be hard knowing you missed out on something that might have been really special.

Bumperslucious Tue 28-Jul-09 09:13:01

My mum hated me bfing and was constantly trying to get me to put DD 'on a bokkle' <boak>

It's horrible isn't it? Just when you need the most support.

To be honest she was funny about a lot of things when DD was tiny, couldn't stand not being in control and criticised all my decisions, bfing, BLWing etc. but something changed, I think that she realised actually I was doing a pretty good job and now she doesn't really make comments on anything.

Hope things get better soon.

broguemum Tue 28-Jul-09 09:16:31

"Give me a stranger on the street anyday over an older person I know!!!"

Not all old people are like that!!! I remember asking my Dad (elderly, traditional, old fashioned etc etc) if he didn't mind me feeding DD infront of him and he told me not be daft, a mother feeding her baby is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. It almost made me cry it was so lovely. Mind you, he even changes nappies (admittedly under sufferance) so perhaps he is an usual 80 year old?

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Tue 28-Jul-09 09:24:38

I'm very lucky in that my mum is very supportive of my bf-ing but my MIL was another story. When ds was tiny she would go on and on and on about giving him a bottle. Grr - much easier to ignore when it's your MIL than your mum though.

Funnily enough, she's come round by now too, although she did buy me some formula and bottles when I was pg with dd hmm she's been amazingly supportive of my tandem nursing. I think, given time, most people do get used to it.

I wonder if part of it is that she feels excluded? I think people tie feeding a baby up with "bonding" that bf-ing seems like a bit of a slap in the face?

tiktok Tue 28-Jul-09 09:31:41

A little while ago I counselled a family, where the grandmother (the mother's mother) had given an ultimatum - stop breastfeeding the baby or she would no longer see them.

The baby was fine but the grandmother had got it into her head that her daughter was 'starving' the baby by 'insisting' on bf only, because the baby's weight gain had slowed.

Relations only went back to 'normal' when the baby went onto formula feeding - bottles were given, the breastfeeding dwindled, but Grandma was happy so hurrah hmm

I often take calls from mothers who are under intense pressure to give bottles - their families criticise them, sometimes they laugh at them, and sometimes they ask undermining questions ('are you sure he needs to feed again?' 'but you had a curry last night - surely you can't feed the baby after that?' 'how do you know he's having enough?' 'your milk might not be any good and how would you know?').

Confuzzeled Tue 28-Jul-09 09:32:34

Well done you, it's hard bf'ing when you have no support from the person who you need the most when you've had a baby (apart from dp).

My Mum was a bit unsure of bf, but respected my choice. My Dad was a total twat about it and I told him if he couldn't support me bf then I was sorry that he wouldn't see me or dd until she had weaned. That shut him up for a few months but at 3 months he said dd was too big to be bf and what a bind it was blah blah blah. DD self weaned at 18 months, Dad still thinks I'm insane. I'm pregnant again now and he keeps telling me I won't get pnd if I bottle feed and allow others to help me. I've tried to explain that bottle feeding will mean more work for me, steralising etc but he says it'll give me a chance to have a break from the baby. I keep asking him who's going to look after the baby while I'm having my break, my family live 200 miles away and dh works long hours.

My MIL was amazingly supportive, she was really proud of dd and me. Are you close to your MIL? How does she feel about bf?

lal123 Tue 28-Jul-09 09:41:07

My Mum was weird with me bfing too - just wasn't the culturally done thing. I remember being out one night for a meal and DD needed fed. knowing how my Mum felt I didn't just feed her at the table, but instead went to find somewhere quiet. As soon as she realised what I was going to do that was it "OK, we're going home!" - "No - its OK Mum I'll only be 20 minutes, finish your meal", "no - WE'RE GOING HOME!!! You CAN'T do THAT here!!"

We went home sad

Neice who is about to qualify as a midwife thinks I'm mad for wanting to bf DD2 when she arrives - "If you bottle feed then someon else can do it for you?........"

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Tue 28-Jul-09 09:45:35

That's scary about your niece Lal. No wonder bf-ing support is so dire in the UK!

moondog Tue 28-Jul-09 09:49:43

Bloody hell, these stories make me want to weep.

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