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Italian MIL keeps having a go at me about breastfeeding - long rant but please someone back me up!

(11 Posts)
peachpearplum Fri 11-Sep-09 10:59:37

My mil popped in this morning while I was feeding ds and when I told her we'd had a rough night because ds seemed to want to eat about every two hours she went off on one (not for the first time) telling me that I need to get it into my head that my milk is not enough for him and he needs 'milk from the chemist' as well. When I replied that sometimes if babies are having a growth spurt they ask to be fed more often but after a bit your body catches up she replied 'nonsense! take it from someone who knows what they're talking about - it's time you stopped breastfeeding him anyway, he needs to start eating solids, he's nearly 4 months old'. Now, it's true that pediatricians here generally start introducing solids at 5 months (still earlier than WHO recommends), but definitely not 4 months and in any case I fully intend to continue exclusively breastfeeding until 6 months if I can. So I told her this too: 'rubbish! You'll see who's right when you take that baby to the doctor and maybe you'll listen to him'. At this point her husband chipped in (he is painting our spare room) and to his credit told her to leave off, at which point: 'Well it's all very well you saying it's their baby and they should do things their way but I can't bear to see that baby suffer!'. By this point ds of course rather upset by the screaming match which has interrupted his previously peaceful feed and crying, but to my delight then let out a massive burp as if to confirm what a good meal he had had.

The background to this is that I really struggled to get bf started as ds didn't latch on properly at first and lost a lot of his birthweight so the hospital had me top him up with formula. I wish I had never agreed to this as it took me two months of expressing milk after each feed to get my supply established enough to cut it out, and I feel SO PROUD of myself for having managed to as it was really hard work at a time when my reserves were at their absolute lowest. As a result I am determined to give him my milk for as long as I possibly can and it really upsets me that she is so unsupportive. The problem is I'm starting back at work in two weeks (just 2 days) and while I am away mil will have ds - and if she gives him formula I will kill her!!!

tiktok Fri 11-Sep-09 11:06:20



Where is dh in all this?

Of course you are right and she is wrong.

She needs to shut up and your dh should be supporting you.

ib Fri 11-Sep-09 11:08:46

She's jealous. And a horrible woman.

I would take a 'no-compromises' line. Either she shuts up about how you choose to bring up your child or she doesn't get to see you or him.

It'll only get worse over time. Trust me. I've been there.

booyhoo Fri 11-Sep-09 11:10:36

i would seriously worry aout her keeping your ds while she is stil of this opinion. it sounds as though she might be inclined to formula feed while you arent there to keep an eye on it.

themoon66 Fri 11-Sep-09 11:12:02

Her giving him formula sounds the least of your worries... sounds like she is itching to shovel 'solids' down him too!

Can you find someone else to look after him whilst you are at work?

You have my sympathy OP.

WinkyWinkola Fri 11-Sep-09 11:15:15

peachpearplum, you've done and are doing a fantastic job with your breastfeeding your son.

Can you really leave your DS with your MIL? Do you trust her?

I think she's already shown you she has no respect for your parenting choices and feels she is perfectly entitled to undermine you with her misinformed claptrap.

Do you have any other choice for childcare? Because she doesn't sound like someone who will hold back from giving him solids/formula despite your preferences.

booyhoo Fri 11-Sep-09 11:18:56

this makes me sad

why can people not accept that their way is not the only way? let mums parent their own children. sadly my mum veers towards the same ideas of your mil and i dont get the support i would love from the person whos opinion i most respect.

peachpearplum Fri 11-Sep-09 11:49:10

you've hit the nail on the head booyhoo - she is not a bad person and has been very very kind to me since I've been over here, it's just that she cannot accept any other approach to feeding other than hers (and her daughter's - who stopped bf in May after 3 months because she wanted to eat strawberries!! Now if I can keep quiet about that...)

perhaps she was starved as a child... now I come to think of it she is always convinced we are underfeeding the cat as well and doesn't realise that hers is obese!

I think perhaps dp and I will have to have a chat and present a united front to the in-laws when we next discuss childcare. I might ask the pediatrician to have a chat with her next appointment since she will be with me anyway that day - maybe he can explain that ds is happy and healthy and huge and I am not making him suffer but giving him the best start I can!

just wish there were more people like you winkywinkola around to say 'well done you!'

Bucharest Fri 11-Sep-09 11:59:10

You have no chance of convincing her.

Italian doctors are still telling women here that they must supplement bm from day 1 and that breastmilk "goes off" at 6mths which is why bf must stop the minute the baby hits that age. (I know that not all of them can be, but the ones my friends and I have come across do.)

The latest bollix I've come across regarding bf is that a lot of my Italian friends keen to have n 2 are meticulously planning their conception so as never to have to bf during the summer. hmm

Be warned, if you leave your child with her, she will start to wean him whether you want her to or not.

Be strong. You're going to have to be.

peachpearplum Fri 11-Sep-09 12:37:36

Fingers crossed... btw although I wouldn't go as far as planning conception to avoid it breastfeeding in 40 degree heat is no fun at all!!

stilldazed Fri 11-Sep-09 12:47:58

I too have an Italian MIL and there is definitely a cultural aspect...

in my opinion, if you leave the baby with her she will, without a doubt, give formula (or what ever she thinks is best)

There is,in italy, a massive focus on baby' weight. Most Italian mothers I know have a scales in their house and weigh babies after there feed to see how much they have eaten.

Tell your MIL that the docutor has weighed the a baby and it's is exactly the right weight for it's aged and that the doctor told you to continue exactly as you are...that way she is would be argueing against the doctor.

Good Luck!

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