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'You're going to breastfeed? That's a bit... animalistic, isn't it?' ARGH

35 replies

sammyad · 10/06/2014 22:39

The baby's not even here yet, and I've just spent an hour over dinner defending my putative parenting choices to DM and DSis. DM asked ages ago whether I was planning to breast or bottle feed - I gave what I thought was the quite reasonable answer that I'd give breastfeeding a good go, but obviously best-laid plans etc, and not beat myself up if ended up on formula. I assumed that was end of discussion but no - have not heard the end of it.
We're currently living at DM's, as we were planning on moving, place fell through at the last minute, and rather than spend the last couple of months of pregnancy renting and frantically house-hunting, she very kindly suggested we stay with her for a few months until after the baby's here and we can give some more attention to the accommodation issue. Anyway, while she is very kind things are already getting stressful. Everything I have mentioned (usually only when asked as I know this will happen) wanting to try/ doing/ buying gets criticised. BLW - dangerous. Slings - dangerous. Sidecar cots - ridiculous.
The breastfeeding thing though is what's getting me down the most - she's made it quite clear that I'd better not do it anywhere she'll 'be forced to look at it' - I was always intending to be discreet, but assumed I'd be able to sit on the sofa with a drapey top/ shawl. Apparently not. She and sis spent this entire evening as well running through how it's complete rubbish that breastfeeding is better, that I probably won't be able to anyway ('most women find it too difficult... and you've always insisted on wearing underwired bras' Hmm), that it's weird I want to ('hasn't society moved on/ women who breastfeed for longer than a few weeks must be 'getting something out of it'') that my DP will feel left out and will never be able to bond with the baby (despite the fact he's completely supportive), and ending in the triumphant 'it never did you any harm' - despite the fact both DSis and I have struggled with being overweight since we were tiny, and I have coeliac disease - both problems which may link to being bottle rather than breastfed.
I am not some kind of crazy 'formula is poison' person - I know in most cases it probably makes no difference at all, loads of happy, healthy children and brilliant mothers use formula. I know I might find breastfeeding too hard. I just want to give it a go, and would appreciate some support from them instead of ridicule and what feels like active attempts to make life harder. I feel like if something happens and I give up, they'll be pleased and vindicated, rather than sympathetic. Just so fed up.

(In case you hadn't noticed, this is a rant rather than a question... Apologies Sad )

OP posts:
MrsCosmopilite · 10/06/2014 22:46

Not able to offer any advice but feel free to rant away.

I 'had a go' at breastfeeding and it was ok. When DD was really hungry or I was too tired/sore (had an EMCS) then she was 'topped up' with either formula or expressed milk.

I don't live with relatives but just fed her as/when she needed it. If that was on the sofa at the IL's house, then that's where it was.

Your Mum & Sister are being very rude. It's your baby, it's your body. If they don't like the idea of breastfeeding then perhaps they could explain the purpose of breasts? :)

ThinkIveBeenHacked · 10/06/2014 22:50

You know this is only going to get worse when the baby arrives?

If I were you I would focus all of my attention on finding somewhere to live asap.

Halfpastthelegofmyshirt · 10/06/2014 22:50

Maybe your Mum and sister should stop doing the animalistic things they do, like eating, drinking and sleeping?

It sounds like you might be better off in rented accommodation - sounds like you need some space to make the choices that are right for you and your partner and baby.

todayiamfat · 10/06/2014 22:51


My dm was a bit like this, but restarined gerself a bit more! My dsis had her pfb 6 weeks after my pfb and my dm made a very giid gi at putting hwr iff bf withing a couple of days. I was really Sad and Angry. She made some comment about me bf dd at the time and how I was being a martyr.
She told me dsis that she would have to sell her car to get her boobs fixed Shock 3 days after birth!

todayiamfat · 10/06/2014 22:52

Bloody hell. Sorry. I should have checked that Blush

gamerchick · 10/06/2014 22:53

If you're only going to be there for a short time then just smile and nod.

If it get's to much say you find it odd that so many people are thinking about your boobs with a slide eye.

Personally I couldn't stay there, stressful moving or not and I would be giving them a wideberth as soon as it's able.

Why isn't your bloke sticking up for you and telling them to lay off?

gamerchick · 10/06/2014 22:56

The mothership HATED me breastfeeding and i did it with 3 kids.. with each one she would send me out of the room when at hers to 'do it in private' as soon as I was established I did it when I damn well pleased.

She still mentions that I did it to 3 1/2 with the last one, it's well amusing.

Smile nod or give a withering look whenever they open their mouth and just do what you want.

Good luck

ExBrightonBell · 10/06/2014 23:05

If you've got to stay there for a while then perhaps stop making any mention of baby related things unless they directly ask you. Even then, try and deflect with non committal answers and change the topic of conversation.

Either that or have a massive push to force them to respect you as an adult capable of making your own choices. I don't think I could put up with being spoken to so dismissively and disrespectfully. It makes it clear that they don't think of you as an equal. Anytime they start to talk to you in that way, you could pull them up on it immediately and tell them that they are treating you like a childish idiot. Your mother has had her chance to parent and your DSis should only be concerning herself with her own future parenting choices.

As for the animalistic comment - well surely growing a new human and then giving birth is pretty animalistic too. But your DM has done it, twice.

Alita7 · 10/06/2014 23:11

How rude! Move quick. I bet if you suddenly say tomorrow that you want to formula feed they will go on about how it's not natural etc...nothing you choose will be good enough and they're only asking so they can shoot you down.

(Also most women having too much trouble to breast feed is bullshit, some women can't physically produce enough milk or have lots of problems but, many give up when physically they could still do it which is perfectly ok as there's an alternative and it's their bodies, but if you really really want to do it then you should be able to, though it might be awful for a few weeks. If most women couldn't bf then how would the human race have managed to survive before formula :p)

Bellyrub1980 · 10/06/2014 23:17

I would almost be inclined to chuckle a bit when they say things like that. I mean, the whole notion that breast feeding is something from the dark ages is a bit bizarre really. Is that simply because it's a bodily function? Isn't growing a baby a bodily function too? How do they cope with periods? Do they still poo and wee? What about orgasms?! Haha! Would love you to ask them that.

The very suggestion that a woman might have some kind of warped altering motive for breast feeding is totally sick, who in their right mind would think that??!

I feel the exact same way as you, I'm gonna give it my best shot as id really like to do it, but if it doesn't work out so be it.

(And whilst I've advised you to chuckle at their comments, the truth is if anyone dares to give me their opinion on one more single thing they think I'd should be doing with my body or my baby I think I will rip their head clean off.)

Bellyrub1980 · 10/06/2014 23:18

*ulterior motive

StarlightMcKenzie · 10/06/2014 23:23

Having a newborn is hard. Breastfeeding can be hard. Adjusting and tuning into your instincts is hard.

But you know what makes it less hard and bloody fantastic? Having good unconditional non-judgemental support.

Move. The rest will sort itself out.

keepyourchinupdear · 10/06/2014 23:27

Remind them:
A. They're mammary glands & they're yours
B. He/she will be your baby
C. Milk is just plasma & you'd rather have your baby grow off your milk rather than from just any old cow
C. It's really fucking none of their fucking business

FishWithABicycle · 10/06/2014 23:28


Renting and moving twice will be an absolute picnic compared to living there with a newborn baby. RUN FOR THE HILLS you can get a reasonable temporary rental sorted very very quickly. There is no good side to staying in that environment. You have some chance of retaining a positive relationship if you are not living there.

BiscuitMillionaire · 10/06/2014 23:36

When you have a newborn, your body is recovering, you're emotionally vulnerable as, together with your hormones being all over the place, your old life has gone and you're now devoted to this tiny bundle of never-ending needs and you're sleep-deprived... the LAST thing you need is to be sharing accommodation with people who are judgmental and unsupportive. Breastfeeding can be a fantastic bonding experience, but can also take time and practice to get comfortable with. I really strongly suggest you try to get your own place, however modest. You will want your own haven, to hang out in your dressing gown, trying different positions for bf on your own sofa.

Then you can have your DM and DSis visit for an hour or two and smile politely and ignore their ridiculous opinions.

Nocomet · 10/06/2014 23:37

Get out and buy some ear plugs for when they visit.

Athrawes · 10/06/2014 23:55


Seriously if my 86 year old FIL could cope (supportively I might add, good on him) with me doing it in front of him then they need to get over themselves.

Hand them the literature, let them read it, if they still object then say that sadly whilst you will miss them you will have to move as they do not have the best interests of the baby at heart. Rent a studio flat if you have to, but leave!!

MummytoMog · 10/06/2014 23:56

Leave. Now. Before you beat your mother to death in a postpartum rage.

shroedingersdodo · 11/06/2014 00:07

Sex is animalistic too, and I bet they do/did that. What do they think we are? robots?

Formula is not poison but it's not as good as the "real thing". It would be great if you could move elsewhere...

sammyad · 11/06/2014 00:17

Thank you everyone - feel slightly reassured I'm not being totally unreasonable to be annoyed by this, and you have made me laugh! Would dearly love to just move out now but sadly not that simple - I'm 34 weeks now and doing exams pretty constantly until 38 weeks- revising all day every day (which translates loosely as learning for the first time everything I missed while horribly ill in first five months).. DP is working all the hours in effort to save for deposit/ make sure he can take decent time off post-baby. We literally have no time to do anything. Also I have gestational diabetes so potentially facing induction sooner than full term which for some reason is making me even more unwilling to start another massive upheaval, just as we've finally got sorted here with everything organised and stowed away.. I know I'm being pathetic but inclined to go with the 'nod and smile, ignore, and bail out asap after baby' plan of action. Just don't have the energy for rows... I am bitterly regretting moving in though- DP has so far managed not to actually say he told me so which I think shows quite impressive levels of restraint, but I think he's getting close.

OP posts:
joanofarchitrave · 11/06/2014 00:24

If you're staying, you're going to have to find ways of blocking off stuff like this, while still letting through the kindness and support there will no doubt be as well. That's going to be quite difficult.

In the early weeks I reached the point with my mum's words of wisdom (formula fed 3 children) that I actually prodded her into saying things that could be considered negative about breastfeeding just so that I could get in a hump with her. And I wasn't even living with her. So much for having children making you grow up...

You're also going to need other sources of support. I would start finding out about local breastfeeding cafes, helpline numbers etc now. If you don't need the information in the event, great.

UML · 11/06/2014 01:07

Read up on how to deal with c

UML · 11/06/2014 01:16

Read up on how to deal with controlling behaviour!

The way they have expressed themselves is pretty extreme, why are they so keen to rubbish it?

I am struggling to understand why they are so against it? Are there other issues? Like hidden jealousy? Or them being selfish, because if you breastfeed they won't be part of the feeding process? (I am not joking, I have experience of this!)

I found breast feeding extremely difficult with each of my kids, and without the strong support of my family would have found it hard to cope. You need to think of how to deal with your family's disregard and unsupportive behaviour now', nip it in the bud. Assert yourself and tell them that you have listened to their views but it's none of their business.

UML · 11/06/2014 01:21

Are you very easy going? How is your relationship with your mum on issues other than b feeding?

I used to be but it's taken me many years to establish some kind of relationship with my mum where she understands that I am an adult now and even though she can have am opinion on x, y or z, I am the mum and have my own way of doing things which need to be respected - whether it be b feeding, kids sleep routines or anything else!

You shouldn't feel like you have to justify or defend everything you do!

Boogles91 · 11/06/2014 01:59

You poor thing. I kniw hiw hard it can be to stand up to parents but if i was in your position, i would tell them both a few home truths! Who do they think they are? You are a grown woman now and about to start a family soon, and you have a loving husband! Im not gxoing to bother breastfeeding myself, i wanted to express and do it that way but ive spoken to hubby about it and it would just be easier for us to use formular. But if my mum or mil sat there talking to me like that, id would soon stand my ground. Dont let people bring you down, if you want to sit on settee and feed lil one then your well within your rights! It was once your home too and should always be if you ever needed like my parents always tell me. Just because its not your house technically doesnt mean to say you cant feed your baby the way you want to, its like there telling you hiw to go to the sodding toilet, or have a shower or bath! If they do use the old line of this is my house blah blah blah, just reply with, if you werent happy about us moving in why tell us we could! And find a place of your own again.

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