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Thread: Pressure to give up :(

  1. #1

    Default Pressure to give up :(

    I don't really know why I am posting or what I want people to reply or hope to achieve but here goes.

    I come from a VERY anti breastfeeding family but went against tradition and fed my son, I stopped at 6 months after weeks of niggling comments and just general unease.

    I am now feeding my daughter and facing it all over again, this time, I really want to go longer. I'm just sick of feeling like I am doing something weird. I KNOW it isn't, I KNOW I shouldn't listen and I KNOW I just have to get on with it - the majority of the time I can just smile and nod but sometimes (like tonight!) it all just gets a bit much.

    As I said, I don't even know why I am posting (apart from to get sympathy from people I don't even know) but I just feel so exhausted by it all. I can't talk to them or ask them to stop (I think they don't even realise they are doing it most of the time, it is just an all pervading atmosphere). I can never complain (for want of a better word) about anything remotely to do with feeding as it is just used as ammo against me. I'm just a bit fed up I think, I love feeding my little girl and just wish it wasn't such an issue

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    138

    Default Re: Pressure to give up :(

    I'm sorry. My family isn't anti-breastfeeding, but as I'm the first to really do it for any length of time, they're just not really people I can turn to for support.

    I know that it's hard to ignore the comments, but keep in mind that you're doing something wonderful for your daughter. You say you can't talk to them about it and ask them to stop, but why can't you do that?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Ontario
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    621

    Default Re: Pressure to give up :(

    I have to give you props for continuing despite the lack of support. Breastfeeding has been hard enough, even with very supportive family/friends. Maybe if you could post some specific examples of comments/situations, people who have BTDT can give you some suggestions.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pressure to give up :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tallmadre View Post
    I'm sorry. My family isn't anti-breastfeeding, but as I'm the first to really do it for any length of time, they're just not really people I can turn to for support.

    I know that it's hard to ignore the comments, but keep in mind that you're doing something wonderful for your daughter. You say you can't talk to them about it and ask them to stop, but why can't you do that?
    It would only end in a massive argument, they would deny they want me to give up (closely followed by a 'if you want to be a hippy then go for it' type comment.

    I'm just having a moan on here because I can't do it in real life. I feel under pressure to prove that my baby is 'good' so that they can't blame bfeeding for her not sleeping etc. they are all under the impression she sleeps through the night (she is 18w), she doesn't and I am totally fine with this but it is tiring. I don't want a pat on the back but some kind of empathy would be nice, there I go moaning again!!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pressure to give up :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*carm3 View Post
    I have to give you props for continuing despite the lack of support. Breastfeeding has been hard enough, even with very supportive family/friends. Maybe if you could post some specific examples of comments/situations, people who have BTDT can give you some suggestions.
    Not very familiar with all this, what is btdt?

    Just things like 'they get all the nutrients they need by 3 months' I tried pointing out that if that was the case then they could go straight to another natural form of sustenance, not man made formula but they see formula as an improvement on BM

    'She is so clingy, you wouldn't get that with a bottle fed baby'
    My son has started to 'breast feed' his dolls and they have told me he is going to grow up 'with issues'
    'The sooner that child is on the bottle, the sooner you will get your life back'

    And then there are the millions of comments about other bfeeding mothers which demonstrate their attitude as a whole.
    I know I will wake up tomorrow and everything will seem better but tonight I am wallowing a bit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Pressure to give up :(

    BTDT = been there, done that

    You get huge pats on the back from everyone here. Breastfeeding really is difficult enough without negative comments niggling at you!

    Would a huge fight be worth it, just once? Would it result in the stream of commentary drying up? Sometimes a firm "You know what, I just don't want to discuss breastfeeding with you, EVER" and a smile can stop the comments. Of course, that's not true with some people, who don't know how to take "No" for an answer...
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,753

    Default Re: Pressure to give up :(

    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    I think they don't even realise they are doing it most of the time, it is just an all pervading atmosphere).
    Could it be they are just uninformed? Would telling them about the AAP's infant feeding guidelines (and every other respected childcare organizations) recommendation to nurse for At LEAST a year make any difference? Your logic makes sense of course, but some people need to see doctors ‘orders’ or expert testimony, and there is certainly plenty of that. It is also possible you are facing not only ignorance but discomfort with anything involving breasts or bodily fluids.

    Who is pressuring you and how important are they to you and your baby? Is it someone legally and morally responsible for your child’s health and wellness like you are? Someone you live with, have to see often, etc??? Is it someone whose approval you need, who you love and respect and look up to, or someone whose feelings you don't want to hurt? I think WHO is giving you a hard time changes what response (if any) is appropriate or helpful.

    What if these folks gave you some other childcare advice that went against all known science and fact as well as your own desires- would you listen and let them get to you? Or would you just shrug it off? I have met moms who will defend to the marrow all kinds of parenting choices who then wilt when the subject is breastfeeding, even though the evidence supporting breastfeeding is so overwhelmimg.

    You will certainly find support here, and answers to your questions and complaints without anyone saying "well just wean." It also may help to look into breastfeeding support Groups like LLL in your area.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,709

    Default Re: Pressure to give up :(

    I agree, try to find a local LLL group or other breastfeeding group in your area STAT!!!! What you need are a few friends who will give you the positive support you need to counteract the negativity from your family. What you are doing despite the comments is AMAZING. Hold tight to that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Pressure to give up :(

    I just read your posts and the way you have been treated for making a healthy decision for your baby makes me angry! It is hard enough to breastfeed without all that negativity and those you care about the most encouraging you to give up and switch to formula. I had a lot of difficulties learning how to breastfeed, and without the support of my loved ones I probably would have given up. But they acknowledged the importance and were supportive. I am truly sorry that your loved ones cannot provide you with the same support.

    What to do? Hmmm....From the sound of it, I don't think it would matter how much scientific data you presented to them about the benefits, though I suppose you could keep trying. I suppose in your situation I would just tell people about the importance of breastfeeding until age X (whenever you want to stop), and that you don't care to hear any more comments about it. This is YOUR decision, not theirs. You might try saying, "look, this is a personal decision, and if you're my friend/loved one/etc, you will respect my decision and stop criticizing the way I chose to parent my child. I respect the choices you've made (or will make) in raising your children, and I just ask for the same consideration."

    Other suggestions: simply try to minimize contact with the people who criticize you if possible. You may even indicate that you are limiting or eliminating time with them because they offend you. I read on one mama's post (sorry, can't remember whose and on which thread, but it was in the last month or so) that she lost several friendships over breastfeeding and the way her friends negatively parented their children.

    Lastly, the suggestion to find a LLL group in your area would be great. You will find other moms who can be your support network. Maybe an LLL leader would be willing to come to your house and meet your loved ones to discuss the importance of breastfeeding and provide other helpful information in a non-confrontational manner. (My local LLL leader is awesome and definitely would do this if I were to ask).

    Just know that you are doing the best for your daughter, despite what others say. Keep it up, mama. We are rooting for you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Pressure to give up :(

    Hi beaubaby,

    I'm sorry that you're having to deal with this. You could present the facts that every major medical organization recommends breastfeeding for at least a year (AAP) and in many cases a minimum of two (WHO). You could present evidence that even the formula companies state that breastmilk is best in their ads. Of the women I know who've formula fed, no one believes that it's as good as breastmilk, much less an improvement. It's just what they've done when breastfeeding didn't work for whatever reason. And you could point out that you won't get your life back once you start bottle feeding, because you'll be spending your time cleaning and sterilizing bottles and nipples.

    But I don't know if any of that is really worth your breath, because it sounds like their minds are made up. I'm also wondering if these are the sort of people (and I don't know this, but I'm only speculating here) who like to find what gets a rise out of someone and then continue to push those buttons. In that case, you could present all the evidence in the world that BFing is the best thing you can do and they're not going to change their minds. I think that as lmommal suggested, just saying

    You know what, I just don't want to discuss breastfeeding with you, EVER

    might be your best option. Take it off the table for discussion. Don't engage on it. I've found in similar situations that's the best way to deal with people like this.

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