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No support

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I actually haven't had my first baby quite yet, but she is due very soon! My problem is that I don't have many friends where I live and my husband and his family is not supportive of my decision to breastfeed. My husband isn't hassling me about it, I've told him the many benefits of it, but he's made it clear that he thinks it's gross. He's pretty uncomfortable about us having a daughter, insisting that he will always want her clothed at all times. He even said he felt guilty seeing her girl parts on the ultrasound! I'm really not sure what to do to help him get past this, I'm hoping that once he sees her and holds her that he'll feel more comfortable.

Getting back to breastfeeding though, his family seems to think it is next to sinful and animalistic; like we've evolved beyond the need for it. Which is totally bizarre to me. I wasn't breastfed myself, but my two younger sisters were and my mom had a strong support group of breastfeeding mothers, so I grew up around it. I just don't know if there's anything I can say or do to change their minds or if this is just something I'm going to have to put up with. It's really hard for me because I don't like to cause controversy, and I really care for his family. I don't want to cause them discomfort, but my child's needs come first.

Is there anyone else who's dealt with this from family? I'm pretty sure I can handle strangers, I just don't want to be even more isolated then I already am just because I want to feed my daughter in the best way I can.
post #2 of 17
DH's family wasn't quite as against it as you describe but they definitely thought (still think) it's weird or something. I just BF as normal... in the early days I would go to a different room (we had major latch issues) but as DS's latching improved and I could be more discreet, I'd just nurse in front of them. You should have seen my FIL's face the first time we went out to dinner with the baby and I started BF'ing right at our table!! But you know what, I just kept acting like it was natural, and they just kind of accept that it's what I do. Anytime I visit their house & sit down to BF, I clear the room still... They all just get up and leave. It's a little awkward but honestly all I care about at that point is feeding my DS. As a side benefit, my 18-yo SIL had a (unplanned) baby not long ago and she is still EBF! She was weirded out by the thought of BF'ing but I guess the combination of research she did as well as seeing me BF my son motivated her to BF. So I guess my suggestions are, act like it's normal, and explain the tangible, scientifically-proven benefits to them, as well as citing AAP & WHO recommendations... I'd think they would respond better to that than to explanations of how natural BF is and how that's what breasts were intended for.

As far as your DH, I'm sure he'll come around once he holds his daughter!! I think a lot of parents are a little uncomfortable about the thought of having an opposite-sex child but I don't know of too many that haven't instantly forgotten their discomfort once they held their LO!
post #3 of 17
I think crunchy_mommy had some great advise. Act like what you're doing is totally normal and throw in comments about BFing's benefits whenever possible.

I would also suggest that you seek out some support. I didn't have much resistance to bfing when dd was an infant, but now that she's nearly 2 it's pretty clear that certain members of my family are pretty uncomfortable with her still nursing. I haven't had any major problems BFing, but I still go to La Leche League meetings and love them. It's nice to have a place to go where you feel normal, like you're not swimming against the current. Pregnant moms are welcome so you don't have to wait till your LO is born. You can find a local group here.
post #4 of 17
My father is FREAKED out at the very idea of nursing. I don't know why...she just totally shut down when the topic would come up. I flat out told him "I am going to nurse and I am NOT hiding away in the back room. You will just have to deal with it or YOU can leave the room." Since then he's gotten used to it. He doesn't leave the room if I need to feed her and he looks only mildly uncomfortable if it's talked about.

Do what you need and don't worry about them. They'll get over it or they can just avoid the situation. Are they religious? The sinful comment sounds like they are. If they're Christian, I'd play the whole "God doesn't make mistakes and this is how he designed me to feed my child" card.
post #5 of 17
I'm going to move this out to the general breastfeeding forum.
post #6 of 17
I had no susport at all but then anyone who wanted to say i sould ff i brushed off..
what kept me going was one thing i kept saying over and over while preg and after. "I will breastfeed it is the best for baby and me, my child will NOT get formula" i am a stuborn person so what i want to do I am going to do. i knew in my heart it was the best and i wanted the best for my dc
post #7 of 17
That's bizarre. I suspect he's trying to get out of changing diapers. (Mostly kidding. Thought my ex did pull that, so who knows?)

I'm sorry you're not getting the support you want. I agree with the LLL suggestion. If you're taking birthing classes together, check to see if they talk about breastfeeding there.
post #8 of 17
Your hubby sounds like he has some serious sexual hangups. Baby clothed at all times? Breastfeeding is gross? Feels guilty for seeing her labia on the ultrasound?

I think THAT's what needs to be addressed first. WHY does he feel this way? Is he ever going to change her diaper? Rub diaper cream on her if necessary? Bathe her? Get her dressed?

Once you work on why he feels such shame toward the human body, I think everything else will fall into place quite nicely.
post #9 of 17
my family thinks it's weird that i'm breastfeeding, especially since i have twins. luckily my husbands gets it, and his family doesn't care either way... but my family definitely can't wrap their brains around why i wouldn't choose the "easier" way. i just say... whatever. it's just because it's not what they're used to. you know what's best - just do your thing. seek out local LLL or breastfeeding centers or whatever you have around to surround yourself with other nursing mothers for support. you will need it in the beginning, while you're getting it all sorted out. worst case scenario you don't have anything like that around, talk to like-minded women on the internet!

i had to supplement with formula for a while... and i did NOT find the bottles easier. you have to prep them, warm them, keep them cool while toting them around, wash them... yuck!

re: dh's weird girl thing - i bet he'll get over it once he meets his little bean!
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasiya View Post
Your hubby sounds like he has some serious sexual hangups. Baby clothed at all times? Breastfeeding is gross? Feels guilty for seeing her labia on the ultrasound?

I think THAT's what needs to be addressed first. WHY does he feel this way? Is he ever going to change her diaper? Rub diaper cream on her if necessary? Bathe her? Get her dressed?

Once you work on why he feels such shame toward the human body, I think everything else will fall into place quite nicely.


OP,

You have two issues. The first, your husband, needs to be addressed ASAP b/c once the baby comes it will be hard time, money and emotion-wise to deal with it. (counseling??)

On the 2nd issue, I didn't run into that myself until my brother got a gf. My entire family and DH's entire family is very pro-nursing. Never a problem anywhere. Even the extended family keeps the mouths shut (although I'm less confident of their stance; they are at least not icked out by it).

Meanwhile, if my brother's gf see me nursing, she start apologizing "Sorry sorry sorry" runs past me with her head ducked and won't come into the room.

Let's say I don't have much support/approval for this relationship.... (I am NICE though...but still )
post #11 of 17
s

Dh's family was totally weirded out at first when I was breastfeeding, but now they have just accepted it and really respect me for doing it. I would stick with what you believe and you may be suprised at how they react.
post #12 of 17
I'm sorry you're going through that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasiya View Post
Your hubby sounds like he has some serious sexual hangups. Baby clothed at all times? Breastfeeding is gross? Feels guilty for seeing her labia on the ultrasound?

I think THAT's what needs to be addressed first. WHY does he feel this way? Is he ever going to change her diaper? Rub diaper cream on her if necessary? Bathe her? Get her dressed?

Once you work on why he feels such shame toward the human body, I think everything else will fall into place quite nicely.
post #13 of 17
Are they at all religious? Cause the response "it was good enough for Jesus" often works with that crowd.
post #14 of 17
I was gonna say - the whole genital hangup thing to me is rather worrying... Does that not worry you? That would worry me! I mean perhaps he's just being very honest and is telling you everything that's in his heart and mind, but if that's the case he will not feel at all odd about seeing her girl parts once she's out. It's a question of nurture then - she needs changing, he will find it nurturing to change her, not weird or wrong.

Having said that, if the rest of his family are the same way I bet he was raised ina super-odd environment! How completely weird for you!!

The most I can say is this: tell them all to grow up and put some big boy/girl knickers on and get a grip! You're FEEDING your CHILD!

I do have similar experiences. My step kids were never breast fed by their bio-mom who then also abandoned them almost three years ago. My OH was never breast fed as an infant, and neither were any of his siblings (there were four of them in all). Strange - yeah - I think it is a bit odd since in my family, we were ALL breastfed until 18 months at least! So here am I coming from a natural point for view and to be honest, I myself am stuck here with *lets face it* a bunch of weirded out breastfeeding prudes.

But I am very assertive and have stuck to my guns and gone "if you don't like it, leave the room because I will not cover my baby with a suffocating cloth for your visual benefit!!!" - seriously in my eyes, they all need to grow the hell up!

Now of course the %^&$ has hit the fan lol! My DSS who is very quickly getting used to the breastfeeding was reprimanded in school for teasing a little girl about "private parts" last week - and I betcha anything it was boobs! So now I am talking to his teacher about what exactly the deal was. BUT now grandma is oooh so worried because SHE reckons the school has to report anything like that to the county because it's "sexual" in nature. ABSOLUTELY laughably ridiculous!! Totally a symptom of not understanding the nature of little boys who were NOT breastfed coming to terms with a little sister who IS! Which is completely normal, I might add! Which, I might also add, his teacher will be completely aware of. Report it to the county...soooo ridiculous!

So yes, that is the situation I'm in right now myself - but I tell you I have no patience for idiotic behavior when it comes to feeding my child, and I will stand there and defend her food supply until the cows come home. Breastfeeding is NOT indecent exposure, no matter how paranoid my OH is about me being "arrested" for indecent exposure if my boob accidentally falls out of my daughter's mouth while out and about!

Men are so funny sometimes...gawsh!!!
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasiya View Post
Your hubby sounds like he has some serious sexual hangups. Baby clothed at all times? Breastfeeding is gross? Feels guilty for seeing her labia on the ultrasound?

I think THAT's what needs to be addressed first. WHY does he feel this way? Is he ever going to change her diaper? Rub diaper cream on her if necessary? Bathe her? Get her dressed?

Once you work on why he feels such shame toward the human body, I think everything else will fall into place quite nicely.
Totally this and JayJay too!! Guys are ridiculous - it's an anxious time just before your baby arrives and everyone seems to have opinions on you and your unborn child, hopefully all will fall into place when faced with the breastfeeding and if not - it's their problem that they need to address and not for you to worry about, I third/fourth the LLL recommendation.

This sort of attitude is very alien to me as we're in Paris France and in europe in general breasts are just breasts and not the sexual objects as seen in the USA - of course there are other issues over here; but my heart really goes out to you guys who have to fight to have the right to nourish your babies - and to all you guys!!
post #16 of 17
Don't let them prey on your insecurities. BFing can be rough at times, but in the long run it's well worth it!

I highly suggest finding a support group near you (LLL or otherwise) and GO weekly. Have a contact number of a person who you can contact for any problems that arise. GL!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your responses! I know I have to do this regardless of what my in-laws think, and I just hope it doesn't cause a ridiculous amount of friction. I really do think my husband will come around, he loves our baby girl and I know he wants the best for her as well. It's just culture shock I guess.

I'm not too worried about him being so uncomfortable about her being a girl. I think when he holds her and gets the reality of her being HIS daughter he'll relax. But yes it still worries me a little. I thought since there is 8-10 years difference between him and his younger sisters, that he'd be at least somewhat used to naked girl babies.

And he's already tried to get out of changing diapers, he has a sensitive nose and swears he will throw up if he has to change a diaper. I told him I'd have to see it to believe it.

I will definitely look into getting involved with La Leche League! My mom will be visiting soon after the baby is born as well, so I hope between her and LLL, I'll be able to get the hang of BFing and get some confidence!
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