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So conflicted and confused

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 

I have a new nephew that I got to see for the first time today.  By new I mean he's already 4 months old.  Of course I think he's the most adorable little baby ever and I'm just in love with him.  His little smiles are the best and the way his eyes sparkle melts my heart (can you tell my boys are well past the baby stage?).  When the subject of breastfeeding came up I was told "oh we're not doing THAT" like it was totally gross.  I know my SIL and the only reason she isn't nursing is because FFing is easier for her.  My heart is breaking.

 

Here is where my question comes in.  Because of my very strong beliefs on BFing, I will not feed her son for her.  It just isn't something I can bring myself to do.  I can respect her choice because it is after all, her choice no matter my feelings on the issue but I just cannot bear to sit down and put a bottle in that baby's mouth.  I know I will be asked to.  We are vacationing with them soon and she passes him off as often as possible (I'm bringing my sling on vacation, glad that it will be of use once more).  

 

I'm just not sure how to keep declining this "great honor" without coming off like an elitist.  Heck, maybe I am being one but I just cannot get over the heartache I feel when I've tried to do this.  I fought hard to BF my babies (including being in a coma *twice* and losing my supply both times but working to get it back successfully both times) and I see her just throwing it all away.  Am I a bad person for feeling like this?  

post #2 of 89

 

I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to respond to your post so I will respond as gently as possible.  While I understand that there are many people that become very passionate about their interests (ie, breastfeeding, nutrition, etc)  I really believe that actions like the one your describing actually really hurt the lactivist cause.  By not feeding her baby, you are ostracizing this woman, who is your SIL.  Why would you want to do that?  It doesn't matter if she choosing to breastfeed or formula feed, in the big scheme of life, it's really none of your business. 

 

And yes, I do think your being really insensitive.  If you choose to breastfeed in extenuating circumstances, good for you... but don't be do-gooder.

 

 

post #3 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodygumdrops View Post

 

I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to respond to your post so I will respond as gently as possible.  While I understand that there are many people that become very passionate about their interests (ie, breastfeeding, nutrition, etc)  I really believe that actions like the one your describing actually really hurt the lactivist cause.  By not feeding her baby, you are ostracizing this woman, who is your SIL.  Why would you want to do that?  It doesn't matter if she choosing to breastfeed or formula feed, in the big scheme of life, it's really none of your business. 

 

And yes, I do think your being really insensitive.  If you choose to breastfeed in extenuating circumstances, good for you... but don't be do-gooder.

 

 



I disagree.  The idea of formula feeding a baby makes the OP uncomfortable; it doesn't mean that she's planning on ostracizing the SIL, and the "lactivist cause" is irrelevant here.

 

The SIL sounds like she has been judgmental about breastfeeding.  Why should the OP just suck it up and feed the baby when she's not comfortable with it?  

 

Personally, if I felt that way about feeding the baby a bottle, I would decline if asked to, or conveniently have something else to do when feeding time came around.  You're not the child's caregiver and should not be expected to feed it when the parents are right there anyway.

post #4 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post





The SIL sounds like she has been judgmental about breastfeeding. .



Or perhaps the SIL is behaving the way she is because she feels judged by the op who, in her own words, has a very strong feelings regarding breastfeeding.

I think you have two options - feed your nephew his bottle and enjoy spending some quality time with your sweet nephew or make yourself busy whenever feeding time comes around so that you aren't asked to help.
post #5 of 89

Certainly you have the right to not feed your nephew if that is your choice.

 

But I want to point out that she is not currently  "throwing [anything] away".  Any benefits from her son getting breast milk have already been thrown away and the only thing this baby is being fed now is formula.  Your protest can't change that.

 

Many people find that bottle feeding babies is a wonderful way to bond with them.  In all honesty (and you should know that I'm days away from nursing a 5 year old and her 2yo sister) I sometimes longed to bottle feed my girls because I had bottle fed so many other babies while I was growing up and I had an emotional connection to the routine.  I LOVED nursing my girls and am a huge advocate for it, but there's always been that warm feeling I got from feeding babies before I had my own.

 

If it were me, I'd be chomping at the bit to have that quiet time with my nephew.  I have only one niece and she's adopted. I was thrilled to sit and feed her her bottle even though the smell of formula is so gross!  It was a special time I got to spend with her amidst the hubbub of extended family life.  It wasn't her fault or choice what she was being fed.

 

I wonder, though, if the issue isn't more with the fact that "she passes him off as often as possible" than the formula.  Maybe you're wishing that she was a more attached parent than she is? Or feeling sad for your nephew that he is being passed around so much away from mama?  

 

post #6 of 89
Thread Starter 

I haven't been vocal about my strong feelings.  I have only shared some of my personal experiences (NOT including the coma story so she doesn't know the extremes that I have gone through in order to BF).  I've only been helpful and supportive to her, which is why I'm so conflicted on how to act over this multi-day vacation.  Up until now we haven't spent a lot of time together.

post #7 of 89
It breaks your heart that she's formula feeding? to the extent that you can't even hold the bottle? Really?

Have you talked to anyone about this? That is not a normal or healthy way to feel. I wish you well as you heal.
post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
I disagree.  The idea of formula feeding a baby makes the OP uncomfortable; it doesn't mean that she's planning on ostracizing the SIL, and the "lactivist cause" is irrelevant here.

 

The SIL sounds like she has been judgmental about breastfeeding.  Why should the OP just suck it up and feed the baby when she's not comfortable with it?  

 

 

Because no matter what the mother's choices were, all human beings deserve to be fed.  If the mother 'passes off' the baby and then walks across the street and gets hit by a truck (God Forbid), what then?  Yes, thats an extreme way for me to make my point, which is, if she loves that child or even if she didn't, if the baby is hungry and the mother doesn't happen to be around, then put your personal agenda aside and feed the child.  It's not like she's asking for her to give her a latte from Starbucks, for heck's sake.

 

 


 

 

post #9 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post

It breaks your heart that she's formula feeding? to the extent that you can't even hold the bottle? Really?

Have you talked to anyone about this? That is not a normal or healthy way to feel. I wish you well as you heal.


Yes this.  If the choice was letting the baby cry and go hungry while you wait for his mother to return from whatever she's doing, rather than give that baby nutrition and comfort with an albeit artificial nipple, then something is wrong with your compass.

post #10 of 89
nm
post #11 of 89

 I understand your feelings. Although,It's the mother choice how to feed her baby. I'll probably encourage your SIL to feed her baby in the breastefeeding way. Positioning the baby, eye to eye contact, switching sides, etc. You have to remember the breastfeeding it's not just about Breast Milk, it's the bounding with the baby, and that it's also something than many mothers in our society need to be incourage by other mothers. Doesn't matter the how the baby is been feed.

 Please, by kind we your feelings.Breath and be in peace!

post #12 of 89

How would you feel if you went to visit your SIL and you started to nurse your child and she made a comment she was offended by nursing, won't be a part of it and got up and left or ushered you to another room?  I assume you would be very hurt, do you want to hurt your SIL?  No, I dont think so wink1.gif As far as her trying to pass her infant off every chance she gets... are you really sure this is as diabolical as you make it sound?  Maybe she's simply more relaxed about friends or family holding her baby than you would be.  Maybe it makes her happy to be able to share her baby with her loved ones.  Maybe she simply needs some recuperation time. It's possible she could really benefit from a break and takes advantage of the time she spends with family and friends to take a moment for herself because she knows her infant can still be held and cuddled as she does.

 

I think you need to be very sensitive to choices women make with their children, confidence is such a huge part of parenting & anyone who would chip away at that confidence is doing the mother and child a huge disservice.  I'm not saying you cant have a conversation about these kinds of things with other parents, but a conversation isn't what you're after here, lets face it..  you were planning to make some kind of statement that your choices are superior, hers are substandard/shameful.  You NEVER do that to another woman, especially over something like this.  What other women chose to do with their children is in no way a reflection on you, just keep reminding yourself of that.
 

post #13 of 89


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyBear View Post

I have a new nephew that I got to see for the first time today.  By new I mean he's already 4 months old.  Of course I think he's the most adorable little baby ever and I'm just in love with him.  His little smiles are the best and the way his eyes sparkle melts my heart (can you tell my boys are well past the baby stage?).  When the subject of breastfeeding came up I was told "oh we're not doing THAT" like it was totally gross.  I know my SIL and the only reason she isn't nursing is because FFing is easier for her.  My heart is breaking.

 

Here is where my question comes in.  Because of my very strong beliefs on BFing, I will not feed her son for her.  It just isn't something I can bring myself to do.  I can respect her choice because it is after all, her choice no matter my feelings on the issue but I just cannot bear to sit down and put a bottle in that baby's mouth.  I know I will be asked to.  We are vacationing with them soon and she passes him off as often as possible (I'm bringing my sling on vacation, glad that it will be of use once more).  

 

I'm just not sure how to keep declining this "great honor" without coming off like an elitist.  Heck, maybe I am being one but I just cannot get over the heartache I feel when I've tried to do this.  I fought hard to BF my babies (including being in a coma *twice* and losing my supply both times but working to get it back successfully both times) and I see her just throwing it all away.  Am I a bad person for feeling like this?  

With all gentleness this isn't ok.  If you are the one in charge of the infant for whatever reason it isn't ok for you to deny him food simply because you don't like what he has to eat.  It would be no different that someone who's in charge of a breastfed infant refusing to give the child back to their mother to nurse, or refusing to give the child a bottle of EBM because they disagree with breastfeeding or the use of breastmilk. 

I think you need to explore why another woman's decision WRT her child's nutrition, and what is on what on the grander scheme of things quite small, effects you so deeply.  Is it ANY woman who chooses not to breastfeed that bothers you this deeply?  Or just your SIL?  Regardless of what the answer is you need to look more deeply into the answers and what makes you feel that way.  I would guess it goes back to your own personal experience.  I am sure you know though that we can not apply our own personal experiences to everyone else's lives.  We can not place our priorities on others without expecting them to do the same to us. 
 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post





I disagree.  The idea of formula feeding a baby makes the OP uncomfortable; it doesn't mean that she's planning on ostracizing the SIL, and the "lactivist cause" is irrelevant here.

 

The SIL sounds like she has been judgmental about breastfeeding.  Why should the OP just suck it up and feed the baby when she's not comfortable with it?  

 

Personally, if I felt that way about feeding the baby a bottle, I would decline if asked to, or conveniently have something else to do when feeding time came around.  You're not the child's caregiver and should not be expected to feed it when the parents are right there anyway.


BECAUSE SHE'S DENYING AN INFANT COMFORT AND NOURISHMENT OTHERWISE!  Let's not forget this line of reasoning does nothing but harm and punish an innocent infant who only knows they are hungry, and that they aren't being nutured and fed when they need to be.  You can't put this horse back in the barn.  The deed is already done, the deal already signed sealed and delivered.  This baby ISN'T going to get breastmilk. 

 

post #14 of 89

Hi OP,

 

From what I read of your initial post, you will not be the care giver for this baby, but instead a fun aunt that he hangs out with during your time together. It sounds like you adore him love.gif

 

I think the most gentle way to save yourself heartache and avoid any family conflict is just to hand baby back to Mom when he starts to show signs of hunger. If you are asked if you want to feed him, just say 'no thanks' and find something else to do.

 

 

post #15 of 89

Honestly- you need to really think about why you are so uncomfortable that you can't bring yourself to feed your NEPHEW a bottle.  This is how he is fed, period. I am a huge breastfeeding advocate- I breastfed both my kids until they were 3. I just gave birth to twins as a surrogate- and their parents are feeding them formula. That is their choice and I am happy to see the babies being held and cuddled and loved while they are being fed. 

 

What about when your nephew is a toddler? Will you refuse to feed him if his mom gives him McDonald's for lunch? 

post #16 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodygumdrops View Post

 

I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to respond to your post so I will respond as gently as possible.  While I understand that there are many people that become very passionate about their interests (ie, breastfeeding, nutrition, etc)  I really believe that actions like the one your describing actually really hurt the lactivist cause.  By not feeding her baby, you are ostracizing this woman, who is your SIL.  Why would you want to do that?  It doesn't matter if she choosing to breastfeed or formula feed, in the big scheme of life, it's really none of your business. 

 

And yes, I do think your being really insensitive.  If you choose to breastfeed in extenuating circumstances, good for you... but don't be do-gooder.

 

 



 

post #17 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pynki View Post


 

With all gentleness this isn't ok.  If you are the one in charge of the infant for whatever reason it isn't ok for you to deny him food simply because you don't like what he has to eat.  It would be no different that someone who's in charge of a breastfed infant refusing to give the child back to their mother to nurse, or refusing to give the child a bottle of EBM because they disagree with breastfeeding or the use of breastmilk. 

I think you need to explore why another woman's decision WRT her child's nutrition, and what is on what on the grander scheme of things quite small, effects you so deeply.  Is it ANY woman who chooses not to breastfeed that bothers you this deeply?  Or just your SIL?  Regardless of what the answer is you need to look more deeply into the answers and what makes you feel that way.  I would guess it goes back to your own personal experience.  I am sure you know though that we can not apply our own personal experiences to everyone else's lives.  We can not place our priorities on others without expecting them to do the same to us. 
 

 


 


BECAUSE SHE'S DENYING AN INFANT COMFORT AND NOURISHMENT OTHERWISE!  Let's not forget this line of reasoning does nothing but harm and punish an innocent infant who only knows they are hungry, and that they aren't being nutured and fed when they need to be.  You can't put this horse back in the barn.  The deed is already done, the deal already signed sealed and delivered.  This baby ISN'T going to get breastmilk. 

 



 

 

I wrote out a long post, lost it, and thought I would just agree all your posts.

 

post #18 of 89

Surely there's some middle ground somewhere between "just suck it up and feed the baby a bottle" and "let the baby scream and starve to death".  The OP can be helpful and hold the baby until he's hungry, then mumble something about not being very good at bottlefeeding, and hand the baby off to someone else to feed.  There will be other people there besides the OP and her SIL, and clearly SIL is ok with the baby being passed around. 

post #19 of 89
Thread Starter 

Oh for goodness sakes!  I'm not denying the poor little guy anything!  I'm not his caretaker in any way shape or form!  I'm just there WITH HIS PARENTS chatting at a small family get together.  I was just asking for suggestions on how I could politely hand the little fellow back to his mama so SHE could feed him.  If I were the only adult around, yes I would feed him gladly.  I would never withhold food from a baby for any reason.  That is just cruel.  Please don't slap that label on me.  I just see such a lack of bonding with them that it makes my heart sad.  Now his daddy on the other hand, it is a beautiful thing... He feeds the baby, rocks the baby, sings to the baby.  It is wonderful to watch.  I guess I am just a bad person for coming here to vent my feelings and to ask for advice.  Sorry for making that mistake.

post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyBear View Post

Oh for goodness sakes!  I'm not denying the poor little guy anything!  I'm not his caretaker in any way shape or form!  I'm just there WITH HIS PARENTS chatting at a small family get together.  I was just asking for suggestions on how I could politely hand the little fellow back to his mama so SHE could feed him.  If I were the only adult around, yes I would feed him gladly.  I would never withhold food from a baby for any reason.  That is just cruel.  Please don't slap that label on me.  I just see such a lack of bonding with them that it makes my heart sad.  Now his daddy on the other hand, it is a beautiful thing... He feeds the baby, rocks the baby, sings to the baby.  It is wonderful to watch.  I guess I am just a bad person for coming here to vent my feelings and to ask for advice.  Sorry for making that mistake.



How is it possible that you can see a lack of bonding between the mom and baby after only having seen them together once - just because a mother chooses to not breastfeed her child in no way means that they are not bonded.
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