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"I feel weird about breastfeeding."

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Has anybody ever said to you that they feel weird about breastfeeding?

 

I have a friend who posted this on a social networking site, she breastfed her first baby for a while and she plans to pump exclusively with her second. I want to help, obviously, but I have no idea how to make someone not feel weird! 

 

Any advice on what I could do for her? It's hard for me to let this go, it is 100% NOT OK with me that people think that breastfeeding is weird! 

post #2 of 45

I had a friend that said that before her first was born. after being around me nursing and a long talk about how difficult pumping is, she decided to breastfeed, then she went to several LLL meetings with me and is still nursing her 12 month old. 

post #3 of 45

Is it possibly that dysphoric milk ejection reflex, or she just thinks the whole thing is kind of weird?  

post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post

Has anybody ever said to you that they feel weird about breastfeeding?

 

I have a friend who posted this on a social networking site, she breastfed her first baby for a while and she plans to pump exclusively with her second. I want to help, obviously, but I have no idea how to make someone not feel weird! 

 

Any advice on what I could do for her? It's hard for me to let this go, it is 100% NOT OK with me that people think that breastfeeding is weird! 



First of all, she didn't say she thinks BFing is weird, she said she feels weird about it.  Too totally different concepts.  There could be a lot going on that you just don't know about, especially if she is an abuse survivor. 

 

If you really have to say something, ask her why she feels weird about it.  Let her lead the conversation.  But don't push the issue.  She's bf'd before-she knows how she feels about it, and she plans on providing breastmilk for her infant. 

post #5 of 45

I wouldn't do anything about it I mean she DID BF so obvs she knows how she feels about it. Is it ideal she will be pumping exclusively instead of giving it form the tap? No but hey that's a lot more than most kids in the US get anyway...Just encourage her that she is doing to the best of HER ability for her child. I mean heck pumping is a lot harder than BFing IMO

post #6 of 45

If you know her well enough to say something, and you want to give her some encouragement (privately), commend her for wanting to give her baby the benefits of breastmilk.

 

Acknowledge that we live in a society that sends mixed messages about breasts and breastfeeding (it's good for your baby, but don't do it too long or too publicly). Ask if she would be interested in talking over some of her reservations, or if she would be interested in a few resources about EPing (showing the challenges and also tips on how to give it the best chance of success). Maybe mention that you know a friend (find one on here or on Kellymom message boards if you don't have one in real life) who EP'ed (by necessity or choice...most do it out of necessity) and that there were a lot of challenges (keeping up supply, time commitment of washing parts and bottles, traveling with pumped milk) but that it was rewarding to at least be able to provide the baby with that healthy nourishment. Maybe offer to put her in contact with someone who successfully EP'd for at least a few months.

 

Perhaps if you approach it in a helpful, friendly way, she might be open to some info from you. Maybe if you are able to pass on info about EPing it will open her eyes to some of the challenges and convince her to nurse the baby at least some/much of the time, or even if she chooses to EP, getting good advice on that can help her be successful in that.

 

I am guessing that your friend probably knows that breastfeeding is not weird, she just has a "feeling" about it (from our society) and thinks that maybe she could avoid some of that uncomfortableness by not directly nursing.

post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by BananaBreadGirl View Post


 

I am guessing that your friend probably knows that breastfeeding is not weird, she just has a "feeling" about it (from our society) and thinks that maybe she could avoid some of that uncomfortableness by not directly nursing.

 

 

That's an assumption I wouldn't make.  Not everything negative about breastfeeding is related to how society views it.  Some women do have valid issues with nursing, and they should be respected, not lactivist'ed to death over it.
 

 

post #8 of 45


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KempsMama View Post

That's an assumption I wouldn't make.  Not everything negative about breastfeeding is related to how society views it.  Some women do have valid issues with nursing, and they should be respected, not lactivist'ed to death over it.


Sorry, I guess I didn't think over all the possible reasons for "feeling weird" about breastfeeding, just the most common one that I've seen. There could be other issues like bad pain last time, abuse, etc. I guess what I was thinking is that the friend isn't necessarily saying "breastfeeding is weird", just that she has a weird feeling about it. She thinks that pumping will avoid whatever is making her feel weird about it, and that might be true. Other people articulated that more clearly than I did, I guess.

 

I don't think that saying "I know a great website that has a great detailed section about EPing, would you like me to send it to you" is lactivist'ing to death (not that you're necessarily saying that), and of course any offers a person make depend on how well and in what context they know a person. I offer information to my closer friends all the time on topics that I would just zip my lip on with aquintances such as my husband's co-workers or something.

post #9 of 45
Thread Starter 

If I were aware of any abuse I would certainly not push the issue. I guess I can't assume that there is no history of abuse, though.

 

It would be great if I could just be around her and nurse and set a good example but we are distance-friends. 

 

I do understand the difference between feeling weird about BF and saying that it's weird, I should have phrased that differently.

 

I know that I should probably just do nothing but for some reason this is really bothering me. It really bothers me that someone who has BFed would say that they feel weird about it. I want to know why but I don't want to be invasive by asking. Most of all, I want everyone to have a good nursing relationship and I think that "feeling weird" could be overcome if I only knew how to help. But I'm sure it's not my place.

 

I guess in the end I just feel bad for my friend but I couldn't tell her that because how judgmental would that sound!?

post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 

I probably should not have created this thread. I feel bad about talking about someone else's choices behind their back. How can I get it deleted?

post #11 of 45
You shouldnt delete it. Its a valid question and someone else might not feel the need to ask it after reading this. There are a lot of people who dont think about all of the completely valid issues that women have with nursing, and this thread is a good reference for it. Dont feel bad! You were asking for advice on how to help her, you werent talking smack. I think you are being a supportive friend by finding out what you need to do to support her in her decision.
post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post

If I were aware of any abuse I would certainly not push the issue. I guess I can't assume that there is no history of abuse, though.

 

It would be great if I could just be around her and nurse and set a good example but we are distance-friends. 

 

I do understand the difference between feeling weird about BF and saying that it's weird, I should have phrased that differently.

 

I know that I should probably just do nothing but for some reason this is really bothering me. It really bothers me that someone who has BFed would say that they feel weird about it. I want to know why but I don't want to be invasive by asking. Most of all, I want everyone to have a good nursing relationship and I think that "feeling weird" could be overcome if I only knew how to help. But I'm sure it's not my place.

 

I guess in the end I just feel bad for my friend but I couldn't tell her that because how judgmental would that sound!?


I'm not saying you shouldn't say anything, I'm just saying, be gentle until you know more about the situation.  And don't delete the post,  just because a discussion doesn't go the way you thought it would

 

post #13 of 45

I just want to thank everyone for not turning this into a flame war!

 

Having people make different decisions than us in parenting is hard! Especially when we believe we know "best." But best for you isn't necessarily best for your friend, and no one likes unsolicited parenting advice (it makes you feel like people think you either don't know what you're doing or are doing everything wrong). Do your best to support your friend without judging, and encouraging her to know that only she can know what is best for her and her babies. I believe a simple, "Pumping is hard for me. I commend you for putting that much dedication towards making sure your child gets breastmilk." Obviously a little less clinical would be better, and avoid the word commend (I just couldn't think of another word).

 

It is our job to support each other, not judge each other. Not that I am without blame, I am sure I have said more than my share to people that probably hurt their feelings.

post #14 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KempsMama View Post




I'm not saying you shouldn't say anything, I'm just saying, be gentle until you know more about the situation.  And don't delete the post,  just because a discussion doesn't go the way you thought it would

 

You seem to have some trouble understanding me. That's not why I want to delete the thread. I feel like it's an invasion of someone else's privacy. I wouldn't want someone to do it to me. 

 

It's not like I had any particular direction I wanted this discussion to go in. If I was going to answer my own questions I wouldn't have posted it. 
 

 

post #15 of 45

I often have this problem with my friends who are circumcising. I obsess over it and feel awful. As a birth professional of sorts, I think empowering a woman to make the choices hat are best for them is the most important thing for our society at this time. If you are close enough and feel ok about asking her why, you could. Tell her you are by no means judging her, but know how hard EPing is or something to that effect. As a woman who had no choice but to EP #1 and lost my supply at 3 weeks PP, I regret that everyday, but sometimes other people, sadly enough, just cannot believe without "seeing" so to speak.

 

I think your an awesome friend for caring. I think this is a great thread and you gave no identifying information so I wouldnt worry too much. I had a friend who bfed her first past a year and then didnt at all with her second. I was borderline angry with her. But sometimes you just have to concede. She had a poor experience with number one, she was an outcast in her family and made to feel uncomfortable in public on numerous occasions. She found herself locked ina bedroom at parties and gatherings, in a hot car pumping or nursing in public. She once was not allowed a dressing room at a store and she was so uncomfortable she fed on a toilet. UGH Poor thing. So my point is, your friend's experience just may be so profound she cannot fathom putting baby to breast. Maybe they are very sexual to her. Some women become aroused while nursing (very common and normal) but yet feel uncomfortable about it.

 

Approach gently and be prepared to just bac off if necessary.

post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post

If I were aware of any abuse I would certainly not push the issue. I guess I can't assume that there is no history of abuse, though.

 

It would be great if I could just be around her and nurse and set a good example but we are distance-friends. 

 

I do understand the difference between feeling weird about BF and saying that it's weird, I should have phrased that differently.

 

I know that I should probably just do nothing but for some reason this is really bothering me. It really bothers me that someone who has BFed would say that they feel weird about it. I want to know why but I don't want to be invasive by asking. Most of all, I want everyone to have a good nursing relationship and I think that "feeling weird" could be overcome if I only knew how to help. But I'm sure it's not my place.

 

I guess in the end I just feel bad for my friend but I couldn't tell her that because how judgmental would that sound!?


Let it go.  There are an infinite number of reasons she could feel weird about breastfeeding and none of them are anyone's business unless she shares the reasons with you.  She doesn't need a good example.  She's been there, done that herself.  Just. let. it. go.  I have a feeling if you found out the reason behind it, you would realize you never should have concerned yourself with it in the first place.  She has a right to make her own parenting choices without interference from over zealous breastfeeding friends who don't understand where she is coming from.  Kudos to her for providing her child with breastmilk and for giving it a try despite her discomfort the first time. 
 

 

post #17 of 45

I kind of get what your friend is saying (assuming she means the same thing I do). honestly, bf gave me a LOT of anxiety. Do I cover up? How much skin is too much? Whats OK? How do I do this with the least amount of drama? How do I fit the monstrous boob in this baby's mouth without the whole room seeing me?  Some of my friends would talk about how gross it was, other friends argue with them about how it's not gross when you EAT and and it would go on and on.

 

All the time I was just wanting to feed my baby in the best possible way.  So, I pumped and gave him a bottle. Then when my supply dwindled, it was formula.

 

I've learned a lot since then, and have started to care a lot less what people think, so I am looking forward to nursing this child. But then, I probably could have used a good friend to help me out.

 

Maybe your friend could just use a little support. If you could ask her why it makes her feel weird, maybe that will help her.

post #18 of 45
Honestly, if she posted it on a social networking site, I don't think it would be strange to just shoot her a message saying "I saw you said BF made you feel weird, and I just was wondering weird in what way?". If she is a close friend, I might add something about her maybe trying to BF for at least a few weeks just to help establish supply before she switches to EP.

I know it is uncomfortable to ask a friend questions about what she does with her breasts, but then I never would post something like that on a social network site either. Doing so sort of opens the door for comments, if you know what I mean.
post #19 of 45

I feel that women would not feel so weird or awkward about breastfeeding, if American culture would encourage and embrace it more. Maybe you can tell your friend that this is what your body is supposed to do and the entire reason that we have formulas, is for supplement. It is so hard when you are a new mom to take advice from friends, because a lot of friends and family come at it from a "I know more than you' position. Encourage her to seek information or whatever makes her comfortable. 

 

 

post #20 of 45

I am a very strong person and stubborn as heck but even I struggle at times from the constant ridicule I get for BFing....I think for a person who is very private and more of an introvert it can be very daunting to be ridiculed or have to nurse in public. I get comments from family, which I can handle a bit more, but I also have gotten ridiculously rude and even completely indecent comments from complete strangers and that is what really takes an emotional toll on me. (and I really wish it did not)

 

Ideally the US would completely normalize BFing but I really don't feel like it will be happening anytime soon. Even if it were "acceptable" to everyone, formula still has the "preferred" b/c there is no breast involvement. *I* think that is ridiculous b/c BFing should be the only standard for our babies and formula should be used for the moms who medically can not nurse a child (which includes psychological issues or PTSD) and even then donor milk should be abundant for those women.

 

Not to mention every mother who BFs gets the comment "When are you switching to formula?" (I must have heard this 100x in the first year..) which is a hassle too...

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