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Were you breastfed or formula fed? - Page 4

post #61 of 91

My mom bf'd our older sister for about a year (?) which was the "advice back then" and breastfed my twin sister and I, against nurses' advice (they said it is "impossible to nurse twins"- ha!) for about 9 months until we "weaned ourselves". I'm pretty sure nobody weans themselves before 1 year, but I'm sure I am proud that she bucked the odds and breastfed us at all. She seems a little embarrassed about believing the advice she was given as far as when to wean, and feeding us on schedules (she is proud of "cheating the schedule"- they doctor told her to feed us every 4 hours but she fed us every 3), but also seems a bit weirded out by full term breastfeeding (my twin's son is 3.5 and mine 3, and our big sis nursed her girls past 2 yo). She doesn't back all our AP, natural-family stuff and will sneak our kids sugar when we're not around, and stick them in front of a TV. She says, in Grandma's house it's Grandma's rules" and if we want to leave our kids with her we accept her rules. And I guess we do.

Even though we were breastfed, we still parent differently and sometimes our parents take it personally as an affront to them.

Possibly your mom has felt wronged by all the "breast-is-best" adverts and is feeling defensive. I guess I would try to let her know that you understand her choices were made in a different time by a different her and that is ok. It must be hard to see you make different choices, esp if she already feels judged by the messaging.

post #62 of 91

I was breastfed but at the time (mid-70s) no-one really did so my mother was made to feel really awkward and weird.  When she wanted to feed me in the hospital the nurses drew the curtains round her bed like she was doing something shameful and the other mothers all sat there happily chatting and feeding their babies with little bottles of formula. 

She gave up breastfeeding after about 5 months - and they prescribed her anti-lactation meds which then were banned a few years later!  I worry about what that might have done to both of us!! 

My brother was 8 wks premature but she managed to breastfeed him as well, although gave up after 3 months as he was hard work.


I had no really strong feelings about it all before having a baby, other than thinking it was something I should try as a natural part of having a baby.  It worked a charm and I fed my first for 17 months and the second for 15.  They were hard work but my mother was really supportive about the whole thing at times when I would have given up (when they got really really demanding around 4 months old!).  I think I made her feel good for how she'd done with me but also a little bad that she hadn't done longer - which is crazy.  She did amazingly well and I am really proud of her. 

post #63 of 91
Originally Posted by Piskito View Post

Me and my sister only nursed for about 2-3 weeks, and then my mom says her milk ran out. I believe she didn't have any support or information. I breastfed both my kids (my daughter still nurses at 19 months) and she has been very supportive, but still has a lot of wrong beliefs about breastfeeding. She still gets surprised that I have enough milk, she keeps asking me if my milk isn't "getting weak", even after I told her everything about it, even when my kids were really chubby at 4-6 months :)

In fact I think it was her belief that breastmilk isn't enough for a baby that made me so surprised when my children developed so well beeing exclusively breastfed. I was more influenced by her ideas than what I though ;)

Yes my ma kept assuming my milk would be getting weaker and "not enough" for my babies as they got older, probably because she got told that way back when...  My oldest was HUGE by 5 months and was entirely breastfed.  joy.gifI did lots of reading about how breastmilk continues to develop along with the child, and actually has more antibodies in it as time goes by, etc etc., to keep up with an active baby/toddler..  Still, she switched me straight to cow's milk, not formula, so I'm glad about that at least

post #64 of 91

My mom breastfed me up until about 6 months, at which point it sounds like I was getting fussy and disinterested like 6-month-olds do, so they gave me some formula, then her supply started dropping because she wasn't nursing as much, then I got less interested, and she ended up thinking that I was weaning myself. She breastfed my sister up until about 4-5 months when they both got sick with a cold and that was the end of it--I'm guessing a supply dip led to the same cycle. My dad said blithely that "most people eventually switch to formula", which made me want to stubborn it out, but they were both fine about breastfeeding. My dad offered me a cover really early on but I rejected the idea and he never made a thing of it again. 


My MIL breastfed her first (my husband) up until about 6-7 months at which point she stopped because she was pregnant with middle brother already. She said she honestly doesn't remember how long she nursed the younger two (and since she had 3 boys in 3 1/2 years, over 30 years ago, I can see how some of the details would get a little hazy). 


I wonder what the answers to this thread would be like if posted some place that people primarily formula-feed. I wonder if there would be a lot of answers that point to moms having the same physiological issues with breastfeeding that their daughters did.

post #65 of 91
I just want to say that this is one of my favorite threads ever. Thank you so much for sharing your stories. smile.gif

On the topic, I don't have a lot to share myself. My mom formula fed all three of us. I am not sure why but she never even tried to breastfeed. Her babies were born in 1968, 1974, 1981. I have nursed my first two to three years (with the original goal if making it a year) and my youngest is now 22 mos. She pretty much leaves me alone now but with my first she would make comments that he was too big to be nursing when he was over a year old. She didn't know I tandem nursed for 9 mos and nursed them to age 3....sometimes it's a good thing we see each other so infrequently as she judges very harshly and it would only hurt our relationship.
post #66 of 91

As far as I know I was breastfed for a couple of months before switching to formula, I've never actually asked.


Baby number 3 my mum was told was not gaining enough and so she couldn't be making enough milk so was moved to formula at only a few weeks. Mum was pretty unhappy with the situation and was more determined than ever to breastfeed and with the support of her local LLL group fed the last 3 of my siblings till they weaned themselves, despite quite a few issues.  While there are pictures of my feeding my sister with a bottle the images I remember are the younger siblings being fed where ever we were, or in the sling on the move.


She has been fairly supportive of our feeding (all three sisters having done so) but does comment frequently on how draining she found it. I tend to remind her that having the older 3, 4, or 5 children probably factored into it quite a bit lol.gif


It was quite funny to see my dad drop back into routine when I first went there with DD, constantly following me round with a large glass of water, as were mum and DH.

post #67 of 91
Originally Posted by koalaeagle View Post

I apparently weaned myself at 6 months although Mom would have preferred I go for a year.  She herself was bottle fed as seemed to be a common trend for baby boomers (she said the hippies brought it back in the 60's!) It turned out my first daughter did the same as me- I struggled to get her to 7 months.  I pushed and pushed but she just wasn't terribly into it.  I'm pregnant now and curious to see if this one  any different, as I again hope to get to a year.  My MIL was president of her chapter of Nursing Mothers of Australia and breastfed my husband and his sisters for at least a year each.  If I ever told her I planned to opt out of nursing for no reason she would probably 'divorce' me smile.gif 

My 6yo DD did the same thing at 6 months. Some ladies at church were convinced that I "needed" to get a break from my kids and go on an overnight church trip, and I wanted to be social and not rude, so I went. DD had a bottle for two days and one night, and when I came back she absolutely refused to go back to breastfeeding. I was heartbroken, especially because I thought she was going to be my last baby. The rest of my kids nursed close to a year or more.

I should have known better. People are always trying to convince me that having so many kids must be miserable, and I "need" to get away from them and go "do things," when I don't feel that way. I just wanted to make friends and be part of the group so I'd have someone to talk to at church. greensad.gif
post #68 of 91

My mom BF'd all her children (5) to 8 months, then switched to formula. MIL also BF'd her kids (4), though I'm unclear on how long. I think to about a year, but I really don't know. My mom has been very supportive of me breastfeeding, up to a point. She is still skeptical to some degree about nursing a child with teeth and/or a child older than her children were when they weaned. (None of us got teeth until after weaning, and, sure enough, my son had no teeth until about 8.5 months.) She occasionally makes comments that indicate she thinks my son (almost 1) is too old to still be breastfeeding, but she mostly accepts the logic that I do not want to give him formula, which he would have to have if he weaned before a year. She says that formula was the awesome, scientific thing back in her day, but she doesn't seem to buy into that concept any more. SIL has mostly formula-fed twins (they were completely weaned around 4 months, and were about half-and-half from 1 month on), and a few different family members have commented on how they perceive the twins as being less healthy due to that, and how they think my baby is healthier. (These are comments to me, not to SIL's face.) I'm not sure how reactions will continue to evolve as I continue to BF my son. Most family members are sort of agnostic on the issue, at least to my face. And that works fine for me!


ETA: I should also say that I grew up thinking breastfeeding was a totally normal way to feed babies, and what everyone/nearly everyone did for some amount of time. There has never been any doubt in my mind that I would breastfeed my children, although how long I thought I would continue BFing has certainly evolved over time.

post #69 of 91

It's not something we ever talk about, but just from random comments, I'm pretty sure I was formula-fed from the start (and I assume my sister was too, although I really don't know that for sure at all - she was a 60's baby, me a 70's baby).  My mom doesn't strike me as someone who would have time for all that nursing, she was out milking cows again 3 days post-partum while I slept in my baby carriage in the milking parlor with the pumps lulling me to sleep.  Is it at all ironic that I had to end up EP'ing my son?  I felt like I was back in the dairy barn.  ROTFLMAO.gif I can laugh about it now, five years later...most days...


Anyway.  She made some comments about how breastmilk is so much better while I was EP'ing, I think she was quietly impressed with the time commitment I was making, although she never would have said it directly.  And a lot of "things sure were different back then" comments, which we've noted several times in this thread.


Don't know about my husband, I can only assume he was also formula fed as was the fashion, but I don't know that for sure.

post #70 of 91
My sister and i were both breastfed (me until 1, her until 3). My mother is extremely pro-breastfeeding as both her and her sister were formula fed. I'm actually in the opposite boat of the OP. i have to switch to formula and my mother is acting like im being selfish and trying to hurt my son. I love nursing and my son has been amazing for the past 9 months. However, I have rather aggressive thyroid cancer and MUST have radioactive iodine treatment or risk endangering my life, so my son has to switch to formula (donor milk creeps out my husband). Im thankful i at least had 9-10 months of solid nursing.
keep your head up, OP! You are doing great. If your mother isnt supportive, thats on her. has nothing to do with you! find a le leche league in your area if you feel like you need additional support. Best of luck to you!!!! (and i get the messes up mother/daughter relationship.... my mother has narcissistic personality disorder. it sucks)
post #71 of 91

I was born in 1970, and my parents were iconoclasts in many ways: Mom had an unmedicated childbirth for both my brother and me, and she breastfed each of us for about two years. Because my brother was born a year and a half after me, we were even tandem-fed for six months! She was a college professor and pumped milk once she returned to work; years later, my brother and I were cleaning stuff out of the bathroom and came across her funky old bike-horn breast pump, which cracked us up. My husband was also breastfed and, because he came from a large family, he grew up around his aunts and cousins breastfeeding. As far as I know, we both come from an unbroken line of breastfeeding mothers, which is neat! Our younger daughter is eight and a half months old and although she's exploring solids happily, she prefers her buddy the breast. 

Our older daughter's birth mother didn't breastfeed her; she told Kathryn that she "turned up her nose" at the offer of the breast. I have a feeling she was just groggy with the anesthesia, and the birth mother also has psychiatric problems that probably caused her to believe that this tired, overwhelmed baby was rejecting her. 

post #72 of 91
Originally Posted by bohemianmama21 View Post

My sister and i were both breastfed (me until 1, her until 3). My mother is extremely pro-breastfeeding as both her and her sister were formula fed. I'm actually in the opposite boat of the OP. i have to switch to formula and my mother is acting like im being selfish and trying to hurt my son. I love nursing and my son has been amazing for the past 9 months. However, I have rather aggressive thyroid cancer and MUST have radioactive iodine treatment or risk endangering my life, so my son has to switch to formula (donor milk creeps out my husband). Im thankful i at least had 9-10 months of solid nursing.
keep your head up, OP! You are doing great. If your mother isnt supportive, thats on her. has nothing to do with you! find a le leche league in your area if you feel like you need additional support. Best of luck to you!!!! (and i get the messes up mother/daughter relationship.... my mother has narcissistic personality disorder. it sucks)


I am sorry that you have to deal with this, especially given that you're dealing with an aggressive cancer! I consider prioritizing your health to be a prudent and unselfish move (speaking as one who lost a mother to cancer).


As for me, I was formula fed, which is understandable since I am an adoptee (born in 1970). My mother did go on to give birth to my two sisters after adopting me & my brother. I know that she breastfed my first sister, and loved doing it...she wrote a very sweet letter for my sister's baby book about how much she loved breastfeeding. I think she was told to stop breastfeeding when my sister started solids, which is too bad. I'm sure she would have happily nursed my sister into toddlerhood if she'd had better information. As for my youngest sister, I'm not sure. That sister spent weeks in the NICU right after she was born, and my guess is that prevented breastfeeding. At any rate, I have no memories of my mother nursing my youngest sister.


I was very committed to breastfeeding my DD, and managed to do so for 33 months, despite a very rough beginning. But I have to say, I didn't love it most of the time, perhaps because I was so incredibly exhausted for the first 2.5 years of her life. Also, my breasts grew to be enormous while I was nursing, and I don't really love having enormous breasts. I was hoping they would shrink when I was done, but 2 years after DD weaned, they are as huge as ever.

post #73 of 91
Interesting how most posts are about being formula fed here!

I was nursed until I was four. And born at home! Whatever other grievous flaws my mom has, I give her full respect for birthing, nursing, and dodging Western medicine the way she did, in defiance of norms. I am grateful, she was leading what we're all living now (hopefully)!
post #74 of 91

I was formula fed. I was a twin born via c-section, and my mother knew she'd return back to work a month after she had us. She did nurse my younger brother for a few weeks. She felt very uncomfortable with breastfeeding. I lived with her for part of my eldest child's infancy, and she only allowed me to nurse in my bedroom in her home.

post #75 of 91

My mother nursed all four of her children for at least two years, starting with me in 85.  Apparently the nurses tried to insist on an every 4 hours feeding schedule for me (and I also had jaundice and was paralyzed on my left side for the first few days of my life), but once she brought me home she realized that must be for formula fed babies because it was making me unhappy, so she fed me on demand thereafter. She also co-slept with all of us and wore us (though I think the available options at that time were not great) and basically did all the AP stuff before she knew it had a name. She said she just went by her instincts. I believe her mother did something similar back in the 60s even.  My mother even tried to cloth diaper me, but apparently the diapers available at that time were awful.  I feel very lucky to have had the upbringing I did and pretty much have always expected to do the same thing with my own children.

post #76 of 91

Mom tried BFing me (1987), but the hospital nursery gave me bottles of formula without her knowledge and she couldn't keep up with how much I wanted to eat when we got home.  She gave up after a week.  She tried again with my middle brother (1989), but his reflux was so horrible the ped told her to switch to formula with rice in the bottles.  She didn't even try with our youngest brother (1994).  She's VERY supportive of me BFing DS, and said she was "awesomefied" that I stuck it out through 6 weeks of continuous plugged ducts and horrible latch due to lip tie.

post #77 of 91
My brother was formula fed and I was born four years later and breast fed until I was 'walking and talking' as my mother says. She is unsure but she thinks it was at least 14 months. This was very early 70's.
post #78 of 91

I was formula fed and very blessed in that my mother breastfed my two younger brothers for a while until she switched to formula when she started teaching again. I breastfed my firstborn, and was unable to do that for the others because the medication I had to take wouldn't allow it. She helped when she could when she visited. Now I live closer to my mother-in-law and if and when God ever gives us a fifth child, I will definitely try to breastfeed again - not just because my mother-in-law breastfed all of her children, but also because it is so much easier than sanitizing bottles and heating formula!!

post #79 of 91
I am the youngest of five kids and we were all breastfed- all until age 1+ and me until I was just under 3 years old. My mom was an LLL leader in the 70s and as she worked as a labor and delivery nurse, would go get in the hospital beds with new moms and help them breastfeed during the pro-formula 60s, 70s, and 80s. I remember vividly women stopping my mom at the grocery store or elsewhere in public throughout my childhood to thank her for her support in helping them breastfeed or birth naturally (she was also a Lamaze instructor). I was always so proud of her! My grandmother also breastfed over age 1 with 4 kids born between 1927-1942, so she was a "rebel," too. I always knew I would breastfeed and I have enjoyed wonderful support from my mom when I was tired, sore, had plugged ducts, etc. She has been a wonderful support in general. I nursed DS to 27 months when my milk dried up in pregnancy from nausea meds, but we were pretty close to weaning the and DS has not expressed any interest in tandem with sister, who is 2.5 weeks old.

My MIL formula-fed both DH and his sister from birth. In fact, she took some type of meds or a shot to dry up her milk? (This baffles and horrifies me.) Her own mother was a total narcissist (still is) who never offered her any support and her husband (my FIL) was certainly worthless when it came to support. I think she was a little taken aback that I wanted to breastfeed into toddlerhood, but she's always been very kind and supportive- no shaming or ugly comments and telling me how much she admires me, which I really appreciate.

Like others have said, I have a wonderful relationship with my mom who never really punished and was so loving and nurturing (even though my dad was the polar opposite, abusive, etc) and I naturally attribute a lot of our great relationship to the loving start we had with a close, extended breastfeeding relationship.
post #80 of 91

I was breastfed, but weaned earlier than either of us was ready for due to a biting problem (I think I was about 18mo-- so this would have been 1988). My mother often says she wishes she'd stuck it out with me-- both of my younger siblings nursed until they were ready to stop around age 3, as have all of my babies so far.  She was very sympathetic when my preemie needed a nipple shield to latch at first and my third latched so shallowly for the first several weeks that I had nearly-constant milk blisters.


My parents were on the same track I'm on, but we are much farther down the path than they ever were-- they circumcised my brothers, they cut our hair before we were capable of consenting, they spoon-fed their babies, they used prefolds through a diaper service, they dressed their kids in articles of clothing that matched their sex (no dresses for male-bodied people), etc., while I am way out in fringe land where children have bodily autonomy, I make flat diapers and wash them by hand, and my children wear whatever they want to wear from a pool of practical but not gendered choices. Oddly, though, none of that stuff is where we clash with them.


We clash with my parents mostly over language stuff with our toddlers-- we don't do "baby talk", so I recently had to remind my mother not to talk to my children about having "owies"; we are trying to keep sex and gender distinct, so it was a big problem when my mother told my 3yo that she has breasts because she's a mommy and a girl; we don't coach our little ones to make emotional statements, so my parents need frequent reminders that they should not instruct them to say sorry, thank you, etc.


But my mother and I get along very well.  When I had my first child, I had to police my boundaries very actively when it came to sharing health information and stuff, but since then it's been pretty smooth, and I certainly feel that she knows they're my kids and it's my rules, and usually it's easy and relatively stress-free to ask her to change the way she does things with/around them.  Our biggest issue is that I don't like to ask for help when I need it!

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