The mother in-law. - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-24-2008, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't posted much here, because i haven't had TO many problems =), but i love the community and the responses y'all offer.

Since my milk came in my DS has nursed just fine! And i absolutely love it! I can't get enough! My problem:

My mother in-law didn't nurse with either her daughter or son, she said that they didn't tell her the benefits of it 28 and 23 years ago. I'm a young mom and we had heard that swaddling was a good way to help your child go to sleep, and we did it until he was 3 months old, and i realized that it was time to stop. Everything was going ok, but then he started to nap 5 times during the day and i'd take him to his crib so he'd know that that was the place to sleep you know? Well because of all the naps he wasn't sleeping exactly that well during the night. I had talked about it with my mom and mother in-law. I love my mother in-law, but i think that because she hasn't had a baby around for a very long time, she's very much missing it. She has said since Isaac was 1 week old that she'd watch him anytime i wanted. But i didn't want. I feed him every 3 hours or so and can't pump for some reason, i can't produce as much as i can as when he's nursing, probably because of my nerves.

She says to me the other day 'shouldn't you start giving him solids soon? around 3 months right?', she has said similar things to me before. Her daughter thinks the same way too, so when they say these things i just keep quiet because one day at a restaurant my sister in-law asked me how long i SHOULD breastfeed, i said 'i could until he's two!', she gave me a very strange look and said 'oh my gosh, don't do that'. It was a shot down i can definitely say.

Before i gave birth i already knew i was going to BF for at least 6 months. But after reading so many things and enjoying it more than i could imagine, i'm going to go as long as WE feel comfortable doing so.

So if you didn't read all of that =), the short problem is that my mother in-law doesn't understand, and i don't know how to go about helping her understand i suppose.

Thanks for any help -young mother needing advice-
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:53 PM
 
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on sundays nights my fam. gets together for dinner. my dd is 4mo. and around three mo. my great & grandmother started in on me about feeding soilds we got into it pritty heavey, they thought it was time to start and wanted her to have some custard. i scremed, that put me over the top, for real eggs,milk, sugar. they have no clue. i am not starting solids until iam ready this is my baby they all had theres. so i thought they had a clue about how i felt, but no last sunday my grand. asked if she could cook some eggs for dd. i just about started to cry. i think there is a big gap in parenting stlyes that we all have to understand and respect. this is your time, your baby and like me you are providing 95% of her care. you just have to stay strong
as for the "you never let me babysit" i say until you start lactating, dd stays with the boobs.
i am looking forward to some more adives.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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I think a good way to approach it is to really emphasize the "authorities say" and "recent research" and "we've learned so much more about breastfeeding/how it works/its benefits" type responses with your MIL/SIL.

"My doctor says" is also a great response -- in all those cases, you are deferring to the authorities (as your MIL most likely did on the same subjects).

This also makes it a little less likely that your MIL (and SIL?) could interpret your responses and bf decisions as an attack on their parenting choices; but rather as a new approach with new information that wasn't available to her/them when they had children.

So,

"Our Pediatrician says that babe is growing just the way s/he should. And that they don't want solids introduced any more, before six months of age in breastfed infants; that earlier than that can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and food allergies."

"Well, we plan to breastfeed for at least the first year - that's the minimum amount of time that the AAP recommends, and our FP says his professional organization recommends two years minimum. We'll just follow babe's lead on this one."

"You know, they used to recommend solids at 3 months, because formula was not nutritionally adequate. Now that formula is better than it was, they say that's too soon even for a formula-fed infant; and since breastfed infants only need breastmilk, which is 100% of what they need, until at least six months - most babies aren't starting solids that early anymore."

And a zillion variations on those responses. As you approach 1 year of age, Kellymom.com has a great list of information about "extended" breastfeeding that you can print off and share with them, too. But that's a long time from now .... Maybe by then they'll be much more comfortable with things.

If your MIL really wants some baby time, what if you invite her over to "play with baby while I work on X project." That way, you're right there to nurse when it's time for that, but she gets some mostly-alone time with baby, too? And maybe a big project you've been wanting/needing to tackle, can be addressed?

Not all who wander are lost.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:29 AM
 
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You are not alone. If my MIL mentions giving my son cereal one more time I may scream!! I've found that everyone has an opinion about everything I do with my DS. (I hope I never turn into that person) I just try my best to educate them about my decision to BF and luckily my DH is very supportive as he was the one who educated me on the importance of BF. Everytime I get a comment I just remind them that I will introduce solids at 6 months or when my pediatrician tells me otherwise. I find myself repeating that over and over. My DH says that everyone had their chance to raise their child and now it is our turn.

Even my own mother made a comment a week after my son was born about me not having enough milk. I just reminded her that she was being negative and that BF was really important to me and backed it with all of the reasons. I think often they just don't know why BF is important and I have just tried to emphasize that point.

I've learned to bite my tongue at times or just give comments no attention.

And then there are the times I wish that people came with mute buttons!
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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My ILs are great people, really they are, but sometimes I want to

In addition to PP advice, I'd suggest using "your family history of allergies" as the reason why you're delaying solids. They don't need to know the details or even if you're just preventing a family history of allergies from developing. That's tougher to pull off with your own mom obviously, but I find it easier to tell my mom to back off than my MIL.

I also plan on coming up with excuses to extend BFing. "Oh, it's cold and flu season, so I don't want to take away the immunities now" or "oh he's going through a rough spot of teething, so it's not a good time to stop".

Yeah, in an ideal world they'd all appreciate the benefits of BF, but I'm not going to be able to change a few generations of FF overnight, so I'll do whatever it takes.

If they get really obnoxious, I just remember they raised my DH to be a wonderful person so their hearts are obviously in the right place, even if they are misguided.

DS (2) and someone new in March 2011
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SoTripical View Post
... So if you didn't read all of that =), the short problem is that my mother in-law doesn't understand, and i don't know how to go about helping her understand i suppose. ...
So Tripical,
Here is something short and sweet from Dr. Sears on this.

Dr. Sears FAQ - DOES EATING SOLIDS TOO SOON RESULT IN DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS LATER IN LIFE?
http://www.askdrsears.com/faq/fit3.asp
Attention all Grandmothers: … I know that the experts told you to start feeding your babies cereal after a few weeks of life; and you followed their advice because you loved your children. Now we know that an infant's gut is not ready for solid foods until around six months of age. If you start a food too early, he is much more likely to become allergic to it. This can result in damage to the intestines, weight loss, blood in the stool, and malnutrition. You might argue, "Well, my kids started solid foods at three weeks, and they turned out just fine." The truth is, very few adults have perfectly working digestive tracts. Just look at all the commercials for heartburn remedies and stool softeners... "ever feel gassy and bloated after a meal?"

Stick to your guns.
~Cath
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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My advice...change the subject. You do not need to defend your parenting choices and sometimes IL's just don't want to hear what you, or experts for that matter, think, they think their way is best. If you feel the discussion heading for "hot topics" politely change the direction. Just my 2 cents.


 
 

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Old 01-26-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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If it's any help, My MIL and I had very different views when my first was born...now I am expecting my third and we are quite close. Part of it was me needing to find my own way, different than anyone else in the family. Part of it was her backing off. And another part of it was me not being so sensitive (or tired, or sleep deprived!)

Good luck!!!
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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I totally agree with the pp's. Love that quote from CathMac!
The best thing you can do is quote the research. I often say "I keep reading..." or "Several people have told me..." but referring to a doctor or some research is probably better. I've got my own folks totally turned around now. Well, that's not entirely true...occasionally my dad says "when are you going to give her some real milk?" to which I reply "dad, she's been getting the real milk all along" Sometimes you have to be blunt, too (especially to avoid getting po'ed).
Also, any reference to you wanting to do the best for the baby really can convince people. That's what they want too.
Good luck, MIL's are more difficult than mom's I think.
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gosh! Some really good advice. I'm getting more and more "hounding" though, my mom just sent me a link http://www.superbabyfood.com, it's all about how 4 months of age is the perfect time to start solid foods. I know they all mean to add solids along with BF, but everyone is just acting like BFing won't work out. FIL "maybe giving him solids will help him sleep all the way through the night", and MIL calls it "drinking", and there's just all this negative (even though i'm sure there's some positive somewhere in there), but it's just a downer.
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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You don't necessarily need to defend every single parenting choice- especially if there are other people in the family with babies who may be doing things differently.

I would instead emphasize that YOU are the mother and YOU make decisions for this baby. Nobody else is to feed anything to the baby until Mom and Dad say it's OK. Even when solids are introduced, it won't be a "free for all"- extended family members must check with a parent before putting anything in the baby's mouth.

Because really, your choice to BF for at least a year and delay solids til around 6mo have NOTHING to do with how anybody else raises their baby. It only has to do with your baby.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SoTripical View Post
Gosh! Some really good advice. I'm getting more and more "hounding" though, my mom just sent me a link http://www.superbabyfood.com, it's all about how 4 months of age is the perfect time to start solid foods.
Please tell me you immediately sent her back the Dr. Sears link! If you haven't go do it now!
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:50 AM
 
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I was in your same position..

My family is in Pennsylvania and we live near my DH's family in Michigan and they ALL formula fed their children and they absolutely couldn't understand why anyone would "bother" with anything else. At first I dodged their questions, knowing what I was doing was right for me and my baby but they were persistant and it didn't take that long for me to put my foot down and give them the cold hard facts. My MIL was particularly annoying because she watched my DD when I went back to work and it was "annoying" to her to have to deal with EBM. She even went so far as to purchase formula for my DD because she thought the reason I wasn't using it was because I didn't want to spend the money on it. One day I sat down with her and had a long ridiculous conversation along with a handful of reading matieral for her and finally something clicked in her head to make her understand that there's nothing "wrong" with breastfeeding and finally erased the thought that formula is the right choice for babies just because it was popular when she had her children.

I can't offer you much more advice other than don't let them get to you. Nurse for as long as you and your child are comfortable with and tell everyone else to stuff it and do some research of their own.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SoTripical View Post
... I'm getting more and more "hounding" though, my mom just sent me a link http://www.superbabyfood.com, it's all about how 4 months of age is the perfect time to start solid foods. I know they all mean to add solids along with BF, but everyone is just acting like BFing won't work out. ...
SoTripical,
BF'ing is nutritionally complete through age 1. The first article below gives the nutritional composition of breastmilk.

The second article gives the scientific explanation behind Dr. Sears open letter to Grandmothers everywhere. I've included an excerpt which is pretty self-explanatory. If anyone in your family has heard of the condition "leaky gut" perhaps they can help explain it to the grandparents for you.

Kellymom: Breastmilk Composition
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mi...mposition.html

Kellymom: Why Delay Solids? http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/so...ay-solids.html
Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies. It is well documented that prolonged exclusive breastfeeding results in a lower incidence of food allergies (see Allergy References and Risks of Artificial Feeding). From birth until somewhere between four and six months of age, babies possess what is often referred to as an "open gut." This means that the spaces between the cells of the small intestines will readily allow intact macromolecules, including whole proteins and pathogens, to pass directly into the bloodstream.This is great for your breastfed baby as it allows beneficial antibodies in breastmilk to pass more directly into baby's bloodstream, but it also means that large proteins from other foods (which may predispose baby to allergies) and disease-causing pathogens can pass right through, too. During baby's first 4-6 months, while the gut is still "open," antibodies (sIgA) from breastmilk coat baby's digestive tract and provide passive immunity, reducing the likelihood of illness and allergic reactions before gut closure occurs. Baby starts producing these antibodies on his own at around 6 months, and gut closure should have occurred by this time also. See How Breast Milk Protects Newborns and The Case for the Virgin Gut for more on this subject.

Good luck,
~Cath
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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I caught my cousin-in-law and her son sneaking fake whipped cream into my 3 month old. I nearly died-- and no one at the reunion understood why I was upset! One set of grandparents has wanted to take DD overnight or all weekend since she was 6 weeks old. Hello? She is not a puppy! And they barely see her anyway

Here is my best advice for a young mother: YOU are the mother now, it is your decision. You don't have to discuss anyhting with anyone that you don't want to. It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with authority figures It is hard to transition from kid to adult-- and even harder when you are in-laws because there is already that "other" (us vs, them) factor- especially when it comes to babies. Stay strong and trust your instincts.

... And the WHO recommends bfing for 2 years and then as long after that as mutually desired

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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