both of my old friends that have children quit nursing earlier than i think is acceptable. one made it to ten months and she says her son lost interest; i think it was just normal 10-month-old goofiness. the other set herself up to fail and quit at 8 months. she said she didn't have any milk but "he would nurse all day if i let him." she especially disappointed me because she said she wanted to nurse for a year, but right away started pumping and giving bottles so she could sleep, giving pacifiers, getting babysitters, etc. i tried telling her that the first few months were crucial to establishing her supply, but she blew me off. oh well. maybe she learned something and maybe she'll wean the next one earlier, since formula has worked so well on her son.
i was supportive like a friend should be and told them good job for making it as long as they did, and that next time they would be prepared to go longer. and then i had to just let it go. if i thought about it every day, i'd be crazy. they have to live with their decisions.
I have a friend who does not breastfeed. When she was pregnant with her second dd I asked her if she would try and she said, "No, it's just not for me."
She knew I breastfed my kids. She'd certainly seen me nursing my ds, who was over one at the time, so I figured she pretty much knew where I stood on the issue and I dropped the subject. If she had said she was thinking about trying to breastfeed or something along those lines I would have encouraged her or tried to give her more information to motivate her, but since she was very clear that she was not at all interested in doing it - I didn't see a reason to make it an issue.
It has never been an issue between us.
I figure she is an adult and has the right to make choices that are right for her as a parent and I don't need to judge her for that. I don't see a reason for it to cause a riff in our friendship. She's a loving mother and a good person - she just makes choices that are different from mine.
I think the only time it would become an issue for me would be if she (or anyone) said that they weren't going to breastfeed because it was gross/obscene or something along those lines.
I might also press a friend who said there's no difference between breastmilk and formula. Then I'd probably challenge them to prove that statement and educate them further if they seemed open to the idea. But still in the end if they chose not to breastfeed I would respect their decision as I hope they would respect my parenting decisions.
My best friend had her baby six years ago, before I was married and before I knew anything about breastfeeding. She had problems getting started, a total lack of support, and switched to formula when her baby was 4 days old. At the time I didn't understand why she was upset about this.
Now, of course, I really wish that I'd known then what I know now, and that I could have done something to help her out in those early days.
She's come to terms with her "failure" to breastfeed, but has never expressed much interest in hearing about my breastfeeding relationship with Mallory (and understand that she has an insatiable curiosity about everything--she loves to talk!). I try to be sensitive to that. She's not having any other children anyway--it's not like any advocacy on my part would help her now. That said, sometimes it's hard for me to not talk about it because it's such an important part of my life right now.
So no, it hasn't caused a conflict--just a bit of awkwardness.
I personally have a firm belief that breastfeeding is not a mothers choice, it is a baby's right. I do however understand that there are circumstances when a mother truely can not nurse her baby, and that is not what I am speaking of. I am talking of the "it's not for me"...it is too hard, to inconvienient, my husband does not like it, I can't have him on a schedule, etc, etc.
My former friend practically Ezzo'ed the poor baby too death. She pumped for him for 2 months, so she could bottle feed him, but the figured it was not woth her time. She also was offer ( by her MIL) to stay home for the first year or two, and her MIL would pay the salary she would loose, so she could be at home with her son....and she chose to go back to work. We went to her sate to visit for a week, and that was the end of our friendship. the baby was only a couple of months old...AND ON AN APNEA MONITOR to monitor his breathing, and he was put in a crib to scream himself to sleep in his own room with the door shut AND NO BABY MONITOR, when I asked her why she did not have a monitor in her room to hear him..she said.." I CAN NOT STAND THE SOUND OF HIM BREATHING!!!!" huh?
We also were there for a week, which she took off from work to hang out with us, and yet every day she took that poor baby and left him at daycare. It was not like we did not have children yet, we had our 1st daughter with us wo was just 6 weeks older than her son!
reading that made me sick to my stomach. i can't sleep unless i can hear my baby breathing.
back to the question. i know WAY to many people that didn' bf and had different reasons for it.
1 friend said he was never full and looked so content with formula, and that he was to big to breastfeed (he was 11lbs at birth)
uumm thats why our bodies make more milk as our babies grow
other people i know did it cause then they can still drink and party (no longer friends with them)
and my aunt did it so my uncle could take care of the kids and she could sleep. she had kids so he could take care of them. she's always saying if she won the lotto she'd leave him and the kids tomorrow. How sad is that
when you have a child it's your job to make sure he/she gets the best care you can give them. and to make sure they are eating healthy. i never understood why a mother wouldn't want to give her child the best start in life by giving the child something that her body is made to do.
Unless there is some medical reason why a mother can't then formula is ok to use.
today companies are making it easier for other people to take care of our babies all we have to do is give birth. and that makes me really sad and pi$$ed off at the same time.
to be breastfed--both nourished and nurtured at the mother's breast--is the child's birthright.
i know this is true. babies have no power in their lives.
read THE POLITICS OF BREASTFEEDING if you can find it. we have one in our LLL library, which is free. it's a real eye opener. then you'll know who has power. i will never buy NESTLE again as long as i live.
the world health organization says BREASTFEEDING SHOULD CONTINUE A MINIMUM OF TWO YEARS WITH NO RECOMMENDED WEANING AGE.
Other than my new friends I have made since DD was born (AP playgroup, homeschool group), I only know one other mom who breastfed her baby, and not near as long as I did/am.
I would be totally socially isolated if I let any parenting decision come between me and my friends. Most of my friends I have known long before any of us had children. We don't have to agree in order to get along, as long as nobody tries to impose their opinions on anyone else (that goes for both sides of any issue). Though I must admit, there are plenty of people who were friends of mine for over twenty years that I never see or talk to anymore.
I am very involved in LLL and I nursed my daughter for 4 years, so my feelings about breastfeeding are quite evident! That said, I would not let someone else'd decision not to nurse affect our friendship.
There may be many reasons a woman chooses not to nurse. When someone says "its not for me," that can mean a lot of different things. And I really wouldn't judge someone for saying that.
Now, if I was friends with someone who was mean to their baby (i.e., some of the behavior described in this thread!), that would certainly derail a friendship.
I know that I disagree with a lot of lactivists on this point. I feel *sad* for a woman who never gets to nurse her baby. I feel *angry* that society puts so many roadblocks in the path of successful bf. But I stop short of thinking of bf as a baby's birth-right.
I think it is a baby's birthright to be treated gently, lovingly, and respectfully. If a mom does those things, than there will be no issues in our friendship, whether she chooses to bf or not.
I did have one circumstance that was annoying. Overall it hasn't been an issue with friends. The exception being a friend who asked me for breastfeeding advice (I even spent the night with her in the hospital after her c-sec to help her). I gave her books, which she did not open. And I wold tell her that the floor nurse giving her poor advice (a paci at 12 hours old
) and that I would offer her alternative advice, read her the information she needed or call a LLL leader. Anyhoo...She then went on to try to compare ff to breastfeeding as if they were equal (for months after, unpromted). I never brought up her ff choice, but she did quite a bit. I just remained silelently annoyed, because I figured there was a reason within herself that she needed to bring this up every time I was with her. I know she wanted validation from me, which I could give her about a lot of things. But I could never say to her that ff was practically the same as breastfeeding.
I have a good friend who lacked knowledge and was very unsupported by family. I didn't know her at the time either. It's not been a big deal between us, though there was a bit of an ebb in the friendship when DD was born. We've bounced back closer than ever.
I have another friend who's been nothing but supportive. She truly couldn't nurse hers, but had no problem with DD's nursing when she would still ask while we were out.
Yes, I lost a friend over this. We had babies at the same time and she stopped breastfeeding at 3 or 4 weeks because she got thrush and because she said she wanted her body back. Meanwhile, I was also struggling with (undiagnosed) thrush that made breastfeeding feel like my nipples were being scraped against concrete every time my baby nursed! I also had mastitis and cracked, bleeding nipples. I know we all have the right to make our own decisions, but I remember being TOTALLY baffled at how she could deny her son his milk when things were going well for her. Meanwhile I was crying at every feeding because it hurt so badly, but still hung in there because I felt my baby deserved it. she also complained about every aspect of motherhood and did not seem to enjoy her baby at all.
Anyway, I did not end the friendship over this, but we did drift apart, and I haven't talked to her in a long time now. It's sad, but we are just 2 very different kinds of people, so I think it's for the best.
I do have other friends who were unable to breastfeed, and I do not think lesser of them. But I think it's AWESOME when babies can have this wonderful food, and I do believe it's a child's birthright.
She then went on to try to compare ff to breastfeeding as if they were equal (for months after, unpromted). I never brought up her ff choice, but she did quite a bit. I just remained silelently annoyed, because I figured there was a reason within herself that she needed to bring this up every time I was with her. I know she wanted validation from me, which I could give her about a lot of things. But I could never say to her that ff was practically the same as breastfeeding.
This reminds me very much of my mother. She repeatedly tells me that she let me CIO. She repeatedly tells me that she only did it for a few minutes, and every time she tells the story, she imitates me crying in this mocking way. She has told me this over and over and over and over. She seems to want me to say that it is fine with me that she did this...but I cannot say this. Very weird repeating loop!
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