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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do explain why you BF exclusively to a FF friend without insulting their choice and their parenting? (the same Q goes to co-sleeping, CIO, etc)<br><br>
I was talking to a friend (a daddy) who's wife BF their DS for 1 months and he said "That was plenty he got what he needed"<br>
He was asking why I didn't want to use a bottle (both of our DS's are 6 months old) I said it was too much work, pumping, cleaning and all. I was lucky that I can have DS with me all the time to feed him, even when I work.<br>
He said, "No, no, not pumps. I mean won't you just evetually give him formula? It's soooo mch easier!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="jaw2"><br>
I was floored! I didn't what to say that would not insult he and his family and their choices. I just said flatly "We don't ever want to give him formula."<br><br>
I wanted to say... "Because parenting isn't about what's easiest for me, it's about what's best for the baby you DINGBAT!"<br><br>
How would you have handled it?
 

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While I would never, ever tell someone their choice is wrong or criticize another's parenting choices unsolicited, I'm wondering WHY you have to be respectful of his choices if he isn't respectful of yours, KWIM? With DS (my first) I was overtly concerned about respecting everyone else's ways, even if they would come up to me and critique mine. Now I'm pg with DD and I don't think I'll mince words this time around.<br><br>
Usually, I will simply turn it around. (question) "Why aren't you FF?" (my response) "Why WOULD I?" Put THEM on the spot, and know that it's perfectly polite to refute their arguments. "Convenient? Personally, I don't find mixing and heating formula, sterilizng bottles, etc too time-saving when I can just lift up my shirt." If you want to be a witch, say "I won't sacrifice my child's health for convenience." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mischievous.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="mischief"> (but then, maybe you might not want to go THAT far...tempting, though, ain't it?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> )<br><br>
PS What you're hearing from this guy is guilt, BTW.
 

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I agree with the PP.<br>
Although, I think it cases like the one you describe above the parent is really looking for conformation that what they are doing is okay. It almost sounds like he needs approval for thier choices.<br>
I think I would have responded with BFing is easier, cheaper and more nutritious.
 

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"Hmm, that's interesting. I find breastfeeding much easier, I just lift my shirt and voila! I am also reassured that my child is getting the best food I can give her at this age. But everyone has to do what they can--some women have trouble nursing, or it's too hard with a responsible job like your dw has-- and I'm sure that even one month of breastmilk gave your dc a big advantage in life!"<br><br>
I just had a similar conversation with a former work colleague of mine. He was saying that his dw felt guilty for how briefly she was able to nurse, so I emphasized the positive part, that she did nurse for her maternity leave. Breastfeeding is the norm in my community, you have to act as though it's the norm in yours and then that's what it will become.
 

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i think there is a thin line you walk but i think that it would be okay for you to explain your reasons. he may truley not understand or know that breastfeeding is imortant for his baby. you never know the information you supply him might be passed on to his wife who then may decide to breastfeed her enxt baby. i think people would be suprised how many women dont know why breastfeeding is important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You know that's interesting, I think you may be right in that he actually DOESN'T KNOW why BF'ing is so important. That's the impression I got, one big void.<br>
I know he was adopted himself way back when and formula fed. Maybe he's just uninformed.<br>
I know they don't plan on any more kiddos. But I am always willing to fight the good fight.<br>
Thanks for the input so far. Keep it coming!
 

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nak<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Usually, I will simply turn it around. (question) "Why aren't you FF?" (my response) "Why WOULD I?"</td>
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This is usually my first response.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"Because parenting isn't about what's easiest for me, it's about what's best for the baby you DINGBAT!"</td>
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If they persist, this is my next response--minus the dingbat part! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I agree w/ PPs who said that people who ask these kinds of questions feel guilty b/c they know deep-down that they put their convenience before what's best for their child, and they ask these sorts of questions or put down others in order to feel better about their choices. I will answer questions politely, and I will provide information, but I will not mince words just to make them feel better.
 

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If you really don't want to get into a discussion about it and it seems as though the person is baiting you, just say, "This is what works for me and my baby." And then change the subject. Often people will try to get you into a debate so they can argue with you and make themselves feel superior. Don't give them the satisfaction!<br><br>
If that isn't their intent, just be honest! It's not your fault if they feel threatened by it - they asked, didn't they? Just say you find that breastfeeding is easy and convenient and you know it is healthier for your baby. Period.<br><br>
I once had a woman watch me nurse my then 8-month-old daughter and she laughed and said, "oh, I chose the easy way - bottles!" And I just said, "Really? Isn't it a lot of work, all that washing and preparing and cleaning and carrying around? This seems a lot easier to me!" And I wasn't being snotty at all, I was truly surprised!
 

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I think you handled it just fine. Saying that you don't ever want to give your baby formula isn't insulting what they did. Now if he persisted in wanting to know why you don't want to use formula, I would not worry about being so pc and just tell him why.
 

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I have often wondered how to handle this too...I find myself putting ME down...saying things like "I am way too lazy to bottle feed" or "I couldn't stand to wait while my husband fixed a bottle and I had a crying baby...gives me a headache"....<br>
I want to say the health reasons, and I usually half say it first, but I always end up making it like I am the bad lazy parent....<br><br>
~C~
 

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but you know what, sometimes THEY are already insulting you by saying something like "breastmilk is essential the first 6 months and then formula is fine" (I have a friend that breastfeeds for 6 months only and has said this) because she knows that I breastfeed for longer, and her comment is basically saying that I am doing it for me or that it's not important if I do it or not. IT IS, and she is saying that only to feel better about her selfish choice. I have told my friend that the benefits of breastmilk do NOT end at 6 months, that if it's HER decision, I will respect that, but she does not have to say what is basically a lie just because she does not want to continue nursing after a certain point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
LovingMyBabies and Caroline248<br><br>
You are both SOOOO right!<br>
Caroline, I do that all the time, and WHY? I am going to try to stop putting my choices down to make others feel ok.<br><br>
Loving -- I have heard that one SO many times too (variations, one month, one year, whatever) And I like your approach!<br><br>
Thanks to all for the great input and support! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Gawd! I feel this way all the time. My personal triumph one day was not to walk out of the room when the women in my mother's group were talking about CIO. The moderator actually said that on rare occasions when her 9 month old would wake up in the middle of the night and wouldn't stop crying she would just TURN THE MONITOR OFF!!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"><br><br>
I'm the only one of two that co-sleep in a group of about 20 mothers of babies all under one year, and the other mom is so apologetic about it, full of comments like "I know I shouldn't, but I can't stand to here her cry." or "it's the only way we all get a good night sleep, so even if it's not the way it's supposed to be, I need to function at work the next day." This is the reason I have found mothering.com.<br><br>
The same goes for the Breastfeeding. Guess who the only one was that was exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months. And I have heard the nursing for the wrong reasons comment before too (meaning selfishly for me).<br><br>
I have managed through it all to smile and say "This is what works for us." And now I have women asking where they can buy a maya wrap. Of course I invite thm to LLL meetings where I got mine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I find reversing the same sentance works well for me to. I smile and say "That's great that (fill in the blank) works well for the both of you." I leave it at that. Sometimes I smile really big and have to say it a little more pointed with the emphasis on "works for YOU" But they usually get the point, there is no one right way to raise a child.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It's not your fault if they feel threatened by it - they asked, didn't they? Just say you find that breastfeeding is easy and convenient and you know it is healthier for your baby. Period.</td>
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This is the way I feel. I answer factually and watch my tone of voice. If the other person chooses to be offended, that is his/her problem. Not mine.
 

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I like the suggestion made by mommyofone about turning the question around to the questioner. LOL. It's tough to defend ourselves when so many people are misinformed about breastfeeding, CIO, co-sleeping and other AP issues. People get the idea that "I did it and I'm ok" or "that's what I did with my baby and he/she is ok". Hmmm...interesting idea....obesity and type II diabetes are at epidemic levels and ff infants turn out ok...<br><br>
But, I do think that you should be straightforward with the questioner. I mean, he did want to know, which is why he asked. If he is offended by your answer, then it's his problem, and not yours.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>loving-my-babies</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">but you know what, sometimes THEY are already insulting you by saying something like "breastmilk is essential the first 6 months and then formula is fine" .</div>
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<br><br>
That is true...I have been laughed at for responding to that. I recently said "Well, the AAP recommends BF for at least a year and the WHO says at least 2". The person laughed and said that the WHO is talking about countries where the mom is starving to death and can't get food for the babies. I just looked at her and said "If the mom was starving to death she wouldn't produce milk"....Didn't help...I was totally blown off as a wacko...<br><br>
~C~
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>boatbaby</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">LovingMyBabies and Caroline248<br><br>
You are both SOOOO right!<br>
Caroline, I do that all the time, and WHY? I am going to try to stop putting my choices down to make others feel ok.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
</td>
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<br>
Hmmm...New Years Resolution??<br><br>
~C~
 

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I've gotten this a lot over the past year. It has been even more intense because I've been pretty open about pumping exclusively for Emily. I usually just say, "I really think it is important for a baby to get breastmilk for at least the first year of life. I'm really committed to it." I don't address anybody else's situation. I can't speak on them, only myself.<br><br>
I do have a friend who ff, and who has known that I nursed Katie as long as I did, and that I pumped. She has been nothing but supportive. I guess she really has felt confident in her reasons to ff her first baby. She has not been defensive at all.<br><br>
I mostly got people looking at me crosseyed when they heard I was pumping. Especially when they heard how often I needed to pump.<br><br>
My thought has been that if they are asking the question, they can handle the answer, and I give it to them. I don't apologize or denegrate my decisions.<br><br><br>
Bec
 

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Wow, the father said that they formula feed because it's easier? He really is ignorant, isn't he? :LOL What could be easier than lifting up your shirt and popping a naturally sterilized, naturally warmed "bottle" into the baby's mouth? :p I personally think that the people who say they formula feed because "it's easier" really have their heads up their butts. Just my opinion. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
As for how I respond to these situations, it depends on how the conversation is brought up, and how it is being discussed. For example, when my cousin told me that she formula fed because "breastfeeding is gross" I was truly insulted, so I didn't really care about insulting her back. I told her that I breastfed because it was proven to be better for the baby than formula, and I cared enough about my child to give her the best start in life. I also mentioned that my daugher has NEVER been sick during the time that she's been breastfed, while her child has been stricken with colds, flu's, and who knows what else. :p<br><br>
If it's someone I don't know very well, or the discussion is brought up with no ill intentions (ie them attacking my breastfeeding) I will tell them that I was formula fed as a baby, and have major food allergies as an adult. We also have a lot of milk allergies in our family, so formula isn't really an option even if we wanted to shell out the $25 per can for the specialty stuff. :p
 

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I think it depends on who you are talking to. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I think we tread lightly on these subjects, mostly breastfeeding, because, heaven forbid a parent feel guilty about not BF. Well, I for one, would not worry myself one bit if a person *choose* not to use a carseat and in discussing it, they felt guilty after our conversation!<br><br>
I think you can be respectful and tactful but get your point across that BM is superior to everything they will ever be able to manufacture in a formula laboratory. I think we're often more worried about offending people than we should be; we should figure out what to say so that we inform but don't worry if the person is oging to feel guilty. B/c, chances are, the person already feels guilty.<br><br>
Like the PP said, she had a firend who FF and was supportive of her BF, and it wasn't a fight. She obviously was confident in her decision. I think people often bring it up looking for validation. Well, you won't get it from me! With that said, there are situations when BF is not possible and most likely in those cases, the person would not bring up the issue.<br><br>
I like what a lot of the PP's said about the responses, especially to turn it around on the questioner: why do you FF? How is it easier than lifting and latching? Then you can inform from there.<br><br>
Sus
 
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