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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, our extended family entered a new phase: one of my husband's nieces just had her first baby. The mother had a scheduled c-section (gestational diabetes - concerns about weight and size of baby's head) - and decided to get "drying-up" pills right away.<br><br>
I'm just so sad. The mentioned niece has a SIL who is a midwife and I'm a Leader. So, of course I'm totally aware that this is their baby, their life, and so on - but it's still ironic that a young woman who would have so much support at her fingertips would choose to feed formula from day one while I BF all my children under the fanfares of "he isn't getting enough", "isn't it time you'd stop doing that" and what not.<br><br>
From the perspective of "personal growth": I can partly understand my MIL now for her "this baby's just short of starving" attitude with my children. I see this young mother (23y) with gestational diabetes, a history of weight issues, atopic eczema, and some asthma episodes bottlefeeding her new baby and it's driving me up the walls - even though we were never that close. How hard this must be with your own children!<br><br>
Sigh. Thanks for listening.
 

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I hear you. But as you said, it's their child, life, etc... Still, it's hard. But we cannot parent other people's kids, and we cannot force their hand. I too have a hard time letting go...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I hear you too.
 

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Situations like this, I vent to my DH, we laugh about how ridiculous we think they are being, I let out everything I wish I could say to their face, and then I let it go. And realize that there are probably tons of people out there thinking I'm not being a 'good' parent because my 15mo is still 95% breastfed and he sleeps in my bed and we have no schedule whatsoever. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Oh I can relate honey! I'm a Leader too, it can be hard to see watch what this woman is doing or not doing) but it is her life. I used to get so upset when people who were struggling with bf come to me, we figure out what the problems are, and yet they never bf again, even though I have been nothing but supportive and have given a lot of my time to these women. It is still thier choice and you have to try to just be encouraging and supportive <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I have had similar feelings, especially knowing a few women who tried incredibly hard, with support of LLL and lactation consultants and SNS and everything, but were just low-supply for no apparent reason.<br><br>
That said, there is so much more to being a good parent than breastfeeding.<br><br>
You might steer her toward the Attachment Parenting International website page that has information on bottle-feeding techniques to promote attachment (always holding the baby while feeding, having one parent be the primary feeder, taking your shirt off to provide skin to skin contact while giving a bottle, "switching sides" so baby's head isn't always on the left or on the right).<br><br>
Other than that, just let it go.
 

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I am sorry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Let it go. This young mama has her own burden to bear.<br><br>
Childbirth educators often talk about "teaching for the next baby." We know that often what we have to offer is too little, too late. We plant seeds. We remain accessible and supportive. Lots of times the mothers come back to us for help with their next baby.<br><br>
My (much younger) half-sister drives me up the wall--but I just take a deep breath and keep talking to her. Sometimes she repeats back to me something I said six months ago...(but she still isn't breastfeeding her new (second) baby <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead">)<br><br>
It's hard to watch <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, Ladies.<br><br>
As said before, I'm in no position to "give advice" and I don't want to. (I learned that much as a Leader.) I guess this whole thing is bringing my own biases up to the surface, and it's confusing and frustrating for me. So I'll just take it as another chance for personal growth. We can offer information and support but we can't "make" parents accept it.<br><br>
During my niece's pregnancy I once wrote her an e-mail mentioning LLL and another national organization for BF mothers in Germany. So I just did what I wrote above: I offered information and support. She never responded to that e-mail which I already took as a sign that she wasn't interested. I would still have expected that she'd give it a try for maybe 2 weeks (like her own mother), so it was still a surprise.<br><br>
windsorheightsmom, your suggestion sounds great but she probably won't be very open to that, either. Her main motivation is probably "independence" as in "park the baby at Grandma's". Still, I can mention it casually and see how she takes it.<br><br>
On with life - there were at least 2 young mothers within the past 2 weeks whom I was able to give the support and help they needed and who are so happy now that they "made it". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Maybe she's rebelling? Maybe she sees you and the other relative as authority figures and feels a deep need to do it her own way?<br><br>
Not that that's particularly mature, but we all did it, right?
 

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sometimes low supply with no reason is actually a result of the drugs given during childbirth. they interrupt the oxytocin cycle. you can google it, or i think it's in dr. odent's book, the scientification of love. oxytocin causes uterine contractions, and the contractions of the little muscles which push the milk out. it is also the hormone of attachment and orgasm. explains why so many mothers are emotionally detached from their children- they never create a true mammalian bond.<br><br>
i think 'it's her life' is b.s. i'm not saying interfere any more, but bottlefeeding is contributing to much that is wrong with western society. it predisposes us to love objects, not people, as it interposes a plastic thing between mom and baby. we are materialistic beyond what is healthy for the planet. also, the cost of the illnessesses directly caused by formula is enormous- asthma and allergies, constant ear infections and lessened intestinal health over the course of a lifetime. increased risk of cancer, and so many other health issues including predisposing the child to addiction- check out the primal health research at birthworks.org if you doubt such assertions. think of how much money society could save if more people breastfed- enough to feed the hungry, or enough healthcare to go around. so it is not just her life- i am paying for her selfishness in the cost of my health insurance premium, and i resent her 'choice'. that according to etiquette we should remain silent about it is really just more propaganda from the formula feeding industry, fed to us in the form of articles in magazines and opinions on 'the view' or other such program. i know lll leaders have to give information and let go, my mom was one, and i couldn't do it. . . .
 

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provocativa, I know a woman who had a home birth and never used pacifiers or bottles, put her baby on the breast all the time, sought help from LLL and lactation consultants on latch, did everything right in other words, and just produced almost no milk for no apparent reason. She hadn't had breast surgery, she didn't have major risk factors for low supply, but it wasn't working. She couldn't get anything out pumping either. She kept at it for so long before supplementing, but when her baby wasn't back to his birthweight at 5 weeks postpartum she had to do something.<br><br>
I hear what you are saying about the societal costs of people not breastfeeding, but I don't see what's gained by badgering someone who has already decided not to breastfeed. It won't bring her around to a different choice with the next baby.
 

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Provocita, I think it's unfair to put that all on the shoulders of bottle feeding mothers. I know three mothers who went out of their way, to try and breastfeed, and it didn't work. I know many more mothers who chose to bottlefeed due to their work, their health, and previous conditions. Their children are not materialistic, they aren't unhealthy, they are normal children. Really, predisposing children to ADDICTION? I have never seen a study that shows that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>provocativa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15434114"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">sometimes low supply with no reason is actually a result of the drugs given during childbirth. they interrupt the oxytocin cycle. you can google it, or i think it's in dr. odent's book, the scientification of love. oxytocin causes uterine contractions, and the contractions of the little muscles which push the milk out. it is also the hormone of attachment and orgasm. explains why so many mothers are emotionally detached from their children- they never create a true mammalian bond.<br><br>
i think 'it's her life' is b.s. i'm not saying interfere any more, but bottlefeeding is contributing to much that is wrong with western society. it predisposes us to love objects, not people, as it interposes a plastic thing between mom and baby. we are materialistic beyond what is healthy for the planet. also, the cost of the illnessesses directly caused by formula is enormous- asthma and allergies, constant ear infections and lessened intestinal health over the course of a lifetime. increased risk of cancer, and so many other health issues including predisposing the child to addiction- check out the primal health research at birthworks.org if you doubt such assertions. think of how much money society could save if more people breastfed- enough to feed the hungry, or enough healthcare to go around. so it is not just her life- i am paying for her selfishness in the cost of my health insurance premium, and i resent her 'choice'. that according to etiquette we should remain silent about it is really just more propaganda from the formula feeding industry, fed to us in the form of articles in magazines and opinions on 'the view' or other such program. i know lll leaders have to give information and let go, my mom was one, and i couldn't do it. . . .</div>
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I respectfully disagree with pretty much everything you posted. First off, bottlefeeding doesn't always equal formula feeding. I mean, in the OP's example it does, but I know some pretty dang fantastic mothers who have bent over backwards to provide breastmilk to their babies via a bottle and I think it's pretty dismissive to just write them off because their milk is coming out of a bottle and not a breast.<br><br>
Beyond that, I know many mothers who formula feed for a variety of reasons-- some I might personally deem selfish, some because the overcoming the odds and breastfeeding were insurmountable-- who seem to have a "true mammalian bond" with their children. If they don't, they do a great job faking it.<br><br>
And finally, this idea that we have the right to judge others' choices because it effects out health insurance premium or whatever-- what's to stop other people from saying the same to us? People use the same arguments about vaccination, homebirth, UC, you name it. In order to have others' respect my choices as being made with the best information available because I love my children, I need to extend to them the same courtesy. You (general you) can be angry with the system, the industry, the propaganda, the culture, without judging the mother and calling her selfish. No one is saying be silent, but no one ever changed the world by pointing at a mother and calling her names.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> And I think silently judging, even without saying anything, is just as harmful. And believe me please, that I am one of the biggest lactivists I know. None of my 4 have ever had a bottle, although with twins on the way, I'm suspecting I might need... no, check that... <i><b>want</b></i> to use one once in a while.<br><br>
To the OP, it can be really, really hard. I have been a LLL leader for 10 years now, and it's been a real growing experience. I've had to learn to let things go and to accept that in the end, I can provide information, but every mother has to make the best choices for their child. I can't own their choices. And while I get the urge to give into defeatism and say it won't make a difference, I do agree with mamallama about "teaching to the next baby." I think some of the best work I do as a breastfeeding advocate isn't teaching classes or leading meetings or even taking late night desperate phone calls-- it's <i>listening</i> to mothers and truly hearing their stories. Women have a lot of pressure on them and motherhood kicks it into high gear. For every reason a woman gives for not breastfeeding, I swear there are 5 more hidden reasons they're not sharing. Just keep listening and loving. You sound like you have a loving heart. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>proudmomof4</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15429997"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
From the perspective of "personal growth": I can partly understand my MIL now for her "this baby's just short of starving" attitude with my children. I see this young mother (23y) with gestational diabetes, a history of weight issues, atopic eczema, and some asthma episodes bottlefeeding her new baby and it's driving me up the walls - even though we were never that close. How hard this must be with your own children!</div>
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OTOH, I can see how a mother who is dealing with all that might not want to deal with breastfeeding as well. I moved heaven and earth trying to breastfeed DS-- definitely I was the "give it your all" type-- but that is a LOT of stuff happening to her body and I can see where breastfeeding might seem like just one more thing too many, yk?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annettemarie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15437507"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">(...) And finally, this idea that we have the right to judge others' choices because it effects out health insurance premium or whatever-- what's to stop other people from saying the same to us? People use the same arguments about vaccination, homebirth, UC, you name it. <b>In order to have others' respect my choices as being made with the best interest available because I love my children, I need to extend to them the same courtesy.</b> You (general you) can be angry with the system, the industry, the propaganda, the culture, without judging the mother and calling her selfish. (...)<br><br>
To the OP, it can be really, really hard. I have been a LLL leader for 10 years now, and it's been a real growing experience. I've had to learn to let things go and to accept that in the end, I can provide information, but every mother has to make the best choices for their child. I can't own their choices. And while I get the urge to give into defeatism and say it won't make a difference, I do agree with mamallama about "teaching to the next baby." I think some of the best work I do as a breastfeeding advocate isn't teaching classes or leading meetings or even taking late night desperate phone calls-- it's <i>listening</i> to mothers and truly hearing their stories. Women have a lot of pressure on them and motherhood kicks it into high gear. For every reason a woman gives for not breastfeeding, I swear there are 5 more hidden reasons they're not sharing. Just keep listening and loving. You sound like you have a loving heart. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
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Yes, in my better moments that's exactly what I've been telling myself (bolded part). It would be easier if I knew she had "done her homework" (which - knowing her a bit - she most likely hasn't) but still I'm sure she based her decision on what she thought is best for her family.<br><br>
Thanks for the reminder about listening. I'm more of a communicator (read: talk too much) so I need those frequently.<br>
And thanks especially for the <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> - you're making my day... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lolar2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15437722"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">OTOH, I can see how a mother who is dealing with all that might not want to deal with breastfeeding as well. I moved heaven and earth trying to breastfeed DS-- definitely I was the "give it your all" type-- but that is a LOT of stuff happening to her body and I can see where breastfeeding might seem like just one more thing too many, yk?</div>
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Not having mastered the fine art of double-quote, here comes another one:<br>
I've never seen it from that angle - and I think you might have hit on something there. (She's been a smoker for some time so that would point in the same direction. It probably was hard enough for her to pause while pregnant.)
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>proudmomof4</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15438527"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm sure she based her decision on what she thought is best for her family.</div>
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I just wanted to say that I admire the fact that you can have a major difference in philosophy and still see the good intentions of others. I know it must be hard. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 
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