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Getting discouraged.........already

Posted by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM
  • 36 Replies
So I've asked a few times about bf support for my boy who will be born December 14. If not sooner. I had zero support around me w older son. From thinking there was something wrong w me to my ex husband thinking it was gross, to in laws, friends, and others just being down right negative! The only support I had was my mom who lives in NY and I'm in FL.

Well, like I've said before I'm w a wonderful man who says he'll support whatever decision I make. Though after having him read some articles he really wants me to end for at least 6-9 mos, of not longer. He's read the benefits of health, nutrition, the bonding, a stronger immune system, and many other positives. So I know I have him and my mom who is unfortunately living several states away.

So the soon to be mil is now jumping down my throat about it. And her main attack weapon is my almost 8 yr old son. At first she acted all gung ho about it, now she's done a 180. Saying are you even going to make enough? (I am pretty flat chested, but I still produced plenty w older boy) and what are you going to do when he wants to eat when you're out? Or at work? Simple I say, I'll pump for work and feed him when out. Maybe pump occasionally for an outing. Depends on what we're doing and where. And what about if DF wants to do it? He'll do it while I'm at work, I'll say. Or he'll have another bonding routine w him. And that's what HE WANTS for MINE and HIS child. She's gone on about other things and I meet them all w a rather good solution. So then she throws the bomb :-( what are you going to do? Walk around topless in front of your older son when baby wants to eat? I say that's ridiculous. And then, well he's going to see your breasts, do you think that's a little borderline there? I asked, borderline WHAT??? Sexual she says. Inappropriate, immoral, questionable. Floored I got up and left. I had never thought about how it would affect my older one. But I don't think any of the words she used fit. I had planned on going into another room or something. Especially if he had friends over or something, cause our house is by the first bus stop, so even though I pick my son and his friend up everyday, the other kids always stop to play for a bit. He was breast fed when I could. And I don't see anything wrong w him knowing and teaching him its a completely natural thing.

So now I ask for advice on this::: How should I answer his questions about it? Or how should I do it w him around? Idk if my ex husband will have some smart ass comment. Probably. :-( and how do I deal w her? I thought I was doing pretty good til she brought up my older son :-/

******and another kicker!!!!! I had an appt w an LC from LLLI the other day. And she knew I needed and wanted to go and appts are hard to get. So I'm walking out the door to go and I get a phone call from her work. She said she wasn't feeling good and fainted. (She has some other medical issues and is also an insulin dependent diabetic. Well DF was at work on a call almost two hrs away and couldn't leave, so guess who had to go? And I tried to say I'll be there after my appt but she threw a his du and DF begged me to go til he could get back this way. So I go to hospital w her and twenty mins after we get there it's revealed that her sugar was over 300 and she had "forgotten" to take her insulin. She's been on it for it 10 yrs. she knew what I had to do that day and what DF was doing. And we were also supposed to have an alone night and now we had to stay to w her :-/ )
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K8wizzo
by Kate on Nov. 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM

1.  Ignore your MIL.  She's a completely negative influence and it sounds like no amount of information is going to change that.

2.  You don't need to go into another room to breastfeed your baby--it's normal, natural, and nothing to be ashamed of.  Which husband do you want your son to grow up to be--the one who thinks bf is gross and something to be hidden or the one who supports his wife in bfing their children?  You can easily do the "2-shirt method" which shows no skin: tank top underneath, looser shirt on top, pull tank and flap down, shirt up, latch on and the top shirt falls down to baby's lips.  All you can see is shirt and baby head. :)

3.  If your MIL is crazy enough to endanger her health to that degree just to spite you or ruin your bf plans, I'd seriously limit the amount of time that you and your children spend with her.

maggiemom2000
by Ruby Member on Nov. 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM
3 moms liked this

I know this article focuses on "in publc" but most of it applies to your 8 yr old son. My DD arrived when her brothers were 9 & 7 1/2 yrs. They saw me breastfeed and pump all the time. I nursed her when their friends were over. I nursed her at their soccer practices and soccer games, in front of dozens of kids. Here's the article:

WHY CHILDREN SHOULD WITNESS BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC

A child's life is made up of moments. Children learn by observing and interacting with their world, and every moment adds up to form the basis for the values, beliefs, habits, and memories which will carry them into adulthood. This seems obvious, but what does it have to do with breastfeeding?

Well, what happens if children never witnesses breastfeeding? What if they spend their entire childhood seeing only bottle feeding, both in the media and among the people they interact with? What if a young girl or boy grows up surrounded by sexualized images of breasts but never, or only rarely, witnesses the normal, natural act of breastfeeding a baby? There are some fortunate children who witness their mother breastfeeding a younger sibling, but one look at the breastfeeding rates in the US today will tell you that they are likely not seeing the nursing relationship last for very long.

I am fortunate. My own experience with nursing in public has been wonderful, despite having never seen a woman breastfeed up close and in person until pregnant and attending an LLL meeting. My husband is supportive, I don't work outside the home, and I have never been directly criticized or asked to cover up. My son is almost 18 months and still nurses quite frequently - some days more than when he was an infant! I nurse him in public anywhere and everywhere he wants to. I've noticed that as he's growing older and finding his independence, he needs to come back to me when overwhelmed with his environment, to calm and center himself by nursing. This means that some days he tends to nurse in public more than he does at home. I can’t imagine what life would be like if I was uncomfortable with nursing in public. We have nursed at a wedding, a funeral, a graduation, birthday parties, on airplanes, trains, buses, subways, parks, playgrounds, museums, cafes, restaurants, even on amusement park rides. Everywhere I go, he goes, and so nursing goes.

Recently, we traveled to Scandinavia. In the three weeks we spent in Sweden and Denmark, I observed three women nursing babies, uncovered, at the table at restaurants, and many others nursing at parks and playgrounds. In my entire life living in the US, I can recall seeing only one woman nursing at a restaurant, and very few in other public places aside from breastfeeding gatherings and LLL meetings. The cultural contrast between Scandinavia and the US was incredible to take in, particularly in how I observed children reacting to the sight of breastfeeding. In Scandinavia, I never once saw a child or a child’s parents react with alarm, disgust, shame, or even slight concern when they witnessed myself or other women breastfeeding in public. On a train in Denmark, a group of 15+ teenage boys boarded while I was nursing my son. One sat right next to me and offered a kind smile. Another boy noticed and looked for a second but didn't behave awkwardly at all. The rest likely glanced my way at some point (they were only a few feet away from me), but none acted like it was a big deal - probably because in Denmark, as well as in Sweden, breastfeeding rates are much better than in the US, and the sexualization of breasts is much less profound.

In contrast, here in the Northeast US, I have had several experiences with nursing around groups of pre-teen and teenage boys. What has happened every time was this: one boy noticed, and immediately a storm of whispers, giggles, double-takes, stares and/or shyly averted eyes commenced. "Her boob is out! Pass it on!" While somewhat amusing, it's terribly sad. The reason these boys are so giddy and awkward around the sight of my nursing breast is likely because women's breasts are viewed as almost strictly sexual in the United States. Nipples are powerful enough to triggermassive media uproar and federal investigation when exposed in a “family setting.” Yet we flaunt breasts during primetime television broadcasts. Breasts sell products and ideas, and are widely fetishized. I take no issue with breasts being sexual, but they also need to be seen as nurturing. I believe the view of breasts as solely sexual is one of the primary reasons that so many people seem to think breastfeeding should be done in private, and are against nursing in public, especially uncovered. Breasts are too powerful and too sexualized for many people - that view can trigger a sort of cognitive dissonance when witnessing a sex object being used by a child for nurturance and sustenance. When breasts are seen only in a sexual way, it's no surprise that it could be confusing and disturbing to see a baby's (or worse: a young child's) head in the way of an observer's mental sexual objectification. It's time that our society re-conceptualizes breasts as both sexual and nurturing, and stops shaming women for using their breasts in either manner.

I believe that nursing in public is one of the best things a breastfeeding mother can do for society as a whole - not just to give her own child a healthy start, but to give other people's children the opportunity to see mothering and nurturance at the breast as normal, healthy, and enjoyable.Nursing in public helps re-normalize breastfeeding as the biologically optimal means of feeding a baby, and of comforting and nurturing a toddler or young child who no longer needs breastmilk for nutrition. It is appalling to hear news stories or personal anecdotes about breastfeeding mothers being asked to cover up when they nurse around children not their own. The only real reason people ask a woman to hide breastfeeding when she's around children is if the person doing the asking views breasts as sexual or the act of breastfeeding as too intimate for public view. Yet, breastfeeding is not at all sexual. Why do some people see breastfeeding in that light? Perhaps because they haven't seen enoughbreastfeeding to internalize how normal and natural it is. To convey to children that they should not be witnessing breastfeeding makes it a taboo, a secret, something dirty or shameful that must be done in private – like using the bathroom or engaging in sexual activity, both of which are sometimes ignorantly equated with breastfeeding. Children who receive that message enough may grow up to be adults who don't want to breastfeed, who have to overcome psychological hang-ups in order to breastfeed, who shame or scold women who do breastfeed, or who discourage friends and family members from breastfeeding. Those attitudes harm children and women and society as a whole.

One of the easiest ways to reach children is on an individual level, by simply being visible to them and engaging them, answering their questions if so presented. A young girl who saw me nursing my son when he was an infant looked on in pure astonishment and asked me “what are you doing to him?!” as though I was hurting my baby. I simply smiled and told her I was breastfeeding him, that this was how he ate. It seemed as though she had never before seen a woman nursing a baby prior to observing me. I hope that her interaction with me provided her with a positive memory, and hopefully a question or five to ask her parents. Imagine if she saw another woman nursing in public the next week and every week after that.Eventually, it would cease to be a source of astonishment for that little girl and would become just a simple fact of mothering.

To change our culture’s perception of nursing in public and improve social support of breastfeeding as a whole, we need to start with children. We need to make nursing in public so boring, so quotidian, that it garners no more of a glance or second thought than seeing someone drinking a coffee or hugging a friend in public. We need to allow and encourage children of all ages to regularly and repeatedly witness the beautiful and natural act of breastfeeding, so they will grow up thinking nothing much of it, simply expecting it to be a part of their own parenting lives.

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” – Albert Einstein
Proud2BWeird
by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM
2 moms liked this
An 8-year old isn't going to see anything sexual about breasts or breastfeeding! At that age they're much more interested in their toys and friends than anything you're doing.

Explaining it to him is simple: "This is how many mothers feed their babies. It's the best thing for them, and it's always just the right temperature!".

It's extremely important that you normalize breastfeeding for him now, so he'll be less likely to adopt your jerky ex's attitudes.

As for dealing with soon-to-be MIL. Tell her it's not up for discussion. Make it a "please pass the bean dip" subject. If she pushes it, get your DF with you and tell her she won't be welcome to be around her grandchild if she doesn't honor your decisions as tthe parents.
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justone_jen
by Jen on Nov. 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM
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I'd kindly tell her to back off.

Yes, it would be incredibly immoral for your son to witness how mammals eat. The horrors! ;) I'd have just laughed that one off. I breastfeed wherever, whenever, regardless of who is around. I haven't once exposed my breast, but I won't leave a room so that someone can avoid explaining how mammals eat to their child, should they inquire (which is rare, they generally don't notice). I sure as hell won't hide from my own children. It just seems silly. If your son has questions, answer them. You can nurse discreetly in front of him using the double shirt method, if you're more comfortable that way. Honestly, his exposure to nursing likely won't be some epic revelation. If anything, you'll just normalize it, which is a good thing, in my opinion.

You will make plenty of milk. Breast size is irrelevant. Relax. You're going to be great.
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K8wizzo
by Kate on Nov. 26, 2012 at 11:22 PM
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As to breast size... my mom is a AAA cup and successfully nursed all 3 of her children--with massive oversupply with my sister even. :)

RadnRem
by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 11:48 PM
1 mom liked this
Don't worry about nursing in front of your older son. Just tell him that youre feeding the baby and that's what breasts are for! If you don't make it a big deal....he won't think anything of it.
And I understand about not wanting to nurse in front of his friends, I might just cover with a blanket or do the 2 shirt method if going to a different room gets old ;-)

I nurse my 6 month old in front of my 10 and 5 year old sons alllllll the time. Its a non issue. At first I was a little modest about it....that went out the window by 2 weeks in. I realized I was just being silly and making things more difficult than they needed to be!

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gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Nov. 27, 2012 at 12:40 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Ginnygurl97:

So I've asked a few times about bf support for my boy who will be born December 14. If not sooner. I had zero support around me w older son. From thinking there was something wrong w me to my ex husband thinking it was gross, to in laws, friends, and others just being down right negative! The only support I had was my mom who lives in NY and I'm in FL.

Well, like I've said before I'm w a wonderful man who says he'll support whatever decision I make. Though after having him read some articles he really wants me to end for at least 6-9 mos, of not longer. He's read the benefits of health, nutrition, the bonding, a stronger immune system, and many other positives. So I know I have him and my mom who is unfortunately living several states away.
Excellent. You haven't mentiioned the only important person whose support you need, though: The Woman In Your Mirror. When she ha your back, it doesn't matter what the whole rest of the world says.

So the soon to be mil is now jumping down my throat about it.
In-law is a suffix meaning "to be ignored." Do so. And tell your hubby/SO to tell his mother to BACK OFF. The second greatest cause of divorce, after money, is interfering in-laws!
And her main attack weapon is my almost 8 yr old son.
Any woman who uses a child to attack isn't worth listening to.
At first she acted all gung ho about it, now she's done a 180. Saying are you even going to make enough? (I am pretty flat chested, but I still produced plenty w older boy) and what are you going to do when he wants to eat when you're out? Or at work? Simple I say, I'll pump for work and feed him when out. Maybe pump occasionally for an outing. Depends on what we're doing and where.
And those are the correct answers.
And what about if DF wants to do it? He'll do it while I'm at work, I'll say. Or he'll have another bonding routine w him. And that's what HE WANTS for MINE and HIS child. She's gone on about other things and I meet them all w a rather good solution. So then she throws the bomb :-( what are you going to do? Walk around topless in front of your older son when baby wants to eat? I say that's ridiculous. And then, well he's going to see your breasts, do you think that's a little borderline there? I asked, borderline WHAT??? Sexual she says.
Idiot. He probably knows what breasts are for better than she does.
Inappropriate, immoral, questionable. Floored I got up and left. I had never thought about how it would affect my older one.
It won't. Having grown up in an Italian family where no one ever used bottles.. when you don't make a big deal of it it is not a big deal. Kids don't know the body is bad, And indeed, God did not out a Macys in the Garden of Eden. The ONLY modesty He cares about is the kind that keeps you from putting yourself before others. Remember the line "the last shall be first, the first shall be last?" THAT is the modesty he cares about. 
Your MIL is merely showing how ignorant she is.
You need to tell Dad that if grandma doesn't shut her mouth now, she will NOT get to see the grandchild. She is insulting HIM as well as you, you know. 
But I don't think any of the words she used fit. I had planned on going into another room or something. Especially if he had friends over or something, cause our house is by the first bus stop, so even though I pick my son and his friend up everyday, the other kids always stop to play for a bit. He was breast fed when I could. And I don't see anything wrong w him knowing and teaching him its a completely natural thing.

So now I ask for advice on this::: How should I answer his questions about it?
Honestly. Baby is eating. That's all. It's not a big deal! It's no different than changing a diaper. Just another thing that comes with babies.
Or how should I do it w him around?
No. Never. You want this child to understand that breasts are to feed babies, not to sell beer and automobiles.
Idk if my ex husband will have some smart ass comment. Probably.
Children are smarter than most give them credit for. He probably knows instinctively that his dad is indeed an ass. Every child does come to that conclusion sooner or later, you know. And then when they're adults, if Dad is really not an ass OR if Dad has outgrown is Assishness, the kid believes dad's not so bad after all. (My 13 year old has decided Dad's an ass. He's right about a quarter of the time. Par for the course for victims of the Y Chromosome Defect.)
:-( and how do I deal w her? I thought I was doing pretty good til she brought up my older son :-/
You IGNORE her. Because she's wrong. Tell her son to deal with her.
******and another kicker!!!!! I had an appt w an LC from LLLI the other day. And she knew I needed and wanted to go and appts are hard to get. So I'm walking out the door to go and I get a phone call from her work. She said she wasn't feeling good and fainted. (She has some other medical issues and is also an insulin dependent diabetic. Well DF was at work on a call almost two hrs away and couldn't leave, so guess who had to go? And I tried to say I'll be there after my appt but she threw a his du and DF begged me to go til he could get back this way. So I go to hospital w her and twenty mins after we get there it's revealed that her sugar was over 300 and she had "forgotten" to take her insulin. She's been on it for it 10 yrs. she knew what I had to do that day and what DF was doing. And we were also supposed to have an alone night and now we had to stay to w her :-/ )

Don't tell her any of your schedule any more either. In all seriousness, have as little to do with her as you can. She's setting herself up to be a lonely old cat woman like my MIL was. (She died in September... we only found out two weeks ago and my husband still can't shed a tear for her. Yes, she was THAT BAD.)

There is one valuable lesson you're gettng from your MIL, though. DON'T BE LIKE HER! **smile**


gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Nov. 27, 2012 at 12:41 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting K8wizzo:

3.  If your MIL is crazy enough to endanger her health to that degree just to spite you or ruin your bf plans, I'd seriously limit the amount of time that you and your children spend with her.

You know, that makes me think even more. My MIL had dementia for 17 years.

It may be setting in for yours. Your SO can certainly use her forgetting to take her insulin as a pretext to take her to the doctor and get throughly checked.

Ginnygurl97
by on Nov. 27, 2012 at 1:03 AM
I do want my older boy to look at it as natural normal thing for mommys to do. And I know some of his friends have moms that bf their younger siblings.
I want both my boys to be like DF.n

As for injuring herself. I dont think it is just about my bf plans. She always does something when me and DF need or have something planned


Quoting K8wizzo:

1.  Ignore your MIL.  She's a completely negative influence and it sounds like no amount of information is going to change that.

2.  You don't need to go into another room to breastfeed your baby--it's normal, natural, and nothing to be ashamed of.  Which husband do you want your son to grow up to be--the one who thinks bf is gross and something to be hidden or the one who supports his wife in bfing their children?  You can easily do the "2-shirt method" which shows no skin: tank top underneath, looser shirt on top, pull tank and flap down, shirt up, latch on and the top shirt falls down to baby's lips.  All you can see is shirt and baby head. :)

3.  If your MIL is crazy enough to endanger her health to that degree just to spite you or ruin your bf plans, I'd seriously limit the amount of time that you and your children spend with her.


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Jeckers
by on Nov. 27, 2012 at 1:06 AM
1 mom liked this

Don't let your MIL influence you so much!  Does she live with you?  Is she going to be around 24/7?  If not oh well.  Do what you want to do and what is the best thing for your little one.  My MIL and SIL's were grossed out about it, but too bad.  My baby and my breasts.  I breast feed all the time at there houses when we are visiting.  I have pumped at work when needed in the past and will do so with this one.  The only problem I have is breast feeding in public.  This is just my own personal preference:  I go to the minivan or if the store or where ever I am at has a nursing area, I will use that.  That's just me.  :) 

As for your older son, just cover up when feeding if that makes you comfortable. 

Do what you and hubby are comfortable with!   

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