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Son is troubled about partner stopping breast feeding

(188 Posts)
ThespiGran Sun 08-Jan-23 08:35:18

My grandson is a month old. My son is disstresssed that his partner doesnt breast feed anymore. Any tips on how to advise in this situation. Im not going to talk to her about it. Ive been speaking to my son. They live with her parents. Have been for about 5 months. So all is not ideal. The parents are buying a lot of the formula. Im careful with my text messages as she has been known to read them. Im sad that she isnt breast feeding. He says. shes lazy and tired. But she is a caring mum. This is such a sensetive issue. And after all its her body.

mumofmadboys Sun 08-Jan-23 08:40:31

My advice is to say nothing. It must be her choice. Any breast feeding that was done will be beneficial to the baby.

GrannySomerset Sun 08-Jan-23 08:43:24

Not everyone enjoys breastfeeding, and even a few weeks gives the baby’s immune system a boost. Really only the mother’s business.

TerriBull Sun 08-Jan-23 08:45:17

You are right it is her body and such a decision is entirely up to her. He, your son, is not a lot of help saying she's lazy and tired. You're a mother, point out to him giving birth affects women in different ways, some take quite a while to recover from that, suggest he is not being very supportive by describing her as lazy.

NannyJan53 Sun 08-Jan-23 08:49:30

Gosh, no wonder she is tired after giving birth a month ago. My DD only breast fed for 4 weeks, before giving formula as she was finding it so difficult. That baby is now a healthy 14 year old! I breast fed for 6 months. We are all different, her body, her choice.

It is the first couple of weeks that are so important. I would not worry, or indeed make any comments.

Septimia Sun 08-Jan-23 08:49:39

My GD's mother stopped breastfeeding her. There seemed to be no advice or help with breastfeeding available, which didn't help the situation. I'd have helped if asked, but was too far away.
Anyway, although it wasn't what I'd have wished for (not up to me!), GD did fine on formula and is growing up fit, healthy and active.
At least with bottle feeding your son can help and have the pleasure of holding his son while he feeds.

BlueBelle Sun 08-Jan-23 08:50:33

Tell him to breastfeed the baby himself 😳

Not everyone has a good time I never achieved it I m afraid my first was a small very colicky baby who cried a lot didn’t gain weight and worried me so the doctor suggested I bottle fed so we could both relax With my second I had mastitis which was incredibly painful by the third I did it for three weeks out of duty
Many mums love it, many mums have a great time and feed for ever but not everyone does

Support your daughter in law by not getting involved if he moans to you tell him it’s not always a walk in the park and for her to know what s right for her and leave it at that

How dare he say she’s lazy 🤬

Fleurpepper Sun 08-Jan-23 08:55:57

Is the family from a different culture? In some countries, it is a control thing as the matriach want to be in charge. I have known this from 3 colleagues in the past, living in extended families.

dragonfly46 Sun 08-Jan-23 08:56:51

My DiL didn’t even attempt to breast feed either of their babies. It was her choice and her body. My DS was pleased in a way as he was able to feed them.
They are now two very healthy children.

silverlining48 Sun 08-Jan-23 09:16:01

Breastfeeding is not for anyone to decide other than the mother. Your son should support his partner not criticise.
I found bf quite painful so stopped at 6 weeks. My decision.
Don’t get involved.

Franbern Sun 08-Jan-23 09:19:30

When my daughters' had babies I was horrified to see how very little realistic help there was for Mums to breastfeed. These had grown up with me being a breast feeding Counsellor for NCT, so had heard this talked about and discussed throughout their childhoods.

My eldest daughter was desperate to breast feed her baby, but actually got told by the visiting Health Visitor/(Midwive), at six days, to send out - immediately!! to get formula, as baby was not putting enough weight (these weight charts are made for formula fed babies and often have little relationship for breast fed ones!!!). At the time my daughter was in her 30's and an NHS professional herself. Yes, obviously, as a first time Mum and a new baby, she put her trust in what she was being told. Fortunately, I lived close by and with my support (also that of a lovely lady GP) she ignored that silly, bad and wrong advice and continued b.feeding - until baby was fully weaned, well after she had returned to part-time work.

Another daughter with her first baby was also told not to continue to persevere with 'forcing' baby onto breast, but to get bottles. Again, I was with her and helped her to ignore this - that baby and subsequent three all b.fed.

There is no doubt medically, that b.feeding is the best for baby and also for Mums. Whereas, it is true that some is better than none, it really should be a good few months before babies are introduced to the milk from a different mammal. Also, in these times of fear of so many different virus, it gives babies so much more protection.

My third baby was premature - and when she was a couple of weeks old I became ill with something like noravirus. My older two toddlers were stopped from seeing me as I was so infectious, but tiny, prem. baby stayed with me throughout, my b.feeding giving her the protection against this illness.

Whereas, I totally agree that nobody should be forced to b.feed if they really do not wish to do so, I do know that many mums would be happier to continue if they were given far more information and real encouragement and help.
Even a fully b.fed baby can be fed by Dad - once the feeding starts to settle down, Mum can express milk for a bottle for this purpose and also to ensure she can go out without baby sometimes. In anycase there are many other ways that Dads can be involved with babycare other than feeding.

However, this new Mum has made a decision - hopefully, any such decision regarding care and welfare of their child has been talked about and discussed by both parents. Once made then Dad needs to ensure he is giving her his full suppport.

Elegran Sun 08-Jan-23 09:25:06

She isn't lazy, she is dog tired. She will be less tired when she isn't feeding a baby out of her own body at all hours of the day and night, as well as doing everything else that a baby needs, on top of the birth not long ago. She did well to give baby a few weeks of breastfeeding, which will help set up his resistance to various health problems.

Now she needs to build up her own health. He has no idea how much that takes out of a mother. If he loves his wife he could help her by take over night bottle feeds on alternate nightsfeeds, not criticise her for what he sees as imperfect mothering.

Perhaps if he did ALL night feeds for a while, he would realise clearly how exhausting it is to be constantly on duty, even when you have just gone to sleep.

Blondiescot Sun 08-Jan-23 09:25:35

While I totally agree that every new mum should have access to proper information and support on breast feeding, at the end of the day, it's not for everyone and the only important thing is that baby is thriving and both baby and mum and happy and well. It's down to mum at the end of the day and if she has decided to stop, then she shouldn't be made to feel guilty or pressurised about it. Even a month's breastfeeding is better than nothing.

dragonfly46 Sun 08-Jan-23 09:28:09

I find your post quite judgemental Franbern. Breast feeding should be a choice.
I breastfed both mine until they were fully weaned but it did not prevent me getting breast cancer so I thing the benefits for the mother are overrated.

LRavenscroft Sun 08-Jan-23 09:28:45

I did not breast feed at all and my child was the healthiest in the class with very few days off school. It is the mother's choice and her choice alone. Leave the poor lady alone and let her enjoy her baby time without meddling. I would have been furious if someone had challenged my choice and told them to get lost. Apart from that my mum, dad and husband got a look in with the feeding too and my child now very much adult is one of the most balanced and happy people you could wish to meet. Each to their own, live and let live!

dragonfly46 Sun 08-Jan-23 09:29:43

As to the fact that the OPs DiL is lazy I would say it is far more of an effort to make up bottles than to attach a baby to the breast.

MercuryQueen Sun 08-Jan-23 09:30:48

I’d honestly be telling your son off. He needs to support his partner, not be insulting her behind her back to you.

Luckygirl3 Sun 08-Jan-23 09:53:15

OK - this is what you must do. Tell him it is absolutely fine; that your DIL has provided all the colostrum needed and she is right to move on from the breast-feeding if she is needing to, from tiredness or whatever.

It is a fait-accompli and no amount of you colluding with his criticisms is going to change that.

The parents are buying a lot of the formula. The underlying implication is that the DIL's parents are doing the wrong thing, when in fact all they are doing is respecting her wishes and giving practical help by going shopping for her.

Never, never collude with an adult child in criticism of their partners [clearly this does not apply if abuse is involved] - this is the mother of your GC and she needs to be able to trust you and rely on your support - there are a lot of years ahead of you all and you need to make sure the relationships are sound, and that she is not always wondering what is being said behind her back.

This couple do not have an ideal start to parenthood as they clearly do not have a home of their own, and your job is to provide lots of positive support.

Simply tell your son not to worry about this and to simply enjoy being a Dad.

Marthjolly1 Sun 08-Jan-23 10:12:46

I gaveup breast feeding my first baby after 4 difficult weeks, mostly because as a new mum, I was so anxious of doing everything wrong, it didn't help she had colic. I had no support and the health carers just kept
telling me to feed her some more, even though I kept protesting there was something wrong. Eventually I went to the doctors who immediately said she had colic and prescribed Merbentyl, this had an immediate effect and my baby settled. I was exhausted. With 2nd everything was so different. I was now experienced and confident and fed my baby for 9 months.

aggie Sun 08-Jan-23 10:17:08

I breastfed all of mine , mostly because I remembered my mum doing that with my sister , I was the only one in the nursing home breast feeding and the trainees used to come and ask questions ,
But I would never ever take anyone to task for stopping BF or not starting it
It’s entirely their choice , this Mum has done her best and should be supported , not criticised

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 08-Jan-23 10:43:50

MILs and Mothers should be supportive, as should partners, there is enough guilt to carry with us along the way without being made to feel bad about breast feeding, especially as the mother in question has tried her best.
As to being made to feel lazy! Words fail me.

Sparklefizz Sun 08-Jan-23 11:19:29

Grrr! He needs to do all the night feeds for the next month and see if he feels a bit tired!!!!!! angry

Fleurpepper Sun 08-Jan-23 11:28:25

All should be supportive and it is the mother's choice. Not the husband's. But it should never ever be the choice of the MIL - as a form of control. As said, both of us have come across many cases where that was the case.

Madgran77 Sun 08-Jan-23 11:41:43

I think you need to tell your son in no uncertain terms that giving birth to a baby is hard, and recovery can be slow and steady, coupled with the care of a demanding new born. He needs it pointing out that it is his jiob to support his wife as they manage this process NOT accuse her behind her back of being lazy ...HE is being selfish , shortsighted and completely lacking empathy and you are the one who could tell him that. Then support him as he thinks about what HE can do to make this recovery and new parenthood time better for them both and baby!!!

ThespiGran Sun 08-Jan-23 11:43:25

Thank you so much for your sensetive and considered reply. My son has fed his son since the day he was born. With the breast pump. He has also told me that he is getting advice from his friends girlfriend who has two children and is in the field.
I felt very critisized by some women on here. But not by you. I wish I hadnt posted now. Its a real skill yo be empathic online. So thank you for your diplomacy.