What Did Your Mom Do

18 Replies
sahmof3 - July 10

I'm just curious as to how many of your moms br___tfed and how it affected your decision to. Mine did w/ all four of us, so her experience helped when I decided to. She saved my br___tfeeding with #1 because he was a c-section baby and my milk didn't come in until day four. On day three he screamed non-stop all day- colostrum wasn't cutting it anymore for my big boy (he was 9 5). I was ready to throw in the towel, but she found this system- a bottle for formula, then a VERY thin tube that I could hold right at nipple level and latch him on the br___t with this little tube in, too. So he had formula (OMG-this was such a disproportionately huge deal to me with #1!!), but it was worth it in the long run, because if he hadn't gotten his belly full that day I would have been done!! Her biggest support later was just encouraging me when I was down about it. I'd had a long, hard labor, ending in c-section and my ds was a bad sleeper. Recovery was hard. I really wanted to quit br___tfeeding and hand anyone else in reach a bottle AND my ds, but she really just kept saying, take it day by day, it'll get better. When #2 came, she was a NICU baby and had tubes and wires everywhere, including down her throat- talk about hard to learn to br___tfeed!! The nurses and docs in there were great, too, but my mom would drop everything and come in and just sit with me and encourage me. Once she was out of NICU, we were ok. My MIL, however, thinks br___tfeeding is the most dirty, disgusting thing ever! She leaves the room when I nurse, so there was definitely no support from her!!! My dh's one sister br___tfed and I don't know who her support was since it definitely wasn't her mom, but it's nice now that we have these kinds of forums! So, what were your experiences w/ your moms or other women in your family? Did they help or hinder??

 

Jamie - July 10

My mom b___stfed my older brother til he was 7 months. At that point, her milk dried up because she was pregnant with me. She nursed me til 11 months - I cut a tooth, and the first time I bit her was the last time she nursed me. My stepmother didn't attempt to b___stfeed either of my two younger brothers. My sister-in-law didn't nurse either of her two kids...basically none of the parents *my* age b___stfeed besides me. I pretty much had my mom, but since I live on a different continent from her, there wasn't much she could do. I pretty much stuck with it out of sheer stubbornness and determination to NOT FAIL. I can credit my mom with giving me that stubbornness, though.

 

olivia - July 10

I am one of 7 and my mom b___stfed my oldest sister for 6 months. I guess my sister screamed and vomited the entire time and my mom never even tried to b___stfeed any of the rest of us. The army would give them free formula -- they actually dropped it off at her doorstep, so she did that for the rest of us. She was not discouraging about b___stfeeding but my family is pretty private as far as body parts, so I didn't get too much open support, just did my thing and didn't listen to comments. I was pretty determined as I have always been more into the natural way in life... so it took a lot of comment blocking to get me through. I lost my milk supply at about 7-8 months when I got pregnant again. My mom was never discouraging, but she was not the reason or inspiration behind me b___stfeeding. My sister b___stfeed her kids for about 6 weeks each. She hated every minute of it and is quick to tell you. When I didn't give my dd a pacifier or bottle she kept saying "those la leche nazi's really got to you". I am not sure what she meant but it was annoying. So I have to say my biggest inspiration was sheer willpower, a supportive husband, and a cooperative daughter. I had a c-section and a cracked nipple and but we just charged ahead and figured it out.

 

lindsay - July 10

my mom bf'd me and my 2 sisters, but i think she would be supportive whether i decided to b___stfeed or not. for me, it was never a question... even as a young girl fantasizing about being a mommy one day, i saw myself b___stfeeding.. so while my mom was not my"reason" for doing it, it is nice she is 100% supportive. i think many of the women on my side of the family b___stfed,; my sister did her son, too. as for my husband's side, i don't think any of them have. my husband was adopted before he would have even started solids, so i don't know if his mom would have or not.. i know his cousins that have kids did not bf... i'm not sure how they feel about it, really. sometimes i get the feeling that if they come to visit and i take my dd to my room to bf, they are slightly irritated, like if i just formula fed her, i wouldn't cut into their visit time, but maybe i'm just paranoid, lol. no one is vocal about it, at least not to me or mil, because she would tell me if someone in her family was talking sh*t on me, lol...what a darn shame about your mil, sahmof3.. in my opinion, b___stfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, aside from giving birth! it b__ws my mind that not all women feel that way!

 

Jamie - July 11

Lindsay, if you have guests in YOUR home, why do you retreat to another room to nurse? My house is the one place I'll let it all hang out. If a guest is uncomfortable with it, we have a lovely seating area right outside.

 

lindsay - July 11

i don't do this for them, it is me... it's not even the "b___st "part that i leave for, it's lifting my shirt and exposing my belly... i have some issues...plus, it depends who is there... if it is my friends or my family, i stay... it is just something about my husbands family, aside from mil, that i am not comfortable around... i also do not bf in public, for the same reasons... my own insecurities, not anyone elses! i think it is beautiful if someone can walk around bf-ing while grocery shopping... i am just not that coordinated, lol! :-)... believe me jamie, i feel no shame, it's just sheer body image issues on my part!!!

 

Yodergoat - July 12

My mother did not b___stfeed my older brother (born in 1968) or sister (1972)... she was told that formula was better. But when she had me (1977), she wanted to try. Unfortunately, I was a colicky, fussy baby, and my constant crying brought her to the doctor, who told her that I was "allergic to her milk." When she put me on formula at about 1 month old, I reacted to that as well... it seems I was reacting to dairy, and if it were not for misinformation, she might have been able to continue nursing me after cutting some dairy from her diet. I was raised on soy formula. And, to this day, my mother insists that the 1 month she b___stfed me was the cause of her sagging b___sts, and she always warned me as a child not to b___stfeed because of this! Grr! Originally, my mother thought I would not be able to succesfully nurse my baby, because of her negative experience with me. Now that she sees my baby thriving on an exclusive diet of b___stmilk, she is very proud of the fact that she is nursed and often mentions it when others remark on my daughter's nice size. She has turned around completely in her thinking, and now regrets stopping early with me and never trying with my siblings. I'm very comfortable nursing around my mother now, although I can see that it makes her a bit melancholy because she "failed" (her words) with me. She is supportive now, although still a bit misinformed about some aspects... but she is learning. I think that she did not really want to admit for a long time that b___stfeeding was really better, because that would imply that she (and my sister) had made the wrong choices. One aunt (by marriage) on my mother's side is quite supportive of b___stfeeding, and always tells me how proud she is that I nurse my daughter even when it is decidedly not the popular thing to do here in our area. The other older female relatives on that side of the family seem confused as to why I did not want bottles given at my baby shower, and they always seem defensive and uncomfortable if b___stfeeding is mentioned. My maternal grandmother (deceased before I was born) had nursed all of her 15 (yes, 15!) children for at least a little while each, some longer than others. Apparently, lactational amenorrhea as birth control didn't work for Grandma, because she nursed each baby until she got pregnant again, and many of my aunts and uncles are just 1 year (or less) apart. I also got my period back at 3 months, by the way, so I guess I take afrer Grandma! Mom says that Grandma nursed because she couldn't afford to buy milk. I don't know about my paternal grandmother... she does not live here, has never seen my baby, and so I never asked... but my father is VERY supportive of b___stfeeding and not at all shy or awkward when discussing it or when I nurse near him. He is very logical, and I think he knows that b___stmilk is obviously a better food than something man-made. My late mother-in-law was very modest, with a controlling husband, and I think this is why she did not b___stfeed my husband or his siblings, but her twin sister did with her daughters for 6 months each and is very supportive of me. My husband has expressed some sadness that his mother did not nurse him or his siblings, because he sees how wonderful the b___stfeeding relationship can be with our daughter. He is amazingly supportive and has been since I first mentioned nursing many years ago. He even discusses its benefits with our childless, unwed male friends, and now they are supportive as well! I nurse in front of them and they don't even bat an eye... perhaps they don't even realize I'm doing it! For twenty-something year olds, they are very supportive, and they love my t-shirt that says, "I make milk. What's your super-power?" My husband's maternal grandmother sometimes mentions how her milk was "not rich enough" for feeding her children, and that the doctor made her stop b___stfeeding fairly early on. With her twin daughters, she says: "Of course no one could feed twins with b___stmilk alone, so I used bottles and only nursed them at the very beginning." Whenever she sees my daughter, she laments that her milk was "too thin" for her children. More likely, I would bet that the doctor told her to follow a rigid 4 hour schedule, and also told her to nurse only for a few minutes on each side. She was probably feeding mostly foremilk because of this bad advice, which seems to be the common recommendation for those days. She is supportive of me, but seems to think that I am just one of the lucky few who "makes good milk." I don't even bother to correct her, because she would either not believe me, or feel bad about putting her children on the bottle all those years ago. My own sister refused to nurse her babies, even at a doctor's recommmendation and with a family history on both sides of all sorts of allergies, asthma, and eczema. She knew the benefits but never tried it and would not give a reason why she would not, although she later lied and told a pro-b___stfeeding relative that she "tried but couldn't." I encouraged her to nurse her younger son in the hospital so he could at least get the colostrum and its immunities, but she instead sent him to the nursery for a bottle of glucose water. )-: Her sons both suffer from allergies and some asthma symptoms. She is semi-supportive of me nursing, but always seems shocked at how easy it is going for me, the lack of spit-up stains, the almost scentless poop, and how well my daughter grows... as if she is surprised that b___stmilk really IS better! I wonder if she had a baby now, what she would do? My husband's ex-wife did not even consider nursing my nephew... her response when my mother asked during her pregnancy if she would b___st or bottlefeed: "Bottle, of course!" As for me, I ALWAYS wanted to nurse my future children, even as a young child and even with the negative att_tude my mother had about the sagging b___sts. I watched cats, dogs, pigs, rabbits, and all of our other pets nurture their young lovingly at their b___sts, and everyone was always telling me not to feed the young baby animals anything else because their "mother's milk is best." Why people don't use that same thinking about HUMAN babies is beyond me! I started researching b___stfeeding years before we even began trying for a child, and it is now one of my favorite aspects of my long-awaited motherhood. I love those milky smiles and shining eyes as my daughter nurses! The att_tude in this area of Tennessee is very bottle-oriented, to the extent that I have NEVER seen a woman nursing in public in my town. I only personally know a handful of women who have b___stfed for longer than a few weeks, and only two who did it for longer than a year. Too bad they live out-of-state! I have only one female friend my age who lives here, and she bottlefed her two daughters but is now pregnant again, and wants to b___stfeed. Her husband is encouraging her, but she is afraid it won't go well. Of course I have loaned her all of my books, gave her a Boppy pillow, and am ready to answer any questions she has when her son is born. I hope she will persevere, because I think she will love it as much as I do. I pray that I can be the extra bit of support she needs in a town that frowns upon babies raised at the b___st.

 

lindsay - July 12

yodergoat--i HAVE to get that shirt!! where did you get it?? i love it! keep being a b___stfeeiding crusader.. think of all the women you could be a positive influence for!

 

sahmof3 - July 12

Yodergoat- I had to laugh when I read about your grandma not having lactation amenorhea. I didn't either. My period returned at about 3 mos., as well, with my first two. When my second was about 8 months we decided to start trying for a third. I knew it could happen right away, but wasn't expecting it too (as I have PCOS and it took 20 months to get pregnant with #2, plus the fact that I was b___stfeeding). According to my basal temp. chart, it took 2 DAYS!! Cherish your b___stfeeding days- mine are almost over- my third turned 1 last week. I'm putting off the inevitable because I know from the last two. Once it's done, it's hard to really remember what it was like!!

 

moucheka - July 12

My mum, aunts, grandmas and all the mothers of all my friends b___stfed. In Australia it is the norm so I was very shocked when I came to live in the US and saw bottles everywhere. I still can't believe people would make anything of public b___stfeeding, the most natural thing ever. My mum was also a lactation consultant so I spent a lot of time with her teaching others, so me nursing is just a given. I have had a bit of a battle with work here in the US and b___stfeeding. My boss is Indian, and although he has no kids, b___stfeeding is common to his culture too. He is happy for the baby to be at work with me and I've moved into an office. I am still having negativity from the American women in our head office though, as this arrangement is not something they have ever thought of before. It's not like my baby is a cat though and I can just leave it some food, and there is no way I would give a baby artificial food or use an artificial method. Can you tell I feel strongly :) These feelings about b___stfeeding are completely normal in my culture and it is challenging to adjust to something so foreign.

 

Yodergoat - July 12

Lindsay: I got the idea for the "I make milk. What's your super power?" shirt from various b___stfeeding advocacy websites that sell such shirts, but I made it myself with iron-on computer transfers. I used a font that looked similar to the type in the "Got milk?" slogans and put it on a fitted grey shirt. Here is a link to a long list of advocacy sites that sell shirts, bumper stickers, etcetera:http://www.kjsl.com/~beanmom/advocacy.html (remove any dashes that appear) I made an advocacy "onesie" for my daughter, too... here is a link to the photo of her wearing it: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v460/yodergoaty/Baby%20Gail/IMG_9977.jpg (remove any dashes that appear) This was taken when she was just a little over 2 months old, by the way.... she is almost 4 months now. Those who see her shirt seem to think it's pretty funny and clever... I haven't heard any rude comments so far. Plus, it opens a dialog about nursing, if the person asks questions. I hope that I can be a positive influence... thanks!

 

lindsay - July 12

OMG yodergoat! that is terrific!! you are so crafty, lol! keep up the good work! you should copyright that or something, lol! (but not before i copy it!!) :-)

 

lynne - July 13

I was the second oldest in my family of 8 and my mom bf all of us so to me it just seemed the thing to do.and my mom is my strong hold and i go to her if i need any help and i love every min. of it. i dont have any problem with doing it in public i just throw a blanket over my sholder so that i am covered and let them eat. if somone has a problem with it tuff !! no one said they had to look.

 

Keli - August 5

I was born in 1972. My mom had c sections with all 3 of us kids. She was told she couldnt BF because of the anesthesia. She has made many comments to me like.... Why dont you just give her a bottle? I know she was ready for that! ( when I did give a bottle with BM in it) I bet she's just hungry amd needs a bottle. the formula will hold her over better. ... stuff like that. it drives me crazy.

 

krc - August 6

my mom said she b___stfed me until I started to bite her when my teeth came in.

 

krc - August 6

oh yeah, i b___stfeed my son but my mom didn't really influence that decision. I've always been pro b___stfeeding, anti-formula.

 

Miriam - August 7

My mom b___stfed me for three months. She was still in college and without good pumps her milk dried up. She did not influence me one way or the other. My mom is weird with this. On the one hand she was telling me to nurse until my ds was at least 5 months (don't know how she came up with this #), but on the other hand the second we encountered nipple confusion she told me to quit. She didn't want me to stress him out. Both my grandmothers b___stfed. One of them just left the decision up to me, while the other seemed to judge me for not wanting to nurse for long (she did it for 1.5 years). My MIL also b___stfed but she never expressed any opinions on what I should do... smart move:) Anyway, I am thrilled that I decided to bf for even a little while, because I fell in love with it and now can't imagine how I at one point didn't want to do it. Also, the T-shirts are available at Cafepress.com. They also have many other cute ones.

 

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