Author Topic: This is what our doctors want. UPDATE, page 3  (Read 49868 times)

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penguinpants

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This is what our doctors want. UPDATE, page 3
« on: September 22, 2010, 12:25:05 PM »
I'm exclusively nursing my newborn son, and using formula is not an option because he has tummy troubles.  We're only supposed to use bottle-feeding with breastmilk, if he begins to refuse nursing or if I'm incapacitated.  My mother "gets it," and is very supportive. MIL, however, keeps recommending "controlled feedings," and other such things, and believe me, advice has not been asked for.  DH has weathered the majority of these comments with "This is what the doctors have said we're supposed to do, as well as the nursing consultants."  So far, it's sort of worked?  As in, she backs off for a little bit, but reopens the subject during their next phone chat.  The ILs live out of town, but will be in for a whole weekend next month, although they're staying in a hotel.  FTR, both my mother and MIL only used formula, so neither has direct experience with nursing.  My mother has indirect experience, since my sister nursed both of her children.  I think my mother is more amenable, simply because she has more experience with it.

Any other suggestions for getting the subject closed?  "This works for us," and the like have, so far, not worked.  Part of it is that this is her first grandchild, but part, too, is that I think she keeps forgetting that the conversation has already happened before.  We don't want to be rude, but we also don't want to be harassed.

Also, I do not nurse in front of anyone, aside from DH, medical/lactation staff, and the females of my immediate family.  I would not be comfortable with MIL being back in our bedroom while I nurse.  Any polite ideas for keeping her at bay?
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 10:18:21 AM by penguinpants »
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HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2010, 12:37:33 PM »
Since you've already tried several methods that are typically recommended on Ehell, I think it would be appropriate to step it up a level.

Maybe try the Toots Broken Record Method:

MIL:  Controlled feedings are best.  Blah blah blah.
Penguinpants:  This is what works for us.
MIL:  But blah blah blah...
PP:  This is what works for us.
MIL:  But blah blah blah...
PP:  This is what works for us.
MIL:  But blah blah blah...
PP:  This is what works for us.

Or, you could completely squash the topic.

MIL:  Controlled feedings are best.  Blah blah blah.
Penguinpants:  This topic is not up for discussion. 
MIL:  But blah blah blah...
PP:  This topic is not up for discussion.  If you bring it up again, we will leave/ask you to leave.*

You must be prepared to follow through with this.  If you don't, then your MIL will continue to press. 
I am grateful for the friends I have made on EHell and everything I have learned, but it is time I move on.

Ms_Shell

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2010, 12:40:34 PM »

PP:  This topic is not up for discussion.  If you bring it up again, we will leave/ask you to leave.*


This is probably what I would say.  POD on making sure to follow through if you tell her she'll have to leave.
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Julep

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2010, 12:43:05 PM »
Rather than "best for us" perhaps you should start making this about baby. Baby's health is at stake here, and I think even a half-caring busybody ought to understand, "I understand that worked great for you, but with Baby's tummy troubles, that would actually be dangerous for his health. And of course, that far outranks our own comfort." And if she persists, "This topic isn't up for debate. Baby's health comes first, and this is what I have to do to keep him healthy."

As for the nursing, does your bedroom door have a lock? If not, you have time to install one before she comes. I heartily recommend it.

Julep

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 02:13:49 PM »
PS - I just reread your OP, and caught something that I didn't catch before (or imagined something that I didn't imagine before, one or the other).

Any other suggestions for getting the subject closed?  "This works for us," and the like have, so far, not worked.  Part of it is that this is her first grandchild, but part, too, is that I think she keeps forgetting that the conversation has already happened before.  We don't want to be rude, but we also don't want to be harassed.
(bolding mine)

If my interpretations aren't mistaken, is this more about her forgetting previous conversations than about her being stubborn that her way is the "right way"? If so, a lighthearted, "oh Grandma, remember how we told you about Baby's tummy troubles? I'm afraid we don't have a say in the matter - Doctor's orders!" might be enough. And if you find yourself saying it often, make it a game - you and DH get to order chinese or pizza delivery once you've said it ten times  ;D

Elfmama

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 02:14:06 PM »
What is "controlled feeding?"  The kind of thing that mothers were told back in the heyday of bottle feeding?  "Baby WILL drink 5 ounces of formula and WILL go for 4 hours between feedings.  And if she cries, don't pick her up, or it will spoil her."   :P ::)
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MrsJWine

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 02:19:29 PM »
I would give her one warning; you've been nice long enough.  I get that people of earlier generations had it drilled into them that formula was so much better, so I'm fine with people who respectfully inquire and don't keep bring it up after the question is answered.  If I found out in fifty years that they no longer recommended feeding vegetables to small children, I would be a little confused, too.

Anyway, one warning: "Mom, we've answered your questions.  I don't know what more you want from us.  From now on, bringing this up will be the end of the conversation."  And then follow through.  Hang up, leave the room, whatever it takes.  No anger or visible irritation.  Just end the interaction.


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hyzenthlay

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 02:23:25 PM »
I don't understand why this is a big deal. The standard recommendation is to use breastmilk exclusively if possible to do so, including expressing for use in bottle feeding. And to feed on demand unless there is some need not to. What you are doing is normal.

'Oh Mom, everyone breastfeeds if they can. It's just what's done these days.' Don't feel you have to defend or explain anything, this is normal and she's weird for questioning it. If you put yourself in the right place mentally that may come through when you talk to her, and she'll drop the subject. Maybe  :P

In order to prevent any fuss though, while they are here I would keep all your feedings private (with the exception of your DH.) There isn't any need to point out how much of an outsider she is to you by allowing YOUR family in while you feed, but not her.

gramma dishes

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2010, 02:36:06 PM »
I don't think you need to make any excuses or even "blame" the doctors and lactation specialists.

You did decide you were going to nurse your baby before he was born, right?  So just say so!  "This is what WE have chosen to do.  It isn't up for discussion.  I just love the little yellow outfit you sent for him.  He just looks so cute in it!"

Please just don't allow it to monopolize any conversation about your baby.  She probably means well, but is not well educated on the subject.  And, if you're right, it may be that she honestly doesn't remember having already had this conversation, so try not to let it unduly annoy you.

And yes, do get that lock for your door.  ;)

penguinpants

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 03:27:32 PM »
Lots of great suggestions -- thank you, everyone!  We do have a light lock on the bedroom door, so I will be sure to engage it.  I'll have to keep in mind the advice to just keep feedings private -- period -- during that weekend.  That'll be fairly easy, since Baby's problem is GERD and overexcitement causes more problems.  I'll have to take him back there, anyway, to give him a break from everyone visiting (Baptism weekend -- oy).

We had decided to exclusively breastfeed before he was born, and the GERD has just reinforced that.  We are very protective of the "supply."  DH has already informed her that folks need to stay pretty mellow when they're visiting (very small house, and next-to-no insulation in the walls between rooms); should people get too loud, or should either Baby or I become too stressed by everyone, he'll give everyone the boot.  :-D 

Everyone's suggestions will help us avoid milder forms of stress, insofar as "advice" is concerned.

P.S.  Elfmama: Yep, you're right on.  She even sent us the schedule DH's pediatrician had given her to use on him.  I almost cried when I saw it.
Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable. -- Jane Austen

MrsJWine

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010, 03:29:40 PM »
Oh, GERD.  That's nasty business.  It even sounds a bit like a swear.  Or a minced oath.  Both my kids had very mild reflux, and that was bad enough.  I hope his system straightens itself out soon, for all of your sakes!


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Elfmama

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 05:54:36 PM »
P.S.  Elfmama: Yep, you're right on.  She even sent us the schedule DH's pediatrician had given her to use on him.  I almost cried when I saw it.
I thought so.  Even women who attempted to breastfeed in that era were given very rigid rules.  (Possibly attempting to sabotage them into 'scientific' formula*, which was anything but!) MIL was told "One side only and at least 4 hours between feedings."  So of course she failed at it and had to put her babies on bottle feedings quite young.  With that kind of schedule, you'd be so engorged that it would be hard for the baby to latch on at all.

*Before the advent of commercial formulas in the late '50's and early '60's, formula was homemade.  Evaporated milk thinned with water, corn syrup, and I think raw egg yolks, but I could be wrong on that last one.  Nutritionally vastly inferior to breast milk, of course, and that was one reason that babies as young as 2 weeks were started on solids like cereal and mashed banana.
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DangerMouth

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2010, 06:12:11 PM »
P.S.  Elfmama: Yep, you're right on.  She even sent us the schedule DH's pediatrician had given her to use on him.  I almost cried when I saw it.
I thought so.  Even women who attempted to breastfeed in that era were given very rigid rules.  (Possibly attempting to sabotage them into 'scientific' formula*, which was anything but!) MIL was told "One side only and at least 4 hours between feedings."  So of course she failed at it and had to put her babies on bottle feedings quite young.  With that kind of schedule, you'd be so engorged that it would be hard for the baby to latch on at all.

*Before the advent of commercial formulas in the late '50's and early '60's, formula was homemade.  Evaporated milk thinned with water, corn syrup, and I think raw egg yolks, but I could be wrong on that last one.  Nutritionally vastly inferior to breast milk, of course, and that was one reason that babies as young as 2 weeks were started on solids like cereal and mashed banana.

Raw eggs and corn syrup? <blinks>
Corn syrup and raw eggs?

That's just. ... I mean, that's,... That's. Um.

Reeeeally?

I don't know why, I had the idea that if BF wasn't possible 'back when', the kid got cow or goat's milk.

Raw eggs and corn syrup. Urgh.

hellgirl

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2010, 06:21:12 PM »
I'm sorry you're going through this. And I hope you find the words to sort her out - learning to breastfeed is hard enough when you're not familiar with it, let alone with a child that is having a lot of trouble. You know you're doing the right thing and for us (although our problems were much less serious) I think a lot of what helped was the calm and steadfast assumption that 'this is what we do. We just need to get it perfected'.

To help yourself stay calm it might help to remember that she's having to not only learn that this is better, but unlearn a lifetime of thinking formula is better (and bottles) and the right thing to do. It was probably drummed into her that it was far superior to this unscientific business of breastfeeding. She may well have concerns like - How do you know how much they're eating! Maybe it's 'too weak'??? (the silliest argument I ever heard made with an otherwise thriving child) Maybe a million other things that still stress mothers out... gargh!
MrsJWine is spot on - it really is like being told something we've been assured is the best is actually not. It goes against her knowledge and common sense.

Try and let her opinions wash over you (I do realise that is easy to say!). She is stressing *herself* out over this - but it has no impact on what you'll do and the decisions you've made as a family.

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Re: This is what our doctors want.
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2010, 06:32:42 PM »
P.S.  Elfmama: Yep, you're right on.  She even sent us the schedule DH's pediatrician had given her to use on him.  I almost cried when I saw it.
You should have laughed, "Oh MIL, that chart you sent was a hoot! Isn't is amazing how things have changed in X decades? Thank goodness! I can't imagine treating a newborn that way."

If you've got the energy, you could even bean dip your way into a whole conversation about how much things have changed in the past XX years.
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