Currently breast feeding and My stepdaughters mother is having a new baby and tell the girls that "real moms feed their baby with a bottle!"

Randee - posted on 06/30/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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Our son was born December 2008 and for the first few weeks I pumped becuase he was in the NICU at Childrens and was unable to nurse, now is fine but my stepdaughters do not understand why we feed him as their mother calles it "the old fashioned way" and why we dont always use a bottle. The youngest is 8 and asks alot of questions and wants to know why I always disappear to feed their little brother or go make milk. I work full time so I take a pump with me and a times feed him while the girls are aound(covering the baby up). Neither of the girls were breast feed because it was to painful for her, but this situation has become a real issue because the girls are telling me that their mom tell them that "real mommies give their babies bottles and dont use the old fashioned way"... as well as telling them that I am a bad mom for feeding him like this! With all of his health issues I could not feel more confident about nursing but I am struggling with how to handle this issues with my step daughters with out make their mom out to be a bad person as she has done to me! Please help!

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Shawna - posted on 06/30/2009

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I am so sorry to hear she is doing that to you. Personally I would take it as an opportunity to educate them about breastfeeding. First off if you are a mom you are a REAL mom. There are many ways to feed a baby, but breastfeeding is the natural way, not the old fashioned way. I also wouldn't cover up or go to another room, I would feed him in front of them and answer any questions about it. It could be their mom is jealous that breastfeeding works for you and didn't for her so she feels she has to justify her feelings by badmouthing you. You might also show them other mammals feeding their young, dogs, cats, horses, cows, they all "breastfeed" their babies. It might help them understand it a little better. Then explain that if a baby can not get milk from its mommy (like an abandoned kitten) then they are fed with a bottle. I agree though, it is none of her business. I hope it is not too hard on you to deal with them. And you are a great mom for giving your son the best!!

Sabrina - posted on 07/03/2009

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I think using animals to teach these children about breastfeeding is a wonderful idea. Show them how animals do it then explain to them that human mommies have a choice to breastfeed or bottle feed and you have chosen to breastfeed. I do think however that covering up or going to a different room is a bad idea, it gives the girls the impression that you have to hide or are doing something wrong and they will inturn see breastfeeding as a bad thing, compounding what their mother is telling them. These days sex-ed is taught younger and younger in schools and girls are maturing very early so being honest with them about what you are doing won't be as shocking as you think. I also think someone (your husband maybe) needs to have a talk with their mother and tell her to keep her opinions about it to herself!

Good luck, you're doing what's best for your baby!

Dana - posted on 07/01/2009

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Wow, that just sucks. No pun intended. I could be totally wrong here but at 8 and older I would think that you could tell them that your both real moms and that when they say that to you it hurts your feelings. It' horrible that such immature behavior is being shown to these girls and it sounds like it's now your job to be the mature one. I also agree with Shawna about not going to another room or covering up, you've got nothing to hide. Especially in your own home. I understand though, I sometimes cover up depending on the situation. The comment about explaining what other mammals do is a great idea too. Also, maybe you, your husband and the ex should sit down together and talk about how it's not good to be enemies within the same family. As much as it stinks you're all in it together trying to raise these children as one blended family.

Ashley - posted on 06/30/2009

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Hi Randee. I'm a major supporter of breastfeeding and totally disagree with what their mother is telling them. REAL mommies breastfeed. And, considering that formula became really popular in the 60s, that's old fashioned as well! I would tell your stepdaughters that's it's every mother's decision how they feed their child and whatever they decide doesn't make them bad mothers. Each mommy has to do what's best for them and their child. Their mother chose to bottle feed and that's fine just as it's fine that you're choosing to breastfeed. Also, if you feel comfortable, be honest with your stepdaughter about her questions. If their mother continues badmouthing you to them, maybe you should tell her to stop saying things about that to the girls. It's really none of her business and she should just stay out of it. She probably feels guilty that she didn't breastfeed! I hope I was able to help you and good luck!

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Melanie - posted on 05/03/2010

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i think she just has issues that she wasnt able to do it herself. I breastfed my son for 9 mths and i totally agree that it is the best thing for them. Our bodies are designed to do it. I totally understand that not everyone is able to breastfeed but i really think that it is quite a selfish behaviour to not even consider it at all.
Well done for sticking with it by the way :-)

Melissa - posted on 07/08/2009

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Hi! You are doing a great job. Whether breastfeeding or formual feeding, all moms are "real" moms. I have found since becoming a mom that some moms feel insecure or guilty about not breastfeeding. I've heard moms validate to me about why they didn't breastfeed. It's your own personal choice. I would just explain to your step-daughters that there are two ways to feed a baby, and this is the way you prefer. Nothing is wrong with their mother's choice either, but they should know that many moms choose to breastfeed. Explain to them that as long as your baby is getting the proper nourishment, you are a "real" mommy. Good luck!

Randee - posted on 07/08/2009

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I love the idea of showing the girls that amimals "breast feed" too! Thank you for all of youur responses!

Bonnie - posted on 07/06/2009

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Use the stars!! The girls may be persuaded by people they already know...celebrities! I would buy every magazine, book or article I could find. Keep them lying around for the girls to see. I wouldn't try to justify myself to the girls (or their mother). They will see that what you are doing is safe, natural, and loving. I got the following article on-line.

I would discreetly nurse the baby with them in the room, as long as you are modest, you and the girls should feel comfortable. I would not pump in front of them, however, as I don't think there is a modest way to do this and you don't want them to run to their mother with all the lovely details

.

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Nancy O'Dell said "Breastfeeding is the best diet. I want to eat healthy for her, so it's easy to say no to pizza."



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[deleted account]

I think the best course of action is to sit down and have a talk with the mother. If you want your husband there for support that's fine but if you simply start telling the kids all about breastfeeding then you're just doing the same thing to here that she's doing to you and it's going to start a vicious cycle that's sure to escalate. Let her know how you feel about what's she said to the girls and how it upsets you and then if the girls bring it up to you then just say, "That's our mother's opinion and mine is different." and leave it at that. If you refuse to get upset about it around the girls and won't talk about it then they will take their cue from you and stop talking about it too.

Nicole - posted on 07/05/2009

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What a horrible woman! I wouldn't cover up- I would just take the time to educate them. It is never too soon to start breastfeeding education. Since kids are always brutally honest, you should be equally frank with them about what you are doing. Though it is hard, I wouldn't bring their mom into the conversation at all.

Jennifer - posted on 07/04/2009

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Quoting Tanya:

I agree with Shawna about explaining that all mummies are real mummies, some just feed their babies in different ways. By covering up while feeding and not answering questions you are in effect agreeing with what their mum has told them.


I totally agree with this. Let them see how natural it is and help to educate the next generation so that they don't have to put up with the same garbage.

Tanya - posted on 07/04/2009

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I agree with Shawna about explaining that all mummies are real mummies, some just feed their babies in different ways. By covering up while feeding and not answering questions you are in effect agreeing with what their mum has told them.

Tanya - posted on 07/04/2009

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You could tell them that not all old-fashioned ways are bad. But the new way is not bad either as long as the baby is growing and heaithy.

Anastasia - posted on 07/04/2009

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good on you for wanting to take the high road! i agree that if you can feel comfortable breastfeeding your son in front of the girls that you should it will definitely help them to make an informed choice when they grow up....when i visit my friends i go into another room (because i don't feel comfortable with all the men coming in and out of the house) but the children usually follow me in and we sit and talk and they ask questions like 'where is the milk' and 'how does it work' about the BF too and i think it has really shown them another side to feeding babies as their mother/s formula fed. and because i am comfortable they don't get the giggle about "boobs" anymore.

Kelly - posted on 07/04/2009

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hi, i think it is wrong what she is doing. there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding your child it is the best way really. and dont leave the room or cover up you are not doing anything wrong. when i breastfeed my 4mth daughter i dont cover up and i have 2 older children one boy age 4 and 1 girl age 2 and i know when i ask my daughter how will she feed her children she says like mammy. i have never hidden the fact that i breastfeed, when i am at my friends i do it and they dont mind even though some of them never did it. but i would explain to her about breastfeeding and why it is natural and that it isnt for everybody. x

Amanda - posted on 07/03/2009

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Wow, personally, I would ask their mother to keep her opinion to herself. You're not telling the kids that she's a bad mother for bottle feeding, and she should respect you, if not as a friend, then as a person, enough to not make you out to be a bad person for raising your children as you wish. I am also BFing, and my son is 15 months, so I get a lot of gripe about it. I would love to say I tell those people to shove it, but I'm too chicken. I just let it go b/c I know what is best for MY child, and they don't. I don't push BFing on my bottle feeding reletives, and I'd be upset if they did it to me. But I'd be a little upset that she's saying those things about you to such young and impressionable kids. Just talk to her and see how it goes from there. If that doesn't work, fight fire w/ fire. No, two wrongs do not make a right, however, the kids (since their mom is telling them about how it's wrong) also deserve to know the good things about BFing, and the bad (and good if you're nice!) things about bottle feeding. Give the kids all the info (age appropriate of course) and let them make their own opinions.

Virginia - posted on 07/03/2009

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Hi Randee. My first was taken out of me early and was in the NICU. They would not let me breastfeed for the first week of his life and I pumped too. I am now breastfeeding my fourth. I have four children under four (ages 3 2 1 and 9 wks) I have been breastfeeding for four years now. When I was pregnant with my first my mother in law said the same thing, that breastfeeding was for wet nurses. Your husbands ex needs to back off and not put her children in that position. The next time you go to the pediatrician take them with you and have the doctor answer their questions.I am so comfortable breastfeeding that I feed my daughter wherever and whenever she is hungry. I don't use a blanket anymore. Remember you are doing what's best for your son!!! Don't let anybody make you feel bad about doing what you want to do!

Rachel - posted on 07/03/2009

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What a cruel, selfish and I suspect jealous, woman. Each to their own and if she wants to bottle feed then that's up to her but don't let her make out to the girls like you're a bad Mum. You are a superb Mum and have given your baby the best possible start. I fed Daniel, my eleven year old for twelve months and I was only 17 then. Nathan, my five-month old was in special care for two weeks and I had to express for the first week. I found that it made me all the more determined to make sure that I feed him for as long as he wants and he has feeds whenever and wherever he needs them. I don't hide myself away in public and you certainly shouldn't be doing that in your own home. Sometimes if Dan's friends walk in, they do a double-take but they all just take it with 'a pinch of salt.' I agree about using animals to show them - there was a programme broadcast in the UK about 6 months ago called animals in the womb - cats which went on to say how domestic kittens feed and each have their own nipple - it was fascinating. Also, ask them how they think cave-women fed their babies - there were no plastic bottles around then. You are doing what is natural and right for your baby - don't stop that because of someone's elses naive and out-dated outspoken opinions. The more you can show your step-daughters that breastfeeding is a natural thing, the more likely it is that they will try it when they have children - and what a credit to you that would be.

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I think breastfeeding and bottle feeding is fine...It's each mother's own individual choice. I also think it's horrible for your stepdaughter's mother to say such a thing! She sounds as if she's trying to make sure her daughter's favor her and their newest brother or sister over you and their half-sibling. I would tell them that a real mother does her best to take good care of her kids. If it continues to be an issue, I'd go to their mom. Just a very immature thing for an adult to say! Good luck with this and keep doing whatever you feel is the best for your child!

Beth - posted on 07/02/2009

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I'm very sorry you are put in this position. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have to deal with it. If you are breastfeeding in another room while the girls are there because you are more comfortable doing it elsewhere away from them, then continue doing it that way. If you are doing it because you are afraid it makes them uncomfortable, don't be, if they see you doing it out in the open without "fear", and completely comfortable, then they will see that it is not something of which to be ashamed. As for the mother, talk to her directly and find out if she really believes this herself or if she is doing it just to badmouth you. maybe she truly believes it is an "outdated" thing and just needs a little more education. I personally do not believe that it is an outdated thing (as I am doing it myself and I'm 24) and it's definitely not "old fashioned". I had a conversation with my grandmother-in-law who couldn't believe I was breastfeeding and giving bottles to supplement (ok, well more to give my boobs a rest!) that in her day it was all bottles, and they had to be completely mixed from scratch! now that's old fashioned! tell their mother that you don't want the girls to think that either one of you is doing the wrong thing, that you both are doing the right thing, that it's up to the mother and that you are both good mothers. (even though I'm of the opinion of if you are able to breastfeed even a little bit you should for the health of your baby, but I'm not against mothers who bottle feed.)

Tamara - posted on 07/02/2009

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I'd try to gently explain that mommies feed their babies differently for different reasons w/o going into too much detail. Try to emphasize that neither method is necessarily "good" or "bad" and that all mommies just want to make sure their babies are healthy and eating. (And extra points for trying to not badmouth the birth mom. :) )

Rebekah - posted on 07/02/2009

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omg! it sounds to me that that woman truly isn't a very good person, and obviously doesn't care what is best for her children... if she couldn't hack it then that is her problem. how do you stand having to deal with a woman like that?!?!? congrats on not making her out to be a bad person to her kids. i totally agree with sabrina... i would tell them that God gave mommies the ability to feed their babies and sometimes mommies aren't able to do this, so they are able to feed their babies with bottles. which ever way their mom decides to feed the baby is okay, because feeding and taking care of them is the most important thing. i would also explain that it is especially important for their little brother to get mom's milk because it has all the medicine (nutrition) that smaller weak babies need to grow big and strong. good luck dealing with that witch!

Sabrina - posted on 07/01/2009

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I think your husband should talk to her about how she is using the girls. Sounds like she is upset that she couldnt feed her babies the natural way. And if the girls say anything about the old fashioned way I would say that I'm just old fashion. Also it is your house and you shouldnt hide it. The way this mom is raising her girls is why alot of woman are not properly informed about BFing and end up not doing it. If after your husband has a discussion with her and she continues then you both should sit down with the girls and explain the truth to them. That way if he is there too their mom cant say that it was you.

Crystal - posted on 07/01/2009

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A mom is a mom no matter which way she feeds her babies. This is shocking what she is telling her little girl.

Micheal - posted on 07/01/2009

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You shouldn't hide in your own house. What you are doing is natural, NORMAL, and not old fashioned, but time tested as the BEST method of feeding. I would tell your step daughters that real moms feed and love their babies. Period. You can explain that you and their mother both try to be the best mom they can to the kids they have and that all moms make different choice about what is best for their kids.

Carla - posted on 07/01/2009

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1st how dare she feel she can treat u this way and use children to do it with. i think u need to talk to her and tell her that this the wrong way to teach her children about life as breastfeeding is every mothers decision and as her girls grow up there will see alot more of it and she is giving tham a narrow minded veiw on life. i also agree the u should not hide and try and make it the norm within ur house. if it continues than speak to the children tham slef and tell tham its every mummies right to feed there babies how there want and everyones diff. i hope it helps am just still in shock over how she has acted xx

Mary - posted on 07/01/2009

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omg!! breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby. thats why we have breasts. It is the best for the baby...dont let anyone tell you different. I get looks all the time when i feed my daughter in public, im covered up, it gets me annoyed but then iknow i am doing the best for her

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