family offended...

[deleted account] ( 18 moms have responded )

So at Thanksgiving my family all got together at my grandmothers house (around 60 of us.) I usually exclusively pump but didn't want to have to drag all that along so just breastfed him while we were there. I sat in a quiet side room and covered us both with a receiving blanket. I am one of the first in my family to breastfeed past two weeks, and everyone was pretty much offended and horrified that I wouldn't go to the restroom to feed him (and there's only one restroom in the house anyway!) I should mention I was covered more than half of my cousins were in their skimpy tank tops with boobs spilling out just in my tank and modest long sleeve shirt. Why is it so taboo to use a breast for what it's actually intended for rather than letting it hang out as a sex object (at a family gathering no less!) What can I do at Christmas to make everyone feel more comfortable and myself comfortable? By the way, I'm not able to just whip a boob out and feed him I always keep a blanket on us to keep everything covered, just can't do it.

18 Comments

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Ania - posted on 12/04/2010

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I wouldn't care what they think. If they started saying anything I would start a lecture on benefits of breastfeeding and I would actually exaggerated a little bit too :)

Sarah - posted on 12/03/2010

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That stinks. I'm sorry your family cannot be more supportive for you and your baby. I find that bf is an effective way of clearing a room--covered or not. Maybe a good alternative is to ask to use a bedroom that has a comfy chair so you and your baby can get some alone time. Maybe invite your family to talk about bf?

Jennell - posted on 12/03/2010

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Perhaps breastfeeding in a bedroom could be an appropriate alternative? Also, even though they may not accept your choice being very open and clear about why you are breastfeeding would be helpful. It is their choice to open their ears and mind to you but you can't fight ignorance without education. If they still don't listen and have rude comments then tell them you are sorry they feel that way but you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are doing the best thing for your child, and they should respect you and your decision...hey, plus you have a ton of science supporting you!

Michelle - posted on 12/03/2010

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I would just ignore what everyone else thinks, at the end of the day they should know its best and you use a cover any way so if they dont want to look noone is asking them to. lol.

Krystal - posted on 12/03/2010

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Next time you should be asking, Would you eat your dinner in the bathroom?? As long as nothing was exposed there shouldn't be any reason that people were offened. Some people are unbelievable. Do what is best for your child and don't worry about what other people have to say about it.

A - posted on 12/02/2010

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Who cares what they think? Do whats best for you and your baby. I can't believe they expect you to go to the bathroom!!! That's crazy... I usually go in a bedroom with the door closed or downstairs or whatever. I usually ask the owner of the home if there is a place they would prefer I nurse (or ask before we go so they can have a place set up for us) just to be nice.

Julie - posted on 12/02/2010

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im sry this happened to you :(
i also have a large family and this past thanksgiving we all got together on my moms side of the family and we brought some of my husbands family with us
two of my cousins breastfeed right now too (both experienced nursers one having six kids and the other three) told me what they do is

get someone to get one of those two sided door hangers and on one side paint sorry babys sleeping and the other paint nurslings here no men folk plz :) we had a wonderful time in our ready made nursing room :)

hope this helps

[deleted account]

thanks Candeleine! Never even thought to hang a sign! thanks for all the responses and support mamas! Guess I just needed that extra bit of encouragement after being around so many that didn't agree with my choices

Nicky - posted on 12/02/2010

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I can't believe the backward thinking of some people in this world, how can anyone oppose breastfeeding?!
So sorry to hear that you have to go through this, I would tell them to get stuffed, they dont have to watch! How rude of them to try and make you feel uncomfortable to nurse your child, it is the most natural thing in the world!!
I really hope that you find some support within your family, if not, then you are a strong woman who can do anything, so dont let them stop you!!

Candeleine - posted on 12/02/2010

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I have too many issues to count with this story, mainly because I experienced it with one side of the family. I made signs and hung them on the door(s) of the room where I would be breastfeeding; went into the room, locked the door, and feed Jocelyn without having to cover up. She would never have left the blanket on because she thinks she's missing out. I did that, and they said it was over dramatic and I pointed out to them that everyone was upset last time when I wouldn't go into the only bathroom full of germs to breastfeed, so I was making sure that the bathroom was available and that not one could be offended by possibly seeing my covered up naked body....hope this helped!

Sally - posted on 11/30/2010

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GIrl more power to you!!! I had decided to nurse my first daughter till she was two, well I got pregnant and was having the baby before then. I tried to ween her off early, but when I was induced and then came home witht his baby that drinking off her baba's she got very upset. too reduce sible rivilry i nursed both of them. My first daughter is now almost three and my baby is almost one, and yes I am nursing both of them. I don't care what people think, I will be nursing my oldest till she is almost four. It is not oly good for the babies but it is also good for the mother. it greatly reduces post pardom depression. At least you cover up, I don't because they are BOTTLES! In a natural form.

Kerrie - posted on 11/30/2010

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i agree with others just hang in there you are doing nothing wrong as veryone else has said breast milk is best, i just stopped feeding my 18month olddaughter, i also did it in front of family( covered up) and thought tough if they don't like it i am only doing what is natural feeding my hungry child. keep up the great work :)

Vicki - posted on 11/30/2010

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Sorry you have been treated like this. I don't really have any helpful advice as if it was me I would have just fed him at the table while they were carving the turkey. Just try to stand your ground and know that you are in the right.

Jessica - posted on 11/30/2010

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dont worry about making everyone else comfortable. its your baby and breastfeeding is the best thing for him. and you were in a side room so i dont see how it bothered them? i breastfed my son during thanksgiving, i just covered us up and stayed in the living room, none of my family cared. just think, you are doing an amazing job by breastfeeding your son, who cares what everyone else thinks. hang in there!!

Katie - posted on 11/30/2010

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They should know that breastmilk is best. When I'm at my in-laws I usually go into another room. Mainly because my in-laws are very conservitive people, and I don't want to make my FIL uncomfortable. (I've nursed many times in front of my MIL) For all I know, he might not even care. He knows that breastfeeding is what's best for the baby. The good thing is both sides of the family are very supportive. (At least the family that lives nearby. This coming summer, we're going to a family reunion, when Bella will be about 14 months or so, and I still plan on nursing her at that time. We'll see how they all react.) The other day, I was at my parents house, and it was Bella's lunch time, so I got my cover, and sat in the other room and nursed her. My mom was in there on the computer, and my dad was in and out of the room helping her. I feed a little uncomfortable, but he doesn't care one bit. He didn't pay me any attention. He really didn't even look my way. (I think he was trying to give me some privacy, even though I was covered.) I'm trying to work up courage to nurse her infront of people at gatherings so I don't miss anything. Now, she's on solids, so I really don't need to miss anything anymore, she can have solids, and if she wants more, then I can nurse her.

Kunang - posted on 11/30/2010

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I'm so sorry that you have to go through this, of all the people around you, your family should be supporting you the most! I can't give you any advice other than to try and find inner strength to deal with the people that oppose your decision to breastfeed.
Personally I whip my boob out when I'm at the family table if my bub is hungry. For all I care they can go get bend if they have a problem with it! You know all the health benefits your giving yourself and your baby by breastfeeding and thats whats important.

[deleted account]

Yeah, nursng covers stink. I'm sure you know this, but feeding from the breast is better for the baby anyway versus exlusively pumping. Just let them know you are doing the best thing for yourself and your baby. And thanks for breastfeeding in front of your ignorant family- every mom who BFs in public helps re-normalize BFing! : )

Jessie - posted on 11/29/2010

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Wow. Sounds just like my family. You might get a nursing cover but I know my son didn't like that so... The bathroom? Gross. I have never had any support from my moms family, which is unfortunately the ones I live near. My dads family is totally supportive but they all live in another state (which sucks). You will just have to believe in yourself and not let them get to you. I know how it feels to be riduculed by a bunch of ignorant, formula feeding, bottle propping, boobs are for men, kind of people. Can't do much about it, they don't want to think that breastfeeding might actually be better than what they chose so they will never be understanding. Hang in there and know you aren't alone!

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