There are the posts about natural birth, parenting, co-sleeping, tummy sleeping, and parents that defend their choice from everything and anything.
If a person says anything, even in a kind way, certain parents tend to take offense. Instead of perhaps evaluating the concern, seeing it was not something you need to be worried about and letting it go, we seem to easily take offense these days.
Oh, I know. I know there are rabid people out there that will jump down your throat for small things, especially online. I think it is especially good to remember that not everyone that says something is that way.
- Listen to the comment. Is this a comment that could possibly be helpful to you? Is it simply an ignorant statement from someone that does not know your circumstances? If so, smile politely, thank them for their concern and move past it. There is no need to lambast them online or judge them in return. They may have though they were doing what was best. We also do not know their circumstances that led them to comment. For the purpose of example… Greta was a new mom. She told her support team and her friends she desired to breastfeed. They knew this and supported her in her goals. However, when they observed some choices she was making with her new baby, they were unsure of what to do. A) Mention them to Greta so that breastfeeding could possibly still be successful, or B) Ignore it until she came to them for advice. This is a hard choice as sometimes, as a support team, care providers or even casual friends, you can see things a mom cannot. There are sometimes simple things you can fix that can make the breastfeeding relationship that much harder or that much easier. When the friends and support team chose the B option, Greta did come to her friends when her baby was 8 weeks old. She was suffering from guilt and mild PPD after believing her body let her down and she was unable to breastfeed her baby. Her friends felt guilty as maybe they could have prevented it, and Greta said "Why didn't you tell me? I would have loved to try everything I could have." Another option would be they chose option A. They let her know some simple things she could change. Greta became defensive, and cut off communication, believing they were judging her for her choices. She was secretly disappointed that breastfeeding did not go well, but instead read some of the articles about judgmental moms, friends, and medical provider and chose to focus on that instead. When she struggled with mild PPD later, she had no one she felt comfortable to turn to and wondered why life was so lonely, but figured she just needed to make new friends that could support her choice not to breastfeed. There are a million variations that could have happened with either choice, but in both cases, Greta had the same results, but in both, she felt she lacked support. Did she lack support or did she choose to not be educated? Her friends in option A, were not trying to be unsupportive, in fact, they were trying to support what she had told them was her desire. Top that off with strong hormones and you have to realize that when you feel offended by an opinion that may be given to you. Stop. Process. Evaluate. And lastly…Educate Yourself. See if what they are saying could be true. If it is not, toss it out and move on. If it is, thank them and see what you can do about it. We as moms need support, and sometimes we reject the closest support to us because of hormonal issues.
LactMed- This one is good if you want to double check on a medication safety for breastfeeding.
Naturally Born This is a good one to go and ask questions and search for articles.
There are many more, but use wisdom! Check out the list of books at the bottom of this page for more places for education. Remember before taking any advice from any online source, including this one, check with your care provider for your own personal safety.
3. Let it go!! Yeah, I know. That is overused, but really, don't hold it against your mother in law that she recommended using baby food at 2 months old, but thank her and let it go. If she insists, let her know the doctor did not recommend it.
If a friend insists that you must have not done enough to try breastfeeding and you know you did, let it go. Don't try to convince her. She may have something that makes her believe that, and you likely are not going to convince her.
Be educated and convinced in your own mind, but also, don't think automatically she is judging you. Remember most people if they are in your life, generally have your best in mind.