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Constantly Getting Kicked July 24th, 2012 09:51 AM

Dealing with Opinionated In-Laws

I'm expecting my first child in November, and have recently made the decision due to a pre-existing health condition not to breastfeed. Initially I was all about giving it a try, but now that DD is halfway cooked I started doing some more research into my specific condition and talking to my specialist, and what I started learning about staying off my meds after having the baby terrified me. I've made the decision not to even attempt it and to get back on my medication as soon as DD is born so I don't end up desperately ill with a newborn (DH fully agrees with my decision and is even more scared than I am of what could happen if I stay off my meds).

My family fully supports me, since they know the toll my illness can take if it's not properly managed and the risk I'm already taking staying off my medication for 40 weeks, but DH's family...not so much. I'm already getting lots of "helpful" advice about how I can stay off my medication for the first three to six months and how DH's cousin (a pediatric nurse) knows a lactation consultant who knows all sorts of things about medications and poison control and can talk to me about safe alternatives to my meds while breastfeeding, and how important it is for the baby to get all the antibodies for her health, etc. - never mind that my antibodies are screwed up from my disease. His family is huge and largely female, while mine is small and largely male (i.e. they don't care), and I'm starting to feel like I'm up against La Leche League (which has RIDICULOUS advice on helping women with my illness "stick with breastfeeding" despite the very serious risks to their own health).

Has anyone encountered this sort of pushback from their in-laws when in comes to deciding to bottle feed, and if so, how did you politely handle it? I know they have the best of intentions, but they've also never seen me when I was seriously ill because my disease has been well controlled for the last dozen or so years. My mom vividly remembers driving me to the ER twice for x-rays when we were sure I'd broken my left wrist from the excrutiating pain and swelling, and when I dropped from 135 lbs to 112 lbs in a matter of a month and a half, but I just can't seem to impress on DH's family that I have a very serious illness. The odds are almost 100% I will start flaring 4-6 weeks after DD is born, and will with almost 100% certainty be dealing with a worse form of the disease than I had before. DH has said he'll back me up with his family, but his responses tend to run on the blunt and angry side when and issue isn't dropped. I don't want to have to go into my medical history at length every time we have a family function, and they already think I don't like them (which is absolutely not true) so I need to tread lightly.

Thanks in advance ladies!

.:Kati:. September 3rd, 2012 05:19 AM

Re: Dealing with Opinionated In-Laws
They need to back off. I know how you feel though i couldn't bf due to medication's i'm taking either. I have severe panic disorder and my child can't be dopped up on xanax just for the sake of breast is best,if someone else tell's me that irl i might smack them. People amaze me sometime's, i swear i'd be livid if i were you. Breast is NOT always best in these cases.

swaddlestar September 3rd, 2012 08:56 PM

Re: Dealing with Opinionated In-Laws
If you want to remain polite I would just smile & say, "It is my personal choice and it's not up for discussion." and change the subject. If they push, repeat- "It is not up for discussion!" It is your body, your baby, your business- not theirs.

I never had a problem with any family giving me flack about my choice, but I got crap from complete strangers in grocery stores. The conversation would go: Aww, she's so cute! ...How old is she?... What's her name?...Are you breastfeeding her? When did that become anyone's business but my own? I used to say."no, I couldn't", but I was berated and made to feel an inch tall by people I didn't even know. This time I'm going to say, "That's really my own business." and watch them squirm.

Good luck to you. I hope your in-laws lay off and keep their opinions to themselves.

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