How would you handle this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
How would you handle this?
22
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 7:57pm
Here's the situation: My 17-year-old SIL is due January 5th. She is slightly immature emotionally and mentally and is extremely self-centered. Her mother firmly believes "breast is best", insists that her daughter WILL breastfeed, and expects me to help facilitate this. She will be out of school before the baby's born, so except for 5-hour work shifts she will be home with the baby and my MIL sees no reason why she can't at least try. My SIL hasn't declared her personal decision about how she is going to feed her baby. So far I've gone along with my MIL and given my SIL my boppy pillows and books and stuff and talked with her about what else she'll need so we can get it. The problem is I think my SIL doesn't want to breastfeed but doesn't have the guts to stand up to her mom. My MIL and I have a very close relationship, but they don't and I don't want this to become a wedge between them (which could very likely happen). How would you intervene, if at all?

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Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 9:01pm

Tough situation....all around.


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 10:10pm
Since you and your mil have a close relationship maybe you could explain to her that your sil doesn't seem that interested, and that the more she pushes the farther she'll drive her daughter away. Christine's right, 17 is a tough age and being a mother that young (whether you ff or bf) is stressful.

The baby is the one who will suffer-is it really worth it to bf if you are being forced to? If she's forced to bf she might end up resenting the baby.

Good luck in whatever you decide!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 10:20pm
I would take SIL out to luch, dinner, whatever & basically tell her you're there to support whatever decision she makes & find out what she wants. Like Christine, I would encourage her to BF and offer any knowledge, answer any questions I could, but do it in a way that she won't feel like she's a failure if she doesn;t choose BFing. I think the most important thing going on is the fact that this child is only 17 & is probably scared to death no matter what face she puts on for everyone. If she feels support, rather than pressure, she'd probably be willing to try BFing. I'd also have a chat w/ MIL. I'm sure she has a lot of emotions running wild too, who wouldn't, but she has to understand that if she pushes too hard, it could backfire. Good luck to your SIL whatever feeding method she chooses.

J&S

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 7:37am

Great post!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 10:12pm
She's still going to live at home. My MIL won't let her move out until she's more mature and is making enough money to support herself and the baby *by herself* so she knows the baby will be taken care of properly. They (the father and my SIL) broke up long before she (supposedly) knew she was pregnant but he's still around providing support.

Thanks for your input!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 11:09pm
Thanks, you guys. You put everything in a new light for me. I've been pondering past conversations with my MIL and I think my MIL just wants her to *try* BFing. If it doesn't work, oh well, but the rift will come if SIL won't even try.

IMHO: Being a teen mother is hard, I'll admit, and it seems like expecting such a young person to tackle something like BFing right after dealing with giving birth and while learning to be a parent is too much to ask. *BUT* (and this is a huge "but" for me) she'll be done with school plus my MIL has all ready stated that SIL won't be expected to do anything but take care of the baby for quite a while. SIL won't have anything but *time* to try to BF, and she will have MIL and I right there to help her whenever she needs it.

It all comes down to what SIL wants. I think I will sit my SIL down first and ask her honestly what she wants to do. If she says she doesn't want to try I will approach MIL next and play mediator if needed. SIL might have a lot of misconceptions and questions about BFing that are holding her back. I *will* support her no matter what she chooses, but I want to make it crystal clear to SIL (and MIL) that I will do everything in my power to help her succeed and I want to see her at least try.

The next issue is that only two people are allowed in the room for L&D, and she is insisting they be the father and one of her good friends. The father deserves to be there, but her friend is even more immature than she is and frankly none of us thinks it's a good idea. I personally would like to be the other person and be her coach, and MIL has all ready told me that if SIL doesn't decide on someone else on her own MIL will overrule (as SIL will still be 17 when the baby is born and MIL will have the legal right to decide who is there) and insert herself. I'm 99% sure that SIL would rather have ANYONE but her mom. I'm going to talk to her about this also.

I think I'm going to catch up with SIL tomorrow afternoon. Wish me luck!

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 11:20pm

I know this is going to sound snotty, and honestly I don't mean it to.


~christine~

Avatar for yogamom4
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mon, 10-06-2003 - 2:52am
oh those wonderful teen yrs!!! its in one ear and out the other!!!

its nice to hear the father is still around for support,,

i would casually ask the daughter how she plans to feed the baby because you would like to buy her an appropriate gift,,you could tell her how you feed and offer her support and ask her how she feels about what her mom wants her to do

as for being in the delivery room ,,she should be the one to pick regardless of what the mil's or mom thinks,, for my first delivery i had my best freind~she also cut the cord for my third child!~ my husband and my mil in the birthing room,, then i ended up having an emergency csec and i didn't know what was happening, while they were getting me ready all the sudden my mil was in the or,, i was so upset,, she was there just to see the baby be born ,, after they cut me i didn't see her anymore cause she went to the other side of the shield,, if my best friend was there ~~~even thou i am sure 11 yrs ago she was more imature than now~~ she would have been there for me and made me feel better and not leave me like my mil did,

yoga

Vicky ~32~

SAHM  To

Kelsey The Brainiac

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 10-06-2003 - 6:21am

This is going to sound very strange and I hope it comes out right.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 10-06-2003 - 11:17pm
My MIL is not ordinarily like that. Actually she is overly permissive which is why SIL got into this mess in the first place. My younger SIL (who is 14) is all ready sexually active, has been caught smoking, admitted to have done pot, has run away, and threatens to get pregnant herself (but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax). Since this pregnancy came out my SIL has not been allowed to do ANYTHING she did before but work and school, except for spend a few hours every other week with a friend. My MIL knows she has to make SIL grow up fast and isn't going to let my SIL make stupid decisions anymore, especially where the health of her future grandson is concerned.

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