MIL Tries Convincing Son His Wife Is 'Harming' Their Baby If She Doesn't Breastfeed for 6 Months


Dad bottle-feeding baby

The debate between breastfeeding and formula feeding seems like it will never end, but for one woman the battle isn't just theoretical -- it's right in her own home. That's because her mother-in-law is determined that she take six months off of work to breastfeed, but no matter how much her daughter-in-law explains that formula is what works best for her family, she won't listen. "We are the parents, the caregivers, and want nothing but the best for our child," the frustrated woman vented.

  • The Reddit poster explains that she really didn't want to get into a breast vs. bottle debate.

    Mostly she wanted to vent in her post on r/JUSTNOMIL

    "I have been doing a ton of research on the topic of breastfeeding, formula feeding, length of feeding, and feeding schedules because I'm a scientist, so when I don't have the answer to something I immediately start reading research papers, that's just how I'm wired," she explained at first.

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  • She's heard that breastfeeding is best for babies.

    But due to other lifestyle factors, including her going back to work and her husband being alone with their baby, she and her husband decided together that formula was what worked best for them.

  • To both of them, formula feeding just made sense.

    But his mother has different ideas. The new father recently had a conversation with his mom where she gave him one piece of unsolicited advice about how his wife should take time off work.

    "She mentioned that I should probably notify my work that I will need more time off than my paid maternity leave so that I can really establish breastfeeding. Y'all after clarifying, she means I will need 6 MONTHS off work to extended breastfeeding for 6 months," she recalled.

  • Not only is this none of the MIL's business, but the OP's husband explained to his mom that breastfeeding wasn't a good fit for their family.

    He told his mother that if his wife wanted to keep her job, she couldn't take that much time off of work.

    "This was followed with ALL of the information she could think of as to why that was the wrong answer and I was 'harming' my child and setting them up for low IQs and certain failure," she recalled.

    Not to mention, the OP was proof that there isn't anything wrong with being formula fed. 

    "You know.... the one in this relationship with a M.S. degree, full time job, and great career potential," she added.

  • Her husband also pointed out that only some of his siblings were breastfed.

    And even though that worked for his mom, it just wasn't going to work for his wife.

    "I honestly think his approach was the perfect counter argument for our lifestyle choice, but I'm still in shock that she feels she has a say in any of this," she continued. And her MIL hasn't let up. She's still passing along pro-breastfeeding blog posts to the couple even though they already told her what's what.

    "So I thought I'd take out my frustrations here on the internet rather than on her," she added.

  • There was one clear answer here: A happy baby is one that is fed.

    "Tell Dear Husband to stop the info train to his mother as he is giving her the opinion she is a third parent," one commenter explained. "Next time MIL brings this up, end the visit immediately, either escort her out of your house or leave hers (make sure you have the keys to the car). Warn DH and his mother ONCE this will happen, then follow through. Don't discuss anything baby with MIL and tell DH the same."

    "The only way you'd be a terrible mother in the formula vs breastmilk debate is if you didn't feed either," someone else agreed. "It must be so annoying to get bombarded on a decision this woman cannot change and isn't her place to get you to change."

    "If the kid is fed, it's all good and no one's business," a third commenter wrote.

    After reading other commenter's opinion, the OP agreed that it was best for her to stick to her guns. 

    "I know she's something else when it comes to 'child based thing' I truly believes she means well (and thinks she is an expert due to her many children and being a SAHM) it just isn't her business to have a say in," she wrote later in the thread. 

    "What friggin' gets me is the boldness and that my poor husband has to get the full brunt of it," she added. "But it is his mother so I know he needs to be the one to handle it. I'm gust going to take everyone's advice and just state I have a plan and I'm using the best info I can find."