Q: I have a newborn son. Due to medical reasons I am unable to nurse. I am trying to make the best of a situation that is beyond my control. When I am feeding my son I am completely focused on him and our bonding time together. He is thriving and I am feeling great, except when I am feeding my son with anyone else near us. People, mothers especially, feel the need to tell me that I should be nursing my baby and not giving him a bottle. Some women have even been quite harsh in their comments. I understand they cannot know about my medical condition or how badly I wanted to nurse my son, but I am crushed by their comments. What, if anything should I say to these confronting women?
A: You should be applauded for recognizing that the time you spend feeding your son is a special bonding time- regardless of the nourishment delivery technique. Focusing on your son during that time instead of multitasking is so important. It is exactly what you should be doing!
Such a pity that this special time has to be interrupted with unsolicited and unhelpful advice. Let’s give the intruding advisers the benefit of the doubt and hope that they care so much about your son that they want to make sure he has, what they think, are the best opportunities.
Now that we’ve given them the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure you have some choice words that you’d like to share in exchange for their unhelpful advice.
Your negative output will only cause everyone, even your son, stress. And don’t feel like you should have to share information about your medical condition- unless you want to. Simply saying “Yes, I agree” may surprise and silence your unwelcome advisers. If the advice continues it may be helpful to look towards one of my favorite Amy Tan quotes, “In this matter you need not concern yourself” (The Kitchen God’s Wife)
Take comfort in knowing that regardless of what others say, you are doing what is best for your son (and you). In that matter you must concern yourself!