My Mother-in-Law Forces Me to Pump My Breasts for Her Own Pleasure

Family & kids
4 months ago

It’s not uncommon for conflicts to arise in relationships with mothers-in-law, particularly when it comes to parenting decisions. Finding a balance between maintaining a respectful relationship while also asserting one’s own autonomy as a parent is essential for fostering harmony within the family.
A Reddit user recently experienced significant emotional distress because of a challenging situation with her mother-in-law’s interference and the lack of support from her husband.

She wrote:

“I have a 5-month-old daughter. My mother-in-law has been to our place easily 30+ times, and the ONLY thing she wants to ‘help’ with is either changing my daughter’s diaper or bottle-feeding her. We won’t let her change our daughter’s diaper, because the one time she did, she spent way too much time doing so. It really creeped me out. It doesn’t take 10 minutes to wipe a baby. So we made a rule. No one changes our daughter but us.

But now the bottle issue... I strictly breastfeed. I have a pump, but I do not use it. I have no reason to use it. She doesn’t need to bottle-feed my baby, but it really gets her irritated that I refuse.
I don’t plan to pump unless I need to. I currently do not need to. I work from home, so does my husband. When there comes a reason for me to pump, I will. Her wanting to bottle-feed my baby isn’t a valid reason for me.”

If only she'd had more children, to satisfy her own maternal instincts. The only person who bonds through feeding is the breastfeeding mother. Grandma can bond in other ways. MIL cannot force a grown woman/mother to pump anything!

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She went on sharing:

“So she came here yesterday afternoon while I was making dinner. My husband was watching the baby, who had been fussing for a good 5 minutes at this point, and he was trying to soothe her while I finished up dinner. My MIL says, ‘Here, I will take the baby while you finish dinner. Claire, can go pump real quick, so I can get the baby settled.’

I’m so tired of this argument with her, so in the heat of the moment, I slammed the spatula on the counter and said, ‘You’re not feeding my kid. I’m not pumping for you. Bring it up one more time, and you’ll have very little to do with your granddaughter’s life.’ I then take the baby, pass the spatula to my husband and walk in to the back room and lock myself away. I could hear her arguing with my husband in the kitchen and then a door slam.

I come out, and I see that she left, while my husband is angrily finishing dinner. He then turns and says aggressively, ‘Is it really that big of an issue for you to pump, so that my mother can feed her granddaughter?!’ He then slams my plate down in front of me, and storms off to his office and slams the door. And since his whole attitude has changed. He’s distant now...”

Other Redditors joined the discussion to defend her perspective.

  • I’m puzzled by your MIL’s suggestion. If you could drop cooking to pump that second, why wouldn’t you just feed her? I don’t get the logic of making the baby wait to eat while you pump, then filling the bottle, so MIL can feed. It sounds like more work all around. © dr_lucia / Reddit
  • If your husband is tired of being in the middle, then he needs to tell his mom to stop pushing. Your baby is exclusively breastfed, and MIL will not be feeding the baby with a bottle unless she is asked to, end of discussion. MIL does not need to, nor does she have a right to feed your baby. She fed her babies, and her turn is over. © tiffanydee55 / Reddit
  • Your mother-in-law has an issue with boundaries with your child and your rules. Your husband is caught in the middle, and it does sound like it is best for now that she is kept away. © No_Row3404 / Reddit
  • Many lactation consultants discourage the use of a bottle because some babies refuse to go back to the breast. There are a lot of mothers who strictly breastfeed and don’t use a bottle if they don’t have to.
    I get that your husband doesn’t want to be in the middle of it, but he needs to tell his mother that if she continues acting like that, he will go no or low contact with her. Your husband needs to understand that this child belongs to you and him, and that your mother-in-law is trying to overstep your boundaries. Your child, your rules! © Glinda-The-Witch / Reddit
  • It takes longer to pump than to breastfeed, is painful, and can lead to thrush if not properly disinfected. Don’t do it simply so that your mother-in-law could feed her and bond with her. Breastfeeding is quicker, easier, and less frustrating to you and your baby. When they’re your breasts, you get to decide. © RNGinx3 / Reddit

This isn’t the first time a mother-in-law has caused emotional turmoil to her daughter-in-law. Even the most compassionate among them may sometimes display behaviors that are hard to grasp. Here’s a collection of short stories that perfectly highlight this notion.

Preview photo credit Flashy-Let-8133 / Reddit

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