Breastfeeding and my mother-in-law



Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about your most unlikely support. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!


Breastfeeding and my mother-in-law

At the birth of my mother-in-law’s first son, her doctor told her that she did not have enough milk. She could remember her breasts being hard as rocks and extremely painful while she was feeding her son bottles of formula, convinced that her body was flawed. At the birth of her second son, in the 1970’s in Washington, D.C. she did not want to go through the same nightmare. She did not want to try breastfeeding a second time as she was convinced she would fail once more because of a lack of milk. So she did everything that she could to stop lactating as quickly as possible. She willingly got her breasts strapped tight and she took pills to stop lactating. Although the nurses were telling her she should try out nursing once more, she refused to hear anything about it. For her, breastfeeding was a form of hell or punishment that women had to liberate themselves from.

I did not expect her to support my efforts to breastfeed, given the misinformation she had been exposed to in her time. It is not as if she had had the chance to update her knowledge on the subject since.

Surprisingly, she became my biggest fan. How did this happen? I am not exactly sure, but it did. When she would question my decisions, for example to nurse for longer than 3 months, or to nurse at night, I would send an article about the benefits of breastmilk past six months or the importance of nursing on demand, and from then on she would be supportive of it. We would talk about her own experience in the evening when she would visit and I would tell how mistaken I thought her doctor had been (her breasts were probably hurting because they were too full of milk, quite the opposite of what he had said) and how we all do what we believe is best with the information that we have. We got along, and as the time went by, her breastfeeding knowledge increased exponentially.

When I decided to place breastfeeding at the center of my life by starting a breastfeeding clothing business, she helped me with her fashion sense and relentlessly promoted the business to her friends. Her son is not my partner anymore, but she is still there for me and is one of Momzelle’s biggest fans.  My daughter is lucky to have such an amazing woman for a grandmother.


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