Our survey showed that more than a third of today's mothers feed their infant differently than they were fed -- and that leaves lots of room for disapproval from Grandma. Even grandmothers who breastfed said it shouldn't be done if it's a struggle. "I supported my daughter's decision to breastfeed her twins, but they were literally sucking the life out of her," says Roselyn Judith Blumberg, of Dresher, Pennsylvania, who breastfed her own five children. "She had no time to eat or sleep, let alone have a life."
Blumberg encouraged her daughter, Amy Schrader of New York, New York, to supplement with formula, but Schrader, 34, refused, continuing to nurse until Max and Hannah were 14 months old. She was ultimately pleased with her decision. "It was grueling in the beginning, but I'm really glad I stuck it out," she says. "In the long run, it was easier not having to deal with bottles, it's healthier, and I appreciated the chance to bond with my babies."
Standing Up for Yourself
Teamwork Tip: Whether Grandma is badgering you to breastfeed, bottlefeed, slip baby some rice cereal before 4 months, or feed baby in any way that makes you uncomfortable, simply say, "I know that worked well for you, but it's not something I want for me," suggests family psychologist Alan Entin, PhD, of Richmond, Virginia. "By saying that, you acknowledge that what she did was valid. You're not arguing that she's wrong; you're merely saying it was one choice, but you're making a different choice." The answer is also honest and direct and should indicate to her -- without being rude or hurtful -- that the case is now closed for discussion.