In-Laws Question Quality of Mom's Breast Milk Because She's Vegetarian, Sending Reddit Up in Arms
Breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to nourish your infant and toddler, with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noting that the act itself has a trove of health benefits for both the lactating individual and the baby. And while fed is totally best, breastfed babies are at a decreased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and gastrointestinal infections, and lactating individuals can lower their chances of developing breast cancer.
Despite the benefits, one breastfeeding mom is getting sour comments from her in-laws. She spilled all on Reddit.
"My husband's parents make subtle comments every day about my breast milk not being nutritious for my six-week-old because I'm a vegetarian…and insinuate that formula would be better for him," wrote u/Meggs-over-easy in the Breastfeeding subreddit.
Not that she owes anyone any further clarification on the dietary choices she's making for herself or her infant, but the Redditor went on to explain that she eats a balanced diet that includes vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and sometimes dairy.
And, most important, her doctor has given her a clean bill of health.
Do you know what's worse than crying over spilled milk? Judging a new mom's choice to feed her child breastmilk. But that hasn't stopped the original poster's (OP's) in-laws from dishing out unsolicited advice.
"Last night, his sister started trash-talking me while on speakerphone saying that my baby was weak and going to have problems," OP continued, adding that the pediatrician is happy with the babe's weight gain.
And while a pediatrician's opinion is really all that matters, let face it: Words hurt, especially when someone is (incorrectly) telling you that the food your body is making for your baby isn't good enough.
"I simply said the mother's diet has little influence over the quality of her breast milk, and she started attacking me and basically said I am hurting him and I am a bad mom," OP explained. "His parents sat there in silence and said nothing. They didn't defend me or tell her to back off."
OP had enough, and she asked her in-laws to leave.
"I feel so offended on so many levels," she said. "Luckily, my husband supports me and is trying to educate them, but it still is so hurtful and totally rooted in ignorance."
This mom may not be getting the support she deserves from her in-laws, but she sure got it from Reddit.
"I am sitting here with my jaw dropped! How freaking rude… I have absolutely nothing against formula we supplement now because I don't pump enough at work. But at the beginning, these comments can really make you second guess yourself. You're doing the best for your baby," replied one top commenter.
"Time for you and that sweet babe to take a break from seeing his parents and siblings. There's absolutely no way I'd tolerate that rudeness and ignorance," said another.
"I'm vegan [and exclusively breastfeeding] a chonky three-month-old girl in the 97th percentile for height, 93rd for weight. She sleeps through the night, is all smiles and laughs during the day, and is hitting all milestones ahead. We're both perfectly healthy," one person commented.
- RELATED: 12 Best Foods for Breastfeeding Moms
It's not surprising that this commenter's baby is doing so well. Experts say it's important to eat a balanced diet that includes protein, but it certainly doesn't have to be animal protein. Legumes, like beans, nuts, Greek yogurt, and tofu are all solid plant-based sources.
If you're concerned about your diet and how it may impact your breastfed child, speak with a professional, such as a nutritionist, pediatrician, or lactation consultant. In the meantime, ignore the peanut gallery.