Clashing Parenting Styles: Grandma's Way vs. Your Way
A guide to handling unwanted parenting advice from your mother or mother-in-law, from rice cereal in the bottle to whiskey as a teething remedy
Grandma's Way: Formula is just as good as breast milk. I gave you formula and you turned out just fine.
Your Way: You want to at least give breastfeeding a shot. Yes, you complain about sore nipples and 3am feedings... but you still want to stick it out. And seeing a can of formula magically appear in the kitchen cupboard isn't helping.
Who's Right? Pediatrician and mom of two, Dr. Lara Zibners, says, "Breast milk is perfectly designed for infants and is the preferred first food. That said, not everyone can breastfeed for any number of reasons. But in the first few days of life, breast milk is chock full of essential immunoglobulins (antibodies) that can protect a baby's immature immune system. It has been shown to possibly decrease the incidence of allergies and ear infections as well as a host of other benefits. Commercial formula attempts to recreate the contents of breast milk but isn't a perfect replicate. Plus, breastfeeding means you've always got a ready meal wherever you are and it's cheap!"
How to Handle It: Parenting and relationship expert and author Denene Millner counsels moms who feel like they have to defend their choice to breastfeed to fall back on biology. She suggested saying in a respectful but firm manner, something like, "This is my choice, and this is the way I want to feed my baby. There is milk in my breasts for a reason, and I'm going to go ahead and use it."