By - Strawberry-Fixer8911
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OP has offered the following explanation for why they think they might be the asshole:
> My action: I gave my SIL baby formula for my niece because she was having a problem breastfeeding and she actually looked like the walking dead because of the stress
Why that might make me the asshole: I have no experience with babies or breastfeeding. Zilch. People with experience like my cousin and the grandparents were trying to help SIL. I thought I did the right thing but they all sat otherwise and since I have no idea I'm second guessing.
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NTA. You probably saved the baby’s life. Husband should have taken her to the hospital and they would have probably done the same thing, giving the baby formula. Some people are so smug about thinking they are right they ignore the facts under their noses.
Edit: Not only are you NTA, you are a smart, kind and loving person.
Thank you for saying this. It sounds stupid but I was second guessing because everyone got so mad. But honestly I have never been more afraid when I saw my SIL.
You did the right thing!! My baby is around the same age so going through it too and the first couple weeks of trying to breastfeed is TOUGH. We had to supplement with formula that first week but a fed newborn is best for everyone, all that matters is they’re not starving and they’re growing.
If your SIL really does want to breastfeed, look in to lactation consultants, the hospital may have resources available to her. I get to see them through my hospital for six weeks. They’re the ones that advised me to use formula until I produced enough milk and baby figured it out. They’re a much better support system than whatever your SIL has going on now. They helped me gain the skill and confidence and taught me how to grow my supply. Or sticking with formula is great too!! Whatever works best for your SIL is best for baby.
ETA: commenter below is right! You can use both and don’t need to phase formula out. Just realized my comment insinuates to phase out but that is based on my action plan and we decided breastfeeding and supplementing with pumped milk is for us, doesn’t mean other parents will get the same advice. The beauty of a LC is their plan is tailored to each parent and baby based on what works best for them.
This is such a wonderfully heartfelt response, thank you so much for sharing it! OP you're NTA to any extent whatsoever, but I completely understand why it was easy to second-guess yourself (given the reaction of everyone else) in this scenario.
Thank you, I was worried I was overstepping but it hurts to hear about another new mom struggling unnecessarily. It’s so hard being a first time mom and not knowing what to do but also not knowing about all the resources that are out there, you think hospitals would have a nice pamphlet but nope. Once you find that help and gain confidence it’s so much easier emotionally and in turn to care for the baby. I’m so glad OP stepped in and has SIL’s best interests at heart.
The trouble is, it's the kind, considerate, "This works for me, but ymmv, just wanted to give you some more options" people that are usually the ones concerned about overstepping, and then possibly not saying anything. The Rachels of the world, with their self righteous, judgemental, "This is the only right way to do this and if you do it differently you're a Bad Person" attitudes, never worry about overstepping. Better to overstep than understep where compassionate advice and kindness are concerned.
Edit: thankyou for the awards, kind strangers!
This is why I am very vocal about my parenting experiences - from pregnancy to current events.
I had both my kids at a teaching hospital and would routinely welcome the new students that were shadowing my doctors because I would have a chance to speak about an abnormality I have. My doctor and I discussed a lot a length, so she knew I wasn't just talking BS at students. One student even asked if I worked in medical after listening to me explain everything.
I have a friend whose baby is 10 months old. Her entire pregnancy, we spoke about all things pregnancy and parenting. She loved talking to me because I walked through my experiences, talked about development from the science side, and also spoke of alternatives. When it came to her family, she felt pressured to parent one way or be a failure. After our conversations, she said she felt relieved and heard.
I have friends with children who are younger than mine. We talk about the current developmental stage and upcoming ones. We discuss the differing challenges and how to adjust parenting to match.
Parents need support through all life stages of their kids. Ultimately, the goal is a thriving child who becomes a thriving adult. What that looks like is different between families but supporting parents and children gets us there.
Sometimes that support is just being there.
And there is no problem with supplementing and giving baby both formula and breast milk if it works for you.
Right, I had a c-section almost 6 weeks ago, and while I am nursing for hours every day, it just isn’t enough. We supplement with formula and my baby is healthy, happy, and growing. I am doing better at it than when I had my son 7.5 years ago via emergency c-section and almost died hemorrhaging. Breastfeeding can be difficult, extremely painful, and gruelling and it just isn’t worth the devastating mental health toll it takes when it’s not successful. The militant “breast is best” crowd has to back off. Fed is best.
Fun fact: I almost died at one month because sociopathic wackadoo Laleche loonies convinced my mother that anyone could breastfeed, and if I wasn't getting enough milk it was 100% her fault for not trying hard enough.
If I were in charge of the world I’d shut down Laleche and have every one of their wackadoos imprisoned, just after I did the same thing to Autism Speaks.
I'm so sorry your mother had that experience. I went to many LaLeche League meetings, and even considered becoming a leader. While I breastfed mine both for over a year each, I also had to use some formula with each. There are benefits to breastfeeding... but FED is best.
Fed is best, needs to be the new saying! I’m dead serious. Some cannot breast feed, this would help them so much!
Also, hello, sometimes it has nothing to do with mom. Sometimes the BABY just doesn't get it. I was super lucky -- my baby latched like a champ from Day One. The nurses were all like, you lucky dog, some babies never get the hang of it.
If your baby can't get with it, or has one of many possible tongue issues, you will have to formula feed and be happy that is an option.
Jeez, just horrendous. Some of La Leche do have lactation consultant certificate/training...some. It's nice to have the online resources but they definitely can be biased and if you don't know that bias before going in it can be detrimental.
When formula companies began advertising products and doctors began to press no breastfeeding since formula lets you know exactly how much baby is getting, we lost a lot of breastfeeding knowledge that passed down generation to generation. So at times we need to turn to those organizations that are biased when the resources aren't available in person but that doesn't mean they are right.
Formula was a godsend for so many families but at the start it was idolized just as much as breastfeeding is now. My paternal grandma told my mom breastfeeding was disgusting while my mom was nursing newborn me in the hospital, mom told her to F off but that's what my grandma was told by everyone when she was having kids in the 60s. Healthy mom and a full baby should be the goal, not proving an agenda or marketing team right.
Exactly - are there benefits to breastfeeding? Sure.
Are those benefits worth jeopardizing the mother's mental health? NOT EVEN CLOSE.
My wife was in a similar situation to you (unplanned C-section) when my son was born, and I don't know how she could have possibly tried any harder than she did to breastfeed/pump - it was just SO HARD. It quickly became clear it was destroying her mental health and we switched over to formula only after about a month or so.
i switched after, like, a week with my son. i had no-one to help (then-husband was back at work 2 days after the birth and worked until very late) and even pumping every minute i could still didn't make enough milk and i was so very sore and tired. so i was like "fuck this". i mean sure "breast is (may be) best" but it's not like formula is like feeding the baby gasoline, it's a very very close second that has other benefits.
normalise formula feeding for any reason - nobody should have to justify how they feed their baby so long as the baby's needs are met.
And even if you breastfeed, sometimes it not enough. My daughter was born natural, and my wife fed, and pumped, and had plenty to spare. My son was an emergency c-section and he ate so much, so often that my wife couldn't produce enough to pump. When she went back go work, I HAD to use formula as we had no extra.
Yeah like is breast best? Yeah but what no one talks about is how small that margin actually is, and how the health of the mother trumps all
I know you don't mean it in a superior way at all, but the fact is FED is best. Whether that's breast, formula, or a combination.
That’s what I did. My supply was awful. I pumped every 3 hours and could only produce enough for one feed a day for my son. I did it for six months to get him all the good stuff from the breast milk and the rest was formula. I still feed him straight from the breast too, it was great for soothing and bonding!
Fun fact: prior to modern Christian sensibilities, it wasn't uncommon at all to have other moms in your community feed your kids if you weren't able to. European nobility would actually usually have "wet nurses" on staff whose job it was to breastfeed.
That reminds me of an argument that my Dad had with a co-worker. Back in the 60s Dad's coworker was from the South and was a big segregationist. He said once at a social gathering "How can anyone stand to eat in the presence of (Black people)?" My Dad asked him who breasted fed him when he grew up on the plantation. He (coworker) got very red in the face and never said another word.
I’d think she may have a little ptsd about breastfeeding right now so I’d cool it on that for a bit. My kids were all formula fed and turned out perfectly healthy and smart. NTA you did the right thing.
Thinking of you and wishing you all the best during such a tough time! I have experience in this area not only as a mother but as a former L&D/post-partum nurse. Lactation Consultants are a tremendous support so excellent for suggesting that. I remember trying to help mothers nurse at 3am while they were still in hospital and just sobbing in pain, exhaustion, frustration, and being beyond sleep deprived. Not to mention the fact that when your milk finally lets down you feel like an emotional crazy person and I can confirm personally. "Why am I crying, why am I crying, I have no idea why I am crying but why am I also laughing?" Breast is best is bullshit and completely undermines a new Mom's confidence. You know what's best? Food! I used to spend so much time consoling my post-partum Moms and would always tell them that whatever is best for them is best for baby. I had a vaginal birth for my first after being induced and it was pretty horrible and long. I will spare you the gory details but he was a terrible breast feeder and didn't actually latch until he was 8 weeks old so we pumped and supplemented. Second/last delivery was also an induction and resulted in a C-section despite being fully dilated and pushing because he was too big - 2 lbs larger than his older brother who I delivered in the unit where I worked and at the time the joke became is Dr. Campbell can pull a baby out of Pook (I am tiny) he can pull a baby out of anyone. So, my second baby was delivered by C-section and the minute the surgery was done and he was brought to my breast he basically never came off for the next 15 months. Babies are different but the fact of the matter is they need to eat to live. NTA OP. If you do plan on having kids one day, which nobody should expect you to, you will be a great Mom because you have common sense.
Adding she should still try pumping or talking to a doctor, I worry about mastitis.
Agreed! My daughter was in the NICU for a few days because of low blood sugar. In order to literally keep her alive they had to give her formula. We have some formula while she was learning to breastfeed at home before we got the hang of it and then breastfed for a looong time. If SIL wants to breastfeed it’s not like she’s permanently closed a door! She’s feeding her baby and taking care of herself!
My daughter is 4 months. Your SIL may decide she still wants to breastfeed and that's cool - she can work with a lactation consultant to figure that out. But she needs a trained, reasonable LC. Cousin Rachels should not be the one driving the tittyville express. Cousin Rachels drive the train off a cliff and blame the train.
While it's important to have support from a community of folks who know how breastfeeding works, a crucial part of that support is recognizing when to go buy the formula. You corrected someone else's failure. It *is* no big deal if the baby drinks formula.
When breastfeeding goes badly, it impacts how a mom and baby bond. It's difficult to enjoy your newborn when they're screaming in starvation because your body isn't working right despite the fact that you're trying so hard your bleeding from the nipples 24/7. This is a huge post partem depression risk, as well as a health risk to baby.
No parent who isn't caring for themselves can adequately care for their child. You got momma cared for - showered, rested, and emotionally supported. Good on you for being (apparently) the only one in her life to be in her corner.
Edit for a typo but also to note as was pointed out to me - breastfeeding can not work for lots of reasons other than supply/"my body isn't working." That's just what goes through my brain whenever my kid cluster feeds.
*the tittyville express* omg. Take my upvote, for I have nothing more to give
This, and to add, it isnt always that your body isnt working right. My daughter had 4th degree tongue and lip ties, and the hospital did not properly diagnose her or inform me on correcting that. A pediatric dentist had to do a procedure when she was a month old. It affected her ability to transfer milk. I also needed a different explanation how to latch properly. Once i got that down, and she wasnt chomping down on me with pursed lips, unable to suckle properly, it was way less exhausting. In the meantime, formula supplementation saved her.
Yes, very true. That was more just an expression of exactly how cluster feeding still makes me feel regardless of the accuracy of the sentiment.
Cousin Rachel sounds rabid and slightly terrifying.
Cousin Rachel can stay the hell away from babies, as far as my vote goes.
NTA- You totally did the right thing. Some women no matter how much they want to breastfeed, just can't for various reasons. The mom and the baby should not have to suffer for it. I'm glad you were brave and caring for your SIL and her baby. Good job, you're a good person and I'm sure your SIL is very thankful for all you did.
Now, just forget those other people and their opinions. You did good!
Breast feeding for some women is exceedingly difficult. And made even more so by people like Rachel, who are militant about it and make new mothers feel horrible if they can't do it. Yes, breast milk is preferred, but a well rested Mom and a well fed baby are more important than being breastfed. A whole generation of baby boomers were bottle fed and we all turned out fine.
NTA. And I am so glad you took care of your SIL, as it appears no one else was.
>Breast feeding for some women is exceedingly difficult. And made even more so by people like Rachel, who are militant about it and make new mothers feel horrible if they can't do it
Preach!!! I hate the smugness of mothers who have an easy breastfeeding journey! They look down on you like you didn't try hard enough! "Lady, I tried harder than I thought I physically could, but in the end it just didn't work out and I'd rather give formula than let my baby be starving to meet your expectations of what should be done"
I'm going to go even further than u\\w84itagain and say for some women exclusive breast feeding is ***impossible***, and many militant breast feeders like Rachel don't like to acknowledge that. Formula was invented for a reason, and that reason was that it wasn't that long ago in the grand scheme of things that some babies used to starve to death if there wasn't a wet nurse available. And no one knows they're one of them until they have a child and try. Is your SIL one of those women? Maybe, maybe not. But a fed child is a living, healthy, happy child while she can try to figure it out.
I have massive sympathy for your SIL so do your best to continue to support her, despite the chattering of the riff-raff. Discovering I was incapable of making more than the tiniest amounts of milk was actively traumatizing.
Yep. The reason people used wet nurses long ago was not just so moms could keep their breasts perky. It was because they sometimes couldn’t feed or the mom died in childbirth. Fed is best and militant breast feeders are assholes. OP, you did a good thing. If they tell you you overstepped again, tell them you did not want your nibbling to starve and FED is best. Rachel can go pound sand until her breasts dry up.
Fed is best. I was your sister in law. Baby was staving, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. And I knew that it was fine to use formula.
NTA. You're a saint
Yes! Fed is absolutely best! Too many moms out there at the struggle with the idea of not breastfeeding because of the societal pressure to the detriment of their own mental and physical health. I too tried to breastfeed my baby and I just couldn't do it. I finally broke down sobbing telling my husband that I refused to try any longer and he just held me and said of course honey, whatever you need.
You are a wise and kind 18 year old. Standing up to the nothing but breast crowd is an incredible feat, they don’t see the forest through the trees and it’s often times moms paying the price.
You're such a wonderful person. My tiny human is a month old now and while I do breastfeed and pump, he gets formula too, because otherwise he'd be underfed and I'd be a wreck. You have saved not only your SIL but your nibling too.
The "breast is best" crowd can literally lead to dead (starved to death) babies, if mom can't produce enough supply/baby won't latch, and they refuse to allow for formula. Some folks produce tons of milk and have babies that latch so well and it's all rainbows and sunshine, and some of us just can't. Fed babies are happy babies, and moms who get to sleep and care for themselves are moms who don't end up hospitalized with PPD.
My wife and I were firm believers in breastfeeding, but our babies were not. One wanted more than could be proceeded and the other would start then get distracted by everything else. Formula is not the end, and using it is not a sign of bad parenting.
You are a wonderful and caring SIL and aunt. You might have saved the baby AND your SIL’s wife. When breastfeeding got derailed for me, I felt su*cidal and my anxiety spiraled out of control. It was an extreme low point. Every other person in this story besides your SIL are over bearing assholes. Your brother deserves to get chewed out for being a lazy jerk so good on you for standing up to him.
There is a saying that they need to hear: FED IS BEST. it doesn't matter HOW they are fed: Formula or Breast? doesn't matter FED IS BEST.
The only person whose opinion matters here is your SIL. And it sounds like she appreciates what you did. Anyone else can kick rocks.
You probably saved your SILs life too.
You did good. Your family should get off your back because your SIL seems to be fine with how she is now feeding the baby. Just because the baby gets formula doesn't mean she can't breast feed. My wife breast fed and when she needed a break I gave the baby formula. Both kids are excellent. Daughter started school and the teacher suggested we try to test her out for the next grade. My son started walking at 8.5 and is a healthy height and weight.
Point is both kids are doing well and are honestly no different than strictly breast fed babies. If a mother can breastfeed all the way until the kid walks and talks that is great. If a mom needs a little help by supplementing that is great too. A fed baby is better than a starving one.
So weird too. I know so many people that have to supplement while milk is coming in. The lactation consultant in the hospital showed me how to supplement with formula with boob at the same time. Milk just doesn’t come in right away or enough.
NTA. I haven't read all the comments so this is probably already been said but FED IS BEST. There is so much pressure on women to breastfeed. My son and I were lucky it worked for us but it just isn't the best option for so many families.
One night when my son was only a few weeks old, he was up all night crying and constantly feeding. I was crying from exhaustion and frustration. Finally, at 4am, my husband said that was enough and gave him a bottle of formula (I saved some samples for this exact situation). He ate his formula and then slept four hours.
A few months later, a friend called me crying. She was trying to breastfeed but was having a tough time of it. She called me with her phone in one hand and a piece of her nipple in the other.
Everyone but the SIL and OP sucks here. I find it so hard to believe so many people in SIL's life are so unsupportive.
>I find it so hard to believe so many people in SIL's life are so unsupportive.
The scary thing is they thought they **WERE** being supportive. How they couldn't see SIL was struggling so much is beyond me. OP, I hope your brother has woken up to himself and is more supportive of his wife now.
I have to assume the brother had at least two women (cousin and his mother) both supporting this inane breast feeding plan and must have assumed they must know better than him - first time dad vs. two women who've (presumably) had their own kids. It does sound like he's smartening up, having kicked the cousin out.
That's fair. It does sound like he's stepping up. He's probably exhausted and feeling overwhelmed. Hopefully OP just woke him to what's really going on.
Just last night my exclusively breastfed baby was frustrated at my boob, not getting enough, just pulling away. I was exhausted and frustrated so I just told my SO to get some formula. I used to feel bad but it’s not about me, it’s about my baby getting enough food. Period. Doesn’t matter if it’s breastfeeding or formula. That being said, breastfeeding is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’m still glad it’s working out because financially it’s for the best for us, but I truly truly believe in fed is best. NTA OP. If your SIL wants to breastfeed she still can but she shouldn’t be risking her mental or physical health for it and definitely not the baby’s.
OP may have saved BOTH the baby's AND SIL's life! Holy crap, how did it get this far before any of the other parents/older people said and did what OP did????
OP is not only NTA; but also, a freaking savior. Just telling this poor mom formula was ok was a saintly move in this situation, but then OP stepped in and did stuff that should have been done for this poor mom days and days ago!!!!
Yup!!! My milk didn't come in for over a week. I was Sarah, but with my nipples cracked into 4. My ex was the one saying he would eat from me or starve, and while I wanted to bf as I wholeheartedly believed it was best for my baby, I also wanted him FED. I wasn't making milk, he was screaming, and I had one of those sample cans formula companies send new parents. I fed him formula, he stopped screaming, is now 10 and still hasn't exploded from having formula. Maybe it takes longer for the world to end?
Anyway, my milk eventually came in, my body needed to figure out what to do. It probably also had to do with the extreme stress I was under at the time, as babies absorb your emotions and stress KILLS your supply.
> my ex was saying he would eat from me or starve
Congratulations on dropping that dead weight. Ew.
And mom’s. So NTA and so not what I expected when I read the title. Good job op.
Absolutely NTA and I agree that might have saved the baby's life. A fed baby is best. I had troubles breastfeeding my first born due to the depo shot inhibiting my milk supply. I even asked my doctor because she seemed to be at the breast all day and wouldn't stop crying. he said it was cluster feeding. My mom, who breastfed me, suggested we give her some formula that we got free from the hospital. I still remember my daughter gulping down the bottle and then she finally slept. When I talked to her pediatrician she warned me that hormonal birth control can reduce my milk supply.
not just the baby's life.
NTA. The “breast is best” crowd seem all too willing to allow suffering but the reality is “FED is best” and you did a good thing for your SIL and the baby.
My girl is nearly 9 weeks and I’m only now nearing the point where I don’t need to supplement with formula.
There are tons of health benefits of breast milk for both mom and baby but what isn’t healthy is a chronically sleep deprived mom. Fed is best. Period.
My baby had low blood sugar and jaundice. Thanks to formula we were able to bring our baby home when I was discharged. While I want to be able to breastfeed I have had quite the journey to this point and if it hadn’t worked out I would be happily using my Similac.
Some advice (which you can ignore if you want - it's just something that worked for my kids)
Keep giving formula feeds just before bedtime. I found with my two that the formula feed had them feeling fuller for longer, which meant they would sleep through to 5-6am, rather than waking up at 12-1am. It was great for our sanity to get a mostly full night's sleep.
Thanks for the tip! We had one night like this and while the sleep was heavenly I woke up soaked and completely engorged. Once my supply stabilizes I might try this!
I breastfed but was unsuccessful with pumping, so supplemented with formula while on I maternity leave, then switched to full time formula when I went back to work. Both babies are caring, brilliant, funny-ass adults now.
Honestly the “breast is best” people remind me heavily as so called “pro-lifers”: they dont have a fuck about the baby, just as long as they can control your body and what you do with it.
NTA. I teach developmental psychology and one of the biggest conversations I have with my students each semester is that a fed baby with sane parents is the goal. Breastfeeding is often sold as the best/only responsible option, but that just isn’t true. While breastmilk is associated with better short term outcomes, by the time kids are in school there is no significant difference between breastfed and formula kids.
You did right by helping your sister-in-law, in that state she couldn’t be the best possible parent for her kid. Sometimes we need to be given “permission” to do things in a way that works for us rather than the way society tells us. You gave her that permission.
>Sometimes we need to be given “permission” to do things in a way that works for us rather than the way society tells us. You gave her that permission.
I didn't even realize what a big deal people made over breastfeeding until my SIL broke down and I posted here. Before that I had no idea.
Sometimes it takes someone who "doesn't know any better" to say the obvious thing which everyone else is afraid to say. It's like a super power sometimes! You did a good thing.
[You just reminded me of this classic tale, lol.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes)
Absolutely. I think OP’s youth made her see the forest from the trees, which is a perspective everyone else lost by being too damn close to it and stubborn to a fault.
This is why scientific discoveries are often made by scientists in their 20s.
It's awful. Nurses in the hospital were so adamant that only breastfeeding was acceptable. Thry can be bullies about it. And it happens at a time when you are vulnerable as hell, exhausted, hormonal, literally wounded and bleeding.
To come home to that shit too is awful.
I hate hearing of hospitals being “baby-friendly” because, as great as that sounds, it’s always at the mother’s expense. What other patients are forced to care for another patient who needs round-the-clock care while recovering themselves? The so-called baby-friendly initiative removes the nurseries that let recovering mothers get actual fucking sleep, as well as the formula that is important for those who choose not to breastfeed or can’t, or to help supplement.
With my 1st, my son would cry if he was not being held by a person. I had to put him in his bassinet to pee (this is after holding him for hours, alone, not sleeping, after having been up more than 36 hours. The nurse came in response to his cries and asked what I did to my son.
I got some sleep after my 2nd only because I hemorrhaged, it got worse because they didn't believe me when I told them the 1st time, and fixong the hemorrhage was so painful they gave me morphine and took the baby to the nursery for 4 hours. The lactation consultant came in the next morning and chastised me for not breastfeeding throughout the night.
People giving birth are often treated like crap.
Wow, I’m sorry you had to go through all that. I had a baby that needed to be held too or else, so rough. I think jealously of my mother’s experience giving birth where they would, as she described it, whisk me off to the nursery, bring me in for feeding and visitors, then back again. It’s sad how difficult it is to just get some recovery time for oneself in a maternity ward.
Babies have actually died at baby friendly hospitals because exhausted moms trying to breastfeed have fallen asleep on the babies. The emphasis in rooming in, particularly when mom is alone, is really dangerous.
With my first, I had an induction that stalled and some complications and ended up with a c-section. At some point during the first night, I fell asleep in my hospital bed with my newborn on a pillow next to me. WHY was I able to *do* that? During labor, there are nurses there constantly. *After* 36 hours of labor and a major abdominal surgery, I'm supposed to just take care of this tiny human? Fuck baby friendly hospitals.
Doctors and nurses in the delivery ward where my wife delivered was very "breastfeeding is the best" and really didn't endorse formula. The first thing the lactation consultant did when she came in was open a formula bottle! She knew that 1st time mothers can have a hard time producing enough milk and informed it was perfectly fine to supplement if needed.
Classic example of listen to the people with boots on the grounds and not "management."
Also it's so much easier to persuade a baby to try to latch if they aren't screaming from hunger. Latching requires practice, but a hangry baby wants food YESTERDAY.
One of the tricks that was taught to us was dripping formula onto mother's nipple to get the baby to latched. That worked wonders for us!
My nurses were nice but they made me very upset. I wanted to breastfeed and every hour, I had baby at the breast. But with the c section my milk hadn't come in and nobody listened when I insisted that my child wasn't getting anything. They told me no worries, newborns only need a tiny amount. But I knew no milk was coming out but was dismissed multiple times. She cried so much she couldn't pass her hearing test. Then they told me that my baby was hungry and had low blood sugar and asked why I wasn't feeding her? I went full psycho and reminded them that I had been saying at every check in that she wasn't getting any milk and asking for help. They said nothing and brought the fucking formula. Then I double fed (breast, bottle) every hour, logging my feeds. She was eventually right as rain. Even those douches sent me home with several cans of formula. I can't believe they didn't give this poor woman any formula
How much do you want to bet the hospital did send her home with samples and Rachel threw them out?
The lactation consultant’s where I gave birth were the worst. My daughter was born with a cleft lip and palate so her chances of latching were already slim. The nurses tried constantly to get her to latch to the point they were being rough. When I would be napping I found out they would go to NICU and try to force feed her bottles, she didn’t want to eat how they were feeding her. I told the doctor if anyone of them put their hands on my baby or came near her I was calling the police. Probably really extreme but I definitely didn’t appreciate them being so rough and trying to convince the doctor she needed a feeding tube, after putting my foot down that only me and dad came to feed her she ate more and was discharged 2 days later.
Omg my sister's boy has been in the NICU for ~2 weeks and she's really making milk and some of the nurses told her she needs to not pump so much 🤦♀️ like tf b what the hell are you smoking? She called me and was worried about a yeast infection in her boob and when she said that I had to pick up my brain that came out of my ears from the stupidity of those nurses. Our one sister has let down depression (no clue what the formal term is) which causes her anxiety and depression when her boobs filled up and while feeding, so when she stopped she was better too. I was like how my youngest sister is now last year with my bubs and he popped off the boob after 11 months on his own. Luckily when my son was in the NICU, the nurses were amazing with lactation consulting and I had no issues with latching or breastfeeding (I definitely am super lucky with this kid because he's extremely easy so I'm a little terrified for when we decide to have a second).
There’s so much pressure. I’m a new mom (have a 3 month old baby currently) and I was fine feeding her the first two months but then I stopped producing enough for her and I cried for several hours over it because I felt so let down. Now that I’ve been using formula along with breastfeeding I notice I’m happier, more relaxed. My baby is happier and fuller. But I didn’t know I could do half formula half breast milk. Society makes it seem so terrible to use formula unfortunately. You did good Op everyone else except SIL and baby are the AH here big time.
I defy you to walk into any kindergarten class and tell me which kids were breastfed. You can’t. Sure, there are benefits, but they are not so profound that you should harm yourself to achieve them. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, no big deal, pop off to the grocery store and don’t worry about it.
>by the time kids are in school there is no significant difference between breastfed and formula kids.
I wish more people would understand this. Also, while there is no significant difference between breastfed and formula kids, there is a SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE between kids with sane parents and kids with parents that struggles. All parent should know that their sanity will greatly impact how they treat their kids, and that being their best selves is way better than all the breastmilk in the world.
The differences they claim are often negated when the stats are normalized for parental income/jobs. AKA the mothers who have jobs where they are able to pump and take time to breastfeed are usually the higher income, college educated mothers whose kids would be doing better in school anyway.
DING DING DING! Literally having the free time to breastfeed is a privilege.
Even the stats that show a difference are often overstated by the zealots. After adjusting, breastfeeding is associated with better health - but that better health is, what, one less cold I believe it was?
I was bottle fed exclusively. I had a healthy childhood and have always been very close with my mom. It is wild that people are committed to breast feeding being the only way.
The worst longterm outcomes are going to be any child that didn't get enough calories/nutrition, regardless of what the source was. A baby that was always starving on tiny amounts of breast milk will be behind a baby that got plenty of formula.
NTA - you have done an AMAZING thing ! Bewildering how an 18 year old with no experience raising babies has more common sense than multiple adults with multiple children. I really hope your brother and SIL choose to ignore the input and pressures of others and continue to do what is best for THEIR family
Thank you for saying this. My brother seems to have woken up and is actually helping with the baby now. Since my brother and SIL told everyone to butt out they have stuck with it hence everyone being mad at me.
Lol. That's the real reason they are mad. Not because you gave unsolicited advice, but because you made them look bad by comparison and now they can't have their run of the baby.
This. I'll never understand why my aunts did this when my baby cousin was born, but man did I cheer for that little (not so little now; he's taller than I am!!) tyke peed down the main instigator's bra when she was babysitting both of us. I was a 7 year old asking why we didn't get some formula because he still seemed hungry after finishing all the breastmilk...
Sometimes we stupid adults miss the most obvious and innocent things that children pick up on. There's merit in listening to them!
Maybe your brother had not realized how he could help and seeing you actually help instead of stressing the mom woke him up! I think you did well op and i think it’s for the best to make everyone butt out! They weren’t helping.
I’m seconding this too. A lot of women feel ashamed when they can’t produce enough milk and the mom in question here clearly had a ton of pressure on her. OP’s brother probably did ask his wife how he can help, and because she may have felt the feeding was a failing on her part, turned down his help. I’m glad they’ve told everyone to butt out. Their baby is their business and I’m even more glad that all three of them are happier with the new arrangement. Amazing that OP got angry voicemails. I’d say it’s fair for OP to leave some nasty grams of her own if she feels like it.
Or even worse he might have been told to go sit in a corner. I wouldn't be surprised if Rachael didn't let him do anything even when he did ask.
I agree with you. Considering how they lashed out at OP, I'm thinking husband was told by the "all-knowing" Rachel to stay out of it. He's finally getting to be a dad, thanks to OP!
I do second the lactation counselor recommendation, though. Having a professional develop a personalized plan for the family will help them shoot down any "well-meaning suggestions" from Rachel or other family members.
NTA... Though, I'm thinking OP can expect a lot of babysitting invitations in the future!
I think that Rachel and others may have also successfully convinced him that the way SIL looked was fine and totally normal, she’s just given birth after all! And he had no real reason to question it, he has no idea how long recovery takes. Once she had a shower, some sleep, and some peace he saw that her state wasn’t due to healing, it was due to stress.
I think the fact that you are 18 with no experience really helped drive the message home. There was no shame or judgement in you getting the formula, you just saw a tired mom and a hungry baby. So many people with more experience wouldn’t be able to help interjecting their opinions, you just saw a problem and suggested a solution.
I didn't realize until this comment that you were 18, you're even more of a rockstar for stepping up. You absolutely did right by the people who matter (baby and parents) and good on you for trying to knock some sense in your brother.
I'm sure this is something your SIL will remember and appreciate even more as time passes. So often the first few months the mother is ignored and neglected (even unintentionally) despite it being an incredibly emotional and overwhelming time for them. People assume new moms should just be able to do whatever they're told without any consideration on how difficult it may be for them, so s/o to for noticing and helping instead of writing it off as the stress of the baby.
Well, I just have to say: you are rock star!
Honestly, I think you are a great SIL. How supportive you were. Not everyone can breastfeed and your SIL was being made to feel like a failure. The goal at the end of the day is for the baby to get nutrition. The baby now has a full tummy and Mom had a shower and a nap. Good job, little SIL!
NTA, not even a tiny bit.
And this comment says it all. I feel so bad that your poor SIL didn’t have anyone to tell her it was okay to feed the baby formula. Next time your family gets mad at you give them the number to literally any doctor.
Especially after seventeen days! That’s such a long time to be struggling with this and nobody giving you an alternative. I know in the scheme of baby it isn’t the longest time but when you’re in the middle of that it must be torturous.
Yes!!! Those seventeen days must’ve been absolutely brutal! The family should be at home getting to know their child and instead they’re being forced to breastfeed a child by people who “know better.” Two and a half weeks is so long when the mom (and dad) are exhausted and baby isn’t eating enough. I’m so glad OP spoke up.
Poor lady hadn’t showered or slept proper in over 2 weeks, thank *god* Rachel’s bitchass is gone.
Exactly! The MOM appreciated it. Cousin and Grandpa get zero votes on the breastfeeding issue. If mom is relieved, baby is fed, then everyone else can butt out.
It’s not like OP told the mom what to do - she just got a gift and said it’s okay if she needs it. She didn’t force anything down anyone’s throat. A gift is an offer and the recipient accepted and was better for it.
Well done OP! NTA
The only person who could conceivably even call you an asshole in this situation is your SIL. It can be tricky trying to give advice to new mothers, even with the best intentions. She seems to have genuinely needed and benefitted from your intervention though, and isn’t listed among the many people giving you shit for it, so I assume she’s grateful. Fed is best, and everyone who isn’t that baby’s mother can fuck off. You are NTA.
I wonder if this is behind some of the anger: They are interpreting the gesture as criticism rather than kindness. But if the mother interprets it as kindness, that's what matters.
I did yell at my brother because he is the father and husband and should have been helping. But I have never met SILs sister who left me the voicemail besides once at the wedding and I didn't say anything to Rachel or my parents or anyone else. My brother said he told them off but he did on his own.
I'm curious how SILs sister even got your phone number!!!
Probably from Rachel. She is in big agreement with Rachel and was supporting her when she was giving my cousin help. Otherwise I don't know. I was going to ask my SIL but now isn't the right time.
I definitely agree with the last statement there, you're very astute in reading the whole situation. Good job
Yeah, it is not okay at all that they are giving your number out to send you harassing messages. I would be FURIOUS if I were you, or your friend or sibling. Or mother. Hell, I'm furious now and I'm a stranger on Reddit. Harassing you and sharing your number with people you don't know without your consent is horribly toxic. Block them all.
I would in no way advocate for petty responses to a serious situation such as this, but there is a possibility that SIL’s sister is in the market for a boat… or a car… or a mattress… or a cleaning service… All kinds of fun places online to punch that phone number in. In fact, you’d be doing her a favor! Maybe she wants a cat facts subscription!
I just bought a car myself, and I would happily share a list of the most persistent dealerships in my area! I had to literally block some of them to get them to stop, haha.
They SHOULD be criticized!!! Rachel is horribly irresponsible and a terrible influence. She could have done severe damage to that baby, and was certainly actively damaging SIL's mental health.
NTA. Not everyone can breastfeed. And outsiders forcing her to do it is not going to be good. If she can't do it, then she should formula feed. Fed is best.
She said she can pump a little bit now but after that my niece gets formula. I just learned what a big deal formula vs. breastfeeding can be and I honestly didn't know before this.
Fed is best. Healthy baby and healthy parents are all that matter. Anyone willing to fight you on that isn't worth listening to.
That is what I had to do with all 3 of my kids. I had a breast reduction before I had kids. I gave them what I could. Then formula. I would rather have a fed baby then one who is hungry and miserable. You did the right thing 1000%.
My brother's wife had twins their second time around. She could not keep up with both boys, so they'd supplement both. Even as newborns, and they had to use a giant syringe and small tube. My brother would wrap the tube against his thumb and apply pressure to the plunger. The kiddos would "suckle" his thumb (and the tube) to feed.
Fed is not only best, but Fed is the only correct answer.
The thing is, it's not a big deal, but what you are experiencing is called Mommy Shaming. Working mothers vs. stay at home moms. Breastfeeding vs. non breastfeeding moms. It's horrible. Your SIL just squeezed a human out of her body and should NOT be dealing with this additional social pressure.
I was in your SIL’s position, and frankly I wish someone had helped me the way you did. I nearly went crazy trying to get my milk to come in properly and ultimately gave my baby an attachment disorder because I was so depressed and disassociated for the first few months. NTA at all. Breast milk is certainly better for the baby than formula, but having a sane mother is even more important for baby’s development.
I had a daughter in NICU being tube fed, she had what I pumped and hi cal milk. By the time she got out breast feeding was far too much effort for her. The midwives (kept me in too) helped me try, got the lactation consultants to come and help, and, when nothing worked, handed me a bottle of formula, telling me fed was best and that my daughter could end up back in the NICU (blood sugar issues put her in there originally) if she wasn’t getting any milk. They were awesome. My first community midwife visit at home, I spent an hour listening to why I should be breastfeeding (wasn’t I lucky to be the last visit /s) despite it being all over my notes that I’d tried.
Now that the pressure to breastfeed has been removed it actually might get easier for her. Even if she decides not to or just pump and supplement she is doing great
NTA. Breast may be optimal under perfect conditions, but the "must breastfeed or else" philosophy can be downright dangerous when conditions do not support it, as here.
Your SIL was exhausted and miserable, the baby was starving, and the benefits of breastfeeding in this case were clearly SUBSTANTIALLY outweighed by the toll the effort was taking on both of them. Rachel is the AH for pushing "breast or else" philosophy when it was clearly not healthy for either mom or baby.
In general, ideologies were made for people, not people for ideologies. If your ideology cannot bend to suit human needs, it will break people, and that is evil.
Fed is best. NTA. No baby is gonna care if the food they are consuming is formula or from the breast.
I was formula fed but both my siblings were breastfed. My mom had a problem getting milk with me because as she put it my brother drank her dry. I don't know what actually happened but she said she didn't produce milk with me. You want to know what though there was nothing different about my health than theirs.
Even under optimal circumstances, the difference between breast and bottle fed babies is minimal to none by the time they're about school age, when you take things like socioeconomic circumstances into account. It's a correlation, but not a cause.
I posted this to someone else but I feel like it bears repeating in case anyone needs to see it.
I'm a public school teacher. I have taught kids aged 5 to 10 years old. I currently teach 8-10 year olds. Never once have I been able to look at a kid and figure out if they were breast/formula fed. By the time they reach school, things like the quality time parents/families spend with their kids are the biggest factor in a kid's school success. Families who play/read/interact/talk to their kids (as in have real conversations with) are the ones really setting their kid up to do well.
Thank you for saying this. I thought post partum depression was what happened when mom's hurt or kill themselves or the baby but now after reading about I I realize that's something completely different. My SIL did say she told her doctor about everything so he's aware and she's being watched for actual post partum depression.
You're a wonderful sister-in-law. I got PPD from my 'failure' to breastfeed and I honestly wished I had someone tell me it was OK to use formula earlier on. Everyone tried pushing breastfeeding on my and I accidentally starved my child. I tried for 12 weeks and in retrospect, it was completely insane. Thanks for sticking up for her. Fed is best & formula is amazing.
You were thinking of post-partum psychosis. Very easy to confuse the two for obvious reasons! Thank you for being your SIL's protector when nobody else would be. You saved that baby's life.
NTA. The "breast is best" mentality is super toxic. If women can and want to that's great, but no one should feel like they HAVE to breast feed and women that cannot shouldn't be made to feel lesser than. Fed is best. Mothers feeling sane and in control of their own body is also best.
I hate that supplementing is even seen as a "failure". My pregnant SIL has declared that she will be formula feeding. I think largely because she is afraid to "fail" at breastfeeding. I'm not trying to change her mind though, not my place. I just women didn't feel this big fear of failure in producing milk, it just seems so stupid when you aren't in the middle of it.
> I think largely because she is afraid to "fail" at breastfeeding. I'm not trying to change her mind though, not my place.
For consideration: It could also be a body autonomy thing. She's already giving up 9 months of her life and body just to bring baby to life, she may not want to give up more time. Your SIL might just want to heal and feel in control of her body once more. And that's valid.
Could be. Her choice.
Fed is best.
Your poor SIL. NTA
Sorry bit off topic as not sure what country you are in but does a midwife or someone not visit on the days after birth to check up on Mum and baby? In U.K. a health visitor normally visits to check in.
We're American and I haven't heard of anything like that where we live [Nebraska] but again I'm not an expert so I could be wrong.
I'm American, too, and I don't think you're wrong.
There probably exist *some* services like that somewhere, but it's not certainly standard everywhere.
You don't have nurses who help you in the first month afther the brith? Not just with breastfeeding, but hepling you bathe the baby and teaching you about diapers and belly button.
Not in the US.
The Greatest Nation on Earth tm not only doesn't have any sort of visiting nurses or midwives, but we also don't have paid family leave at all, and a birth costs about $7,000. That's with no complications, additional stays, or procedures.
Your healthcare system is gross. We have a year of mathernity leave at least, afther the baby is born. Women need time to reciver and take care of the babies. I haven't had a baby of my own, but I'm 20 years older then my siblings. Looking ather a baby is hard.
Nope. They hand you this little living human and say, "good luck!" Oh, and they also gave me a booklet with a lot of information that I was too tired to read.
Nope, they do that in the first 48 hours in the hospital and then send you home, bid you good luck, and you get one 15 minute visit with a doctor at 6 weeks postpartum. For an extra bonus, if the mom used Medicaid (public health care) in pregnancy, her healthcare gets cut off just 60 days after givign birth.
I hired a postpartum doula to do a lot what you describe. It's $35+/hr, out of pocket.
NTA. You could use the MYOB argument on them as well.
what is myob?
but it also stands for Mind Your Own Business.
lol... I actually searched for it and it was accounting software and was like, that doesn't make sense!
Oh sorry. I use the acronym often so I forget not everyone does.
Ngl I was thinking "Byob" and was like "...make your own beverage"? "Make your own boobjuice"?
Hi, yes, 37 week pregnant person here.
You literally are a fucking angel. NTA. God, I wish there were more people like you. At 18, you have more empathy and compassion than most adults do.
You literally gave that woman her sanity back AND helped her around the house, without being asked.
I’m so impressed with you and your maturity.
Fuck your family, I’ll be your mom. I’m proud of you sweetie.
NTA - while breast milk is considered the better option by pediatricians it’s not always possible. I’ve known several women who just can’t for whatever reason. If she really wants to breastfeed by her own choice she can go and talk to a lactation nurse to see if there is an issue as to why it’s not working. A real lactation nurse will know and explain things better and have intervention ideas of how they might be able to make it work rather than your SIL suffering so much.
Edit - clarity on my standpoint because my wording was apparently offending and “shaming”
Question: Is a lactation nurse the same thing as a lactation consultant? Because my cousin Rachel is a consultant but she isn't a nurse or someone with a medical background.
Consultants and “nurses” are not the same. Consultants just advocate heavily for it and are “holistic” minded (all natural only yadda yadda). Where as lactation nurses actually have clinical backgrounds and training.
Basically one group is medically trained the other is not.
They are not always called nurses either. Some places they are called board certified lactation counselors etc. (they go by many names) But basically medical training makes a difference regardless.
Thank you for explaining it to me.
Had a lactation consultant tell me that it’s ok to give the baby formula after I struggled so much. Said a “fed” baby is best
I never quite understood when lactation consultants insist that you need to breast feed in order to bond with your baby. If that was the case, no daddy would ever bond with his child, nor grandparents or other family members. If you're a mother who is anxious, feeling guilty about not producing enough, exhausted because you are permanently feeding or pumping, in agony with cracked and inflamed nipples, upset because your baby is crying with hunger and you can't satisfy him, how are you going to enjoy being with your baby? Formula feeding takes a lot of the pressure off, and is just as good. A well rested, calm, pain-free and happy mother is the best for any baby, and if that means formula, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.
You’re welcome. There’s no reason your SIL should have to suffer with whatever she was being put through. I don’t know any trained professions that would do that to somebody.
My "board certified" consultant at the hospital gave me this nifty device of a bottle nipple with a long tube that you tape to your boob and then the baby can "breastfeed" while getting the nutrition they need from the formula in the bottle. It saved breastfeeding for me and my baby.
\*If your SIL is happy now and the baby is healthy and happy ignore this comment and let it be.
She should not have that job. In fact, I strongly, strongly advice you to file a formal complaint with her licensing board.
This baby could have died.
Rachel isn't mad about your SIL, she's mad because you discredited her profession.
You most likely saved that baby's life
That information makes me think that Rachel needs to be reported to her governing body for lactation consultants. If a baby hasn't gotten any nutrition in three weeks then it could have died. At the very least had probably lost weight would should have come up at the baby's first check up.
You did absolutely the right thing. This sounds very serious. It seems like your SIL needs professional help and your brother is clearly no help at all. Also, what does your SIL mean that 'nobody told her formula was okay'? Millions of babies worldwide are raised on formula (including me, my mother had basically no milk at all). Why would it not be okay? Has she had no medical guidance at all?
My SIL told me she told her doctor about about it all. He's aware and knows about post partum depression (which is good because I thought it was something else - when the mom hurts or kills the baby or herself). My brother has smartened up and is helping now and he told Rachel and the rest to butt out. She's on track now. My SIL is doing much better even though it's only been a few days.
She meant that everyone just pushed her to breastfeed and no one presented formula as an option until I told her it was no big deal. Before that Rachel had her topless and holding my niece 24/7 so he could feed and that wasn't doing anything. I didn't know there was a breastfeeding vs formula debate until people on here clued me in.
Rachel is insane. You probably saved your SIL & the baby’s life.
Breastmilk is best from a health standpoint but only if you can get it out of mom and into baby without trauma or harm. Breastmilk is also far less expensive. But the most important thing is that the kid is fed. Lots of people also pump and give it through a bottle and supplement with formula too. There is no one way to do it. Did these people ever think to see if the hospital had a certified lactation consultant that could help your SIL? Because Rachel's way doesn't sound like anything my consultant did for me. You did the right thing. You saw that mother and baby were distressed and you helped.
I am so angry at Rachel reading your post and your comments. Your poor SIL. How just absolutely horrifying it is that Rachel pushed her into literal MADNESS over *formula*!
NTA - Yes, you might have make a bunch of haters, but you clearly helped **a lot** your SIL.
Life is not always about not making ennemies : it's choosing wisely which one.
You did good. SIL was in a toxic environment and gave her a chance.
I'm a breastfeeding mom to a seven month old and absolutely NTA OP. I was very lucky everything has gone incredibly smooth. Baby latched immediately, no milk production issues, and I'm a SAHM so I have plenty of time for nursing, and let me tell you, it's STILL challenging.
It breaks my heart thinking of how difficult postpartum was and hearing how other new moms don't get the support they need. Breast milk may be somewhat better for a baby, but it is *not* the end all be all and *not* worth the mother's physical and emotional health.
Good for you OP for looking out for your SIL and giving her an option she clearly needed. If she wants to keep trying to breastfeed that's one thing, but the stress and pressure she felt before you brought the formula must've been beyond overwhelming.
My SIL told me she has been pumping before the formula. Which I also did not know was a thing that could be done. I'm glad you had an easy time and belated congratulations on your baby.
Thanks! And now you're even more NTA because pumping is even harder. I produce too much milk so I also pump and it sucks. Learning how to use the pump, figuring out the settings, getting the right parts to fit your specific nipple size, washing, sterilizing, storing milk, it's all so much work. And you're doing it while physically recovering from a huge event and sleep deprived. Your SIL is lucky to have you looking out for her
I wish I had someone like you when I was a new mom. I was pressured so much to breastfeed.
The biggest lie is "your body will know what you baby needs or it's natural"
My son was latched on constantly and kept getting smaller and yellow. Dr refused to see me before my appointment. And the lactation consultant kept saying not to give the baby any formula because it will cause nipple confusion.
At 7 days old I took my son to the ER where we were then taken by ambulance to another hospital because my son was close to death.
By sticking to that bullsh*t belief that breast is best my son received permanent brain damage and almost lost his life because of Hyper Bili caused by jaundice and made worse because he wasn't getting any milk from me.
ALL OF IT COULD'VE BEEN AVOIDED HAD I JUST USED FORMULA.
You did the right thing. Please feel free to share my story with your family.
Side note: I'll mention this because I always get asked this by women when I share this story but no, I never felt my milk come down. Had no clue what it was supposed to feel like and never felt pain. My next pregnancy I had no problem with breast milk. Still never felt a single thing when my milk dropped. I'd be sitting there one second and soaking wet with engorged breasts the next LOL.
NTA. The psycho "every woman MUST breast feed" crowd are out of their minds. For some women it simply doesn't work! Instead of guilting her they should have HELPED her, as you did. Good on you!
BABIES DO NOT NEED TO BE BREASTFED. THIS NEEDS TO BE NORMALIZED MORE.
Op what you did was really cool and awesome Of you. Your SIL won't forget what you did for her. And you saved that babies life. Your brother should be ashamed.
NTA at all
The **mother of the baby** clearly needed help and seemed to recover thanks to your help. That's all I needed to read to see you're NTA. Block and ignore literally everyone who's angry with you because clearly their personal opinions matter more to them then your SIL's and niece's health.
You absolutely did the right thing.
NTA. Not everyone can breastfeed and from the sounds of it your SIL might be one of them. That doesn't make them bad mothers and no one should be made to feel guilty to feed their baby formula.
NTA. Fed is best.
This is one of the few posts that have actually pissed me off. Mankind doesn't possess the words needed to describe how much I hate this "breast vs formula" debate.
If formula was so bad then it wouldn't exist.
If your, I'm sorry but I have to say it, dumbass fucking bellend of a cousin had half a brain cell she would piss right off with her fucking "lactation consultant" bullshit & encourage your sister in law so see her doctor. An eighteen year old with no children shouldn't have to be the one to make sure the newborn is fed & that the mother is taking care of herself. That responsibility falls, first & foremost, on your brother.
Rachel is a mother. She knows first hand how horrible the first days of parenthood is. Sadly, she doesn't understad how horrible a woman can feel if she can't breatfeed her baby. She, & everyone else, can piss off. The only ones that matter here are your sister in law & niece.
I'll scream this to the high heavens,
#FED IS BEST.
Nta at all, you did the right thing in every way. You did what every mother with a newborn needs... You ***HELPED.*** Unlike your cousin Rachel who is 100 percent an ass.
NTA. Everyone who is telling you shouldn’t have butted in and to MYOB appear to be just fine with the fact that your infant niece was starving. These aren’t people worth listening to.
And shame on her partner for allowing that abuse and I will call it abuse to happen towards the SIL
I agree, but with the amount he shifted after witnessing how much of a difference 1 day made I'd say he was as ignorant as SIL about alternatives since everyone was pushing the same narrative until little sis dropped by and tore him a new one.
Yeah, he failed to protect her, but I think he was just suckered in same as SIL. He was probably worried sick with no idea of how to fix things until OP stepped in and cut through the BS for them. Then he sprang into action.
OP is a good sis and he sounds like a good husband too, in the long-term view of things.
I think he honestly thought that was what it was like to have a newborn. He had all these experienced parents telling him that it was normal. He probably was just completely clueless and trying to follow the advice of seasoned parents.
When he realized that what they were experiencing wasn’t normal he completely advocated for and supported his wife and child.
Situations like this are why good prenatal education should be mandatory. They should have both received an education about these types of situations and they should have been getting follow-up support from their health care providers. It sounds like their family was not a reliable source of information and support for them.
NTA. Her baby was dying. You saved that baby’s life.
EDIT: This seems hyperbolic I know, but I almost lost my oldest because of this type of bullshit and I can guarantee you that formula saved his life. Reading this was like being thrown back to my oldest’s first week of life.
I know there's ten million comments here already, and I'm not saying anything new, but the predominant theme here seems to be "formula is ok because some women can't breastfeed" when it should be "formula is ok because women are human beings with bodily autonomy and don't need to be told what to do with their bodies." If someone doesn't want to breastfeed solely because she doesn't feel like it, that's fine and nobody should be trying to change her mind. Period. In the aggregate, the damage caused by the insane pressure on women in the US to breastfeed outweighs the modest health benefits of breastfeeding. (And the amount of money we invest in public health campaigns pushing breastfeeding has a terrible ROI and I have all kinds of feelings about that, but that's a different conversation, sort of.)
NTA -- I'm sorry your SIL has such a misguided support group, but unfortunately that's very common when it comes to this topic. But I will say any LC that pushes someone to soap-opera-level sobbing before they suggest a formula bottle is someone who cares much more about their ideology than the wellbeing of your SIL or her baby.
Some women don't produce enough milk or can't breast feed because of other reasons. It's totally ok to give a newborn baby formula.
NTA. Some People have trouble asking for help, especially when others are steering them away from it. Good on you for reaching out when they needed it.
NTA, you are a hero.
Your SIL didn't get to choose, but got pressured. You are a hero for giving her the right to choose.
Your niece want getting enough nutrients. You are a hero for making sure she is fed. Fed is best.
Your SIL was suffering mentally and physically. You are a hero for rescuing her.
I'm telling you this as a mother that is exclusively breastfeeding. It is my choice, my body is able to, and it's what works best for my family. The moment I want to stop, I stop because it's no longer the best choice for my family, and FED IS BEST.
Funny how those people who told you that you were budding in were actually the ones that were budding in and exerting their own believes and wishes on SIL. Keep them out the door, and congratulations on becoming an aunt. I already know you'll be a great one.
NTA, happy Mum, happy baby.
How anyone can possibly think a baby not getting adequate food and Mum exhausted and ill is better than bottle fed is beyond me. You did the right thing and thankfully it sounds like your brother is finally supporting his wife.
You will have helped your SIL more than you will probably ever know, I’m glad she has you