One horrible universal truth for pregnant women everywhere is the amount of unsolicited advice they will receive.
Two of the hottest topics? Diaper materials and feeding time, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The Redditor who has since deleted his account was openly considering going no-contact with his own brother and future sister-in-law after she refused to stop criticizing his pregnant wife.
When the barrage of insults kept coming in, the Original Poster (OP) finally lashed out.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for saying my brother’s girlfriend isn’t welcome here because she was pushy about my wife breastfeeding?”
The OP’s wife was experiencing a complicated pregnancy.
“Some background: My wife has pernicious anemia. Her body can’t absorb vitamin B12.”
‘Even if she ate a bunch of food full of B12 or an entire bottle of supplements, it would make no difference. She has regular B12 injections to make sure she gets enough.”
“My wife is pregnant. She’s being monitored closely because lack of B12 is not good for the baby or for her.”
“Her due date is in 20 days and her doctors have told her under no circumstances is she to breastfeed. They say the lack of B12 will cause harm to our baby.”
The OP’s brother’s girlfriend put a lot of pressure on his wife.
“The situation: When we announced her pregnancy, my brother’s girlfriend wouldn’t stop asking my wife about breastfeeding.”
“At first, she was not bad. She gave my wife 2 books about it, but she would not stop bringing it up when my wife explained she can’t breastfeed because of her condition.”
“She invited my wife to a support group for moms who breastfeed [Called Triple L or something like that]. She went so far as to give my wife’s email to other moms she knows so they could email my wife about why she should breastfeed.”
“She also gave my wife printouts from the internet about a woman who had B12 deficiency and breastfed. [But that woman was a vegan, and she didn’t have my wife’s medical condition.]”
The girlfriend also made arrangements for donations.
“My future sister-in-law (FSIL) also apparently solicited milk donations on our behalf, even though we never asked for this.”
“We wouldn’t take milk from random strangers, there are no regulations or checks and balances where we live, so we have no idea what was in the milk.”
“We asked her to stop it but she wouldn’t.”
“The last straw was her having these donors emailing my wife after we asked my FSIL to stop.”
The OP eventually put his foot down.
“I understand she is passionate about it and it worked for her with my nephew, but she isn’t a doctor and neither are the people emailing my wife.”
“Since she wouldn’t stop when we asked her, I told her she is no longer welcome in our home.”
“My wife made a new email address and we are going to listen to actual doctors.”
“My brother’s girlfriend actually said the doctors don’t know what they are talking about, which is so out there, I can’t even.”
The brother and girlfriend didn’t appreciate it.
“My brother reamed me out for speaking to his girlfriend harshly, and he says I owe her an apology.”
“For the record, he backs up what she says and thinks my wife needs to listen to her.”
“His girlfriend is mad, too, and thinks our baby is unfortunate because of all this.”
“I get she was trying to help, but she went way over the top, in my humble opinion.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP was trying to do right by his future baby.
“We took a breastfeeding class when I was pregnant. The lactation consultants started with this, ‘The first rule of breastfeeding is that you feed the baby. The second rule of breastfeeding is that. you. feed. the. baby.'”
“Meaning – if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for whatever reason, you give the baby formula.” – dailysunshineKO
“Something a lot of dietitians I trust say is ‘fed is best.’ Yes, there are advantages to breastfeeding, but it’s more important that babies be fed than it is that reluctant mothers be pushed into breastfeeding.”
“Because bonding is also important, and hating your kid when you feed them or being incredibly stressed by it is bad.” – PiraticalApplication
“Please don’t worry. I have autoimmune issues, chronic anemia, and chronic low B12. My doctors told me I couldn’t breastfeed and needed to start medical treatment for my own health problems days after I gave birth.”
“I was obviously anxious and felt terrible about not breastfeeding. I had a friend who was pregnant at the same time and in a similar situation. We bonded because we both had SILs who were awful to us.”
“They harassed us, told us our babies would be sickly, have lower IQs, we were lesser women, shouldn’t have gotten pregnant, etc.”
“Basically stretched every benefit of breastfeeding out of proportion and the same with every disadvantage to formula. Said every terrible thing they could think of.”
“BTW, my friend and I both work in medicine, our SILs do not. We did what our multiple doctors told us.”
“Our kids are now high school freshmen. They are perfectly healthy, tall for their ages, both athletes and honor students.’
“Your kid will be fine. Do what the doctors recommend and ignore the crazy. NTA.”
“Make sure you brother and girlfriend have as little access to your wife as possible, she shouldn’t have to deal with the stress.” – meaniessuck
Others agreed and said the OP should listen to the doctors, not a girlfriend.
“NTA. A baby with severe B12 deficiency can have permanent brain damage.”
“I would trust the doctors who understand your wife’s condition more than a bunch of random Internet articles.” – mr_mini_doxie
“I had to leave a breastfeeding support group for this reason; lactivists telling a mom to ignore doctors and not give formula to a baby with jaundice, which can also cause brain damage.”
“Ugh, they’re just so awful. I hope your wife is ok, emotionally, and you both know formula fed babies are perfect too.” – SnarkandStormy
“I’m a ‘breastfeeding advocate.’ At least, I used to be before all this nonsense started.”
‘I’m so sorry for what you and your wife went through. It shouldn’t be like that. I hope you get the support you need.”
“Your baby and your wife will be just fine, even if you don’t breastfeed. Again, I’m so sorry.” – HappyLucyD
A few suggested going no-contact with the brother and his girlfriend.
“You may unfortunately have to go full NC with brother and his girlfriend until kiddo is eating solids if they don’t let up.”
“Your wife and child need to be protected. In the midst of all those hormones she doesn’t need more voices of doubt.” – Ehgender
“I’d go full NC (no contact) for the rest of my life in this scenario.” – PurringMonster
The subReddit not only understood why the OP and his wife were upset about the feedback they were getting, but they also supported the OP’s decision to go low- or no-contact, at least for now.
Constant feedback like that is stressful during pregnancy, and since the OP’s wife was experiencing a complicated one, she needed all the help and support she could get.