10 Things Not To Say To A Breastfeeding Mom
November 23, 2017
As a new mom breastfeeding her seventeen month old toddler, I’ve learned to ignore questions or comments about breastfeeding that are offensive, ignorant, or annoying.
I’ve compiled a list of some of the most frustrating questions or comments that no mother who wants to nurse or currently is should ever hear:
“Are you planning to breastfeed for a year?”
I don’t know why people feel the need to ask this question, but I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are curious. I usually say, “I have not decided yet.” People will go as far as to raise their eyebrows or advise me otherwise, and it is none of their business to do so. If you are not my son’s pediatrician then please refrain from thinking you have any say in our breastfeeding journey.
“Are you sure the baby is receiving enough milk?”
People who are not knowledgable about breastfeeding do not realize how offensive this question is. Sometimes I hold back my frustration because I want to think they are just worried for the baby since the amount of milk he or she is receiving can not be seen like a measured bottle of milk. However, questioning a mother about her ability to provide her child with enough of her own milk is very discouraging and hurtful. If you are reading this then here is a little educational lesson for you all— a mother can produce a healthy amount of liquid gold for her baby despite her weight or breast size. As long as the baby is going to their monthly appointments and is gaining weight, breastfeeding around the clock, and having 8-10 wet diapers each day, then the baby is perfectly fine. Got it?
“You are better off giving the baby a bottle than your boob.”
So you’re probably the one I should call when I need all of my bottles prepared, warmed, or washed then too, right? Breastfeeding is much more efficient than bottle feeding. When a mom nurses her little one, she does not have to worry about packing her diaper bag with a water bottle and a formula dispenser filled with measured powder. I also will never have to rush into the kitchen, essentially leaving my child hungry for a couple of minutes, to prepare and warm a bottle. Of course, the last thing I want at the end of my day is to stand at the sink and clean all of the bottles that I used. If my baby is hungry, I simply rest him on my lap and pop out the boob and BAM, that is all I need to do.
“Feeding on demand will have your baby spoiled!”
Because I needed to hold my baby while he fed every hour for twenty minutes? A bottle fed baby also has to be held and cuddled until they are able to hold the bottle on their own. I’m not spoiling my little one; I’m nurturing him in the best possible way.
“Are you going to be that mom who breastfeeds in public?”
I’ll breastfeed my child wherever I need to whenever he is hungry. I don’t understand how feeding my child is anyone’s concern. I used to wear a nursing cover, but now, I don’t because my son yanks it right off. There is no point, but I’m discreet when there are children present. If there are adults around then go ahead and try and say something to me. A mother should not be attacked for needing to feed her hungry, crying baby. It is legal to breastfeed in all states so for anyone who says it isn’t, tell them to get educated.
“Don’t you worry your boobs will sag?”
A baby nursing will not be the reason a woman has droopy boobs. A woman aging, gaining or losing weight, getting pregnant often, and gravity’s effect on the earth will change the uprightness of breasts on women through time.
“You are going to nurse? Okay, I’ll step out.”
Did I say you needed to step out? I’ve nursed a million times alone or around people. If I need you to step out, I will kindly ask you to. I can respect someone who is secretly uncomfortable with seeing another woman’s breasts, but this is a natural process nor should you be looking at my breasts and thinking of them as sexual objects. You ought to know breasts were created for the intended purpose of providing nutritional value to a baby and not for sexual objects.
“You are still breastfeeding?”
This is probably the most frustrating question yet. People feel so entitled to question my parenting or breastfeeding choices when once again, it is none of their business. When (and if) we stop, it will be up to my son and I. No one else.
“My child was a chopper so I stopped immediately!”
Babies learn at an early age not to use their teeth to nurse. Now that my son is a toddler with many teeth, he knows it will hurt me if he bites me so he refrains. From time to time, he will laugh and accidentally bite me. I will say, “Ouch, that hurt mommy,” and he will give me a look asking for forgiveness and my heart will instantly melt.
“He is going to be attached to your hip all the time.”
I do struggle with a very clingy toddler now, but guess what? Our bond is so strong that he loves and trusts me with his entire life. I am obviously doing something right so back off.