People say mean things. We all know this and perhaps have been hurt by the words of others. It's especially hurtful when people say mean things when you are doing something good -- like breastfeeding. It's like wonder food for babies and proven beneficial for toddlers. It's liquid gold -- the best meal mama could ever prepare. And yet people say mean things about it and to nursing moms.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 8th Edition features a list of things people should never say to breastfeeding moms. Things like "He's just using you for a pacifier", "You look like a cow attached to that pump", and "Maybe your milk isn't good enough". Ouch. I thought of more sadly inspired by things that were said to me and my friends. Here are 11 things never to say to a breastfeeding mother.
1. You're still breastfeeding? When people say this with a tone of shock and disgust, it's hurtful. Why are other people so concerned with how long a mama is nursing her child?
2. Breastfeeding is going to ruin your boobs. Mine look awesome and I breastfed twins into toddlerhood, thank you very much.
3. I just don't get why anyone would breastfeed a toddler. When this is said to a new mother, it could make her feel uncomfortable because she may very well plan on breastfeeding into toddlerhood. Or maybe she hasn't planned and it will just naturally happen. Again, why are other people so concerned with how long a mama is nursing her child? Why can't people just be supportive of something good?
4. You could always just give baby formula. This is like saying to a happy newlywed that instead of choosing John to be her husband, she could always get a divorce and choose Rick.
5. Ugh. Ugh to that.
6. That's obscene! Can't you go to the bathroom to do that? No, it's not. No, I can't. I'm here. Baby's hungry. I'm not going to let him enjoy his meal in a dirty bathroom.
7. Breasts are sexual. I wouldn't put them in my baby's mouth. Perhaps people who say this need therapy.
8. Your breasts should belong to your husband, not your baby. Apparently these people never heard of sharing or multi-tasking.
9. Oh they are weaning? Thank goodness! You must be so happy to not have to do that anymore! Actually, it may be a difficult time for mama. Weaning isn't always a happy or welcomed thing. And that -- breastfeeding -- is an incredible bonding experience as well, and a comfort, and there are happy hormones released -- the end of that can be a sad time.
10. Your sex life won't exist if you breastfeed because your baby will always be attached to you. I think some breastfeeding moms just have to get more creative when it comes to sex. Heck don't all new parents? There are plenty of times baby isn't "attached" and there are kitchen tables away from the bedroom where baby is sleeping that work great for sexy times.
11. Oh, you're one of those moms (with an eye roll). A first reaction may be to get annoyed, but we shouldn't. We should smile and say, Yes, yes I am.
Have any of these things been said to you? What else would you add?
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