11 Things Never to Say to Breastfeeding Moms

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breastfeedingPeople 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?


More from The Stir:

5 Things Never to Say to a Lesbian Mom

8 Things Never to Say to a Mom of an Only Child

5 Things Never to Say to an Adoptive Parent

20 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

5 Things Not to Say to Divorced Moms

8 Things Never to Say to Moms of Multiples

Image via eyeliam/Flickr

breastfeeding, natural parenting


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jalaz77 jalaz77

My 3rd bit me and drew little blood around 8mo and my mom says time to stop. I said no that doesn't mean it's time to stop. I was surprised she said that cause she never nursed us kids and she was so excited to see me nurse all three of my kids, she said good for you. She thought nursing was too much work when she had kids, I said bottles, formula, cleaning and packing was waaaay more work than ready to eat breast milk. That was the only off comment I ever got, other than that people were very respectful.

MaryC... MaryCimino

I always laughed at people looking at me when I fed in public. One time I threatened to dance for a waiter if he kept staring.

BlueJane BlueJane

Actually, my breasts belong to me. And I'll give them to anyone I choose.

randamda randamda

I don't think toddler should be breastfed. I was, and I know it messed me up. No one should have a memory of sucking on their mom, and guess what, three is old enough to remember. My son is three now and if I stuck my breast in his mouth, I'd feel like a pedophile.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

My favorite comment came from my mother. Her and her friend were watching me feed my first and she said "So much easier than it was in our day, isn't it?" I just laughed and told them it's not new technology, they could have breastfed too.

bills... billsfan1104

I sometimes think that breast feeding advocates are looking for a fight or to be a victim. I think breast feeding is great, but if your TODDLER can drink from a cup, then it's time to stop. But that's only an opinion and I would never walk up to a mother and say it.

bills... billsfan1104

Rhonda, that would of made me laugh too

Hannah Short

I never got any flack from anyone for breastfeeding. I actually got a lot of hurtful comments when I had to stop at 7 months to start taking medicine that I couldn't breastfeed on. Everyone should be suportive of moms, regardless of what choice THEY make. If you don't like it then learn to keep your mouth shut. 

Hannah Short

Oh, and there actually is a little truth in the sex comment. I had NO interest in sex until I stopped breastfeeding. It seemed like some crazy concept that i had no idea how I had enjoyed in the past. Hormones are crazy things! lol 

Madam... MadameGarlic

I was lucky. I live in a small city where there is a lot of support for breast feeding. I think that made a lot of difference in how people react to breast feeding. I did get a few "looks" in an airport... But I shut them down with a steady stare and slight smile.

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