10 MORE things not to say to a breastfeeding mother

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Yes, there’s so many things, I had to make two posts. Let’s take a moment to reflect on that! Here’s the first one if you missed it. If you are easily offended and sensitive about infant feeding methods, I’d advise looking away now.

1) “It’s just a habit for them now. You need to make sure that they know they can’t have it whenever they want.”

excuse me?

A habit. In the same way as it’s a habit to fetch yourself a glass of water when you’re thirsty? To peer into the fridge when you’re hungry? My child needs to know they can have boob whenever they want. I’m relying on them to tell me. Not to mention the emotional comfort and security it can provide. It’s on par with denying your hug. Do you deny your child hugs when they ask for them??

2) “You’re just doing it for your own benefit now”

drinks tea angrily

No really, I love being kicked in the face during a session of gymnastics and having my nips twiddled and face played with. Although being able to eat slightly more calories has it’s advantages. Oh and I like the fact my breast cancer risk is reduced, quite a lot… And of course, there’s no benefits for my child… EXCEPT ALL OF THESE

3) “You’re in pain whilst you feed? Oh that’s totally normal”/”Your nipples need to “toughen” up!’/”That latch looks fine”

ouch

Ok so let’s get some things clear here. Nipple pain in the early days is common. However, should that pain last longer than 30 seconds, it’s not normal and needs to be checked by a specialist. The most common cause of nipple pain is ineffective latch so that needs to be checked, checked and triple checked. More info here.

4) “You chose to breastfeed so don’t complain”

flipping the bird

For many mothers, breastfeeding isn’t a choice. It’s the most natural way to feed a baby. It is the norm.  Also, I’ll complain about whatever the hell I want, thank you very much!

5) “One bottle of formula won’t hurt”

nope

Ok, so, where it might be true that one bottle wouldn’t be the end of the world (virgin gut theory means breastmilk would heal any damage done within 2-4 weeks) for baby, to suggest that completely undermines my breastfeeding efforts thus far and could potentially mess up my supply. I am quite aware of the options available to me, thank you, I’ll make up my own mind, in my own time.

6) “Don’t be a breastfeeding nazi”

how dare you

This one REALLY grinds my gears. Whoever says this needs a history lesson. Let’s compare the two shall we? One is a women who is a massive breastfeeding advocate, wants to help other women breastfeed and wants babies to get the best start in life possible. The other is a person with extreme racist or authoritarian views. ‘Breastfeeding Mafia’ isn’t much better either! Here’s a blog post that sums it up well.

7) “Here’s a tub of formula for when you need it”/”Get some formula in just in case.”

thanks but no thanks

I appreciate the goodwill gesture but please don’t take it upon yourself to buy me formula. I have money, I know where the shops are, if I wanted it, I’d buy it myself, ta. The reason I haven’t in advance is that I don’t want to sabotage my breastfeeding journey before it’s even begun. I have every faith that my body can do this, and if it can’t, there are loads of mums willing to donate their milk and as I mentioned just now, I know where the shops are. Leave me to feed my child MY WAY.

8) “You’ll have to stop when he has teeth!”

LOL

Oh will I? And what law determines that? Here’s a couple of fun facts for you. Milk teeth are called milk teeth for a reason. When the milk teeth have all fallen out and have been replaced with an adult set, it becomes physiologically impossible to comfortably breastfeed as before. Oh and newborns can be born with teeth so I guess they don’t get a look in either?

9) “He is a big baby you will never be able to sustain him you will have to top him up”

duh!

My boobs have done a pretty splendid job so far. In fact my whole body created him. Why would I stop trusting it now?! The only person in the world who’s opinion I trust enough to tell me that is an IBCLC. Feel free to go get qualified then come let me know your professional opinion.

10) “I couldn’t breastfeed”

stop it

Ok so just to be clear, this is in a situation where a mother has been approached and someone has decided to share their guilt laden story of how they ‘couldn’t breastfeed’ without being asked about it. Look, we get it. You didn’t have enough support. We are angry for you too. We don’t think we are better mothers than you. If you feel the need to project your guilty feelings onto a mother successfully breastfeeding her child, you have some things to work through. No we don’t want to hear it. No, we don’t want to go on a guilt trip about the fact that we could and you couldn’t. Please, just be happy for us or don’t say anything at all. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these. Next up I’ll be doing a ‘things you SHOULD say to a breastfeeding mum’ post. Keep your eyes peeled!

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2017-10-09T17:46:19+00:00 Categories: General, Opinion|0 Comments

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