As a new mom, I’ve learned to ignore a lot of stupid comments and questions about breastfeeding. But, sometimes enough is enough. It’s not that I am offended – it’s just annoying to hear the same questions and comments all the time.
So, I came up with a pretty good list of some ridiculous, obnoxious, stupid things, and here they are:
(Not responsible if you bang your head against the wall after reading).
1.) How long are you planning to breastfeed?
I don’t know…how long are you planning to to eat your sandwich? For the love of God, if you are not the child’s pediatrician, don’t worry about it, ok? Let me assure you that all is good and I know you are concerned, but seriously, what difference does it make?
2.) You should stop breastfeeding when your baby starts growing teeth!
In the beginning, when babies’ teeth start coming out they don’t know if they should use their teeth so they may bite once or twice. My experience has been that when my daughter bit me, I said “ouch, or don’t do that.” And stopped after that. Babies learn to not use their teeth if they want to nurse. After that, that is really it. Babies don’t use their teeth to breastfeed.
3.) Will your boobs get droopy?
Okay, this one is funny, and more blunt than stupid. But if you must know…okay here it is:
The only way to keep firm, upright breasts throughout your lifetime is…ready?
Never get pregnant and never get old!
Age, weight gain or loss, pregnancy, the effects of gravity, all affect the way your breasts look.
In terms of breastfeeding a lone…it’s not the sucking of the breast that does any sagging to the breasts, it’s pregnancy and the loss of weight of the breasts.That is why I am a proponent of gradual and gentle weaning.
I recently read that by weaning babies or toddlers gradually rather than suddenly, diet and exercise prevents saggy boobs. Take care of your breasts if you are worried. Exercise, don’t smoke, and wear a good bra. (Okay, maybe I will write a separate post about this).
4.) You’re going to spoil your baby with all that breastfeeding
I found this great example from La Leche League to explain how nursing a child does NOT spoil them. It helps them!
“Imagine you were scared or sad enough to start crying. What if another adult you loved knew you were crying, but refused to hug you, reminding you that you’d had a hug just an hour ago? You would probably stop crying eventually on your own, but wouldn’t you feel better if that other adult had comforted you when you needed it?”
Adults and babies exhibit the same behaviors. We go through similar feelings, but babies don’t know how to cope as easily as we do, and need love and security more often. Spoiling is buying them a lot of expensive things. Notice, you can buy them all kinds of toys and electronics but they will always ask for more because those things cannot fill up the need for love.
5.) When are you planning to stop breastfeeding completely?
Are people asking me for a deadline? You bet. I don’t know why there is a push to stop breastfeeding as soon as possible.
Stopping is not something you just stop doing one day because you decide you no longer want to breastfeed. There is work involved in weaning. I talked about gradual weaning, which means you want to stop breastfeeding little by little. Stopping immediately is damaging to the baby if that is their primary comfort and food. Imagine waking up one day and being ripped away from one of your kids or that your food be taken from you. So, asking this question is very insensitive.
6.) How many times per day do you breastfeed?
Really? How many times per day do you eat? I think this question is so annoying because it assumes that there should be a limit.
7.) Isn’t there something you can wear over to cover up?
I’ve been breastfeeding for a year, don’t you think I know that? I don’t like those things…what do you call them…?
I like to wear my normal clothes. I absolutely hate using a blanket or special nursing covers. My child takes them right off! Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that I am waiting for people to pass by so that I can flash them. I try to be discreet and notice my surroundings. If there are children, I am very discreet. There is a certain way to do it, (after you’ve done in a gazillion times) where no one can see you. I know that some moms don’t care if they are seen. I breastfeed in public but I am artful at it I suppose.
8.) Ma’m, can you please cover up?
This has not happened to me. Chicago seems to be pretty breastfeeding friendly. But, I’ve read and have heard several stories and even though it is LEGAL to breastfeed in public in ALL states, some people still have the nerve to say something stupid. Here is more info from the National Conference of State Legislature about breastfeeding in public and laws around breastfeeding in general.
Why is it that people’s eyes start to roll or an awkward silence follows when you say you want to breastfeed longer than 6 months? Some moms even feel ashamed for wanting to breastfeed longer.
I wish I didn’t have to write about this. I wish we lived in times more advanced where no clarification was needed because people didn’t ask questions or gave opinions about it.
Women always seem to be at the center of criticism – by both men and women. Are people still stuck on women having to be be like June Cleaver? (barf!) or some angelic version of a mother that is never seen breastfeeding because she hides in the back, or never talks about it because it’s unimportant? But, when she is seen breastfeeding she has to deal with stupid questions and eye rolling?
It just seems that whenever a woman wants to do something outside the realm of what we see June Cleaver and other happy-go-lucky moms do on Antenna TV, it is scrutinized.
Just accept that women CAN do what they want with THEIR bodies!
What about you? What comments/questions have been made to you in regards to breastfeeding? Or to my male readers, have you heard of any? I’d like to eventually compile a longer list, cause I know there is more!
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Alma is the creator of A Notebook and a Muse, a helpful and refreshing blog about motherhood and lifestyle topics especially for millennial parents. She began blogging as an outlet for her motherhood journey in 2013 and has found it to be a vital part of her growth as a mom. In her previous life, Alma worked as a communications specialist. Currently she is a stay-at-home mom living in Chicago with her precious 14-month old daughter, Zella and husband, Carlos.
You can also follow her on twitter: @alma_campos