So you see a women breastfeeding her child and you feel the urge to share your 2 cents with her? Here’s a list of things that you should not(at any cost) say to a her.
Scenario 1: You are breastfeeding in a public place.
A strange voice says: Why are you throwing yourself out in a public place? Can’t you see there are men out here? You should be using a cover.
Grrr…,can’t you see that my baby is hungry and I am using my natural God-given ability to feed my baby? As for the cover,Do you cover your face while you eat? If so then you might as well do the same now. And yes, I see there are men out there,I can differentiate genders. And men don’t jump straight from the sky,do they?I think even they are birthed and nourished by a women who have breasts!
What can you say instead: Oh! Your baby is so beautiful. I really appreciate you normalizing breastfeeding. And don’t mind the creeps who stare and pass senseless comments,you are doing a wonderful thing!
Scenario 2: You are nursing your toddler.
A strange voice says: Isn’t your kid too old to be still nursing? He can walk,talk and will be going to school soon. He is going to be a needy kid. You should wean him immediately!
I’m sorry that your brain has limited intellectual capacity to grasp the concept of extended-breastfeeding. Thanks for your concern but my child is going to be perfectly fine! My kids will not be needy,in-fact there are reasons to believe that they can be more independent because breastfeeding makes a child feel secure and comforted.
What can you say instead: You are breastfeeding your little tod! It takes a lot of courage to take a stand against this social stigma attached to extended breastfeeding. Keep up the great job mama!
Scenario 3: You are breastfeeding in a restaurant.
A strange voice says: Can you take this privately?May be into the rest room?My other customers are feeling awkward to have their lunch.
Hmm,may be you can tell your “other” “customers” to mind their own business? My baby is having his lunch just like everybody else is. If they have a problem with that they can perhaps take their plates to the rest room?
What can you say instead: Are you comfortable? We can move you to a bigger table if you want. Oh! your food is getting cold,let me keep it warm until you finish nursing your baby.And here’s a cookie(on the house)to munch on to keep your hunger at bay 😉
Scenario 4: You are in your living room and your baby is hungry.
A strange voice says: Are you going to nurse him in front of your husband,he might lose interest in you. You have elder children here,that too a boy!What will he think of you?
I am sorry that you married a
jerk person who made you think that. But I married a wonderful,mature and broad-minded guy who thinks of me as a super women who can grow a human being inside of me,sustain and nourish them with my body. I am well aware of the presence of my boys. I will continue to nurse in front of them because I want to raise them as men who look at a women with nothing but respect!
What can you say instead: Here come sit in this comfy chair. Here’s the tv remote so that you can catch up on your favourite serial while you’re nursing.
Scenario 5: You are exclusively breastfeeding your baby.
A strange voice says: Are you giving him just breast milk?No wonder your baby is thin as air! Why don’t you give him some real food?For God’s sake you are starving that baby.
For God’s sake do some research before you go on to ramble!Health experts, breastfeeding experts,WHO,UNICEF,AAP(to name a few) recommend babies to be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of their life. Breastmilk contains all that is necessary (protein,fat,vitamins,anti-oxidants) to nourish the baby. Solids can be introduced along with breast milk after 6 months(depending upon how much your baby shows interest in solid foods).
What can you say instead: I don’t have anything to say here except to kindly request you to stay out of science-based discussions as that is clearly not your forte!
So the next time you see a women feeding her child be nice, be supportive and say something that would make her smile. Too hard for you? Then just politely ignore her and go back to what you were doing.