62 answers

How to Respond to Rude Question


My twins just turned one year old, and they are still breastfeeding twice a day. We are currently in the weaning process, but they are not ready to give up those two feedings. I am completely fine with this. My question is, how do I respond to those rude people that say, "Wow, you're still breastfeeding?!" I've been getting this a lot lately, especially from one coworker who is also a new mom. I am so tired of being looked at like a freak for still breastfeeding. I'm not a rude person, but I feel like I need to respond without "defending" my choice.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the encouragement. We have a lot of new moms in my building (ten babies born last year!!), and so the topic of breastfeeding comes up a lot, especially since working our job isn't very conducive to pumping and continuing to breastfeed. Many coworkers are supportive that we've made it this long, especially with two, and we didn't need formula at all. I just had a rough week, and especially since they've turned one two weeks ago, I'm getting more of the comments that they're one, shouldn't you be done now? I think part of it is that I was aiming for a year of breastfeeding, and we've made it so people are just assuming I should be stopping now.

Thanks for the pick-me ups! I needed it!

Featured Answers

I tell people I'm keeping my son healthy through cold and flu season. I plan to wean him sometime between Feb and May (he'll be 12-15 months).

Hi M. Some people just don't think before they speak. When someone asks you again, just said breast is the best they can have and I'll continue doing it untill they are completely wean. That should shut them up.

Very simple; This is my choice and it is my time to share some quiet together time with with boy. Is there a problem with me wanting that?

More Answers

What a pain! I have boy/girl twins born November 2008 and we are still nursing. I haven't dealt with negative comments, I'm sorry you have to.

I know you have many answers, so I'm trying to add something new. Why do you nurse? I nurse because it's easier, cheaper, best for the babies and I enjoy the bonding it allows. One of my most frequent "reasons" is "could you imagine all the bottles I'd have to wash?". I recommend thinking about why you do it and just explaining that.

Congrats on making it. A year ago you would have given me so much hope, I was worried about being able to nurse mine even after nursing two other children to 15 months. Great job!!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm working on weaning my 15 month old also, and I'm getting a lot of this sort of thing... but on both sides! I recently posted to mamasource for advice about weaning and all I got were responses about how I should continue breastfeeding indefinitely, blah, blah, blah and nothing about the question I asked. Then I hear the opposite from people around me... like how in the world am I still nursing a 15 month old??? I'm actually tired of hearing the judgments from both sides. Every baby is different and I had really great reasons for nursing as long as I have. I am ready to wean for a number of reasons and that is also my choice. I don't need nursing advocates coming down on me for weaning any more than I need to hear comments about nursing a young toddler! Breastfeeding is healthy for baby and mom, and we should be commended for nursing as long as we have and supported by other moms during the weaning process, whenever it happens : ) You are not alone! I choose to ignore the rude comments and do what's best for my family ; )

1 mom found this helpful

Just answer yes, there is nothing to defend. According to the World Health Organization the average age to breast feed around the world is 3 years. I think what people do not understand is that you are not usually exclusively breastfeeding. A new mom may be intimidated by the fact that you are breastfeeding past a year, she might not feel like she can make it that long. So you never know. I found a simple yes that was direct, confident and straightforward spoke volumes more than the defense of so called extended breast feeding. You are so amazing to have given this gift to your children. Above and beyond!

(I breastfed my 1st daughter until the second one came - she was just shy of her 3rd birthday and down to once a day. I will give my second daughter the same opportunity.)

1 mom found this helpful

Your baby - your choice! Doesn't matter if it is nursing, formula, solids; everyone feels the need to chime in on when and how to feed your baby.

A simple "Yep - we sure are!" should suffice.

If you have a twisted sense of humor, you can always try "Yeah I know - they'll be the only ones in their kindergarten class still nursing!" because no one really knows what to say after that remark! (Or, one ridiculous comment followed by a ridiculous remark from you)

Good luck and let it roll off your back.

1 mom found this helpful

If there are people who question my parenting I just say "this is what works for our family". It's simple, not rude and gets them off the subject.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.

I don't have any breastfeeding answers, but as a mom through international adoption, I've gotten good at using the "WISE Up" strategy for rude or intrusive questions/comments that I get. The strategy was designed for kids, but it works well for adults. I've also found it works for just about all instrusive questions/comments, and it's easy to remember.

Here's the tool, with the adoption language still there, but you can easily adapt it to your situation.

W = WALK AWAY, or ignore what you hear.
I = IT’S PRIVATE, I do not have to share information with anyone, and I can say that appropriately, even to adults.
S = SHARE SOMETHING about my adoption story, but I can think carefully about what I want to let others know.
E = EDUCATE OTHERS about adoption in general, for example, I can talk about how adoption works today, successful adoptees, inaccurate information in the media, etc. I know a lot about it.

I've also found the general "Why do you ask?" works in a lot of situations. If the person is asking, for example, because they are breastfeeding and want some advice, you might be more open than if it is just someone who insists on getting into your business. (I'll talk a lot more openly with someone who is considering adoption, or is an adoptive parent, than just a random nosey person.

1 mom found this helpful

"Why? Are you jealous?"

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Now, are you actually breastfeeding your twins in front of these individuals, or is this information you offered voluntarily? I'm not saying you should be ashamed of it -- quite the opposite, keep up the good work! -- but personally, I don't share details of my life with anyone who isn't going to "get" them. There's no point to it. Just know that YOU are doing the right thing for you and your family and let it go at that.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

My grandbaby just turned two and she has not weaned herself from the breast yet. I did not breast feed my daughter. I did the same stupid thing. I asked my daughter when she was going to stop breast feeding. It was because I was ignorant. When my daughter explained the process I realized how truly important it is to breastfeed as long as a mom wants. Best wishes, S.

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