Rude Comments About Breastfeeding Are Starting.....

Updated on July 23, 2008
S.Y. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
7 answers

Ahh, it has begun, albeit a little earlier than I had expected.
My first I bf-ed for over two years, half of that time in Toronto, and the other half while attending Franciscan U (where everyone bf-ed). My family (who spent time as missionaries in Nigeria...another place where bf-ing was the norm) were also supportive.
Fast forward 15 years and now I am bf-ing my 10 month old. I won't go into it at length, but lets just say the in laws are NOT supportive. I also get comments from complete strangers (even when I'm not feeding her...yesterday at Walgreens I was checking out and commented she was hungry and the manager commented..."oh, you still feed her THAT way? I looked him straight in the face and said, "what, BREASTfeed her? You can say the word, it's not dirty..then tried to lighten the moment with a chuckle)
I was also asked by a friend, "Wow, are you STILL breastfeeding?" I told her, "yeah, but my Mom gets annoyed when I wake her in the middle of the night"...(that was courtesy the book, "So THAT's what they're for")...
I guess I am asking for clever, witty, or pointed retorts. I am not shy...bring 'em on ladies, I need an aresenal of replies...I'll say anything...I just need ideas....:)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi S.,

I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is really to bad that in America breastfeeding isn't considered the norm. There are lots of organizations that are working to try to change that. When my son was right around 12 months of age, I started to get a lot of comments about stopping nursing. Well, today is my son's 3rd birthday and we still nurse 1 or 2 times per day! And I don't get ANY comments anymore. My mother was the worst when he was 1 - she kept saying "he's too old" and "when are you going to stop" - but now she doesn't say anything. We don't NIP anymore, but all of my friends and family know that we are still nursing. The comments stop once people realize they aren't going to change you. There are lots of studies that show the benefits of extended nursing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for at least 1 year and as long afterwards as mutually desired by mother and child and the World Health Organization recommends nursing for a minimum of 2 years. You are doing the best thing possible for you and your baby - be strong and don't let the less educated discourage you.


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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hey S.,
I don't understand why people are being so mean about breastfeeding. It's natural, it's better for the baby and you. How is that wrong? Hang in there you know what you are doing is the best thing!
I don't have any good zingers. I just told people to deal with it and if they were uncomfortable they could deal, it's thier problem, not yours.
You say in your info that you are looking to have lunch or coffee with other mommies. Have you thought about joining your local mom's club? It's great we get together do things all over town with other moms and children. I'm a member of the Monroeville Mom's Club and our president last year breastfeed while we were having a meeting. She was covered, but it's natural and no one blinked an eye. Getting in a supportive group might help you stand the strain of all the jerks out there. This is the International Mom's Club website This is the Monroeville Mom's Club
Good luck and stay strong!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

This is a little earlier to be getting comments. Ten months old is perfectly normal to still be nursing. One rude comeback I can think of is "Yeah, she's daddy's little girl, can't get enough of my boobs!", or this variation on a classic: "Why buy a cow when my milk's free!" Have fun with it, most of the people you run into will never see you again, and don't deserve an explanation.

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answers from Pittsburgh on


My daughter is 15 mos. and we are still breastfeeding, although we are weaning (she is losing interest).

Honestly, when people say anything (fortunately it doesn't happen often), I look them straight in the eye and tell them very seriously that the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organziation now state that two years of breastfeeding is best. It used to be only for 3rd world countries, but there is proof that children get additional benefits from extended breastfeeding.

And since we are fortunate enough to have had great success with it, it is an easy enough thing to do that is in the best interest of my child.

The only response I have ever gotten was surprise that those are the new recommendations. I mean, what else can they say - "Don't do what's best for your child?" Not likely. LOL This response basically doesn't give them any room to argue.

Good luck and keep nursing as long as you'd like!




answers from Pittsburgh on

Hey S.,
Sorry you have to suffer the comments of dolts, but if it wasn't this topic, it'd probably be something else! :)
How about a nice "Why do you care?" or "How, exactly, does this concern YOU?" Nastier still: "If I had wanted your opinion/comments/thoughts, I would have asked."
Or how about complete silence. Certainly that would make your point, as sometimes an idiotic remark or question simply does not justify a response.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I like the "turns out that's what they are for!" line, but I also agree that you can either go with the puzzled look (like if someone told you that she shouldn't wear a diaper, or take a bath), or say, "Yes, the current recommendations are for babies to be breastfed until they are (1, 2, or whatever you believe in) and cite the CDC or the WHO if you are feeling up to educating people. I think a lot of people really don't know the benefits, so if you can stand it, it is worth helping to spread the word.

BTW, the "why buy the cow" line cracked me up. Good one! :-)



answers from Pittsburgh on

I understand that can be annoying. Honestly I must say that I never experienced it with any of my 3 kids that I nursed 13, 19 and 14 (and still going strong) months. I have people comment about the length of time they nursed, but I have always interpretted them as positive remarks. Some have been part of a more involved conversation about folks saying they wished they had been able to continue or tried, but it didn't work out for some reason or another. Perhaps after hearing them say "Wow, you are still nursing" I learned it interpret it as positive and other people that we didn't go into depth had a different tone that I didn't identify. Maybe they couldn't nurse for some reason and are somewhat jealous that you not only could, but were able to continue for a good amount of time. Perhaps try hearing their comments as compliments and treat them as such - might get your point across more than a nasty comment.

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