Don’t listen to the breastfeeding critics
At a glance
It’s perfectly natural to feed your little one whenever and wherever they are hungry
Dealing with unwanted questions about breastfeeding can get annoying
Not all questions come from a bad place so always answer with a friendly smile
Ready-to-go answers can help with the critics
Everyone seems to have an opinion about breastfeeding, how and why you’re doing it and even where you do it! Here are a few ready-to go-answers to help you deal with the critics and those unwanted breastfeeding questions. You could tell them to mind their own business too, of course!
“Do you want to breastfeed somewhere more private?”
Thanks but no thanks! There is no shame in breastfeeding in public! It’s perfectly natural to feed your little one whenever and wherever they are hungry. It’s not really anyone else’s business. A polite “I’m more than happy here, thank you" usually does the trick!
“Do you want a cover while you breastfeed?”
Ah, this is the classic line which is just another way of trying to shame mums about breastfeeding in public! You know what? It’s your choice whether you use a breastfeeding cover or not. If people feel awkward, that’s really not your problem or responsibility. We’d go with… “we’re more comfortable like this, thank you. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to eat your lunch under a sheet”.” And never feel bad about doing what’s right for you and your baby!
“Is your baby still hungry?”
Breastfed babies eat more often than babies on formula, as human milk is digested more easily, so tell the critics that. We'd go with "my baby will finish breastfeeding when he's full, remember their tummies are tiny so they eat little and often" with a friendly smile.
“If you offer your baby a bottle, you know they’ll never breastfeed again.”
That’s another one of the baby myths out there. Actually, you can breastfeed and bottle feed your baby. It’s called combination feeding, or mixed feeding, where you breastfeed and supplement with formula at different feedings. Breast milk is produced on a supply and demand basis, so make sure your breast milk supply is established first before starting. There are some great tips on combination feeding here. Bust those myths and the people spouting them with a simple “we’re following a proven method called combination feeding, and it’s going great, thanks.”
“Are you still breastfeeding?”
Well, it sounds like someone thinks your baby is too old to breastfeed—how helpful of them! Here’s a useful fact you could use the shush the critics. The World Health Organization recommends that you continue breastfeeding up to two years and beyond. And you can choose extended breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby wish to do so. Tell them that with a friendly “yes, we are still breastfeeding. Isn’t it wonderful that I’m continuing to feed and nurture my baby?” Works like a charm!