5 things not to say to a breastfeeding mum
Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world with mothers everywhere knowing the health and financial benefits of breastfeeding.
Although it’s the most natural way to feed your child, many friends, family and members of the public seem to have some ‘vital advice’ they want to share with you. Here are a few of the common things breastfeeding women hear and wish they hadn’t.
- Are you sure you’re producing enough milk?
- I don’t think you’re doing it right
- I thought breastfeeding was supposed to make you lose weight?
- Are you allowed to breastfeed in here?
- Isn’t he/she getting a little too old for that?
A mother’s instinct is to provide for her baby and she’ll do that any way she can. If she’s not providing enough milk for her child, she’ll seek the appropriate help by herself. Don’t question her ability to care for her baby, she won’t thank you for it!
Breastfeeding is a learning process for both mum and baby. It takes time and perseverance to get it right and all encouragement and positive advice is welcome. The last thing we want to hear is how great you were at breastfeeding and how it’s easy and we should be able to do it. Every woman and child is different, what works for some, won’t work for others. Nurture mothers who are new to breastfeeding and try only to offer helpful advice not pessimistic statements!
If someone says this to a breastfeeding mother and escapes unscathed, they’re lucky! It takes time for a woman to get her pre-pregnancy body back. Although losing weight is one of the benefits of breastfeeding, losing weight has been replaced in her mind by a little something called a baby. Losing our baby weight will come in time, don’t remind us we’re still carrying it!
If a baby is hungry and crying for a feed, surely that baby has a priority to be fed over protecting other people from seeing breastfeeding? A new mother will just be finding her feet when breastfeeding and we understand a woman’s life doesn’t end when motherhood starts so if she chooses to try breastfeeding in public, support her! It’s difficult and many woman struggle with this aspect of feeding so don’t question her when she’s feeling confident.
There are laws in Scotland and England to protect breastfeeding mums when having to feed in public so there’s no need for mothers to worry about being shunned into toilet cubicles with their babies.
Feeding is a personal choice between Mum and baby. Between the two, they’ll decide when to move on. There isn’t a right or wrong answer to these questions and mums will be offended if their natural instincts are questioned.
Photography: Aurimas Mikalauskas @Flickr