The decision to breastfeed is a big one to make for you and your family. Breastfeeding is a commitment to you and your child, and whether you are breastfeeding a newborn or older child, you need the right support around you. You also want reassurance that you are doing a great job. What you don’t need is unhelpful comments, insensitive remarks, or infuriating questions that leave you questioning yourself and your choices! So let’s look at what NOT to say to a breastfeeding person…
The problem with unsolicited advice
Very often Mothers are used to being on the receiving end of unsolicited advice. But as a breastfeeding mother, well it’s on a whole other level! Something about breastfeeding conjures up strong emotions from others. So much so that they can’t seem to help themselves make a comment about how you feed your baby. And whilst some of the comments might be well-intentioned they can very often be badly given and outdated advice.
When we asked you on social media some of the worst pieces of unsolicited advice you’ve been given you answered in your droves! Many of you experienced the same infuriating comments and questions from people. So based on your feedback, we’ve compiled 17 things you should never say to a breastfeeding person. Feel free to share this out amongst your friends and family…in the hopes the message gets across – no unsolicited advice about breastfeeding please. If we want to know your opinion, we’ll ask for it!
When we asked you on social media some of the worst pieces of unsolicited advice you’ve been given you answered in your droves!
What not to say to a breastfeeding person!
1. “Don’t let the baby use you as a soother”
2. “Your nipples aren’t long enough”
3. “Don’t bother breastfeeding if you’re in pain”
4. “You had a c-section, your milk won’t come in for ages”
5. “You’ll never be able to feed a baby that size”
6. “Oh he’s feeding AGAIN? You’ll make a rod for your own back”
7. “Don’t feed him every time he cries”
8. “If you formula feed, other people will be able to help you”
9. “Cluster feeding means they aren’t getting enough”
10. “You need to get them on a feeding schedule as soon as possible”
11. “Give him a bottle of formula before bed and he’ll definitely sleep through.”
12. “Ohh you can’t pump much, must have low supply”
13. “Stop now, you’ve done your bit”
14. “You’ll have to stop when he gets teeth”
15. “There’s no nutritional benefit of breast milk once baby starts solids”
16. “Breastfeeding past one is more for the mum than the baby”
17. “When are you going to stop?”
Six positive things to say to a breastfeeding person!
When it comes to knowing what to say to a breastfeeding person – remember all you need to do is be positive, supportive and helpful! A few kind words can go a long way. With that in mind, here are six great things to say…
1. Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing to do for both you and your child.
2. I really want to support you on your breastfeeding journey.
3. Can I get you a drink or something to eat whilst you breastfeed?
4. Your little one is doing so well.
5. You’re doing such a great job mama!
6. Thank you for breastfeeding.
Special thanks to Joanna from @bennieandtheboob for her beautiful photographs.