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In Defense of Breastfeeding

Responses and quips to 10 common breastfeeding comments

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If you’re breastfeeding, chances are you’ve come across people unsupportive of nursing—in your life, on Facebook, or even in the news. We’ve prepared these saucy, informative comebacks to help you respond to everything from “Don’t you want your partner to feed the baby?” to “Can’t you do that in the bathroom?” with smarts and grace. (And a touch of sarcasm, as needed.)

1. Isn’t he too old for that?

Educational: “According to the World Health Organization, the worldwide average age of weaning is 4.2 years old.”

Firm but polite: “We don’t think so. Why do you ask?”

Sarcastic: “I'm sure we'll wean before he goes to college, so don't worry.”

2. Can’t you do that in the bathroom?

Educational response: "According to the laws of this state, it is a protected right for mothers to breastfeed in public."

Check your local state laws HERE. A mother’s right to nurse in public is protected in 46 out of 50 states.

Firm but polite response: ”We’re more comfortable here, thank you.”

Sarcastic response: “If you like eating in the bathroom, that’s your business.”

3. Shouldn’t you cover up?

Educational response: ”Breastfeeding is natural. As more women comfortably nurse in public, the stigma against it will lessen.”

Firm but polite response: “Blankets are stuffy, and she pulls them off anyway.”

Sarcastic response: ”Do you eat with a blanket over your head?”

4. Are you sure she’s getting enough to eat?

Educational response: ”The easiest way to tell if a child is getting enough to eat is if they’re meeting developmental milestones and eliminating the correct amount each day. She’s doing both.”

Firm but polite response: ”Her pediatrician and I both agree she’s getting everything she needs.”

Sarcastic response: ”Why--were you hoping for leftovers?”

5. Breastfeeding is so gross!

Educational response: “The main reason women have breasts is so that we can nurse our young. It’s normal and natural.”

Firm but polite response: “You’re entitled to your opinion, but I disagree.”

Sarcastic response: “So is your attitude!”

6. Don’t you want your spouse to bond with the baby?

Educational response: “Feeding isn’t the only way to bond with a baby. Snuggling, talking, comforting, reading, and playing are all just as important, if not more so.”

Firm but polite response: “The way we choose to feed our child won’t interfere with their relationship.”

Sarcastic response: “No, I don't. As a matter of fact, I’ve started squirting breast milk on anything I don’t want him to touch.”

7. Now that he has teeth you’re going to stop, right?

Educational response: “When a baby is nursing, their tongue naturally covers the bottom teeth.”

Firm but polite response: “Teeth don’t scare me. We’ll be fine.”

Sarcastic response: ”He’s a baby, not a vampire.”

8. I gave all of my kids formula, and they turned out just fine!

Educational response: “While formula is fine, it lacks antibodies and isn’t as nutritionally complete as my breast milk.”

Firm but polite response: “Your child, your choice--my child, my choice. To each their own.”

Sarcastic response: “I’ve decided I don’t want to settle for ‘just fine.'

9. Aren’t you afraid you’re going to ruin your breasts?

“Even if a woman never nurses a child, there is no guarantee that stretch marks and sagging won’t happen anyway. We all age differently.”

Firm but polite response: “Now that I have children I’ve found there are more important things to worry about.”

Sarcastic response: “My topless modeling career wasn't working out anyway.”

10. Babies don’t need breast milk after [insert age]

Educational response: “Bodies are amazing. My breast milk can continue to change to fit my child’s needs. Even though he’s eating some solids, breast milk is still helping to give him complete nutrition.”

Firm but polite response: “That’s been proven to be untrue.”

Sarcastic response: “Moms don’t need unhelpful advice, and that didn’t stop you, either!”

 
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