I have been asked how I deal with people who think they need to say something about my (extended) breastfeeding, so I thought I’d post my thoughts about that. I hope this helps other moms who have to deal with meddling family members or friends or even strangers.
1. I ignore them.
I know what is best for my child and me. Other people can do what they want with theirs. I don’t meddle in their life, so please don’t meddle in mine. Case closed. (Ugh, that sounds so harsh :)
2. I kill them with kindness — and education.
If someone really wanted to get into it with me, I’d tell them about all the health benefits for Landon and me that come with breastfeeding.
I have gone so far as to tell my own mother — who didn’t breastfeed me and seems to think I should stop breastfeeding L by now — that I won’t have a discussion with her until she reads up and educates herself about (extended) breastfeeding.
I have written many articles for my blog about breastfeeding to educate people, point those people to them! For additional information, checkout my breastfeeding category.
Here are three of my past articles that help with ammunition for the people who want to interfere with your breastfeeding choices.
3. I show that I’m proud to breastfeed and that I won’t tolerate criticism about my choice/right to breastfeed.
I think it really makes a difference how you behave when you breastfeed in public or when company is around. I’m comfortable with feeding L whenever, wherever he wants to nurse, because he has the same right to get fed or comforted on demand as any other child.
When people see me nurse him with confidence and an attitude of “this is what we do in our family” and a smile on my face like it’s the most natural thing in the world (which it is), I don’t even get comments. It seems to stops people from saying something.
In almost three years of nursing, I don’t recall hearing one rude comment. I notice looks, but I just smile at those people as if to say “Isn’t this adorable?” and they look away.
If someone would make an inappropriate comment, it would roll off of me. I feel sad for those uninformed, judgmental people, but I know it might not be so easy for other moms to be this bold.
All I can say is, try these approaches. This is your life, own it! Don’t let other people’s opinions be more important than your own — don’t give them that power over your life.
There are plenty of people who applaud you for breastfeeding, like me. Be proud of yourself and don’t worry so much about what other people might think. They’ll get over it if you don’t let them get to you. Hope this helps.
My “I make milk. What’s your superpower” bumper sticker. I clearly don’t mind the whole world to know I’m breastfeeding :)
If my breastfeeding offends you, feel free to put a blanket over your head.