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What NOT To Say To a Mum About How She Feeds Her Baby

by Bump, Baby & You

What NOT To Say To a Mum About How She Feeds Her Baby!

ANYTHING.

Yup, that’s correct, folks.

Say nothing.

It’s not appropriate to comment, draw attention to, pass judgement on, give uncalled for comments etc, on how a mum feeds her baby.

Because people still cannot grasp this simple fucking concept in 2017, I thought I’d have a chat with the fab mamas in our private group to see what sort of comments seriously piss them off in the hope that some ignoramuses will read this and realise that they need to zip it.


The method of feeding babies seems to be at the forefront of all baby related discussions, online and offline, and in the media currently.

So many people now seem to think that THEIR opinion of YOUR parenting is valid and important!

I mean, because what other people think is sooooo important, right? (Eyeroll)

However, sadly, judgemental comments can and DO cause emotional harm. New mums are especially vulnerable to shitty comments!

As mums, we are under constant fucking scrutiny.

Our parenting is picked apart…

Our intentions questioned by people who have no pissing clue what they’re talking about…

Our choices are judged by perfect strangers…

People say some seriously damaging shit to mums about how they feed their kids, no matter what the method is.

Personally, I find it abhorrent that people feel the need to vocalise their shitty, irrelevant, unwanted opinions and look down their noses on vulnerable new mums who desperately need as much love and support they can get. I am a massive advocate of ‘mums supporting mums‘ no matter how different you are in your parenting choices.

For example, our other fabulous Bump, Baby and You blogger Bethany Collings (one of my fave people in the world, she has been a rock to me) has EBF’d for 15 months solid, and Max was EBF for a week or two, then combi fed for a few weeks, before becoming EFF, due to huge issues with boobing (LONG STORY). We sat in the shops at Derby Intu shopping centre happily feeding our babies together our own ways, with not a care or judgement in the world. Why can’t the world be like that all the time?!

Katie & Bethany at the Leeds BBY meet up!

This blog is all about what NOT to say to a mum about how she feeds her baby. Admittedly, it’s very sad that I’m even having to write this but it is doing my nut in seeing mummies distraught about the abuse and judgement that they’re receiving. These are all REAL, and insanely outrageous, real life quotes.

I could only pick a few out of the nearly 300 responses I got, and I am aware that there are so many more that have been missed so please please PLEASE comment and share! <3

Apologies if anyone disagrees with any of the points I raise – please be assured that I support your feeding choices, full stop, no questions asked.


 Formula…

  • ‘You do realise that baby won’t be getting everything they need from that formula. He will get poorly very quickly if you keep him on that stuff because he’s not protected from infections.’

Of course boob is fantastic and absolutely optimal for supporting a newborns immune system but babies fed any way can get ill. If formula was that bad for a child, our hospitals would be full of poorly immune compromised people. Are they…? No. Stop using SANCTIMONIOUS, scaremongering crap to guilt trip mums! Science has done a fab job at improving formula.

  • ‘Why are you being lazy and not breastfeeding?’

You don’t know peoples circumstances! What if this mummy tried her damned hardest? There are a vast array of reasons, personal choice included. Fuck off!

  •  ‘You’re a terrible mother, how can you not breastfeed?!’

What a vile thing to say! Again, there are many reasons why boobing doesn’t happen, ALL of them valid and NONE of them your business! None of them are any reflection on a mamas parenting, you twit.

  • ‘Formula feeding is like giving your baby McDonalds!’

WTF… The most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Yeah, booby milk does slightly decrease the risks of future obesity for interesting reasons but to compare formula to fast food is a HUGE exaggeration and designed to upset and judge mums.

  • ‘Formula feeding mums are lazy.’

Definitely not. No mums are lazy. Every way involves faff in some form.

  • ‘Fed isn’t best, it’s the bare minimum…’

Yes, boob milk is scientifically best. However, ‘fed is best’ pertains to individual circumstances – whichever way a mother decides to feed their baby based on circumstances and other factors is best as long as baby is fed, full, happy and thriving. ‘Bare minimum’ is often thrown around to put down formula feeding mums which is unfair, as the slogan is meant to evoke inclusion and support!

  • ‘Only 2% of mums really medically cannot breastfeed…’

ONE TINY STUDY. ONE! From 1990, with only 319 white middle class participants. Reliable? Fuck no! This figure is literally only ever quoted by mummy blogs, never reliable sources, and conveniently varies depending on the impact the quoter wants to make…

  • ‘How did people cope without formula back in the day?!’

If they couldn’t afford a wet nurse (only the rich could), they were shafted! Babies died way too often due to failure to thrive and malnutrition. Thank fuck for formula! Donor milk isn’t easy to come by at all, despite some people flippantly suggesting it.


Combination feeding…

‘You need to make up your mind and choose one as you can’t do both forever!’

Says who? You, with your obvious wisdom and professional knowledge? (Sarcasm)

 


Boob…

  • ‘I agree with breastfeeding, but I don’t think you should be doing it here.’

What a ridiculous statement! Would you be saying this if I was feeding from a bottle?!

  • ‘You know, other people would LOVE to feed the baby if you bottlefed!’

Well, this is MY baby, and I am more than happy to feed them myself. It’s not selfish to want to enjoy breastfeeding and that special time with baby that only boobing can do.

  • ‘It’s hot outside, you need to be giving him water!’

Boob milk is 80% water. Breastfed babies should never be given additional water as this can cause water intoxication, plus it can also cause supply issues. It is absolutely terrifying how poorly informed people are about breastfeeding.

  • ‘You’re not still breastfeeding, are you?!’

You’re not still talking, are you?!

When is there a ‘right’ time to stop? It’s all about when mama and baby are comfortable, and it is no one elses business. Jog on!

  • ‘You can whip that out anywhere, can’t you?’ (creepy old man)

This one made me cringe. Boobs have been massively oversexualised by society. They are made to feed babies. not to titillate perverts. If you find a boob sexual, that is YOUR problem, making it YOUR responsibility to walk away if you have an issue.

  • ‘Oh, there she goes, getting her tits out again, any excuse!’

Ohhhhh yes, I just love getting out my leaky, engorged tits for attention… would you say that about a bottle? Freak.

  • ‘You think you’re better than other mums because you breastfeed!’

This was said to a mum innocently sitting there doing and saying nothing. I don’t understand the aggression! Making an individual choice for yourself and your baby isn’t a way of being ‘superior’ whatsoever.

  • ‘Go and feed in the disabled loos.’

Would YOU eat your fucking dinner in a shitty, pissy, stinky little cubicle? Nah. So why should my tiny vulnerable little baby?

  • ‘Can’t you cover up?!’

Would you wear a tablecloth on your head whilst eating your dinner, though? It’s important to be able to see baby; it ensures a good latch, and that baby has a good flow of oxygen. It’s a mums own prerogative to cover up if she wants to and is happy with doing so. If you have an issue with boobs doing what they’re meant to do, maybe you’re a bit of a weirdo.

If you find it appropriate to vocalise this in public, then you are most definitely a weirdo in my eyes.


Tube…

  • The looks of pity and disgust from people, not so much words.

This one is really saddening. Imagine having a poorly baby who needs tube feeding as it’s the only physical way that you can nourish them, only to be given filthy looks from complete strangers…

  • ‘Breast is best, mothers these days will do anything for an easy life!’

Infuriating to the extreme! It’s understandable that people with no experience of tube feeding could be confused by the concept but it’s still zero excuse to attack someone over how they’re feeding their child.


Basically…

If you have something negative to say about how a mother is feeding HER baby, please stfu.

Mamas, if anyone gives you shit, tell them to mind their own motherfucking business. Simples.

Fundamentally, we are all mummies with the same primary objective; to raise and nurture our precious babies. It’s hard enough to stay sane without being judged for how we feed our babies! Mind your own business, or show some empathy and support.

We are in 2017. Science is pretty awesome and has brought formula up to crazily high standards; granted, whilst boob milk IS optimal and holds some fascinating medical properties, formula is NOT poison and NOT comparable to a bloody fast food meal!

Boobers should NOT have to cover up, or feed in a disgusting shit infested toilet cubicle. Vile, really. People need to educate themselves about breastfeeding because some of the things said about boobing are insane. Boobs are awesome and fascinating, and if you have an issue with them, YOU are the problem!!

Tubers should be treated with far more grace and empathy.

How you choose to feed your child is a mothers prerogative, your choice, 100%.

We don’t have to justify ourselves to anyone.

Please, mamas, let us all show support and empathy for each other, no matter our different circumstances. If you see someone being attacked for their choices, show them some love – don’t fan the flames of ignorance and bullying.

We are scrutinised and criticised any way we feed our babies, it feels like fighting a losing battle. The sooner we all recognise this and use it as a way to come together as mummies and as strong women, the greater our odds are of making an impact and changing societal perceptions for the better.


Thank you for reading – I appreciate that this is a sensitive topic, one which we really need to tackle with empathy and kindness.

Love from Katie! xx

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