Once you have a baby, your parenting choices seem to become public property that everyone feels completely entitled to have an opinion on.
That’s just what we need when we’re looking after a newborn.
But whether you choose breast or formula should be no one’s business but your own – after all you know what is best for your baby.
But that doesn’t seem to stop strangers commenting on women breastfeeding and saying things that you really have no place to be saying.
So if you have any doubts about what to say when talking to a breastfeeding mum, take a look at the things that you really ought to leave out of the conversation…
1. We Have No Space For You To Feed
Lynda Mazzalai Nguyen was attending a work conference at a hotel in San Francisco when she was refused somewhere private to use her breast pump (apart from the public toilets, which she decided seemed pretty disgusting or a wine cellar, which is just plain odd).
So she went ahead and did her thing right there in the hotel lobby. In front of all the hotel guests and staff: “Do not piss off a mama who knows her rights and is a social worker to boot!”
2. You Can’t Breastfeed In A Lingerie Shop
Despite a massive picture of a woman’s breasts being plastered on the walls to make money, this mum was stopped from feeding her newborn in a shop because it was ‘offending’ people.
Wittney Hope shared her story on Facebook after she was stopped from feeding by a member of staff: “As we were leaving the store I passed by this advertisement for bras. I mean seriously the lady’s face is not even in this. Why is it acceptable for a giant picture of BOOBS to be on the wall but I can not feed my child?”
3. You Shouldn’t Share Pictures Of Yourself Breastfeeding
TOWIE mum Sam Faiers is frequently criticised for her parenting of her son Paul, but when she shared a photo of her breastfeeding on her Snapchat, she faced a backlash from fans.
Devon Roberts said: “Sam Faiers Snapchat story WTF.”
Another person, Lucy Wilding, added: “Sam Faiers what are you doing on your Snapchat.”
Sam responded by continuing to share photos of herself breastfeeding. Ignore the haters.
4. Young Children Shouldn’t Know About Breastfeeding
A mum who shared a photo of her toddler playing at breastfeeding a doll in the supermarket was told by strangers online that the photo was “the nastiest shit” she’d ever seen.
The mum, who shared the story to the Breastfeeding Mama Talk page, said her daughter Charlotte was just copying her: “I do not feel the need to correct Charlotte because breastfeeding is wrong. She said her baby wanted to eat, so she fed her. Charlotte says she wants to eat, in public or not, I nurse.” 👑
5. You Need To Face The Wall If You’re Going To Breastfeed
After refusing to cover herself with a blanket while she fed (it was 91 degrees, 100% humidity, and she was at a water park surrounded by women in bikinis), one mum was told to face a fence while she fed.
Candace Garner Setosta was told that if she wouldn’t cover up, she would have to face away from other people at a fence: “At this point I was not very polite anymore. I said, heaven forbid we teach our children that breasts have a biological reason for being here.”
6. That Is F**king Disgusting
Jessie Maher, from Connecticut, was feeding her baby in a Target supermarket when she was verbally abused by a man across the shop: “That’s f**king disgusting.. You are nasty. You whore.”
Luckily other shoppers and members of staff quickly came to her defence, not to mention she shouted back at him to “leave her the fuck alone”.
Don’t mess with a mummy.
7. You Are Making Men Uncomfortable With A Sexual Act
Darcie Pennington, was left shocked and upset after she was stopped from feeding her son Vincent whilst visiting her grandma in hospital.
During the visit a nurse approached Pennington and told her she needed to move to a private room because she was making male patients “uncomfortable”.
The 18-year-old explained: “Another nurse then came up and said they were protecting my dignity. I asked if dignity would need to be protected if I was feeding with a bottle? And I was told that no, because feeding with a bottle was not sexual.”
8. Isn’t Breastfeeding Easy?
For any mum, whether she chooses to use breast or bottle, nobody knows about the details of that choice but her.
Annie Ferguson Muscato explained how a stranger approached her a the supermarket, when she was buying formula because she can’t breastfeed, and said: “Breast is best.”
The mother responded with an emotional open letter, explaining that just because you see her buying formula doesn’t mean she didn’t want to breastfeed: “I know you think I must not care or I’m lazy, or maybe you were genuinely trying to be helpful and thought no one had ever told me the benefits of breast feeding.
“But, you are wrong. What I know that you don’t is that breast ISN’T always best. I know happy, healthy baby is best. I know FED is best.”