to think 'do you feed her yourself' is a tucking rude and insensitive question?!

(122 Posts)
TheRinkyDinkPanther Sat 28-Sep-13 21:43:18

Random young woman in a restaurant who was a little but worse for wear came over to talk to my husband and I and our 4 month old this evening.. After exclaiming how large she is, massive in fact compared to her 3 month old (she is 50th %Ile for weight and height so hardly massive!) she then proceeded to ask if I 'feed her myself?' Am I alone in thinking this is a rude question to ask?! I am sensitive about it after failed attempts to breast feed but surely it's only a question you ask if you are judging the response?' Cheeky bitch. I wish I had said 'no. I rather prefer the method of hoping random strangers chuck her some scraps'

hettienne Sat 28-Sep-13 22:25:48

I think most people just aren't all that sensitive about how they feed their baby. So for those people they are just asking a perfectly ordinary, neutral question. I would have been no more offended to be asked about feeding than to be asked about birth weight or what kind of pram I had.

rallytog1 Sat 28-Sep-13 22:27:01

YANBU to feel the way you do. I know it's people's way of avoiding saying the terribly rude "breast" word, but's a very inelegant way of phrasing things and it's none of anyone's business how you feed your baby.

I think anyone who's failed to bf, for whatever reason, will understand why you feel the way you do. I feel judged by everyone all the time, but I know that 99.9% of that is actually in my head. So I sort of agree with pps who say you just need to suck it up. The sensitivity does fade in time and ultimately I think the majority of people who ask the question mean well and are just trying to make conversation, not judge you.

mysticminstrel Sat 28-Sep-13 22:27:06

I don't think YABU, OP.

It's a personal question to ask a random stranger. When I was pregnant with DD2 and had a c-section planned a lady at toddler group (who I had never told about my planned c-s) bowled over to me to ask me "why have you elected for a c-section then?"

It was none of her business.

It was not the business of a stranger in a restaurant to demand to know how your DC is being fed.

We all make our own choices - you know, if I was parking my car in a carpark I wouldn't expect a stranger to walk up to me and start asking me if it was petrol or diesel, whether it was a company car or private buy, if I'd bought it outright or had a car loan.

Whatever, just back off, nosey.

ZenNudist Sat 28-Sep-13 22:29:20

YABU you need to stop assuming people are judging you. I'm sure she didn't care one way or the other how you feed your dc. I always thought it was a very delicate way to ask if someone bf. admittedly not a turn of phrase I'd use.

Ds was properly huge & I always took the wow massive baby comments as compliments. I've often commented on the size of a baby but it never bears any resemblance to the medical charts. It's just my perception that a baby seems big or small. It's just something inane you say whilst cooing over a baby.

mysticminstrel Sat 28-Sep-13 22:30:10

"I'm sorry but I always ask fellow mothers if they are bottle or breast feeding and I always get it asked to me and really I find it a good ice breaker whatever the response."

It's just nosey! Respect when something is none of your business! Why would you need to always ask this? I find that very strange.

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 28-Sep-13 22:31:52

do you know what reading your OP again, you seem very mean and self absorbed. The woman who came to talk to you had a 3mo. Prob the first time she had been out in months and she came over to talk you after a few drinks to share some common ground as you both had new babies. But all you could do was think she was trying to put you down both about the size of your child and about BF'ding.

You really need to get a grip and see that there are other people out there besides yourself.

I would have been that friendly mum and I would hate that anyone thought badly of my attempts to share an experience

humphryscorner Sat 28-Sep-13 22:32:59

<<stands with mystical >>

NorbertDentressangle Sat 28-Sep-13 22:33:24

I used to hate being asked that too.

Not because I thought that it was rude or insensitive but because I thought it was a rather twee way of asking if you were breast feeding.

Like others I was desperate to say something along the lines of "No I just hand him/her over to any old random stranger to feed".

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 28-Sep-13 22:33:52

and the 'young woman who was a little bit worse for wear' is hideously loaded and judgemental. Why would you even mention that?

humphryscorner Sat 28-Sep-13 22:35:11

Wow funny that was a bit harsh.

The ' first time she had been out in months' is purely projection....

humphryscorner Sat 28-Sep-13 22:36:37

Funny I would have said ' she looked a bit pissed' is that any better?

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 28-Sep-13 22:59:59

yes it is purely conjecture, but she has a 3 month old child so most likely no that fee wide of the mark. To mention that she had had a few drinks however you say it is horribly judgemental in light of her circumstances.

In any other situation I might be a bit hmm if anyone asked me if I was BF'ding. On a night out by a fellow new mum, not at all, I would just see a kindred spirit

froken Sat 28-Sep-13 23:14:50

Yabu, it sounds like she was just being friendly.

I thought people telling you your baby was massive was a compliment?! I was very proud of my chunky baby it was like his special feature! He didn't have the bluest eyes or the longest eyelashes or tge most hair but he was certainly the biggest!

I assume she wasn't breastfeeding her baby as she was out without the baby and drunk whilst the baby was only 3 months old so it doesn't sound like she was judging your feeding choices.

Babies don't do much so there isn't much to talk about apart from how big they are, what they eat and their clothes.

humphryscorner Sat 28-Sep-13 23:17:40

funny if I was in a restaurant and a half pissed random stranger just wandered over and asked if I was feeding him myself I would be annoyed because..
1) I'm eating so go away
2) I don't like to have half pissed strangers sparking up a conversations with me. (Kindred spirit or not)
3) it's none of her business .

How I feed my child is my business, no one else's. People do not have the right to know if she is breast feeding. People are aloud to have private life's ....new mothers included.

These are my opinions like you have yours, but I thought your posts were attacking op and it was unwarranted.

Also many mothers leave their dc waaaaay before 3 months. My friend went to Glasto when her dad was 5 days old. Different strokes for different folkes.

humphryscorner Sat 28-Sep-13 23:18:31

Dd not dad!

humphryscorner Sat 28-Sep-13 23:20:40

People 'pump and dump ' if they want to have a drink froken.

Drinkprunesbutstaynexttotheloo Sat 28-Sep-13 23:26:22

You don't need to do that humpreys just wait for the alcohol to have passed out of your blood! (Though you may need to express some if your boobs are about to take off on their own like two swollen pinky ponks)

PurpleFairy3 Sun 29-Sep-13 08:36:36

I've been asked this, it doesn't bother me really - some people just don't like to say "breastfeeding" I have no idea why.

You can't win either way to be honest - if you bf in public you get some dirty looks (speaking from experience even though I use a sling), if you ff there will be those people asking "Oh aren't you breastfeeding?" Everyone's got an opinion. Just carry on doing what you're doing and smile.

beepoff Sun 29-Sep-13 09:00:01

She probably missed her baby when she saw yours and thought she'd come over to coo at yours.

YABU to call her a bitch when she was just trying to make friendly conversation. But I understand how feeding is an emotive thing for some people.

Maybe she FF and wants to know if her baby will get lovely and big like yours. Maybe she BF but is stressed and worried her baby is too small. Maybe she is struggling to BF and wants assurance from another mum that it's ok to FF, or to encourage her to continue to BF.

The fact is we should be supportive of each other as there are enough people out there already pulling new mums down.

humphryscorner Sun 29-Sep-13 10:27:48

drink mine resembled veiny crunchy bowling balls! No one ever warned me off that!!

Loa Sun 29-Sep-13 10:58:04

If someone at a toddler group I'd had a few conversations with said this - I'd think it was small talk about babies and read nothing into it.

If a stranger I hadn't initialed in conversation comes up in a public place- comments in such a way as to come across bit judgmental about babies size then asked this I'd be wtf and be a bit annoyed.

Maybe I'm odd though.

I bf 3 DC - and I hate the negative comments about bf but I also hated a lot of the supportive comments that drew attention to what I was doing.

Fair enough if I was looking bit unsure or dealing with or ignoring negative comments - but most of the time I just wanted to get baby fed not have everyone stare at me however supportive they believed they were being. Especially when it happened week in week out at same locations and same groups.

DoJo Sun 29-Sep-13 11:56:42

It's just nosey! Respect when something is none of your business! Why would you need to always ask this? I find that very strange.

Because babies only do three things, and asking about the state of their nappies is generally considered a bit TMI. Nobody's asking with the intention of opening a file on your feeding preferences, they are just making conversation about one of the only things there is to say about a baby, so nobody will care if you lie and in fact that is preferable to some of the mean spirited sarcasm on this thread. As this thread has revealed, even referring to something completely neutral and patently obvious such as their size can be offensive, so what else are people supposed to say? It's just small talk. People are trying to be nice and engage you in a conversation about the baby which they rightly recognise is the very centre of your world. If you are looking for reasons to be offended then you are the one who is rude.

pigletmania Sun 29-Sep-13 12:07:40

Yabvu and Overeacting. It's good that bf should be out in the open, it's good to talk about it

NotYoMomma Sun 29-Sep-13 12:12:45

I would reply that I am fostering independence and teaching her to scavenge.

I would then probably just tell them that I ff and it was the perfect fit for my family

Loa Sun 29-Sep-13 12:29:56

Because babies only do three things,... they are just making conversation about one of the only things there is to say about a baby,

Really? I don't think I've ever asked how a baby was fed of a complete stranger. Possibly I might have asked in group conversion in baby/child environment where a feeding discussion was in progress with other parents but not outside of that.

Surely you say nice things about hair, eyes clothes, smiles, possibly comment's about sleep, possibly how they'll be on the move soon are they rolling yet.

I don't think I ever walked up to a stranger in a restaurant said your babies is very big what are you feeding them.

I do think the OP is perhaps bit oversensitive - but I don't think the womans behavior was 'normal' certainly not what I've experienced or how I'd talk to a stranger.

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