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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'

Lexiesinclair Sat 28-Sep-13 21:45:52

I think you are being a bit sensitive. She was clumsy in her question so you would have been justified in saying 'yes I feed her myself, with a bottle'.
But nothing to get upset about really.

Annunziata Sat 28-Sep-13 21:46:22

I think YABU. It never bothered me to be asked.

AnotherWorld Sat 28-Sep-13 21:47:57

Yes YABU - a little over sensitive maybe?

phantomhairpuller Sat 28-Sep-13 21:48:17


louloutheshamed Sat 28-Sep-13 21:48:53

I just think people are making conversation and you are perhaps a little over sensitive because you didn't manage to bf. I bf both dcs but it also used to annoy me when people said this as I used to feel like they were using it as a euphemism like they were too prudish to say 'breast'.

The best reply I ever heard was on here:

Are you feeding him yourself? No I'm putting that task out to tender

JemR234 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:49:48

I think it's an unfortunate turn of phrase but people use it to avoid saying 'breast'. Like it's a swear word or something confused

But she sounds like a bit of a dick anyway so I wouldn't take any notice. Who tells a stranger their baby is massive FFS?!

CrohnicallyLurking Sat 28-Sep-13 21:50:26

I always get tempted to say 'no, I ask random strangers to do it'. But really, it's just one if those things people ask. Like during pregnancy it's 'is it your first?' and 'do you know what you're having?' (To which the correct response is 'well I was hoping for a giraffe!')

mercibucket Sat 28-Sep-13 21:51:21


its a way of avoiding saying 'breast', which for us uptight brits is a step too far

tbh theres not much to say about a baby: weight, sleep, feeding, thats it, so conversation tends to be a bit limited

my2centsis Sat 28-Sep-13 21:51:26

Yabu. This site really opens my eyes to how rude people can be. She was making conversation about your babies, trying to be nice and you have turned it into something spiteful

carolmillen Sat 28-Sep-13 21:51:44

YABU - I've asked that - just to make small talk really.

Rangirl Sat 28-Sep-13 21:52:06

YANBU I am sure it was said in a harmless way but it is a very tactless ? IMHO It would have upset me with my Dd (tried and failed bf but also with my DS ( bf to 1.2)

CoffeeTea103 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:52:31

You are massively overreacting? Working yourself up over this is silly.

HopLittleFroggiesHopSkipJump Sat 28-Sep-13 21:54:43

YANBU to be upset, but she isn't really being unreasonable to ask, as it is a very common question.
Prehaps she could have worded it better (eg. Does she have formula or breast milk) but if you're still feeling upset about it, I'd guess that would upset you a bit too?

As you said, she looked worse for wear, she was probably tired and not thinking about what she was saying. I did a much worse thing the other day, mistook a little boy for being a girl, then was so embarrassed when the mum said he was a boy, that I blurted out "really?" before hugely apologising. blush

Also you shouldn't feel sensitive about not breast feeding, in a few months time noone will even know and your baby will be exactly the same, and have the same bond with you etc. Yes breastfeeding is "preferential" but it's by no means vital or life changing! smile

Hassled Sat 28-Sep-13 21:55:19

You say you're sensitive about it - that's the issue you need to address, not what some random woman said. You have no reason to be sensitive about it - you tried and it didn't work for you, and what more could you possibly have done? And your baby is clearly thriving.

PacificDogwood Sat 28-Sep-13 21:55:25

YANBU to feel hurt - we all have our insecurities.

Having said that, I agree: it's shorthand for BFing avoiding the word <whispers> 'breasts' which people are a bit unreasonably squeamish about.
I quite often suffer from foot-in-mouth disease but never go out of my way to make people feel bad. I tend to avoid the feeding question myself, knowing it is such a minefield and emotionally fraught.

Tee2072 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:55:44

"Of course I feed her myself, she's hardly old enough to do it on her own!"


wigglesrock Sat 28-Sep-13 21:56:39

I think you're being oversensitive. It's just a turn of phrase, as other posters have said to avoid people saying breast - you know incase they die of embarrassment wink

I have formula fed all my kids and have been asked it lots of time, usually by women of my age, I never felt they were judging but I really couldn't give 2 shiney shites if they were.

hettienne Sat 28-Sep-13 21:57:01

I don't think it's rude. It just means, do you breastfeed?

Mojavewonderer Sat 28-Sep-13 21:57:49

I used to say 'no I have a wet nurse'. I did breast feed but it's no ones business really.
I do think you were being sensitive but I can understand why.

Wuxiapian Sat 28-Sep-13 21:58:13

She was obviously interested in your lovely family and making conversation.


puntasticusername Sat 28-Sep-13 22:00:53

When asked "do you know what you're having?", my preferred response is to deadpan "well, since the scans, we're reasonably sure it's a baby".

It gets about 50/50 laugh "you're right, silly question" and glare and unspoken "ffs, I was only asking".

OP, I can see why the question touched a nerve with you under the circumstances but I wouldn't worry about it - it doesn't sound to me as if she meant any harm.

pictish Sat 28-Sep-13 22:02:15


bumperella Sat 28-Sep-13 22:02:19

YANBU. I doubt anyone who asks questions like that has a neutral view on BF/FF. It's not just polite small talk, it's more loaded than that and it just goes over a line in being too personal for a stranger to ask.

humphryscorner Sat 28-Sep-13 22:03:01


I found this intrusive. I'm not a 'just talk to random strangers' type not like my bloody DGM

Some people are drawn to babies and think that they are public property. '' ah how old? wow what a big baby for their age? What did they weigh? <<whistles>> bet that hurt! bet you have to ff??''

maybe I'm just a irritable snappy fucker

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