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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'

pianodoodle Sat 28-Sep-13 22:04:57

She saw another woman with a baby around the same age as hers and came over for a chat.

That's it really!

bumperella Sat 28-Sep-13 22:05:59

I like people ooh-ing and aah-ing over DD, and making conversation about her, but there are some questions that are too intrusive from a stranger and that's one of them.

humphryscorner Sat 28-Sep-13 22:06:05

Why would a stranger care about another random strangers babys feeding habit? Its nosey and judgy.

MissBattleaxe Sat 28-Sep-13 22:06:25

I think it's rude to be sarcastic when someone asks "Do you know what you're having?" They're only being interested. Some people know the sex of their baby and are dying to share it. Others need only say "we don't know" or "we're keeping it a surprise".

Honestly one of these days people will be too scared to make bloody small talk and what a sad day that will be.


usualsuspect Sat 28-Sep-13 22:06:37


Like a bit of drama do you?

deste Sat 28-Sep-13 22:07:08

I visited a friend last week who had a new baby. I asked if she was feeding her herself and she said yes. I doubt if she is losing any sleep over it.

beginnings Sat 28-Sep-13 22:07:46


As someone who is lucky enough to be breast feeding DD2, having breast fed DD1, I find that question ridiculous and try very hard not to use that phrase. Of course you're feeding your DD yourself. You're holding her and feeding her aren't you?

Drinkprunesbutstaynexttotheloo Sat 28-Sep-13 22:07:46

Am I only one who thinks worse for wear means drunk?
She may have been asking as she had something to share/ask about bf?
I do think it's a bit tactless but not badly meant.

pianodoodle Sat 28-Sep-13 22:08:08

I don't see it as an inappropriate question when it's a subject you might both have in common.

In this situation I wouldn't automatically think the worst of someone.

MissBattleaxe Sat 28-Sep-13 22:08:23

Why would a stranger care about another random strangers babys feeding habit? Its nosey and judgy.

The woman had a baby a similar age. When my DCs were babies I was very interested in other people's babies and all their habits and routines.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 28-Sep-13 22:10:01

Think that YABU. The lady was not to know that you're feeling a little over sensitive that you were unable to bf your dd.

This is standard talk amongst new mums IME, and something to get used to without feeling the need to have a sarcastic reply prepared.

breatheslowly Sat 28-Sep-13 22:10:46

YANBU - why would she want to know?

hettienne Sat 28-Sep-13 22:10:50

Why would anyone care about how a baby is fed?
Or how much it weighed?
How it sleeps?
If it's a boy or girl?

It's just small talk. People like babies, babies don't really have any hobbies or interests so you're limited in what you can ask about them.

FrussoHathor Sat 28-Sep-13 22:14:34

I agree it's the inability of strangers to talk aloud about breasts.

It is just small talk.

Bigger babies get, "ooh isn't he growing well" and little ones get "ooh isn't he dinky" and then they all get the "how much did he weigh"

After 3dcs I've realised that it doesn't matter what answer you give, or even if you make it up. They're a random stranger and they just want to coo over a new baby and not ignore you.

Jan49 Sat 28-Sep-13 22:15:56

I think she was just making conversation and sharing information because she has a baby too. She thought your baby was bigger than hers and wondered if it was due to difference in feeding. Though "are you feeding her yourself" as a euphemism for breastfeeding is the kind of thing I'd expect an elderly person to say.

When my ds was about 4 months old, a stranger told me he looked like he'd eaten a lot of steak as he was big. Actually we hadn't yet introduced solids and we're vegetarian.hmm

TheRinkyDinkPanther Sat 28-Sep-13 22:16:04

Thank you all for your replies, some of which are very helpful indeed. I know I am sensitive about being unable to nd following a traumatic birth (the preceeding massive baby comments prob didn't jolly me along either!). You have helped give me some perspective x

puntasticusername Sat 28-Sep-13 22:17:02

missbattleaxe I know, I just think it's a weird way to phrase the question - in fact, the first time it was asked I genuinely didn't know what the person meant - what's wrong with "do you know if you're having a boy or a girl?"?

I don't make a Thing out of it in order to rub people's noses in my random disagreement with their choice of wording, it's mainly just as a means of hopefully getting another laugh into the conversation - if it doesn't work I apologise and move swiftly on smile

Bringbring Sat 28-Sep-13 22:18:38

I would ask this question, but for different reasons than you have assumed.

My baby is breastfed, but on the 9th percentile. I have had endless pressure from hv about weight. I would be interested in your baby (because babies are cute) and to compare anecdata for weight gain. Yabu.

I hate the expression, but I wouldn't read too much into it.

I BF both of mine till they were 2.
Folks would say to me; "And are you still <hushed voice> Feeding Her Yourself?" and I would interpret that as "FGS put your boobs away you freak!"

And to be fair, before MN enlightened me, I'd kind of assumed that you decided when the baby was born whether to FF or BF, and that was that. It hadn't really occurred to me that you could try to BF and it not work out blush, so you should maybe make allowances for those not blessed with the power of MN...

Catnap26 Sat 28-Sep-13 22:18:59

I'm confused...are you upset about the way she asked you or that you weren't able to breast feed and the fact that she asked you hit a nerve?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.I do however understand if you feel upset about not being able to breast feed,I wasn't able to either, and people asking you about it is going to grate on you but it's all part in parcel of having a baby and chatting to other mothers.dont be so hard on yourself.

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

MissBattleaxe- it's the wording of the question that annoys me rather than the meaning behind it. I am very literal- the first time someone asked if I fed DD myself I honestly thought she was asking if me or DH did the feeds! 'Do you know the sex?' or 'Are you having a boy or a girl?' are both fine in my book.

teenyweenytadpole Sat 28-Sep-13 22:21:41

I think it's a feckin' stupid question as well...but I'm speaking as someone who tried (very very hard for weeks) to bf my firstborn without success. So no YANBU at all.

CrohnicallyLurking Sat 28-Sep-13 22:21:51

Mind you 'breast or bottle' used to annoy me too, DD was fed on expressed milk for a while and I never knew which answer to give!

Also, DD was born a bit early and just over 5lb, and people would come up and look in the pram and go, 'Oh what a lovely - oh my god, what a tiny baby! I've never seen a baby so small!'

And I would think, FFS, my baby is just the right size angry

People just have to be saying something, essentially. Don't worry about it overly.

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 28-Sep-13 22:25:24

yabu, I have asked this in the past and then thought better of it, but really I was only being interested. It's not loaded. Us mothers who have tried to BF love to see someone succeed. Really

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