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What to say when confronted re breastfeeding ?

(42 Posts)
SpaceCowGirl Thu 07-Aug-08 16:38:23

I am Breastfeeding DD3, 11 weeks. I BF DS1 & DS2 for 19 months each but was useless when people made negative comments or made me feel uncomfortable BFeeding near them. I would never move into another room but just couldn't think of anything to say as I would be upset.
I am feeling more confident this time round. However I have an "Afternoon Tea" to attend (inlaws and friends of theirs) and I know I will be on the receiving end so would appreciate any suggestions of what to say when confronted (for this or any other situation)
Thanks x

lisad123 Thu 07-Aug-08 16:40:50

well your having your lunch, why should my baby wait!

bugger off you prude!

would you rather hold my screaming baby then??

ilovemydog Thu 07-Aug-08 16:43:12

what sorts of comments?

SpaceCowGirl Thu 07-Aug-08 16:45:23

LISAD123- Love that 2nd one ! They would faint !
Think I can use the 1st one.

ajm200 Thu 07-Aug-08 16:48:23

I got banished to the spare room by my MIL when my son was young. I spent most of Xmas day there. In the end it was easier than being around her even when LO wasn't feeding.

I got told to feed my son in the loos once. Asked the woman if she'd be grabbing her lunch and joining us... got told not to be so stupid... to which I replied DITTO and stayed put.

SpaceCowGirl Thu 07-Aug-08 16:49:51

Comments re still breastfeeding, or moving somewhere more private. They are mostly 55+ and for some reason think it wrong to breastfeed, especially in front of others.

ajm200 Thu 07-Aug-08 16:50:09

On a more constructive point, a wraparound or ring sling allows you to feed very discreetly so you can avoid many of the confrontations in the first place.

ajm200 Thu 07-Aug-08 16:51:20

It's a mums right to breastfeed but it isn't backed up by the law (yet!) I believe that might be changing though having read some info on another site, can't remember which though

onwardandupward Thu 07-Aug-08 16:52:06

I've really recently learned a wonderful response. It is the Mona Lisa response.

When people say challenging things about breastfeeding (and what the hell do they think they are doing when it's a 3-month-old baby, fgs?), I think it is worth quietly continuing to breastfeed, and breathe calmly, and just feel the tension. Because the person challenging you is the one with issues, and they are trying to tranfer their anxieties to you. So take time just to feel their tension, not to act on it, but being aware and conscious and fully present in the moment. It's not your tension, it's just crackling around in the atmosphere of the room. You don't have to engage with it in any way.

And when they have finished their rant, smile, like the Mona Lisa, and say "ah well, horses for courses, it's what suits us" in the tone of voice which signals clearly that the conversation is now over.

(I worked this out very recently as my new best option after not quite managing to stay disengaged, and taking the bait, and getting calmly defensive...)

bohemianbint Thu 07-Aug-08 16:53:43

Has the law just been changed in England - but only for women feeding children up to 6 months old? hmm Or is that still in the post? Scotland seems much more evolved than England on that score.

I actually used to use breastfeeding as an excuse to get me out of certain awkward social situations though (generally involving ILs. wink)

smallwhitecat Thu 07-Aug-08 16:54:43

Message withdrawn

bohemianbint Thu 07-Aug-08 16:55:52

I reckon it comes down to whether a woman did it herself or not, regardless of age. I came across some very judgey younger women as well. angry

ilovemydog Thu 07-Aug-08 16:56:18

I don't understand! What sorts of comments would be made in a family setting???

bohemianbint Thu 07-Aug-08 16:58:35

ilovemydog - my mum told me that my aunty had said that she hoped I would never breastfeed in public. And whenever I did feed DS out came the "bitty" cracks and the barely veiled disgust. Really charming.

Flossyjim Thu 07-Aug-08 17:00:55

I used to take a sarong out with me and drape over the baby and my shoulder. I never received any comments, just the odd stare. So I would stare back and smile, which makes them (the person staring) feel insecure and not yourself. If you feel confident enough to get your tits out, why shouldn't you? I thought in this day and age it would be perfectly acceptable to breastfeed in public, with a certain amount of discretion, of course. Brits are such prudes. Although, as SpaceCowGirl said, it does tend to be the older generation who will make comments.

SpaceCowGirl Thu 07-Aug-08 17:01:31

Yes, I don't think it is just their age as my family, all ages, are supportive. My MIL and her friends all FF (& there are 2 childless couples also) They look down on me as a Full time Mum and tell me they were "Career women"..hmm...
I have friends who do both (career and BF).

ajm200 Thu 07-Aug-08 17:03:23

You'd have to meet my MIL... she can find a nice but cutting comment about anything...

SpaceCowGirl Thu 07-Aug-08 17:07:13

ajm200- ditto

MadamePlatypus Thu 07-Aug-08 17:08:17

You see, I would take along a good book and some magazines, make sure that I had supplied myself with plenty of cake and head off somewhere else for some peace and quiet, leaving the IL's and their friends to entertain the older children. Maybe I would bring a lap top and some DVD's too. I always found it was in my interests to maintain a front of being very discrete infront of the IL's. Maybe I would bring a throw and some cushions so that I was extra comfortable. You could pop in every now and then to get more tea and cake.

This probably isn't much used to you is it?

Flossyjim Thu 07-Aug-08 17:09:20

I personally love seeing a mother breastfeeding her baby. I can't help but look over and smile and go "Aaaaahhh". Which probably makes the mother think "Oh eff off you weirdo!"!! Can't help it.....I love it, my boobs are tingling and I'm not even breastfeeding, my youngest is 3!

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 07-Aug-08 17:13:55

Ask them what their problem is, exactly.

ilovemydog Thu 07-Aug-08 17:14:41

Oh my god! That is really unbelievable!

I would go to the person I thought would make the most horrible remarks and say, 'you don't mind me breast feeding do you?' There is absolutely no way he/she will object!

Then if anyone mades snide remarks, you can say, 'but x said she didn't mind!' smile

Jackstini Thu 07-Aug-08 17:15:50

"I'm sorry, I must have misheard, I thought you were commenting on me feeding my baby?" accompanied by a bemused look.
"of course, only the best for my dd"
"aren't I lucky - she is such a good feeder"
"do I comment on your eating methods?"

Give us an idea of some of the comments too and we can give more direct responses.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 07-Aug-08 17:22:08

I still feel cross at being told I couldn't feed in a cafe once as it was "company policy."

TinkerBellesMum Thu 07-Aug-08 17:24:21

It is backed up by the law and has been since 1975. It's just that it's civil law and not criminal law. In a public situation ask them to bring the police in if they're not happy. When the police arrive you offer them a choice either they can tell the person with a problem it's their problem or they can move you on officially and give you the evidence you need to bring a civil suit...

As for family I would do what a PP has said, but I wouldn't leave the room. Busy yourself in a corner - drink, cakes and a magazine looking like you're not even in the room. If you need a top up ask your OH just looking up enough for him - let him know what you plan so he doesn't think you're being rude to him.

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