Friday, July 23, 2010

My response to all the stupid comments I've never received

I have been very fortunate and have heard almost no stupid comments regarding breastfeeding directed at me. Either that or I'm oblivious - which is possible; sometimes hearing what you want to hear keeps the world a much nicer place. I always have the in-my-head response and then the real response where I censor myself. I guess that means I talk to myself. That's a good thing though; I wouldn't have any friends if I didn't. This is the only dumb exchange I really have had:

"You can't drink alcohol if you breastfeed." and "How do you have a life if you breastfeed?"
The snarky in my head response: "I'm not an IV and I like my life, thanks."

What I'd probably really say:"That's not true, you can drink in moderation when you are breastfeeding, like you should already only do when you have kids anyway. I already knew having a life would be redefined by having kids but I make it work. You can always make it work." *Confident smile*

That's it and it's really not that bad. But I know stupid comments about breastfeeding abound so today I asked all the "leakies" on our Facebook page to share some of the dumb things they've heard about breastfeeding. Suddenly, I wished I could have those idiotic statements directed at me just so I could reply. Below, my pretend response in all its snarky glory to all the dumb things people haven't said to me about breastfeeding. Thanks to my Facebook friends for the inspiration!

"Breastfeeding your baby is great but it should be done in private. It makes people uncomfortable, so could you do it in the bathroom?"
Snarky in my head response: "Stupidity spewing from your mouth like an overflowing toilet makes me uncomfortable, so could you do it in the bathroom?" *Sweet smile*

What I'd probably really say: "Oh, I'm sorry but I can't expose my baby to the disgusting germs of a bathroom while she eats. Do you know what people DO in the bathroom? Yikes, that's gross. By the way, did you know that the law here protects my baby's right to eat the normal way wherever my baby and I are permitted to be and it isn't considered indecent exposure to breastfeed? Yeah, so I'm not moving." *Sweet smile*

"You're going to kill your unborn baby nursing during pregnancy."
Snarky in my head response: "Where did you get your training in breastfeeding education again? You might want to ask for a refund because you totally got ripped off. I've heard people say that about sex too. Crazy, right?"

What I'd probably really say: "Awww, thanks for your concern." *Look touched, look touched... don't hit them*

"You have to drink milk to make milk."
Snarky in my head response: "Wow, that line is still going around? Don't you kind of wonder how cows do it then?"

What I'd probably really say: "Actually, that's a myth but thanks anyway." *Smile*

"After 6 months your milk spoils."
Snarky in my head response: "Is THAT why they take dairy cows out and shoot them when their calves are 6 months old?"

What I'd probably really say: "Interesting. That's not what The World Health Organization or The American Academy of Pediatrics say. I'll have to look into that, thanks." *Insert fake cheesy smile here*

"After 6 months/1 year/2 years your breastmilk is nothing more than water."
Snarky in my head response: "Do you think that's true for cows too? Boy, have we all been fooled by those dairy farmers and scientists! I'd love to see the research information you have on that. I've only read studies with dramatically different results but you should hurry and tell the World Health Organization, The American Academy of Pediatrics and millions of moms around the world that they've got it all wrong!"

What I'd probably really say: "Oh, that's not what I've heard, do you have some information on that I could read?" *With a smile, as always.*

"If you breastfeed her too long you'll turn her gay."
Snarky in my head response: "Wow. I don't even know what to say to this. I really don't. How STUPID do you have to be to even think this?"

What I'd probably really say: *Pause, long pause* "I'm really not sure how to respond to this on so many levels." *Thinly veiled disgust*

"If your newborn baby nurses too much it's a sign of breastfeeding syndrome."
Snarky in my head response: "Say what?"

What I'd probably really say:"Say what?! Uh... I've never heard of that before but I do know that newborn babies nurse often because their stomach is the size of a walnut." *Very, very confused look on my face.*

"Nursing a bigger baby must be hard work, why don't you give them a bottle to make it easier on yourself?"
Snarky in my head response: "Hard work is coming up with a response to that logic, breastfeeding is a lot easier than that."

What I'd probably really say:"Funny, but I breastfeed because I'm too lazy to make a bottle and wash it!" *too loud forced fake laugh here.*

"Breastfeeding is overrated."
Snarky in my head response: "Ooooh! I wonder who's profiting from me breastfeeding? Oh... wait... The formula companies sure do wish everyone believed that! Hey... do you work for Nestlé?"

What I'd probably really say: "Huh, that seems strange considering it's only natural to breastfeed. Who is overrating do you think?" *Lean in with feigned interest*

"Isn't that baby taking a bottle yet?"
Snarky in my head response: "Haven't you learned any manners yet? And why are you asking this exactly?"

What I'd probably really say: "Nope! Isn't that awesome?" *Proud mama smile*

"But my son won't be able to bond with his baby if you breastfeed!"
Snarky in my head response: "Oh, don't worry. I've promised he can change every diaper!"

What I'd probably really say: "Oh, don't worry. I've promised he can change every diaper!" *Vomit-worthy sugary smile*

Really, my MIL is great and a big supporter of breastfeeding so I'm not real sure but I really do think I'd say that just because I wouldn't be able to censor myself in time.

"I'm all for breastfeeding, but I wish you'd give your 3 month old a bottle of breast milk so we could babysit while you two go out."
Snarky in my head response: "What, so I could pump on my date with hubby? I don't think so!"

What I'd probably really say: "Oh, you're so sweet but we're ok for now. Would hate to screw up my supply and all that. You can watch the other kids though and we'll take her with us, thanks!" *Big hug*

"Breastmilk makes babies too fat."
Snarky in my head response: "I think you've gotten breastmilk confused with McDonalds."

What I'd probably really say: "Actually, did you know that breastfeeding greatly reduces a child's chance of obesity later in life? Everything they get from their mother's milk is the exact, perfect, customized concoction for what they personally need at that time, no such thing as getting too fat on it. Isn't that cool?!" *With a little too excited tone and slightly crazy look in my eyes*

"Breastmilk makes babies starve."
Snarky in my head response: "Makes you wonder how the human race survived, doesn't it?"

What I'd probably really say: "Baby is looking good to me but I'll be sure to keep an eye out for starvation." *Avoiding eye contact so I don't stick my tongue out at them*

"Breastfeeding is incest."
Snarky in my head response: "Would you say that to Jesus? I mean, really? Or how about Ghandi? Because they were breastfed. Obviously you've never breastfed because only an ignorant person would say something like that."

What I'd probably really say: "I don't want to be mean but since you already have been... are you just saying that so you feel better about not breastfeeding or for objectifying women and only seeing them for your personal sexual pleasure? Because breastfeeding isn't illegal and is recognized as the normal, best way to feed a baby but what you just said is sexual harassment." *I wouldn't say it but I'd be thinking it: FU*

I might say it.

Breastfeeding an older baby/child is just spoiling them."
The snarky in my head response: "Yep, it sure is. That's why she's so sweet, confident, and full of love; because I'm spoiling her. Listening to you talk has totally spoiled my manners though: shut-up."

What I'd probably really say: "At least it's not candy and won't hurt them, haha!" *Silly, knowing smile*

"Your partner won't find you attractive any more if you breastfeed."
The snarky in my head response: "When did you get into my partner's head to know what they think about this? And if it is true, then my partner is an a-hole and not the person I thought they were and we have way bigger problems. He should have thought about that before getting me pregnant."

What I'd probably really say: "Really? Hmmmm, I'll have to ask him about that."

And an extra for if they said that to me now: "Yeah, that's why we have 5 kids and I've breastfed them all. Obviously he thinks I'm repulsive and never touches me, I just get pregnant when I wash our clothes together." *Rolling eyes*

"Are you STILL doing that?"
The snarky in my head response: "No, it's just a figment of your imagination. Ooooh look, flying monkeys!"

What I'd probably really say: "Looks like it!" *Laugh- idiot*

"Breastfeeding is dangerous because you can't tell if they are getting enough."
The snarky in my head response: "For some people, thinking is dangerous and opening their mouths even more so. You never know what will happen when stupid things come flying out."

What I'd probably really say: "You think so? I guess the real miracle is all those babies that survived on their mother's milk before there were bottles, huh? It can be tricky to tell but babies eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. You know what's really funny, there are actually people that think breastfed babies get too fat! I know, right!" *Real laughter at my own cleverness*

"It's unnatural to breastfeed a baby past 6 months."
The snarky in my head response: "Crap, somebody should have told my kids that!"

What I'd probably really say: "Is it? I wonder why that is?" *With wide-eyed innocence*

"Don't give your baby formula if you want to keep breastfeeding because the baby won't like your breastmilk any more."
The snarky in my head response: "Dude, have you tasted formula? Or even just smelled it? Not going to be a problem."

What I'd probably really say: "Thankfully I don't have to worry about that." *Polite. Just... polite*

"I don't breastfeed. I like to spend time with my other children and do not want them to feel left out."
The snarky in my head response: "So what other things will you not do for your new baby so you don't take time away from your other kids? Change diapers? Make a bottle?"

What I'd probably really say: "What a wonderful commitment you have to your children! I find breastfeeding to be a huge time saver personally. I just figure it out. Every new baby changes the family dynamic and it's important for us to let it happen. We all grow together caring for the new little one in our unique ways. Plus, my big girls love seeing me nurse their new sister and hearing the stories of when I breastfed them. It really has brought us closer together." *Genuine*

"If you don't want your b@@bs to hurt you should stop breastfeeding."
The snarky in my head response: "If I don't want my head to hurt I should stop being around you."

What I'd probably really say: "That's possible. But I've got a great LC working with me and we'll get things worked out. Thanks!" *Confident don't-mess-with-me smile*

"Breastfeeding just isn't worth the headache."
The snarky in my head response: "You know what's not worth the headache..."

What I'd probably really say: "It is to me. Formula feeding and bottles are an even bigger headache since I can't keep up with the dishes as it is." *With head nod.*

"Ewwww, that's gross!"
The snarky in my head response: "Poop is gross. Used condoms at the park are gross. McDonald's is gross. People saying stupid things is gross."

What I'd probably really say: "Seriously? Wow, you're rude AND uneducated. I can think of a lot of things that are gross and breastfeeding isn't one of them." *Pissed off attitude.*

""I would NEVER breastfeed, I don't wanna be close to my kid like that, plus my husband has to do SOMETHING!"
The snarky in my head response: "I wish I could be a fly on the wall when your kid is bigger and asks you one day if they were breastfed. How do you nicely say 'I didn't want to be that close to you' to your own kid?"

What I'd probably really say: "My husband does tons and I breastfeed. Actually, after the first few weeks, I have it easy compared to him" *Avoiding eye contact until the very end with a little smile.*

"You can't BF in the heat cause your milk will come out hot."
The snarky in my head response: "OMG, I never thought of that! Do you think I can make my milk boil inside me?"

What I'd probably really say: "Pretty sure it would come out around 98.6 degrees no matter the outside temp." *Stifling a laugh and probably not very well.*

"Babies don't like the taste of breastmilk."
The snarky in my head response: "Poor things, having to suffer like that. LOL!"

What I'd probably really say: "Have you ever tasted breastmilk? I have, and it's super sweet. My babies sure seem to like it." *Confused expression, very confused*

"Why don't you just give her a bottle?"
The snarky in my head response: "No. Why don't you just mind your own business."

What I'd probably really say: "Why go to all that trouble when I have everything ready right here?" *Raised eyebrows*

"If he's eating all the time it's because you're starving him and you don't make enough milk."
The snarky in my head response: "OR it's because he's hungry and is establishing a good supply of my milk since that is how this whole system works in the first place."

What I'd probably really say: "It's a supply-and-demand system and he totally gets that. He's not starving." *Do not make eye contact to avoid shooting them a birdie*

"You shouldn't breastfeed in front of children."
The snarky in my head response: "Blindfold the babies, blindfold the babies! They might see b@@bs are for breastfeeding and totally ruin their idea of women as sex objects!"

What I'd probably really say: "I don't understand, why would it be bad for them to see a baby breastfeed?" *Disbelief.*

"If you don't make him stop he never will" and "If you breastfeed past a year they won't know how to eat real food."
The snarky in my head response: "OMG, THAT'S why my brother wanted my mom to go with him to college!"

What I'd probably really say: "I really don't think that's going to be a problem" *I would laugh, I wouldn't be able to help myself*

"If you breastfeed you can't eat bananas/cabbage/broccoli/chocolate/caffeine/soda/beans/spicy food/cucumbers/tomatoes and who knows was else."
The snarky in my head response: "Great! I can eat french fries all day!"

What I'd probably really say: "Depends on the baby. Some babies can handle anything their mothers eat. Most babies in cultures that eat spicy foods and such do just fine. A few will have an adjustment period and it usually isn't a long time or that complicated." *Smile- I'm educating them, I'm educating them, I'm educating them...*

"Once they have teeth you have to wean, it will hurt too much to nurse."
The snarky in my head response: "This is such a load of shit and I'm tired of hearing it. Honestly, it's not that big of a deal people!"

What I'd probably really say: "Sometimes they may bite but I've taught my other kids not to so I think I'll be ok." *Smile and nod, just smile and nod.*

"Breastmilk is inferior to formula because formula has vitamins in it."
The snarky in my head response: "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. That's even what the formula companies say right on their labels as required because 'closer to breastmilk' totally means that."

What I'd probably really say: *Laugh* "Oh, you weren't joking? Because I thought you were joking. Oh, well, let's see, how do I explain this... breastmilk is what formula want to be. The vitamins and stuff added to formula is just an attempt to get closer to breastmilk. Sorry I laughed, it just..." *laughing again*

And if any of those things came from a doctor or a nurse I'd say:
"Interesting." *Pause* "You're not my doctor any more. You're fired. Please stay away from me. Given your ignorance, I'm afraid you'd hurt me or my child and I'd hate to have to sue you." *Looking them straight in the eyes and deadly serious*


  1. I think you forgot "If you're not a fan of breastfeeding, then why on Earth do you read this particular blog?!? Just to make nasty comments that are in no way going to sway my opinions?!?...Wow...Congratulations on having all that free time."

  2. your spouse wont find you attractive???
    thank goodness!
    didn't want to be with that a-hole anyway!

  3. Oh, man, some of these make me want to scream. Great responses.

    I've only dealt with a few dumb comments over 4 kids, and I usually laugh.

  4. Oh my gosh I am laughing so hard!!!

  5. I had one friend ask me if I pumped milk and bottle fed the expressed milk, that I might not need the extra 500 calories a day to make breastmilk. Sadly she has her BA in Child and Adolescence Development.

  6. Some of these answers are great (although I prefer most of the ones in your head lol). But it's the questions that shock. I mean, really? I've only heard a few of them before. Ignorance is really sad.

    I wrote a while back on my blog about the African response to breastfeeding. You might want to check it out!

  7. Stopping by from SITS today. Several of these made me laugh out loud! I love the one about confusing breastfeeding with McDonalds! And the one about finding stupid comments offensive, and could they please do that in the bathroom. Great post!

  8. I always think to myself if they compare nursing to defecating or urinating then they have their orifaces mixed up and that's why they are talking out their arse!

  9. Right on! So funny - love the "I just get pregnant when I wash our clothes together"! When i had my ds the nurse tried to get me to give him a little bottle of formula IN the hospital! I said "No, I'm breastfeeding only ." She had the nerve to open it and set it up "just in case he gets hungry". Maybe she thought I was an idiot because I was only 20 but I knew more about bf than she did, obviously! I complained to the hospital about it and nursed successfully for a year until he weaned himself. Great post and I look forward to reading more (eve tho my youngest is 2.5 and done bf)

  10. Laughed my way through this! Well, laughed and growled. People are so stupid sometimes - but can they be blamed when that is all they've been taught and certainly all they see on most of the media! Great post

  11. have to add my own snarky response to "After 6 months/1 year/2 years your breastmilk is nothing more than water."

    "so... then you'd have no problem with me whipping out my tit and squirting you with my boob until you went away? It's only *water* after all, right?" *glares until they leave*

  12. Well said. Lots of those made me mad then giggle at your witty remarks.

    Sadly, the google button with ads for ABM (This time the formula culprit was Enfamil) left a sour taste in my mouth.

  13. Oh Jessica, I love you. Your witty responses had me cracking up, which was good because some of those questions made me furious, and some made me sad.

  14. My pediatric nurse practitioner said "We'll see what you do when he gets teeth" when I said I wanted to breastfeed until a year at least.

    Great support! ....not...

  15. the whole "don't give a breastfed baby formula" because they will stop liking the breastmilk thing cracks me up. I have had to suppliment(we had a stay in the NICU), and you should have seen the faces my son pulled when I gave him a bottle the first few weeks! It was like he was saying "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME!?!"

  16. Great post! I fed my dd until she was 22 months but sadly no-one ever challenged me about breastfeeding ;) Im now 30 weeks pregnant with my second. Maybe i'll have more luck this time!!!

  17. Seriously this made me crack up!! I am currently EBF'ing my 4th child and (luckily) have never really experienced any of these comments. My ex-MIL said to me (when I was prego with #2) "oh, you're going to try THAT again??". I politely said "no, I'm not going to try it, I'm going to DO it." The ignorance of some!

  18. I wish I had the nerve to give some of your snarky answers to my mother/grandmother in law. 1st baby wanted to nurse every hour: 'you've got bad milk, he's not getting enough nutritian' (yeah, that's why he's a 90% baby..) 1st baby still nursing at a year 'when are you going to wean that kid?!', 'he'll never sleep through the night if you don't wean him', 'he'd eat better if you didn't nurse so much' EVERY bloody time they saw me put him to breast. 2nd one if fussy/gassy 'you're milk is bad, you need to give her formula', 'have you told her doctor you're nursing? (When I reported the peds doc said just to wait it out) 'my kids all slept through the night, she would too if you stopped nursing her so much', 'somethings wrong if she's still eating that much' (another 90% baby) ugh! 2 days home from the hospital (living with them) and they tell my husband to tell me to cover up when I'm nursing. At. Home. Some people! (Can't wait to hear the comments when this one is still nursing at a 1+, 2+!)

  19. Ugh. I am so bummed. I just moved to Las Vegas and the best pediatrician I could find made two of those ignorant statements. I can't help it: I have hate in my heart. We will only use him for emergencies (*grimaces*).

  20. I loved reading this! I will and do use snarky comments if some people are stupid enough to try to tell me what to do with my child! DD is 11mths so now obviously I'll be asked when I will stop feeding her. Well I'm prepared. Some people already start to look uncomfortable when I say I'll wait until I think she's ready, or let her wean herself off.

  21. Awesome. Thank you. :) Haven't heard any comments yet but it's early days (4months)

  22. I wish I had seen this when you were still looking for stupid comments people have made about breastfeeding. Shortly after my son was born my father in law actually called my husband and told him that he was a bad parent for letting me breastfeed our son because I would stunt his growth (he was a small baby 5 lbs 12 oz. and had trouble sucking at first and was slow to start gaining weight). Now he is 4 months and almost 11 lbs. and I am happy to say that we aren't speaking to my father in law and our son is still happily nursing!

  23. Thank you for brightening my day a bit. And giving me a few choice comments to use myself.


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