Fotolia

10 Breastfeeding Suggestions That Make Moms Want To Shoot Their Milk In Someone's Eye

Ad failed to load

Being a mom is tough work, and none of us manage it successfully unless we have some help. Unfortunately, some people think "helping" moms means "giving moms annoying unsolicited advice with absolutely no regard for whether it makes even the slightest bit of sense." Never is this more true than when it comes to breastfeeding, which is not only wildly misunderstood but usually stigmatized. Some friends, family, and even strangers offer the kind of misguided and unhelpful breastfeeding advice that can make even the calmest moms want to scream (or worse).

To all the expecting and new moms out there who are planning to nurse (or are already nursing) their babies; arm yourselves with knowledge, some mantras for breastfeeding moms, your best eye roll, and be ready to ignore pretty much everyone who comes up to you with unsolicited breastfeeding advice. If you're not in pain and your baby is wetting enough diapers, gaining enough weight, and meeting their milestones, you're doing well and you don't need to change what's clearly working for you. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, especially since as a new mom, a whole lot of other stuff in your life might feel broken.

Also, lactation consultants and other actual breastfeeding experts don't typically go around giving drive-by expert breastfeeding advice so, chances are, if someone is randomly trying to tell you your business while you're trying to breastfeed your baby, they probably don't have a clue what they're talking about.

Ad failed to load

“You Should Toughen Up Your Nipples To Get Ready Before Your Baby Comes”

giphy

Nope, nope, a million times, nope. "Toughening up" your nipples is 100 percent not a thing, and is probably the most ridiculous, cruel, and just downright stupid advice anyone ever dreamed of telling new nursing moms. The only preparation a mom needs to nurse successfully, is enough breastfeeding education to understand the basics of lactation, how to help their baby latch well enough to painlessly and effectively transfer milk, and how to recognize that suggestions like this are completely bogus.

“You Should Cover Up”

giphy

Nope. There's nothing wrong with moms and babies nursing openly, so if a mom doesn't want to cover, she doesn't have to. Also, some babies won't even tolerate a nursing cover. So to some moms, saying "Cover up!" is akin to saying "Either starve your baby, or don't leave your house until your child weans."

If you're someone who doesn't want to see someone else nursing, here's some good news: if you're like most people you were born with two nursing covers, positioned conveniently right over both your eyes, plus a neck and body that can help your head not look at things you don't want to see. Use them as often as needed.

“Don’t Be Ashamed And Take That Cover Off!”

giphy

On the flip side: us breastfeeding mamas get to decide our own comfort levels and modesty preferences (just like, you know, anyone else). If a woman is more comfortable covering her body because that's her preference, she doesn't need to uncover herself for any reason or to prove a point.

Basically, if you’re ever giving unsolicited advice to a nursing mom about how covered or uncovered her breasts should be, stop talking immediately and fix your life.

Ad failed to load

“Can You Go To The Bathroom And Do That?”

giphy

Do you eat in public bathrooms? No. So why should babies have to? Just mind your own business, people. It's really not that hard.

“After [Some Arbitrary Age], You Should Just Pump And Feed The Baby With A Bottle”

giphy

All of the nope to people who suggest "just" pumping because they think that it automatically becomes indecent to feed at the breast after six months, or a year, or whatever. "Milk breasts" don't suddenly expire and become "sex breasts" at some arbitrary point postpartum. Ditto for folks who think a baby teething automatically means they should be weaned. If a mom wants to wean then, that's her choice, but it's also very possible to nurse comfortably after a child gets teeth.

“You Should Pump To See How Much Milk You’re Making"

giphy

Nooooooo. New moms, please never, ever, ever do this. A pump does not remove milk as effectively as a baby who nurses efficiently. There are so many factors that can affect how much milk your pump can pull out, all of which make pumping an invalid indicator of your milk supply.

There are plenty of good reasons to pump milk: because you're separated from your baby (or are planning to be); because your baby slept through a feeding or didn't/couldn't nurse for whatever reason and your breasts are uncomfortable; and so forth. Trying to judge your milk supply is not one of those good reasons, and for most people it's a recipe to undermine your confidence (and potentially your milk supply, if you start stressing out or supplementing in response to unfounded fears about your milk supply).

Ad failed to load

“Just Pump” In General

giphy

Once and for all, there is no such thing as “just” pumping. "Just" doing anything implies that thing is easy, but expressing breast milk is hard for many women, particularly since a breast pump isn’t as effective as a healthy baby at removing milk. Sometimes, exclusively pumping is the best choice for a mom, but given the added inconvenience and challenges, it’s definitely not something to choose lightly.

Also, when people tell a mom to “just pump” simply because they’re uncomfortable seeing breasts used for their biological purpose, what they’re actually saying is, “Double or triple the amount of time you spend feeding your child because I’m ignorant and don’t want to mind my own business. Oh, and I’m not volunteering to clean and sanitize your bottles and pump parts, either, cause I don’t respect your time or convenience at all.” Sending a hard spray of milk and a silencing charm in these people’s direction.

“If You Want Your Baby To Sleep Longer, Give Them A Bottle Of Rice Cereal At Night”

giphy

OMG, no. If you don't see any signs that your baby is ready for solid food, they're not yet ready for solid food and they shouldn't be fed solid food in an attempt to get them to sleep longer. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and most other experts agree that babies should be exclusively breastfed for their first six months.

Also, unless a doctor has told you to thicken a baby's milk for a medical reason you really shouldn't, since it can be a choking hazard.

Lastly, a lot of babies under a year old just plain don't sleep through the night on their own, no matter what you do. It's a milestone they'll reach when they're ready, like walking or talking.

“That Baby’s Hungry Again? Just Give Them Some Formula.”

giphy

If a mom herself decides to formula feed or combination feed, those are both perfectly valid choices. However, if a mom has decided she prefers to exclusively nurse her child, this is bad advice that will sabotage her milk supply if she takes it.

Breastfeeding is a demand-and-supply process; the more baby nurses, the more milk mom makes. Telling her to feed a bottle of formula instead of letting her baby nurse when they need to, is effectively the same as telling her to confuse her body about how much milk it needs to make.

Ad failed to load

“You Should Get That Baby On A Feeding Schedule”

giphy

No. New mamas, unless you’d also like your baby to potentially be on a dehydration and malnourishment schedule, please let your baby be the one to decide when and how much they eat, not the clock (or some random person who clearly doesn’t know anything about breastfeeding).

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack