Breastfeeding is an experience entirely unique to motherhood and, as such, seems to have a veil of secrecy attached to it, to a degree. I think there is probably more reliable information out there about, let's say, going into labor, than there is about what breastfeeding is really like. So, honestly, it's not surprising that there are so many things breastfeeding moms hear from non-mom friends can be strange and annoying and even hurtful and usually unnecessary that, well, we'd all love to never hear again.
I'll admit that most of my non-mom friends were actually incredibly supportive and sensitive to my choices regarding breastfeeding, and if there were times when they asked some of those potentially annoying and/or rude questions, I knew it wasn't malicious or vindictive. That said, when you hear these things often enough and even from the most well-intentioned of friends, it can be entirely too much. Being a new parent is hard. Being a new parent and trying to figure out breastfeeding can feel freakin' impossible, so having to answer yet another uninformed question, or smile and nod at another misinformed opinion, can make a new mom want to claw her own eyes out.
In short, if you're curious about the process of breastfeeding, educate yourself. There are plenty of resources out there to help you become a supportive friend to a new breastfeeding mom, and if you read up on those first, you will make your breastfeeding friend love you even more than she already does. In the meantime, take not of these 10 things breastfeeding moms are tired of hearing from non-mom friends, because motherhood is tough enough already.
"I Could Never Do That"
There's no question that being a mother can look a lot like being a superhero, as it requires you to give more of yourself than you thought was possible. I also believe that people underestimate what they're capable of, and when they say they could "never breastfeed," it definitely (usually) is an underestimation of a woman's abilities. Simultaneously, while this statement can appear to be something of a compliment, it really isn't. Well, not to a breastfeeding woman who is exhausted and in need of some body autonomy and probably wondering how she's continuing to sustain another human life with her body when all she really wants to do is sleep.
"How Much Longer Do You Have To Do This?"
There's actually no amount of time that I "have to" do any of this. Sure, there are recommendations, but most moms who breastfeed are doing so because it's their choice, not because it's a punishment.
"Doesn't It Hurt?"
This question always bothered me because I know that it's not supposed to hurt, but because of my many problems with breastfeeding, it often did hurt, at least in the beginning. Then I felt like I needed to defend myself for continuing to breastfeed which, you know, is never fun and not a way I wanted to spend my time.
"Once They Have Teeth, I'd Be Done With Breastfeeding"
Did you know that some babies are born with teeth? Oh yeah, that's a thing. For some reason, non-moms seem to associate teeth with being "too old" to breastfeed, but my son had five teeth by the time he was seven months old. He could barely sit up at seven months, so please don't tell me he's too old to breastfeed at that point.
"Don't You Miss Having Your Body To Yourself?"
When you become a mother, one of the things you give up is your body. (And I'm only kidding a little bit about that.)
"Shouldn't Your Baby Be Eating Cereal Or Something By Now?"
Babies don't just magically start eating three square meals a day when they begin to eat solids. Most moms continue to supplement with breastmilk for at least a few more months, even after they start feeding their babies solid food. It takes time for babies to be ready for and then adjust to, both physiologically and developmentally, a diet of solid foods when they've been used to nothing but liquids.
"If I Have A Baby, I'm Definitely Feeding Them Formula. Breastfeeding Is Just Weird."
Your body, your choice. I completely respect your decision to use formula. However, could you maybe refrain from sounding a bit judgmental when you say that breastfeeding is gross? You'd be surprised just how totally not gross it is, especially when it's your own baby.
"Ugh, You Must Feel Like A Cow When You're Pumping, Huh?"
Oh, this is my favorite. I love it when anyone refers to me as a cow. I may very well feel like a cow when I'm pumping breastmilk, but if anyone who isn't a mom says this to me, well, I'll just let Queen Latifah take it from here.
"Hey, Are You Allowed To Drink That?"
"Don't You Feel Exposed, Not Covering Yourself Up?"
Umm, no? My body, my choice, my rules. Thanks for implying that I should somehow not feel OK with breastfeeding, though. Do you feel exposed when you eat in public?