LoloStock/Fotolia

10 Ways To Respond When People Ask If You're "Still" Breastfeeding

By
Share
Ad failed to load

From the moment you get pregnant, the incessant questions start — about your body, your birth plan, your baby, and of course, about breastfeeding. The inquiries don't end when you give birth, either. In fact, in my experience, they get worse. It seems like whenever someone finds out that you have a baby, they have to ask if you are still breastfeeding. I heard this question after all three of my babies were born and hundreds of times, from men, women, other moms, curious strangers in the check-out line, co-workers, family members, and well, you get the idea. I am so done answering it. So done you guys.

Why does it bother me? Well, mostly, I think, because it is so hard to figure out how to respond, especially when the person asking me something so person is a relative stranger. If you say "yes" people generally give you unsolicited advice, or worse, they judge you for breastfeeding, especially if your child is older than a few weeks old. If you answer "no" people ask you why, tell you how sorry they are, or shame you for formula-feeding. So yeah, us moms can't win.

How I feed my baby is a personal choice — and one that involves my breasts — so it's not something I feel like discussing with many people, and certainly not if I am not the one bringing it up. It's really none of their business, and it almost always ends with them asking me to justify my choices. Besides, it honestly hurts when people ask, because for me, at least right now, the answer is "no," but not for lack of trying. As a mom who struggled with undersupply, and who has a baby with food allergies, I couldn't breastfeed even though I really wanted to. So, we switched to formula and haven't looked back. So, when people ask me if I am still breastfeeding, I feel like I have to explain my medical history or tell my breastfeeding saga to a perfect stranger, and it almost always followed by a request for more information or a comment like, "that's too bad," or "you can try again next time."

Ad failed to load

I am tired, so tired, and not just because my baby hates sleep. So, I came up with a few responses to have on hand for next time someone asks me if I am still breastfeeding.

Ad failed to load

"Why Do You Ask?"

Giphy

Why do you want to know? Because, honestly, your intentions will impact my response. If you are asking me so you can shame me, insult me, or give me unsolicited advice, I will probably respond with sarcasm or vitriol. If you are asking to make conversation, I might reply no and move on with my day, but you really should get some new material. However, if you are trying to be mean, you might just find that you are messing with the wrong mama.

"That’s Personal"

As a mom who suffers from undersupply, and has a baby with food allergies, I would rather stab myself in the eye than have to explain my medical history and tell the long drawn-out story of our breastfeeding journey to one more person. Please don't ask.

Here, I'll make you a deal: I will you tell you our story, if you tell me about your last orgasm.

"No, I Prefer Wine"

Giphy

Sometimes sarcasm is the best medicine. Seriously.

Ad failed to load

"No, My Breasts Are Here For My Pleasure"

I love my breasts, especially in the bedroom, and I am not ashamed. So yeah, asking how I use my breasts is not only personal, it's a pretty inappropriate topic of conversation in most settings and with most people. It's my body, it's my baby, and it's none of your business.

"Why? Do You Want Some?"

Giphy

I really only use this one when people are being assholes. I mean, there's nothing like being offered a snack to stop a busy body in their tracks. Don't think I won't do it. I am a mom, people, so I am way past shame when it comes to my body or the way I feed my baby.

"We Use Formula"

Sometimes, especially if it's a new mom or mom-to-be asking, I will tell people that I use formula. Mostly because it's flipping awesome, and so few people talk about it. I spent my first maternity leave crying in the formula aisle, thinking I was a bad mom because I couldn't breastfeed exclusively, when it was so not true. Formula is amazeboobs. Seriously.

Ad failed to load

"No, My Baby’s Allergic"

Giphy

If I think someone might benefit from hearing my story, or they are facing similar challenges to mine and need to hear someone say it's OK to stop breastfeeding, I will go ahead and tell them the truth. We have got to start normalizing formula as something good moms (and dads) use to feed their babies, and I am glad to do my part.

"What Makes You Think I Ever Started?"

There's always this underlying assumption that everyone has to "try breastfeeding" and fail before switching to formula, and always with their head hanging in shame. That is so messed up. Formula-feeding is a choice, and as equally good a choice as breastfeeding. Besides, no one has to breastfeed. In fact, they don't even have to try.

"No"

Giphy

No is a complete sentence. You don't owe anyone any explanations about why you are or are not "still" breastfeeding. It's none of their freaking business.

Ad failed to load

Nothing. Just Say Nothing.

Sometimes when people ask me if I am still breastfeeding, and I don't feel like getting into it with them or making a snarky comeback, I simply stare in their general direction, as if to say, "I can't believe you just asked me that." I am not sure, because I haven't checked with anyone, but I think they hear my message loud and clear.

Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}