One of the most difficult things I've ever done as a mother, by far, is attempt to breastfeed. When I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed, dreamed about how successful it would be, and planned my entire postpartum life around it. When it came time to actually do it, though, I experienced complications that prevented me from being as successful as I'd hoped, and ultimately, I had to stop. So believe me when I say I'm familiar with the basic rules for talking to someone who gave up breastfeeding, and absolutely believe that everyone should know then and abide by them. You know, for sensitivity's sake.
The decision to breastfeed is a deeply personal one. Whether you choose to give it a shot or to go straight to the bottle, every mom deserves those around her to respect whatever works for her, her baby, and her family. When I initially chose to breastfeed I weighed all the options, decided it was the best choice for my baby, and really gave it all I had. In the end, though, I couldn't anticipate my milk not coming in, or my daughter's inability to latch properly, or the pain, or the anxiety the entire process would cause. While I wish walking away from breastfeeding entirely wasn't a necessity, I felt such relief when we went to the bottle. It allowed me and my new baby the chance to finally bond — something we hadn't done during our breastfeeding woes.
As the result of my personal experience with breastfeeding, I learned that a lot of people don't know how to broach the subject of breastfeeding itself, or the choice to bottle feed for whatever reason. It's OK, because not everyone is perfect, but if you're unsure of what to say, or how to say it, think before you speak. Then take into consideration some of the following, very basic rules for talking to someone who gave up on breastfeeding, so you make sure you don't unintentionally judge someone for making the best possible decisions they could.