Breastfeeding is the most natural and nourishing way for a mom to bond with her baby. Unfortunately, despite the countless health benefits, some moms become targets for breastfeeding criticism. Whether you chose to breastfeed in public or believe extended breastfeeding is best for your toddler, we’ve got the tools to help you overcome common breastfeeding criticisms.
Keep the benefits of breastfeeding in mind
The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life and then continuing to breastfeed as long as it’s mutually beneficial for mom and baby. Why is that? Because the list of breastfeeding benefits is incredible, including boosting your baby’s immune system, preventing many common diseases, and helping to reduce your risk of some cancers – it doesn’t get much better than that! So, when you feel discouraged, know you are truly providing the best nutrition possible for your baby.
Find a response that represents you
If someone chooses to confront you about your breastfeeding decisions, you have many options for how you can respond. But always choose a response that represents your family and makes you feel comfortable. Looking for some suggestions for responding to breastfeeding criticism? How do these sound?
- Give them the facts. Some people are unaware of the health benefits of breastfeeding and could be open to learning more. So, throw out your favorite benefit of breastfeeding the next time you face a challenge.
- Ignore them. You know what works best for your family, so don’t feel like you have to justify it to others. If you don’t feel comfortable responding, don’t.
- Talk about the demands of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a serious time commitment and sometimes the needs of your baby come when you’re not in the comfort of your own home. So, try telling critics how often you have to breastfeed. Or, let them know that Lactation Consultants recommend breastfeeding 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period. That’s a long time to stay in private.
Support is key for breastfeeding success. Surround yourself with people who support your breastfeeding goals and desires. They’ll not only be a great resource when times get tough, but can also help you manage breastfeeding criticism from others. Bounce response ideas off of them, or just reach out to them when you’re frustrated with negative opinions. If you’re looking for a larger support system, consider joining a breastfeeding support group. Talk about a group of caring people!