How do you handle random people who ask if you're breastfeeding?

kimberf

Loves the Lindy!
O.G.
Mar 8, 2007
4,078
2
California
What do you say to random strangers -- people you will never see again -- who ask you if you're breastfeeding? Do you answer? I had a kitchen showroom woman today ask me, and I was honest and said that "We're trying, but it's a struggle." I got lectured on how we really must, and about 15 minutes of unsolicited advice and stories about her experience and her family members' experience.

I'm sure I wouldn't mind if we weren't having such a tough time breastfeeding (emergency c-section, early baby, little, couldn't suck at first, low milk production, but we're still trying and working on it!! Back for my 6th lactation consultant visit next week, have been to two consultants, have tried nipple shields, SNS, 2 pumps, etc.) But since we are, I was not only uncomfortable that a stranger would ask, but was also pretty upset at the advice.

Should I just say, "Yes, I am" next time (since I am, I'm just having to supplement with formula), and hope it gets left at that? Or should I actually say that it's an odd question to be asked by a stranger, since to me it is a little bit too personal to be asked by someone random?
 

dachlostar

Member
Jan 25, 2008
152
0
You could just tell them you lost your nipples in a terrible accident....
I think it's a pretty personal question to ask a total stranger so people who ask it deserve to get the brush off or a stupid answer.
Good luck with your BF journey - it does get easier....
 

Danica

Member
Feb 5, 2006
9,480
4
the forest dim
I agree it's really none of her business. I am sure she didn't mean anything by it, however I think it would be easiest to just tell her yes and try to change the subject.
 

Mrs. MC

Member
Dec 4, 2007
4,056
0
I cannot stand people who do this. People who feel like it is their mission to coerce random strangers into breastfeeding. I feel like these people are very politically motivated and often overstep their boundaries and I am going to stereotype here because these seem to be the people that I constantly encounter living where I live. Breastfeeding fanatics,cloth diapering (until they realize how truly inconvenient it is to their lives) but then they pay more for the non bleach better for the environment ones, "mothering magazine" subscribing,goat milk drinking,never get plastic bags at the grocery store, wicked expensive stroller buying,organic cotton only,taking their kids to "Pox parties" instead of immunizing them, therefore putting society at risk These people have made rearing children way more expensive and ridiculous for themselves than it is already AND they feel like they have to throw it in your face at any opportunity they get. Just do what you feel is right for you and your family and ignore these people.
 

kimberf

Loves the Lindy!
O.G.
Mar 8, 2007
4,078
2
California
I cannot stand people who do this. People who feel like it is their mission to coerce random strangers into breastfeeding. I feel like these people are very politically motivated and often overstep their boundaries and I am going to stereotype here because these seem to be the people that I constantly encounter living where I live. Breastfeeding fanatics,cloth diapering (until they realize how truly inconvenient it is to their lives) but then they pay more for the non bleach better for the environment ones, "mothering magazine" subscribing,goat milk drinking,never get plastic bags at the grocery store, wicked expensive stroller buying,organic cotton only,taking their kids to "Pox parties" instead of immunizing them, therefore putting society at risk These people have made rearing children way more expensive and ridiculous for themselves than it is already AND they feel like they have to throw it in your face at any opportunity they get. Just do what you feel is right for you and your family and ignore these people.
LOL! Easier said than done, as I live in the SF Bay Area. I think we originated most of these things... At least I'm not in Berkeley (no offense to anyone who is, just referencing the likelihood of running into mommie activists.)

I think from now on I'll just smile and say yes....or if I'm feeling mischievous, well up with tears, let out a sob, and use the nipples lost in freak accident story. I was just so caught off guard getting the lecture from this woman.
 
Dec 14, 2005
7,818
6
USA
I just say yes. But be prepared, you will encounter unsolicited advice for the next 18 years.lol. When someone comes off to me as know it all ish, I immediately tune them out and just smile and nod.
 

shopdoc

More B-Bags Please!
O.G.
Jun 19, 2007
1,664
0
Boston
I just say NO I am not going to breastfeed. I love my baby and I need to consider what is right for her and not what random strangers expect from me. I don't care if they think I am selfish or if they think I am a terrible mother.
I wasn't breastfed and I love my mom to death and I am doing just fine. So, let them think what they want to think and say what they want to say.
 

kittenslingerie

Go Saints!
O.G.
Aug 25, 2006
6,075
157
I would just say, "that's a really personal question and I'd really prefer not discuss it with a stranger, I''m sorry no offense", then I'd just go about my business. Its a polite but obvious, not your business.
 

ms p

so blessed
O.G.
Jan 9, 2007
6,074
1,163
count me in. i'm too not doing well in BF so i think i can relate. whenever people ask me i'll just say partial. ((hugs)) stay strong, things will get better. i feel that most important is husband support & a healthy baby :yes:.

p.s. i had c-section after 2 weeks hospital stay, baby premature and nicu.
 

lara0112

MEMBER
O.G.
Dec 11, 2006
7,416
750
why would you even answer such a question? sorry but neither yes or no seems necessary or relevant to me, never mind giving lengthy explanations.

granted where I live this would be a big no-no anyways but getting a lecture from a total stranger? bad enough to get those from people around me, who constantly know better (either way I might add - I really don't care what other people do, except regarding immunisation. gotta agree with Mrs C there - that is really putting society at risk, never mind those small babies that cannot be immunised yet...)

I say don't even acknowledge the question next time - if someone is impolite enough to ask such a personal question, you can be impolite enought to ignore them IMO
 

AuthenticLux

Mom/Feminist/Veteran
O.G.
Feb 1, 2007
3,403
186
San Francisco
I hate when people do this. It's so annoying. Honestly, I don't know when the world decided that judging moms (one way or another) is perfectly acceptible. What happened to manners?
 

kimberf

Loves the Lindy!
O.G.
Mar 8, 2007
4,078
2
California
It is odd, isn't it? I think somehow being pregnant, or recently pregnant, just invites you into a whole world of commentary on your decisions that other things don't. I guess because people who have been through it feel like they have wisdom to impart. The pregnancy stuff didn't bother me as much, but somehow the breastfeeding questions do, probably because it's not going how I would have liked.

And totally OT, but AuthenticLux, I cannot believe how much hair your little guy has!!! Your picture is adorable, but I totally thought he was a year old in it!
 

sea0fyears

I’m just here for a good time.
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Nov 12, 2006
1,624
4
Arizona
I would just answer with a yes or no. Sometimes if another mother brings it up I go into more detail, but I'm always amazed how some people think that since they had children/siblings/pets they're entitled to give you instructions on how to raise your child.
 

HauteMama

.
O.G.
Sep 22, 2006
11,455
294
I generally just cocked an eyebrow and said, "THAT'S a personal question!" As long as it is said with a smile and you proceed with the previous conversation, the other person shouldn't be too offended (nevermind them asking you an offensive question in the first place!).

With my first son I also had issues nursing. We found out later - years later - that it was because he was tongue-tied. They used to check for it in the hospital, but then studies indicated that results rarely indicated a need to clip the frenulum. He just happened to be one of the rare cases where his frenulum held his tongue so tightly that he couldn't breastfeed and had speech impediments. We had his frenulum clipped when he was in kindergarten and I really wish we had known when he was a baby. 20/20 hindsight, of course, but if it had been done in the hospital he might've been able to breastfeed and might've been able to avoid years of speech therapy!

Sorry, threadjacking here...
 
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