breastfeeding mom on public bus on her phone
profile picture of Liz Callahan Schnabolk
Liz Callahan Schnabolk

12 Things NOT to Say to a Breastfeeding Mom

Those comments about the size of my breasts and where I choose to nurse? Yeah, not appreciated.

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Man, do all us breastfeeding moms wish people followed that advice before commenting on how we’re feeding our kids! Why is it that something as natural as nursing seems to also bring on so many nasty comments? I may never know the answer to that, but after a year of breastfeeding my son, I do know quite a few things I’d like no mom to ever have to hear again:

1. “You always wanted bigger boobs.”
When are comments on a woman’s body parts ever appreciated? Also, I’m doing this to FEED A CHILD. Let’s not sexualize it.

2. “You’re like a human cow!”
Just what I always wanted to be compared to!

3. “Oh, my baby latched right away.”
That’s great! But most moms have a hard time with some aspect of breastfeeding (latching, supply, etc.). So let’s just skip the whole comparison game and support and honor the hard work we’re all doing.

4. “Is that wine? Aren’t you still breastfeeding?”
Yes. And that’s why I need wine. Kidding! (Sort of.) But really, whether I can have a glass of rosé as a nursing mom is between me and my doctor.

Sound Familiar?

5. “I didn’t breastfeed my kids and they turned out fine.”
Fed is always, always best. No judgement if you don’t or can’t breastfeed, but please don’t judge me for making a different choice than you did.

6. “Your boobs will never go back to normal.”
Thanks for the pep talk.

7. “There’s a bathroom right over there, if you’d be more comfortable.”
I was comfortable right here until you made that comment. Think about what you’re asking me to do: Sit on a toilet in order to feed my child. Does that sound more comfortable (or sanitary)?

8. “Have you tasted your own milk?” followed by, “GROSS!”
I’ve dealt with a lot of gross things as a mom, and this isn’t one of them.

9. “You’re still nursing?”
I’ll wean when it’s the right time for me and my baby, thank you very much.

10. “Would you mind covering up?”
If covering up made me feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public, I would. Every mom has different preferences and should do what’s best for them and their baby. If you’re uncomfortable, you can certainly move or look away.

11. “Whoa! That’s a lot of bags to carry for one day at work.”
Yup, my tired arms and aching back would agree. I have to cart around a pump and a cooler every. darn. day. Thanks for reminding me!

12. “The freezer just died.”
Nooo—NOT MY STASH!!

Published March 2019

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Photo: Tony Anderson / Getty Images