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Breastfeeding Criticism

Breastfeeding criticism is at times easy to handle if it comes from a stranger, but much more difficult to handle when it comes from a spouse or family member.

I would like to discuss three areas in connection with criticism when it comes to breastfeeding. Firstly the criticism a mother receives when she breastfeeds longer than the perceived time that a woman should breastfeed, when she has decided not to breastfeed, and then the criticism a mother endures when she is unable to breastfeed. 

There are many reasons why a mother can't breastfeed. Contrary to popular belief, not everybody is “made to breastfeed" or has the capability. There are many reasons mentioned on the low milk supply page. Just know that you are not alone, many women cannot breastfeed.

Being criticized for not being able to breastfeed, can be the most painful of all since a mother will already feel that she has failed her baby. Most times other family members or friends might not understand this and might have had a problem-free breastfeeding relationship.

What you need to do is arm yourself against breastfeeding criticism.

  • Breastfeeding support from other mothers who have had the same breastfeeding problems.
  • Education: Get your facts straight, find out what your problems are so that you know what to say when the occasion arises.
  • Do not keep quiet! Don’t let people walk all over you and make you feel guilty for something that you have already beaten yourself up for! Let them know how they make you feel.

Being criticized for breastfeeding

  • Remember that people who criticize are usually the ones who are insecure. They typically try to make you feel bad so that they can make themselves feel superior! Feel sorry for them, instead of keeping a grudge.
  • Do not be overly sensitive. Sometimes a family member might just think they are helping! Postpartum depression is a common problem that affects most mothers after pregnancy, which can make comments seem worse than what they actually are.
  • Know the benefits of breastfeeding. This will arm you with something to say every time somebody says something stupid like “why are you still nursing?" or “why don’t you just give him a bottle."

Ways to deal with breastfeeding criticism

  • Laugh about it: Try not let it get to you, making a joke about it can help you deal with it a little easier.
  • Avoid talking about it if it’s a sensitive subject for you. Change the subject or leave the room if you have to.
  • Give them the facts and try to stay calm; keeping your cool will be beneficial in getting your point across.

"When are you going to stop nursing....he's starting to walk now!"

Learn more about extended breastfeeding here

“cover-up, how can you breastfeed like that in public!"

Breastfeeding in public

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