Breastfeeding criticism is one of the biggest problems breastfeeding mothers face. New mothers tell us that handling breastfeeding criticism from the people around them against breastfeeding is far harder to deal with than any other breastfeeding struggles that they face.
When I started breastfeeding, I found that I generally received two radically-different types of breastfeeding advice:
1. Those who felt that not breastfeeding bordered on child abuse,
AND2. Those who said “Aren’t you done breastfeeding yet?” from the moment that I started!
Neither of these were particularly helpful…because both groups were generally overly critical and made me doubt myself.
Here are some things to remember that may help you cope when handling breastfeeding criticism:
1. Always remember that breastfeeding is the best for both you and your child. There are advantages for both you and the child as long as you continue to breastfeed.
2. It is more “normal” than Western society wants to admit. In most of the world’s cultures, breast feeding continues for at least 2 years. In fact, we all would not be here if the many centuries of women before us chose notto breastfeed!
3. Formula is simply not as good as breast milk. The formula companies even put this on the cans! Don’t fool yourself. It is a substitute…that is all.
4. Many of today’s grandmothers were raising children during a time when women longed to be “liberated.” Formula companies spent MILLIONS of dollars trying to convince them that formula feeding was the answer. It is not. They were just victims of good marketing. Patiently educategrandmothers on the benefits of breastfeeding and you might be surprised by the change in attitude.
5. Your breast milk is the only thing your baby needs for the first six months of life and you are the only one that can provide it. That is a beautiful thing!
The harder criticism is the husband who is not supportive. Again, this is usually just an education issue. Take them to a breastfeeding class or doctors appointment. Talk about why breastfeeding is best for your baby. There are even videos and educational material out there to help dads understand that breastfeeding is a good choice for their kids.
Breastfeeding in Public
Personally (and I think this goes for most moms,) the more kids I had the more bold I was about breastfeeding in public and handling any breastfeeding criticism I might have gotten.
I just remind myself that the magazine shelves show half-naked women…so why does it bother them to see a mom feed her baby when you can’t see a thing? Not MY problem…it is theirs!
Support other Moms!
Encourage other moms who you know are breastfeeding…especially if it is the first baby. They may be getting a lot of breastfeeding criticism and need your support!
Want to wear your support? There are some great pro-breastfeeding shirtslike the one below to show your support for other nursing moms.
There is nothing that encourages other moms more than knowing that they are doing what is best for their babies and other moms support breastfeeding too.
Find Support Here
Feel free to be encouraged by our site as well! That is why we are here.