I have an eight month old daughter, Ameli, who is still primarily breastfed, although we do play at Baby Led Weaning once or twice a day. Below are some of the questions I’ve been asked and my responses to them, or that other people have been asked and what I would have said had it been me.
I find that people generally ask annoying and otherwise offensive questions out of ignorance, a lack of understanding or misconceptions brought about by lack of experience. Most of the time these retorts, when accompanied by a sincere face and a bright smile, put a quick stop to the line of questioning without any animosity.
Isn’t that baby too old for breastfeeding?
Well, when is too old, too old? I don’t have the answer to that. My daughter is eight months old and I have been asked when I was planning on stopping on more than one occasion. My ‘usual’ response is along these lines:
The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding for at least two years, so I guess at least two years, or until she says no thank you. And then I’ll probably still express milk for her cereal.
Excuse me, we have facilities in the ladies toilets for that (pointing at my breastfeeding baby)
Thank you, but I’m comfortable here.
Absolutely. What time is your lunch break? You can bring your lunch in there and eat with us.
You shouldn’t be doing that here (in a restaurant)
Would you prefer my daughter to be screaming through your lunch? She’s human and hungry.
You shouldn’t be doing that here (in a church)
Remember the story in the Bible about not squandering the gifts God gives you? God gave me these breasts and He gave me the ability to make milk and He gave me a daughter who gets hungry and requires sustenance. This is what He made them for. I’m not willing to squander my gifts. If that’s a problem for you, perhaps you should take it up with Him?
Don’t you think she should be on solids already?
No. The human body wasn’t designed to eat purÃ©ed food. It’s why babies have constipation, since they swallow the purÃ©e without much saliva, so the food isn’t able to break down properly. At least with a combination of baby led weaning and breastfeeding, she’s still getting all her nutrients and her digestive system isn’t under premature pressure.
Would you like a blanket or something to cover yourself with?
No, thank you. It’s generally not too difficult to find a woman with more cleavage showing than I am when breastfeeding. If I’m not covered its because I don’t want to be.
It’s funny though – apart from sincere questions I’ve never experienced sarcastic, mean or rude comments. My husband says the look on my face means no one dares! I can’t say I’m too unhappy about that!
How about you? Have you had something said to you or do you have a ‘stock’ answer lined up for if someone does?