Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Boob Police

I was suspicious. A relative was taking a curious interest in Claire’s breastfeeding habits. Her queries came at me with a jagged, little edge. I wondered about the subtext. Non-committal retorts like “uh-huh” reinforced my hunch that disapproval lurked just under the surface. As she was saying one thing, I was hearing another:

She says: When do you plan on stopping breastfeeding?
I hear: You should stop breastfeeding.

She says: Has she started asking for milk?
I hear: When she’s old enough to say “milk”, she’s old enough to eat ‘real’ food.

She says: Doesn’t she bite you with all those teeth?
I hear: When she’s cut a mouth of teeth, she’s old enough to eat ‘real’ food.

She says: Do you also give her cow’s milk?
I hear: When she’s old enough to have ‘real food’, you should stop breastfeeding.

She says: What if she won't stop?
I hear: That baby's gonna be five years old and still on the tit.

She says: What do you do when you’re outside?
I hear: You should be ashamed of yourself for breastfeeding a 16-month-old in public.

I wanted the interrogation to stop. But I just calmly provided answers to the ‘questions’. Really, I'm an unlikely ambassador for breastfeeding. I don’t want to make people uncomfortable. If other breastfeeding mamas want to make a statement, they have my blessing. I just want to feed my child.


  1. Yeah, it really is such a fraught issue. I don't understand why people are so uptight about it. And nosey.

  2. It's nobody's business---you have to do what you feel is best for your baby girl and ignore the haters! Saw your comment on my blog site and wanted to say thanks for joining up. You write really well and I think what you are doing is admirable---putting your child first!

    1. Thank you for your kind words and support!

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  4. Been there! I nursed my son for 18 months and daughter for 15 months. It's really none of anyone's business but your own. Maybe next time just respond with "Hmmm...why do you ask?"

    1. Why didn't I think of that? Very good advice.


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