Moms share how NOT breastfeeding their kids drew dirty looks and rude comments.
We don’t always acknowledge that some moms either can’t or don’t breastfeed. We know that these moms are frequently on the receiving end of dirty looks and even abusive comments, so we’d love to honour those women who are great moms, even if they didn’t breastfeed their babies.
They aren’t hard of hearing or stupid, they are aware of the saying“breast is best” and the benefits of breast milk, but they’ve had to endure extreme rudeness from friends, family, nurse, doctors and even strangers. We asked on Twitter and Facebook if any moms had ever been on the receiving end of abuse for not breastfeeding.
Here are their stories:
Hey, moms, were any of you #Boobshamed for NOT breastfeeding your babies?
@Miss_D_viant: Yes! My baby was prem and in the NICU where he was given a bottle. I tried but couldn't. I call the judgey types "The Brestapo".
@BelindaMountain: I only breastfed for 8 weeks and I still get disdainful looks from people when I tell them that.
@Thabang_Nits: You get shamed for breastfeeding, you get shamed for not breastfeeding. Mom's never win
@KieranJared: All the time! I had oedema on my lungs after the birth & was heavily medicated & couldn't BF. Was still told off by many.
@cathjenkin: Regularly. Incl... by a pharmacist! On the day my dad died and I was trying to get jungle juice sorted so I could try BF again.
Sasha-Lee: At 3 months milk stopped and then bottle fed. I don’t care anymore, there’re too many experts out there and judgmental prudes. Breast is best, we know but what if you don’t have that option. You go to formula and you know what, my kids don’t have allergies and can fight off flu without antibiotics...
Linda: I never had any milk. My first baby was losing weight rapidly after birth and when he was 4 days old (and 410g lighter due to me not having ANY milk) I've just had it. I gave him a bottle and that was the end of it. From the clinic nurse to the paediatrician they criticised me. [Edited]
Bronwen: I had the same thing. Cody lost 400g in less than a week. My midwife said screw breastfeeding if it wasn't working for us. Buy formula & get his weight up.
Charmaine: I have 3 kids none of them breast fed.... my eldest who is 17 has only taken antibiotics twice in her life how is that for a strong immune system... my other kids (age 12 and 8) are healthy and happy as well. I never had sick babies, but believe me I was made to feel useless by nurses and other breastfeeding moms…
Shaakira: Never breastfed either of my two and yes many negative comments. People tend to make you feel like less of a mother for formula feeding. And they always expect you to explain yourself as if you owe anyone an explanation.
Tracy: I breast fed for a while and my milk wasn't enough I tried my best but went onto formula. I got tons of negative comments about it but my daughter was thriving and I was less stressed. Other moms nurses can be really judgmental and make you feel awful but at the end of the day my daughter is happy healthy and strangely healthier than some of my friends’ babies who breast fed for months.
Cassan: My milk stopped at about 7/8 weeks and I was expressing milk into bottles. Some moms would ask if I was breastfeeding and if I said not without even wanting to know why they would give such judgmental glances! Was shocked!
Candice: I didn't have milk at all but the paed and gynae prescribed Eglonyl to produce milk. Worked well for 6 months and they then gave me donstinex to stop it immediately. I don't judge any mom who can't or choose not to. Breast milk is best due to the antibodies that protect them from infections. Do what's right for you.
Natasha: I was not able to breastfeed, my son would not take the breast and they refused to release him from the hospital until he started eating as he started losing weight so we chose to use formula. My daughter was breastfeed for 2 weeks but she started bringing up all the time [edited]. I felt guilty when I was not able to breastfeed so it is so much harder when you are judged by people that don’t have a clue as to why you made your choice to not breastfeed.
Natalee: By week 3 my milk dried up:-( no matter how much jungle juice I drank nothing worked....the look of horror on people’s faces when I bottle fed was awful!! Then the dreaded statement/question "aren't you breastfeeding" I felt like such a terrible mother. :-((((
Ongeziwe: The milk was not enough and eventually stopped. Got criticized but I could be bothered cos it was outta my hands. My son has allergies (grass, too much exposure to the sun) but like I said, I couldn't do much! He is strong because he can fight off the flue without antibiotics like most kids so I'm happy. Also, I have the same allergies so...
Cecilia: With my first child I breastfed and chose to stop after 4 weeks. With my second child I breastfed for 1 week and pumped for another week and then chose to stop. Personal choice and one I did not feel bad or guilty about. It was the best choice for me and my children for many reasons. I did get some negative opinions but I stuck to my choice and my reasons for it. Today I have 2 very happy & healthy kids!!
Jani: I breastfed my first for six weeks but stopped when I developed milkfever. Second I only fed for four days. I received a lot of criticism and with my first it really hurt but my kids are no worse off than breastfed kids. We bonded very deeply despite the bottle.
You have to agree, many moms are made to feel bad if they don’t breastfeed their babies. It’s not always possible for them to do breastfeed, and there can be intense feelings of inadequacy and fears that bonding will be harder, so how about we stop the #BoobShaming?
Have you ever been shamed for not breastfeeding?