May 2013 Moms

Breastfeeding stigma

Have any bfing moms experienced judgement from others about breastfeeding?  I really hadn't considered that I would before LO was born and now that she's here I've encountered some unexpected judgement.  My mom has been staying with us and she is always asking me if I would like to cover up or go to another room.  She thinks it's gross and refers to it as nursing because she doesn't like the term breastfeeding (she doesn't want to say breast...).  It hurts my feelings when she says things even though I know she's not right.  I've also gotten a few looks from strangers when I'm bfing in public even with a cover.  Anyone else?

Re: Breastfeeding stigma

  • nola78nola78
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
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    Tell your mom to go pound sand.

    I was only able to BF for a short time (supply issues), but I did BF in public, and I did get some looks.  I didn't care, though, because those people are ignorant.  The more people continue to BF in public without shame or embarrassment, the easier it will be.  I think you should continue to do what you're doing and mentally give all those judgmental people the finger.   

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  • Wait so calling it nursing means we are stigmatizing breastfeeding?  
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  • I breastfeed in public with a cover and yes I've gotten some stares and whispers. But, I'm gonna feed my kid regardless. They just have to get over it.

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  • nola78nola78
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    image GoMaltby18:
    Wait so calling it nursing means we are stigmatizing breastfeeding?  

    Yeah, I was going to ask about this as well.  I don't think this should be one of the issues you have with your mom.  Her thinking it's gross is another story.

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  • image GoMaltby18:
    Wait so calling it nursing means we are stigmatizing breastfeeding? nbsp;


    This. I refer to breast feeding as nursing simply because it's less syllables. Perhaps I'm just lazy, but I don't think the term nursing is negative. If anything, I find it to be more accurate, since the breast does more than produce milk. There's the comfort factor as well, just ask anyone who's been used as a human pacifier!
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  • I say nursing too. Mostly because I say J is nursing, or J just nursed. And J just breast fed feels grammatically awkward to me. lol

    I have yet to BF in public because I haven't been out much. But I will. With a cover simply because ill be more comfortable with that. But I agree that if more of us did it, maybe it would make more people accept it.

    Keep doing what you're doing and forget your mom.
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  • KashyKashy
    Ninth Anniversary 250 Answers 500 Love Its 500 Comments
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    It is actually my DH that is always telling me and reminding me that I need to cover up when we go places.  It really is annoying.

    I have yet to actually breastfeed in public, but I have at my friends house (who also is nursing her LO) and my parents house.  Both times I covered myself with a little blanket and no one has said anything.  My DH will give me a weird look like I should be embarrassed about it. 

    Also I call it nursing and feeding.  Not sure why that should bother anyone since it is the same thing.  

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  • Oh I say nursing too but she refuses to refer to it as breastfeeding at all.  She also won't say bra, she says underwear.  The reason being that she thinks these things are dirty or inappropriate.  I have no problem with the word nursing itself, I just know why she says it.  
  • image AliciaR777:
    image GoMaltby18:
    Wait so calling it nursing means we are stigmatizing breastfeeding? nbsp;


    This. I refer to breast feeding as nursing simply because it's less syllables. Perhaps I'm just lazy, but I don't think the term nursing is negative. If anything, I find it to be more accurate, since the breast does more than produce milk. There's the comfort factor as well, just ask anyone who's

    been used as a human pacifier![/quote

    I think she is referring to her mom not liking the word breast more than dissing the term nursing. I use nursing too cause its shorter but not wanting to use the word breast feeding cause your against using breast is a different story.
    I sometimes get funny looks I do cover up in public but when I was at a small family gathering I didn't cover when it was just woman in the room. I figure why bother they all have boobs and most of them have done this.

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  • My mom is a little weird about it too and doesn't really say breast feeding but she doesn't make me feel weird for doing it. She tried it with me and didnt like it. So she sort of knows but not really. I usually cover at their house just because it weirds my sister and dad out. They more joke about it but it doesn't bother me to much.

    My mom is actually pretty impressed I've stuck it out and given it a try at least for all 3 of my kids. My family including my husband don't call breast milk, milk, they call it boob juice.
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  • I say nursing too just because it's quicker to say. I agree with being in public though. A lot of people stare or kind of give the eye. I cover in public so they can suck it. Basically everything with raising a child makes people think they should be able to voice their opinion or judgement on. You just gotta stick to your guns! 
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  • I'm so glad you said that you "know she's not right".  Just keep doing what you're doing.  Your obligation is to be a good parent to your baby, not to please your mother.  

    As for me, I haven't breast fed in public yet, so I haven't gotten any looks.  You are brave and I admire you for going for it!!   

  • deduvadeduva
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its
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    I luckily haven't had any comments or stares yet (I always use a cover around family and in public). I read something once though that just clicked for me and made sense.  

    Nobody has a problem when a hot woman is walking around in a bikini.  Nobody says you need to cover up I'm offended.  So how can something so natural be more offensive?

    That goes through my mind every time my LOis crying and I need to feed him wherever I happen to be.  Don't let anyone make you feel uncomfortable. 

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  • My MIL reminds me every time she sees us that she didn't BF my DH, and that she bonded with him just fine.  If she's visiting and LO is hungry, she'll ask how we're going to feed him.  "Breast... or BOTTLE???" with a huge excited emphasis on BOTTLE.  I get that she probably just wants to feed him, but calm down woman. 

    I also get the vibe that she feels that she needs to justify her decision to not BF her kids 30 years ago, even though I have never asked or cared or even thought about caring.  What she did is what she did, and all I really care about right now is trying to raise my own child without seriously harming him.  

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  • Funny story along these lines, it seems like every stinking time we get visitors LO wakes up 10 min before they get here and wants to eat. So they are always walking in the house with him under the cover nursing. The first time my FIL came in and I was nursing under the cover he said "what, are you cold?" I said "no, he's under there nursing!" He was like "oh!"
    He's kinda old school and out of touch. When he was visiting in the hospital the LC came in to help me so I told DH he needed to go since I couldn't cover while she helped me. DH was walking him out and told him the lady was here to coach me BFing. He said "do you have to leave the room every time she does that?" He said "no, but you do." lol
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  • Wow. If my mother suggested that I cover up in my own home I think I would lose my shiz on her. I can't understand how feeding your child would make anyone uncomfortable, especially your own mother!

    I nurse, breastfeed or whatever others want to call it wherever and whenever my baby is hungry. I do use a cover in public though.
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  • image SpanFran:

    My MIL reminds me every time she sees us that she didn't BF my DH, and that she bonded with him just fine.  If she's visiting and LO is hungry, she'll ask how we're going to feed him.  "Breast... or BOTTLE???" with a huge excited emphasis on BOTTLE.  I get that she probably just wants to feed him, but calm down woman. 

    I also get the vibe that she feels that she needs to justify her decision to not BF her kids 30 years ago, even though I have never asked or cared or even thought about caring.  What she did is what she did, and all I really care about right now is trying to raise my own child without seriously harming him.  

    This is my MIL exactly! Anytime she is over she comments about BF and how she didn't do it and DH turned out just fine and that "no one will judge you honey if you don't want to do that." But I DO want to do it! It is good for her and for me! I have to supplement sometimes do to supply and once she got to feed her and after she said, "See how hungry she is!? She just woofed that down!" It makes me feel inadequate....but I will keep BF and hoping my supply increases.

     Just keep doing what you are doing OP, everyone will have an opinion about what you're doing - right or wrong.  

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