How to cope with advice given by those unsupportive of breastfeeding
by Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit
What?? You’re still breastfeeding that baby?
Some women will hear that when their babies are 2 months old or when they are 2 years old. It can be hard to hear those negative comments from those that are closest to us. Here are some tips for dealing with those backhanded remarks from the misinformed:
- Let’s educate them! Inform critics about the importance of breastfeeding past 1 year. Many critics believe that there is no value in breastmilk after 1 year.
- Blame it on your doctor. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with the additions of food for two years and beyond. Saving lives, people, saving lives!
- Try to be gracious. They might just be misinformed about the importance of breastfeeding. For example: “Thank you so much for your concern about me and my baby. I am pretty sure we are fine right now, but I will let you know otherwise.”
- Let them know how their comments make you feel. This is your child’s health and wellbeing you are dealing with. Stand your ground and be honest. For example: “I appreciate that you have concerns about how long I plan to breastfeed my child, however, your comments make me uncomfortable. I am able to comfort and provide nutrition to my child in a way that is incomparable to anything else. I would appreciate if you would respect my parenting skills and not question them.”
- Find a breastfeeding support group or parenting group in your area where it is normal to breastfeed your baby for however long you are comfortable. Surround yourself with these supportive women. They will have plenty of advice for you. The Chatham chapter of La Leche League Canada has an active Facebook page www.facebook.com/lllchatham. They meet the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the YMCA. They also offer telephone and email support as well!
To find accurate sources of information contact the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit at 519-352-7270 ext. 2903 to speak with a Registered Nurse.
Breastfeeding is the foundation of life! Supporting you through all stages of life …it’s what we do!