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From the BreastReading Blog "The Breastfeeding Mother's Quick Guide to Surviving the Holidays"
Tips for Handling the Holiday Noseys
How long do you plan on breastfeeding? Why don't you just pump and bottlefeed? Doesn't it feel weird? I didn't breastfeed and my kids are fine...
In many cases, gatherings with friends and family are (sadly) synonymous with breastfeeding intrusiveness. When what you really want to hear is "How are you doing, mama?" what many inquiring minds seem to care about is how your baby eats. The irony here is that the commentary can come from both camps: from those who are "pro" breastfeeding, and from those who aren't.
Interestingly, Aunt Sally's story about how she breastfed all of her seven kids perfectly may not be what a struggling new mom breastfeeding mom wants rubbed in her face. And the mom who is confident in her breastfeeding (or any mom, really) doesn't need to hear about Aunt Bertha's breastfeeding horror stories. Engaging in breastfeeding banter over Christmas dinner can spark Uncle Johnny to make some untoward comment, so if at all possible, know when to curve convos, and ask your support folk to step in.
From both personal and professional experience working with both breastfeeding naysayers and breastfeeding sanctimommies, I find that it's best to simply listen, change the subject, or educate with the goal of normalizing.
Consider using one of these lines to stump the nosiest of friends or family:
•EDUCATE (with shock and awe): Why don't you just pump and feed? Because it's his spit on my nipple and areola that uploads his nutritional and immune need into me. Pumps and formula can't do that.
• LISTEN and CHANGE TOPIC: I fed my kids formula and they're fine. I'm glad your babies grew up to be healthy. How is cousin Tommy, btw?
And if you really just want to be snarky...
• How long do you plan on breastfeeding? Oh, he should be done in about 10 minutes. ;)
Remember too, that these same people will go on to ask about your choice in diapers, how long your baby sleeps at night, and whether or not you plan on getting pregnant again next month. The good thing is that if you feel the need to escape further conversation, you can always pull the breastmilk-poop blowout card.Sorry! Gotta go change the baby!
Did you find these topics helpful? What other holiday survival advice could you use? And if you have some to share, please comment below!
I wish you and your babies the absolute breast this holiday season! 🎄